This weekend at church we wrapped up our series, The Power of Same.  What a life changing series for the people of our church.  I feel so ready to face 2015.

Our campus pastors preached a message called Trading Traditions.  It was really great.  I love it when we get to hear personally from the many godly men pastoring each of our campuses.

I was looking on my timehop app this morning and I saw this post I wrote 4 years ago on John 15.  As we wrap up our study on John 15, I thought this was so fitting.  So here is Pruning with a Purpose from 2011…

John 15:1-2 Says “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

My husband is always watching preachers on TV.  I am not sure who he had on the other day, I was in the next room and couldn’t see the screen, but I heard the preacher say something pretty interesting.  He said, the Father is always trimming.  He either cuts off a branch because it is not bearing fruit or He prunes it because He wants the branch to bear more fruit.

I don’t know anything about plants, except maybe how to kill them.  Honestly, I don’t know the difference between cutting off a branch and pruning it.  Both have to do with cutting.  Both seem painful.  Both make the plant smaller.  Pruning has always sounded so wrong to me.  I am supposed to cut off the bloom?  Surely not.  Here’s something I found about pruning roses on About.com…

Pruning a rose bush will encourage new growth and bloom, removes dead wood, improves air circulation, shapes the plan.

Here are some ways I think the Lord prunes me…
-He removes something from my life (a relationship, a possession, maybe a desire) and replaces it with something better.
-He forces me to have a difficult, confrontational, conversation in order to better the relationship.
-He allows me to face a difficult situation so that I turn to Him for guidance rather than depending on myself.
-He impresses on me a behavior I need to change or a habit I need to form in order to take me to the next level in my relationship with Him.

Rather than seeing pruning as punishment from God, I need to see it as an act of love to make me more beautiful in His sight and more effective in His kingdom.

Hope you are having a great week!