“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper. Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. John 15:1-2 HCSB

Each fall I trim back or prune our bushes and landscaping. I want to make sure each bush or plant has the room to grow properly and maintain the right shape. This past summer my wife’s siblings and our families re-landscaped my father-in-law’s yard. We removed and replaced some plants and others we just trimmed and shaped. I noticed the other day that some of the bushes we planted this summer already need to be pruned in order to remain proportionate to the other plants. Pruning is necessary to promote growth and to keep the yard looking well- manicured.

Jesus used the analogy of a vine and a branch to describe the relationship that we as followers have to Him and the importance of allowing God the Father to prune us and shape us to be more like Jesus Christ. When God observes some activity, behavior, or thought that needs to be removed from our lives because it does not make us more like His Son, He carefully prunes us back so we can bear more fruit for His kingdom.

Challenge: Jesus is the vine and we are His branches. Only when we remain in Him can we produce fruit for His kingdom. God, the vine keeper, will prune back any unproductive branches and will remove anything that hinders our growth. He wants us to be more like Jesus in order to produce more fruit.

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