Michael Youssef: Pruning Your Vineyard
Have you ever toured a vineyard? There is constant attention given to the condition of each vine. The gardener takes particular care of each vine and its branches. Because he is interested in producing quality grapes, he prunes the wild shoots that produce leaves and no fruit.
God is the gardener of your life. He trims the troublesome shoots so that you will be productive and fruitful for Him. Often, pruning looks and feels painful, merciless, and wasteful. But with God there is no random cutting. He trims away what is harmful and bad for you.
When self-centeredness and selfishness grow in your heart, God reaches down and begins to prune. The nutrients of God's Word bring new life. As you allow God to work, you begin to live a new life of holiness and righteousness.
How do you abide and continue to abide in Christ? The answer is by spending adequate time studying, learning, and comprehending God's Word-but not merely as words, facts, or sentiments. God's Word must be the basis for all of your actions-bringing nourishment and fulfillment.
It is easy to forget that producing fruit is impossible without the pain of pruning. Jesus said:
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 (John 15:1-2).
At the end of your days, will your life be a fruitless shell-or are you going to produce fruit? Will you be able to look in Jesus' eyes on that final day and say, "Lord, I used my time, money, talents, and gifts for Your glory?" Make it your prayer that God would prune you to produce His fruit.
Prayer: Lord, please prune me so I may product fruit for You. I pray when the pruning becomes painful, I will trust in Your plan for my good and Your glory. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him" (Proverbs 12:14).
From: Leading The Way