I had just walked into my uncle’s vineyard, he had invited me over for a fresh can of wine to take home to my parents but I was shocked at what I saw. My uncle, John, was removing healthy lucious branches from the grape vine Or so I thought. I had shouted ‘uncle you are hurting these vines, how do you want them to yield more wine if you keep removing these beautiful green branches’ he looked at me and laughed. I’m not hurting them my dear , I just want them to grow better. I was perplexed Wondering how that was going to make the grape vine better. So he sat me down and explained, for grape vines to trive, 90% of the growth from the previous year has to be removed, this way sunlight, moisture and all the grape stem needs is absorbed into its body, the grapevine now channels its energy into producing wine that is more concentrated in flavour. I was wowed and thankful for the important lesson learnt that day.
‘I am the true vine, and my father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more friut.’ John 15:1-2
Relating it with what Jesus said, I can understand it better. First of all, what does it mean to purge? To purge means to clean thoroughly, to cleanse, to get rid of, to evacuate. What about pruning? To prune means to trim, cut down or shorten.
Have you been bearing fruit? If yes congrats, if no, you are treading a very dangerous path because Jesus says such a one will be cut off from him. If you’ve been bearing fruit, you’ve been doing good but you can do better, you need to be constantly pruned or purged so that you will yield more rich, lucious, excellent fruit.
The pruning process is not a palatable process to the vine because it will pass through pain. So also will you pass through some dealings if you want to be pruned, if you want to yield more fruit. We must understand that the act of pruning is done out of love, in order to stimulate growth. Pruning is a must for any believer who wants to grow spiritually, become purposeful and remain in Christ. What are those things that need to be pruned, purged or cut off from your life? These are the seemingly good things, pleasurable things you enjoy, not sinfully, pure but not necessary. Wordly values, Subtle time consuming things we give our precious selves to which you and I know. Essentially, the things which do not lead to Jesus Christ cannot remain in our lives if we choose to remain in Jesus. God prunes to take away the old, invigorate, freshen, revive, and renew our lives. There are some spiritual heights that can only be reached through the valley of pruning. Allow God to prune you today, let him remove all the heavy things you carry around which you think is important. Stop struggling with God, let him have his way that you may bear more fruit.
For those who have stopped bearing fruit remember what the scripture says ‘abide in me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.’ John 15:4-6 you cannot bear any fruit except you abide in Christ, abiding in Christ means you are not just following Christ outwardly, it means you are connected with him, dependent on him and you’re continuing in him. It means you keep his precepts, following him daily each and every step of the way, doing his will no matter the cost, loving God with your heart, soul and mind, following him even when things seem bleak, feeding on his word daily, communing with his Spirit, living his life out and dwelling in his presence. When you abide in Christ you will bear fruits.