‘No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.’ John 15:4 NIV

Jesus said: ‘My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch… that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me… If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.’ (John 15:1–5 NIV)

What does God want from you today? Spiritual fruit! And He will do two things to produce it in your life. First, He will show you the habits, relationships, and activities that make it impossible for you to bear spiritual fruit, and then begin to cut them off. But He can only do that if you let Him. Second, He will reveal to you the things that drain you spiritually and keep you from bearing more fruit. And His favourite pruning knife is His Word, which is ‘sharper than any double-edged sword.’ (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)

As you read God’s Word, He cuts away the bad so that it doesn’t impede the good. Then He prunes the good so that it doesn’t obstruct the best. This explains why He allows difficult times to come into our lives. As James Merritt puts it: ‘Trials may simply be pruning shears in the hands of the divine Gardener—tools He uses to cut away dead wood, fruitless branches, and sap-sucking shoots so that we might bear more fruit.’

SoulFood: Jer 33:1–36:26, Luke 4:14–30, Ps 102:1–11, Pr 14:35–15:2

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©