“I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener.
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.
It’s late Fall. The branches are heavy laden with grapes. The harvest will soon commence. Pruning will happen immediately thereafter.
Compare the two pictures. What a glaring contrast! Without exaggeration the pruned vines reveal absolutely no promise for the future. They look DEAD! And YET…..!
The history of pruning has a rather humorous beginning.“Thousands of years ago farmers growing vines of grapes stumbled upon something they couldn’t understand or explain. For years they tried to keep goats out of their vineyards , but they were perplexed when they discovered that the vines that had been eaten by goats actually had a better harvest than those which were untouched. They were baffled! Why would a goat eating away at a vine help produce more, not less? They concluded that clearly they had some magical goats on hand here. Clearly the logical conclusion, right? So paradoxically, they started inviting these magical goats to munch on their vines every year. And they kept having better and better harvests!” (Ouch! That Hurts!)
Though the the principles of pruning are well known in biological circles, they are beyond the scope of this post. Suffice it to say, pruning, though appearing crude and destructive, is the only hope for a vine to be successfully productive. Pruning not only guarantees a future harvest; it also multiplies it by several times (“He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce MORE fruit”).
As a matter of biological fact a vine that is left UN-pruned will reverse its production. Eventually it will become worthless in terms of the Master’s business. Hence., “Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes.” In other words, in terms of multiplication pruning is not merely optional; it is absolutely mandatory!
Notice! This is so important for those who are serious about following Jesus. The Father prunes branches for MORE! In other words, His pruning is never capricious. Every bit of “cutting away” may seem cruel and unreasonable at the moment! However, you can take this to bank: on the part of the Father pruning has nothing to do with judgment, punishment or cruelty. “We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are chosen to be a part of His plan.” (Romans 8:28) As you follow Jesus, remember the “MORE” factor! If you don’t, you will become exceedingly frustrated, confused, cynical, and doubtful! Remember, Father is concerned with but only one thing: that you, as a unique branch, produce all that you can according to His design for your life; which, as a matter of fact, will bring Him great glory! Yes, your satisfaction and His glory are intermingled