Growth 2: To Grow More In The Lord…, Evans Olang

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John 15:1-8, vs. 2, “…and every branch that bears fruit He PRUNES, that it may bear MORE fruit”

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I cannot think of anything that causes more and faster growth like adversities. In the light of things going backwards or getting less or dying or eliminated has potential of causing greater growth in ways we could never imagine or fathom. You would think that in cutting back should create less opportunity for growth, not until you understand why a plant needs pruning (cutting back).

Jesus defines Himself as the true Vine in vs. 1 and God the Father as the vine dresser (Gardner) and the believers are the branches. Those who abide in Christ, the branches are inspected by the Father (the vine dresser) and vs. 2, “Every branch in Me (Christ) that does not bear fruit He takes away;”. God the gardener is not looking for leaves, He is looking for fruit. You may be trying to please the Lord with your  leaves and how green they are, how big and healthy they are. The Lord is not impressed with leaves, He is looking for fruit, a sign of growth in your life. There are many who call themselves Christians who have more leaves than fruits and they are excited that they have leaves but again, it’s not the leaves that the Lord inspects, it’s the fruit. So the branch on the vine that does not bear fruit, He takes it way.

Vs. 2, “…and every branch that bears fruit He PRUNES, that it may bear MORE fruit“. Here is where many Christians are, they are excited that they have fruit, little fruit and that’s it. Why desire more when you have something to cling to? Then here comes the Lord who takes the branch that bears fruit and prunes it. What is pruning? Pruning is the practice of removing diseased, non-productive, or otherwise unwanted portions from a plant. The purpose of pruning is to shape the plant by controlling or directing plant growth, to maintain the health of the plant and increase the yield or quality of fruits. Pruning requires cutting back, cleaning, removing dead leaves for a reason. You may be facing some setbacks right now in your own life and you may be wondering why go through all these when you are bearing fruit as a believer. You may never know if the Lord has set your life for pruning so as to move you from bearing fruit to bearing MORE fruit. Maybe the Lord wants to grow more faith in you, more patience, more love, more joy, more peace, more grace, more prayer in your life, more reading of His word, more reaching the lost and so cutting back propels you to grow more and more under what you call adversities. That there have been things hindering you from growing some more, therefore he cuts them back. The key word is MORE.

Cutting back does not mean destruction, it means the branch through the vine has potentials to grow more if pruned. How can we abide on the true vine and remain the same? Now Proper pruning is as much a skill as it is an art, since badly pruned plants can become diseased or grow in undesirable ways but the Lord is the Master in pruning. He knows how best to prune each of us so as to bear more fruit. He knows what kind of pruning and how much of it He has to do to make a difference in our lives. Setbacks are temporary results brought about by pruning, the end result is more growth that brings about more fruit bearing desperately needed in your life. David says, Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted (pruned), That I may learn (grow) Your statutes”. Pruning can either make you or break you, you make the choice. Tough times don’t last, tough people do. Blessings Ev

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