Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cleaning Off the Dead Stuff




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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me and I will remain in you.-John 15:1-4

I used to work at a nursery, not a daycare, but a flower nursery. Two of my jobs were to water the flowers and to clean all the dead stuff off of the flowers. When you clean the dead stuff off, or prune the flowers, it helps them because all the nutrients will go into the parts that are alive to make them more beautiful and productive and vibrant.

In John 15, Jesus tells his disciples that He is the vine and His Father is the gardener.  God, the Father is the one who prunes or cleans off all the dead stuff in our lives so we, like the flowers, will be more fruitful.  

Many people equate this pruning to pain.  They think God causes pain when He prunes us, but according to that same passage of scripture, that is just not true. Jesus tells His disciples, 


You are already clean because of the WORD I have spoken to you.  

The Word of God is what prunes us or cleans us.  It takes away all the dead stuff.  And this takes time.

When we are born again, God gives us a new heart.  He promises in Ezekiel 36:26,

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.


So, the inside has been taken care of.  You have a new heart and spirit from God.  You are a new creation.  But the outside still needs some work.

You still live in the same body, with the same soul, and you have to know what all has been done for you, through Jesus.  You have to know who you are, and what belongs to you. That's where the pruning comes in.  But God doesn't use pain to clean off that dead stuff.

He uses His Word, which is life giving.  Then the parts that were not bringing life, just fall off.

In order for this to happen, you have to remain in Jesus and He in you.  It's easy when you know He loves you.

It's a process, so just keep coming back to the Word of God, letting Him gently clean you, cleaning away all the dead stuff, and give life to the parts of you that are fruitful so you can grow into all that He has for you to become.

Grace and peace to you on this journey.

In Him,
Beth

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful reminder of how God works. He is not a God of suffering but love. His word is life changing.

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