Pruned to Produce

 “And every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
John 15:2 NASB

Anyone would have to be a sadomasochist to enjoy being cut on. I have only undergone a surgeon’s knife once in my adult life, and then, of course, I had the benefits of modern-day anesthesia. I didn’t feel a thing. It has been quite the contrast in my walk with Christ for over a half-century. Often my Vinedresser has taken up his knife and deftly removed what would hinder growth and fruitfulness. Unlike physical surgery, accompanied by anesthesia, I have felt my heavenly Vinedresser’s incisions—sometimes through tears.

I am told that before pruning, an average grapevine may have 200-300 buds, all of which are capable of producing fruit. However, if left unpruned, the number of grape clusters would be excessive; the vine would be incapable of producing a large crop or sustaining adequate vegetative growth. The reason the vinedresser prunes his vine regularly is to obtain maximum yields of high-quality grapes, and to allow adequate vegetative growth for the following season. Therefore, pruning is essential.

Pruning takes both knowledge and wisdom. It must be done by skilled experts and at the proper season. And the vinedresser must be thoroughly acquainted with his vines in order to prune his plants with balance. One university horticulture department says: “The degree or extent of pruning is dictated by vine vigor. Vine vigor is determined by estimating the amount of the previous season’s growth. This concept is called ‘balanced pruning.’”* The expert vinedresser knows what to cut away, what to leave, and when to cut.

So it is with the Christian’s Vinedresser. Desiring that we may produce luscious fruit to his praise and glory, our Father in Heaven wants to excise from our life everything that hinders us from being a fruitful branch. And he can be trusted to remove from our heart and lives only what is necessary in order to achieve maximum growth.

*Retrieved from

Taken from . . .
Renewed by the Spirit: 365 Daily Meditations
by Ralph I. Tilley
copyright © 2016 Ralph I. Tilley
(May be copied for noncommercial purposes,
not to exceed 500 copies.)

Author: Ralph I. Tilley

I joyfully identify with the long history of the orthodox, evangelical stream of the Church. Theologically, I am a conservative. On issues of secondary importance, I will not quibble with my brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” I would hope I have no doctrinal biases; however, I realize that is a practical impossibility: “Now I know in part.” You can read more on the About page.