Day 14

Day 14 ~ EXcess Baggage

John 15:1-9
“Every branch that bears fruit (God) prunes to make it bear more fruit.”
(John 15:2)

How can I find ways to give? Maybe I need to cut back in some overgrown areas of my life in order to bear better fruit in my life for God’s kingdom.

If you have ever grown grapes in your yard, then you will know that grapevines will naturally overextend themselves with prolific branching and leaf growth every year. If grapevines are not pruned, all of the branching and leaf growth can completely cover an arbor in as little as two growing seasons.

Unchecked, branching growth, while great for simply covering up space, is terrible for bearing fruit. Such overgrown grapevines will bear tiny, unusable fruit – if it is able to bear fruit clusters at all. The extensive branching and leafing drains the resources and energy of the vine from its primary purpose – bearing fruit.

Look at the pictures of a well-kept vineyard whose purpose is to bear good fruit. You will see thick, decades old grapevines pruned back to no more than four short branches so that all the energy of the plant is focused on growing great grapes. Pruning – heavy, regular pruning – is necessary to bearing good fruit.

How overextended is your life? What all have you branched out into? We may think that wildly branching out everywhere as fast as we can grow helps us to cover all the bases in life; but in truth, such unmanaged growth just keeps us from bearing any real fruit. Ask yourself, “Where could I cut back so I could invest the time and energy and resources available to me into bearing the kind of good fruit in my life that matters?” If it has been awhile in your life since you paid any attention to pruning, you may be astonished as to how overgrown and overextended your life has become. No wonder Jesus says that God will prune our lives to help us bear better fruit.

Prayer: Lord, abide more fully in me. Help me to prune and manage my life better. Re-shape my living to bear good fruit that would glorify You.

Action Item: Make a list of areas in your life that are overgrown. What branches can you cut out? What resources does that pruning free up for you to invest in bearing good fruit?