1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.2Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
When a metallurgist works on a piece, the tradesman’s aim is to produce a product that is pure. The process for purifying precious metals involves applying extreme heat to melt the metal. When the metal is melted, all of the impurities, known as “dross”, surfaces to the top. The metallurgist then skims away the dross so the remainder is pure metal. Sometimes God puts us through heated battles or situations to clear the dross in our own lives and clear away the trash.
In this passage, Jesus is speaking and equates us to branches on a vine. It is not clear what kind of specific fruit we are to be producing, but what is important is that we are to be producing. Many people point towards Galatians 5 to reveal what fruit we are to be producing, “the Fruit of the Spirit.”
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
What is clear is that in the areas we are not producing he prunes or cuts away. In the same way that extreme heat is added, God will put us through situations or trials to teach us. We will be challenged to rid ourselves of something in our lives that is blocking us from producing the fruit that God desires.
In my own life, Christ had to take away something from me so that I would be a better Christ follower because of it. My first year of school at the University of Texas I had planned on being in the Longhorn Marching Band. The week before school began was band tryouts. I had attended the seminars over the summer, I had practiced my music, and I made sure to be the best I could be. The morning of the final cuts, I took off toward the band hall on a bicycle. About 10 feet down the road, I hit a rock, tumbling down the paved hill. I was carrying a backpack with various drumsticks and a pair of cymbals under my arms, which of course alerted everyone in the vicinity that someone had gone down. I rush up and ignore the pain while picking up all of my belongings. I get to the school of music and head strait to the restroom to examine the damage. My face was covered in blood, my hands were covered in blood, and the pain-blocking adrenaline had began to wear off. I had a huge gash on my right check and both of my hands were skinned badly. After cleaning up I headed toward the tryout and found it extremely difficult to be a successful drummer with damaged hands. That day I was cut and would not be marching with the Longhorn Band.
I did not realize it then, but later I realized the impact not being in band afforded me. I became very involved with the Baptist Student Ministry where I made a few lifelong friends who would challenge me in my walk with Christ. I now see that the plans I had for my life can be very different from what God plans for my life if I do not have my focus on Jesus.
Personal Application: Examine your life and find where God may need to prune you so that you can be a better follower of Christ.
Home Application: Take a look at your family schedules and see if there is something that is preventing your family from seeking God whole heartedly or maybe there is something you need to replace on your schedule.
Do you think God wants us to know His plan for our life or does He just want us to figure it out as it happens?
Devotional written by Travis Hogg