How Does God Help Us Grow?
Most of us long to have something from our earthly existence -- that will endure.
Life is so fragile, time is so fleeting, and things are so temporal.
What are you involved with that is bigger than you? What are you doing that will last forever? What are you seeking that is eternal? That is exactly the depth of consideration God wants us to live at—thinking of how we can allow Him to grow us into an enduring, fruitful, rewarded saint!
As we open to John 15 today we are asking the Lord to show us how HE works to make us GROW. The process is very similar. Our Heavenly Father has two choices as He looks at our lives.
He can prune us. Pruning is a positive step of refocusing, redirecting, and renewing that makes us healthier, and more fruitful.
Or He can chasten us. Chastening is a negative step of drastic intervention taken by God to prevent us from further damaging ourselves by sinful choices we have made in our lives.
PROFILES IN PRUNING. In the vineyard, an expert pruner applies his skills in four specific ways.
1. Farmers cut anything dead or dying off the vines.
2. Farmers try to expose every branch to the light so that it gets maximum exposure to the sunlight.
3. Farmers prune unnecessary growth so that the vine concentrates on fruit production.
4. Farmers keep the soil around the roots clear and prepared to feed the fruit production needs of the plant.
Does God have a grudge against His children? Is He trying to "get even" with us? Is God's chastening and pruning a kind of parental revenge for childish wrongdoing? Often we may think so, but this is far from the truth. God disciplines us for our own profit so we can share in His holiness. God's one supreme purpose in disciplining us is purification. He wants to take away from us all that mars the likeness of Jesus Christ within us. It is His own holiness that He wants to perfect in us.
If you are in Christ He is at work somewhere in your life - trimming, lifting, cleaning, or pruning. Whenever we have fruitless times, God steps in to change that.
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