“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit.”
The fruit of the vineyard is only borne in abundance on tender, fairly new growth. As the wood of a branch gets older, it tends to get harder. So even though a branch is living and is connected to the vine, it can become barren. Still leaving the branch connected to the vine, the gardener cuts back the old, hard wood, forcing it into new growth that will produce fruit instead of just more wood and leaves. In fact, there are times when he cuts the branch back so drastically all that is left of it is the connection to the vine.
Jesus described this drastic pruning in a believer’s life when He explained that the Gardener “cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit.” There are times when God cuts everything out of our lives except our relationship with Jesus. He forces us to pay attention to our relationship with Him because that’s all we have. And in the process, our “connection” to the Vine is enlarged and fruit is produced.
My Heart’s Cry, (Nashville: W Publishing, 2002).
©2012 Anne Graham Lotz. All rights reserved.
What are the secrets to a life of impact? Daniel achieved greatness in the eyes of his contemporaries, in the eyes of history, and most importantly, in the eyes of God. His faith did not waver as he faced his critics, as he served new kings in power, or even as he confronted hungry lions. How can we achieve that kind of faith today? Twenty intentional, key choices made all the difference. Daniel’s choices can be ours, such as:
• The choice to listen
• The choice to forgive
• The choice to pray
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