January 11, 2024

Paulina De La Fuente
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.“
John 15:1-4

A couple weeks ago I came home from out of town to a very sad looking basil plant. Even with going back to a normal watering schedule, I knew that the real problem was that I had already been long overdue in pruning it. The morning after I picked off some of the existing leaves, brand new leaves had already started to grow in their place. My mind immediately went to reflecting on 2023 and all the things God has pruned and is continuing to prune in my life.

In Christ, these verses show us how we are attached to the true vine that gives us life, makes us clean, and causes us to bear lasting fruit. Just like there will be a “pruning” on Judgment Day, God is also at work here and now pruning the unfruitful things in each of our lives so that we can become more and more like Jesus. Only God can do the true work of cleansing and purifying us continually, and yet He also invites us in to be willing participants in that process with Him. What fruit do you see growing in your life right now?

Help us Lord to see our lives clearly and obey You wholeheartedly. Show us what You are pruning in our lives and give us the courage to participate in that process with You. Help us trust Your greater work more than just what’s right in front of us.