Sanctification/Pruning

JESUS SPEAKING

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 1 – 5)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Jesus uses an agricultural illustration known as pruning to explain the biblical process referred to as sanctification. Pruning is the practice of cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems to promote healthier and more fruitful plant growth. Similarly, sanctification entails removing any decaying or unproductive practices from our lives. After making an initial decision to repent and to embrace the faith, we are then grafted into Jesus Christ (the vine through which all of our spiritual nourishment is delivered.) Despite repenting from our most egregious sins (adultery, drunkenness, fornication, and idolatry, etc.) we remain a work in progress. Over the course of many weeks, months, and even years, God prunes us; trimming away the remaining segments of our existence that are unfruitful (usually the lesser sins, such as impatience, selfishness, and pride, etc.) Through this process of sanctification we become more like God; which enables us to win many souls for His glory.

This process of sanctification is remarkably similar to the purification of precious metals. Within a refinery, the raw materials are placed into a kiln and heated until they melt. The dross, or worthless impurities separate from the metal and rise to the surface; this thin layer is then skimmed off, leaving the purified metal beneath. Without this continuous process of heating, melting, and skimming, purification could never occur. As additional impurities are removed from the molten ore, a more precise reflection of the metal worker appears in the smooth, pure, surface beneath. We too are being sanctified each day; an ongoing process of purification that causes God’s reflection to become clearer in our lives, and more apparent to those around us.

When we repent and believe in Christ, our lives are immediately transformed. And yet, although we’ve been reborn, we must also undergo a process of sanctification. Over time, the thorns and dead branches that prevent us from being a precise reflection of God are removed. As the Vinedresser, the Lord is the one who accomplishes this pruning. Only He has the power to mold us into the image of His Son. May we lay down our own selfish wants and desires to be transformed by God, that we might become even more fruitful.

“Lord Heavenly Father, continue pruning us every day. Trim away the dead and unfruitful portions of our lives, that we might more efficiently spread the Gospel to others. May we relinquish control and allow You to transform our hearts and minds. Give us the courage to step out in faith and be bold; that we might produce much fruit for You. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!


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