Thirty Days in John 15, Day 10: Fruitful Branches

Whichever way we choose to interpret the first half of John 15:2, we can see why the vinedresser does what he does. It’s not unreasonable for him to remove branches that don’t bear fruit, and It’s commendable for him to give extra care and attention to branches that have grown down onto the ground where they will not mature properly. Whether he is cutting away fruitless shoots or tending to branches that need more care, his actions make sense.

But why does the vinedresser prune the branches that do bear fruit? Why take a branch with the potential to produce fruit, and cut even part of it off from the vine? Let’s spend some time on the last half of verse 2 today.

Assignment: Pray before you start studying. Pray for listening ears and a humble heart.

  • Then read all of John 15. As you read, start to test yourself. Have you read this chapter enough times yet to be able to anticipate what is coming next in the text? Take a sheet of paper and cover all but the first line of the text. Read that first line and see if you can say any of the next line before uncovering just that line to read it. Then test yourself on the next covered line, and so forth.

We’re going to start memorizing this week. This simple exercise will help you get started.

  • Now go back to verses 1 and 2. What does the vinedresser do to branches that do bear fruit? Why? Does the passage mention doing this to any other type of branches?

Only the fruit-bearing branches warrant the vinedresser’s pruning skills. Properly pruned, they will produce even more than they would have if left unpruned. This should encourage us! The vinedresser doesn’t bother to prune dead wood! God prunes us because we are bearing fruit, and He wants us to bear even more.

It’s time to do a bit of research. How are grapevines pruned and for what purpose? Why remove branches?

  • Watch one or more of these videos, noting the different reasons for pruning fruit-bearing branches. Make a list of reasons in your notebook. (If you are doing the children’s lessons, watch these videos along with your children.)

Summer Grape Vine Pruning

How to Prune Grapes – Summer

Results of Proper Pruning of Grapes

Suckering

  • When you have finished watching, look over your notes. What parallels can you see between the pruning and care of the grapevine and God’s pruning work in our lives? For what reasons does God prune us?
  • Record these in your notebook, and also in the margin of your Bible, if you like.
  • Pray while looking again at your notes. What is God seeking to do in your life? What does He want to prune away that is keeping you from growing and becoming more like Jesus? Can you see Him at work now? What is He doing that will move you to draw more from Jesus, the True Vine’s, strength, love, and and joy?
  • Now look at verse 3. What tool does God use to prune and prepare us for fruitfulness? We’ll consider this more as we look at the meanings of abiding and fruit in our next lessons.
  • When you’ve finished studying and praying, enjoy this song, The Cut, that speaks of God’s pruning work in our lives. (You may also be interested in reading the story behind the song.)

For your children:

  • Older children can join you in watching and discussing the videos listed above. Talk about the habits, priorities, and even friends that God may desire to prune from their lives so that they can more fully love Jesus, and more fully love others.
  • Pray together after your discussion.
  • For younger children, explain what you have learned in this lesson about the pruning of grapevines and God’s pruning in our lives.
  • Talk about how God often uses you as a parent as one of His pruning tools in their lives.
  • Then let them draw pictures of what they think God wants to prune in their lives.
  • Talk about their pictures.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Such a blessing to watch these videos and really think about how all this “pruning business” applies to my life. Lovely song as well–thank you so much for sharing it!

  2. Wow! Really amazing how our Lord compared the pruning of branches to our lives. It shows more and morw His love for us. It also shows me the importance of purging in my life : so that I may be able to bear more fruit.

  3. The point of pruning is that the branch bears more and better fruit. The greatest energy of the plant is focused on the priority of bearing sweet fruit! God wants us to produce the sweetest and best fruit in our lives, so that we may best reflect His glory! (We also need to make sure that those things that would get in the way of the rays of the Son of Righteousness shining into our lives are removed!)

    God is working in my life to help me deal with others the way He would instead of in my flesh (by either patiently, but unproductively, ignoring the problem or forcing my solution—either way doesn’t work!)

    As a parent and as a wife, myself imperfect, I am dealing with likewise imperfect people. God wants me to treat others the way I would want to be treated if I were them. I am learning that applies differently in my marriage relationship than it does in my parent-child relationships. Either way, it’s not enough to just be patient.

    God has a work for me to do, to be a saving influence. But, all unChristlike methods must be pruned away, and replaced with those that are Christlike. God is love and love doesn’t force another, even to do right. I must deal wisely with each one and that wisdom comes alone from God. (Lots of time drawing the sap from the Vine is needed!)

    Neither does love allow wrongs to go uncorrected and unrebuked. Sometimes even a wise and loving rebuke isn’t well received because of the heart of the receiver, but needs to occur anyway, prayerfully and at the right time and way.

    Lord, prune away the unprofitable ways of the flesh and help me use Your methods for pruning those You’ve given me to train and influence for You that we all may bear sweet and abundant fruit to Your glory!