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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.” — John 15:1-2

This verse came alive to me the other day when I saw a grapevine in a friend’s backyard. The vine was full of small unripe grapes just waiting to grow into maturity. However, there was one part of the vine that was long and had no grapes. Remembering the words of Jesus, I saw firsthand how a vine can put so much energy into a branch that would never produce fruit.

Likewise, there are probably areas of your life where you are putting forth much energy and are likely producing no fruit.

God is seeking to remove these things from your life. It’s not because He hates you, it’s because He loves you. God sees potential in your life that you don’t see. And one of the ways He mines out potential is through pruning.

Pruning is painful, but it’s not without purpose.

The purpose that God has for your life is infinitely better than you can imagine. He wants to use you to change your family. He wants to use you to lead someone to salvation. He wants to use you mentor someone who has no one. But He can only do it if you let Him prune you.

With God, the sacrifice is always little compared to the reward. But the reward never comes without first a sacrifice. What is it that God is calling you to put down? I believe the Holy Spirit is bringing things to mind that He purposes to remove.

Or maybe God has already taken something out of your life, and it hurts. I want to encourage you. Don’t replace it with something else, embrace the pain knowing that it holds purpose.

Our greatest victories come from our toughest battles, and our highest purpose is on the other side of our deepest pain.

Embrace the pruning, knowing that there’s purpose in the pain.

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