He removes any of my branches that don’t produce fruit, and he trims any branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit.
It’s spring! Freshness all around us—earth being turned, trees budding, daylight growing longer. Let the spring cleaning begin. Throw open the windows. Shake out the rugs. Clear out the closets. Whether we like to do it or not, we’re pretty well versed in what spring cleaning looks like. This time of year seems to encourage the urge to make all things new, to start fresh, to cut out what we don’t need in order to make room for the new.
In this passage we read that God removes every branch that bears no fruit. That sounds a little harsh. This pruning job feels pretty extreme: the nonproductive branches are bundled and tossed in the fire. But the purpose of the pruning is to make the vine bear more fruit, to make sure that the plant’s energy can focus on bearing fruit.
Just as we were cleansed with the waters of baptism and made to dwell with the Lord forever, our lives are continually refreshed and renewed by the word of God—the word that Jesus speaks now abides with us. Our question today becomes, How are we refreshed and renewed to bear more fruit?
We can easily believe that bearing more fruit means doing more: adding more activities, more Bible study, more programs, more of whatever. But perhaps our calendars and commitments need a good pruning too. Maybe in order to bear more fruit, we must simplify our lives, return to basics, trim away commitments that take our time but aren’t very productive.
Does your calendar need a thorough spring cleaning? As challenging as it can be to clear out a closet, evaluating our commitments can pose an entirely different challenge. Our task isn’t to have a jam-packed calendar. Our call is to abide in God; in doing so we will bear much fruit.
—Jennifer Moland Kovash*
Loving God, as I go about my day, help me prune away needless activity so that I bear much fruit for you. Amen.
Clean out a drawer or closet today. Unclutter your space to make room for Jesus.
Credits: *From The Upper Room Disciplines 2015: A Book of Daily Devotions. Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
This and the other devotionals for this Lenten Series can be found at the following link: http://www.thegodwecanknow.com/category/50-devotions/page/2/.