Devotional: The Knife

Bible Reading:  John 15:1-8

Christ is the refiner who is purifying His children. Another picture of His work of making us holy is Christ pruning of the branches of a tree, so that the tree produces more fruit. Each of God’s children is a branch that has been engrafted into Jesus who is the vine and His desire for us is that we bear much spiritual fruit.

There are areas in all our lives where we are not bearing the beautiful fruit of the Spirit in the way that God intends. These areas are not necessarily bad things that we do but are a hindrance to fruit bearing. Sometimes the good is the enemy of the best! Notice in the passage for today that there is fruit [v2], more fruit [v2] and much fruit [v8].

Jesus is the one who prunes but we allow Him the right to do so by yielding to His pruning knife. He wants to cut away from our lives anything that does not glorify Him.

This pruning process is evident in nature. I saw a gardener pruning a rose bush so harshly that I questioned whether it was the right thing to do. He cut the bush right down to almost ground level. All the greenery was gone and only a stem protruded above the ground. He told me that in order for this rose bush to have the most beautiful and abundant flowers it needed to be pruned, and the following year there were so many beautiful flowers.

We are already clean through God’s Word [v3]. Righteousness is ours but the knife is still necessary. Every part of my life must come under His scrutiny. Lord, make me willing to let go of anything that is a hindrance to the fruit you want in my life – that beautiful fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Questions:

  1. Is it your desire to bear more fruit for Jesus? If so allow Him the right to search every part of your life and take away whatever is a hindrance,  however good it might be, so that you are increasingly fruitful.   
  2. Dr. A.W.Tozer said, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man until He has hurt him deeply.” What do you think about this statement?

These devotionals have been shared here with the permission of Esther Ross-Watson, in loving memory of our Pastor, mentor and friend, Michael Ross-Watson (1946-2017).

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