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 15:2
I have 36 rose bushes. Roses are beautiful, and they take work. From spring to late fall, I’m pruning, feeding, and talking to my roses. My floribunda roses take more meticulous time; they grow in clusters. This bush develops three buds together. The middle bud always blooms first. Once it begins to wilt, the two on either side bloom. If I leave the middle dying rose, it ruins the bouquet, and attention is drawn to the dead bloom.
Isn’t that the way our Christian walk is? We walk along praising the Lord and doing work for His kingdom. If we’re not careful, our praise turns to grumbling, and our works turn to frustration.
From over a decade of loving, feeding, and pruning my roses, I’ve learned three things that are also essential to my Christian walk.
- Loving. Roses take a lot of time. If I did not like spending time with my roses, I would not have them. That’s the way it is with my relationship to Jesus. I need to spend time with Him … quality time. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4
- Feeding. Roses need to be fertilized regularly. I need to spend time in the Word of God, praying, and listening as the Holy Spirit feeds my spirit and guides my walk. “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
- Pruning. Roses spill out their fragrance, color, and beauty for all to enjoy. Slowly, the petals wilt, turn brown, and fall off, leaving only the base of the bud. If the deadness is not cut out, the bush will not to continue to produce flowers. As I walk with the Lord, fruit will develop for others to enjoy. Jesus prunes the branches of my life that are producing fruit, and cuts off the branches that don’t produce fruit. Sometimes, I feel pain because of the pruning and need to ask for forgiveness for straying. “bear fruit in keeping with repentance;” Matthew 3:8
A focus on beauty, on fragrance, on the fresh blossoms and fruit.
“For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” John 17:19
My prayer for you
Father of all that is beautiful, may we walk with You in holiness. Quicken our spirits to recognize how You are loving us, feeding us, and pruning us. Enable us to see You at work in us and yield to your sanctification. Empower us to be a fragrance to You and all who come into our paths.
What are you learning from your walk with Jesus?