"He prunes away every barren branch, but the fruitful ones He trims clean to increase their yield." —John 15:2
Jesus is the true Vine; we are the branches (Jn 15:5). We must bear fruit abundantly or be thrown into the fire and burnt (Jn 15:6). We bear fruit not primarily through our own efforts but by living in Jesus and letting Him live in us (Jn 15:5). We bear fruit after being pruned by God's word (Jn 15:3). Thus, bearing fruit is a simple matter of our relationship with Jesus and our purification by Him.
Although bearing fruit is simple, it is not easy because a relationship with the Lord requires denying our very selves, taking up our daily crosses, and following Him (Lk 9:23). Likewise, the purification necessary to bear fruit abundantly is very difficult. When the Lord prunes us through His word, He cuts back so much of our lives that we wonder if there will be anything left when He's done. Thus, many people reject having a relationship with Jesus and being purified by Him. These people do not bear fruit and thereby cut themselves off from God.
There's going to be some cutting in our lives. We either let God cut us back, or we cut ourselves off from Him forever. Take the cut; don't make the cut.
Prayer: Father, cut out the tumors of my life, especially the ones I think are good.
Promise: "The church saw them off and they made their way through Phoenicia and Samaria, telling everyone about the conversion of the Gentiles as they went. Their story caused great joy." —Acts 15:3
Praise: Mike obeyed Jesus and cut out several nights of ball games from his weekly schedule. Jesus then cut out the arguments from his marriage.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 10, 1995
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 13, 1995
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that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error.
It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur
agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.