Pruned either way

Jeff Weinkauf


John 15:1-8

1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.

5-8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.


A couple of things jump out at me this morning.

First is that pruning is a given.
Either because of inactivity or to promote the health of the connected vine, Jesus calls God a farmer which indicates He's active in the maintenance of the vine (which is you and I). I'm afraid I've often considered pruning as punishment as opposed to optimization. As long as we're abiding with God though, that's really what pruning is about. Making us more effective at bringing glory to Him who deserves it. But what about the "good" things that have been taken from me? I know I've a time or two held onto really good things at the expense of great things. Sometimes God has to loosen our grip on really good stuff to get us to move towards the great stuff.

The second thing I noticed this morning was that when we are joined to God, the harvest is "sure to be abundant". That's a comforting absolute. Jesus says outright, when we're joined together that symbiotic relationship assures a result. Of course the opposite is also true.


I'm afraid that I've been guilty at times of trying to conjure results on my own. But that's not how God intended this to work. Connected, organic, relational. Jesus refers to how he listens and only does what the father instructs. (John 5:19, 30). That's what I think it needs to look like for me too. Joined with Him in every way, available to receive. Listening. That's hard to accomplish at times, but I will set the stage by purposefully adding quiet to my life. Not every moment filled with noise. Time to sit and listen for God. Reading His word, journaling. Those planned interactions help me hear and know His voice.


Father please help me to listen. To abide. To know your voice and to do what you say. I want to be connected to you. I want to be a vine that bears good fruit. Amen

Devotions for August 13

Jeremiah 13,14,15
John 15

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