It is 19 degrees outside today. Definitely not the spring growth season. My grandpa would be quick to tell me that the sap is in the roots of the trees instead of the tops, and that this is a good time for pruning and for planting new trees to prepare for the upcoming spring — where your preparation will bear growth. It shouldn’t be missed that the way the seasons operate, pruning, spring growth, etc. is a shadow or hint or revelation of what the Lord does in us as well.
He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.
John 15:2 NLT
There are 3 reasons to prune a fruit tree:
- To establish the basic structure of the tree making is easy to maintain.
- To remove any dead, diseased or damaged wood to keep the tree healthy.
- To allow sunlight to access the ripening fruits.
I’m sure if you’ve noticed the best fruit is usually at the top of the tree? This isn’t some sort of cruel trick to make your life more difficult it is because this part of the tree gets more sunlight. It is helpful to keep the purpose of pruning in mind when deciding what branches to cut, we’re not just tidying the tree, we’re shaping it for optimum fruiting.
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.
John 15:1-17 NLT