This morning in my quiet time, I was reminded of an important object lesson found in John’s gospel (15:1-11). Jesus’ teaching here has direct application to what we are experiencing right now in the financial markets: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
This biblical principle – this act of pruning- is absolutely necessary for producing an abundant harvest in the vineyard just as it is to producing robust stock market gains. The dead wood must be cut away in due season and the good branches lovingly cut back to spur fresh growth. The same is true in rose gardening and even exercise science. In order for a muscle to grow it must be taxed beyond its current capacity so that it can rebuild even stronger.
The problem with pruning, of course, is that it hurts! Whether in our relationships, our stock portfolios or those “good” things in life that may sometimes impede our spiritual growth, none of us likes to experience the pain of an occasional pruning. In fact, we would rather avoid it altogether. Without it, though, we miss out on God’s highest and best for us… “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” It does require great trust and faith in the character of the vinedresser.
The result: God’s glory and our joy. “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
He is the sole source of true security, true wealth and true life. Remain in Him, allow yourself to be pruned when necessary and produce much fruit. On the other side, you will be glad you did!
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