Jesus takes away unproductive branches and prunes productive ones. Both actions involve cutting, but the reasons for and the results of God's cutting are different.
Clyde Finklea revisits the interpretation of John 15:2 , which reads in most translations, "every branch that does not bear fruit, He takes way." This is assumed by many to mean "get rid of." Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, in his book, The Secrets of the Vine, explains that "takes away" should be more …
John 15:2 may seem to say that the Vinedresser cuts off every barren branch, but the Greek behind "takes away" shows something else. Here is what God does.
Bill Onisick, asserting that getting grape vines to bear fruit is difficult, suggests that the production of succulent grapes is at least a two-year project, in which pruning dead wood and lateral vines that produce much foliage, but little fruit, and exposing buds to sufficient sun (by thinning the canopy) are essential. …
Fruit is a product of growth requiring knowledge, work, patience, truth (light) and water (God's Spirit). Only by remaining on the vine will we bear fruit.
Despite the privileged position of our calling, God does not cut us any slack in terms of trials and tests to perfect us. We must accept God's sovereignty.
To be made clean only prepares us for producing fruit. If we stand still, simply resting on our justification, the dark forces will pull us backwards.
In Christ's vine and branch analogy, Jesus presents Himself as the true or genuine Vine, as contrasted to the unfaithful vine (ancient Israel).
John Ritenbaugh takes issue with the popularly held notion that preaching the Gospel to the world as a witness is the sole identifying mark of God's church. There is a vast difference between "preaching the Gospel to the world" and "making disciples"- the major focus in Matthew 28:20. The largest portion of …
The best way to conquer evil is to do righteousness, serving God and mankind. Sins of omission are every bit as devastating as sins of commission.
Jesus encouraged His disciples by promising to send the Holy Spirit to empower them for the challenges of the Christian life, making us sensitive to God.
Martin Collins, observing that, in the first five books in the Bible, there are no statements of "Thank you," nevertheless reminds us that the thank offerings in Leviticus 21:29 indicate that thanksgiving has a singularly profound meaning. King David was prolific in his expressions of gratitude to God, as was the …
Richard Ritenbaugh, reiterating that in physical and spiritual creation, God does not wave a wand, but does a great deal of work. Likewise, in our repentance, there is a great deal of reciprocal effort between God and us. In the stories of Star Wars, the X-Men, or Harry Potter, the protagonist does not grow in character, but …
Fruit maturation takes time. Waiting for the fruit is just part of the story; while we wait, we must also work, including thinning and pruning.
Multiple billions of people have lived and died without even hearing the name of Jesus Christ. But God has distinct periods of judgment and resurrection.
Paul admonishes the Corinthians to resist contentions, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambition, backbiting, whispering, slander, conceit, and agitation.
Human nature skews our view of reality; there is always more than meets the eye. We would do well to adopt the approach of 'Good or bad, it is hard to say.'
Self-righteousness is defined as being smugly proud of one's own opinion and intolerant of others. What Job repented of was his misunderstanding of God.
Many of us are pack-rats, saving everything for years until we have collected a mass of—well, junk. This is like accumulated sin—and it is time to get rid of it!