He lops off every branch that doesn’t produce, and He prunes those branches that bear fruit for even more fruit.
~John 15:2, LNT
I never saw a fruit bearing Christian who did not abide in the word of God.
~Dwight L. Moody
I don’t know much about vineyards or pruning grape vines but I do know about tomatoes. I don’t remember who taught me, but somewhere along the line I was taught to spot a sucker. A sucker is a limb that will never produce fruit. He will suck up the water and nutrients but it will never produce the first tomato. These suckers are easy for me to spot and I lop them off next to the trunk of the plant. To understand what Jesus was saying, we have to understand pruning a tomato or a grape vine. He is not talking about cutting down the tomato plant or the grape-vine; He is referring to suckers, none productive off shoots in our lives. He is not talking about us losing our salvation, He is talking about pruning us so that we bear more fruit with the life and energy that we possess. All these trivial pursuits are suckers: they are energy-eating time-consuming suckers that will never be productive.
I spoke of one in Paul’s life a few days ago. Paul didn’t want to give up Jewish customs and yet these customs were suckers. They were consuming Paul’s time and energy and they had no potential to bear fruit. God used heartbreak and deep disappointment to remove this sucker from Paul’s life. I’m not suggesting that you lop off all hobbies and all forms of recreation but we need to be careful. We cannot allow these hobbies and vacations to become our passion. Be honest, how many families within the church community are loaded with suckers. They have saddled themselves with none-vital, insignificant interest and these things are sapping their time, energy and resources. In the last two decades something has happen to Southern Baptist that hasn’t been a problem for a half century: we have more people volunteering to go to the mission field than we have money to send. Folks, this is a crying shame and it ought not be. The reason for this trend: professing Christians are spending God’s money on entertainment and trivial pursuits and there is nothing left for missions. Pruning is painful but it is productive.
- Noah is on vacation and it’s my responsible to mow the church yard but it will not stop raining. I went ahead and cut the play area and the picnic area last night but some spots are submerged in water. I can get the islands and the high ground but it may be Monday evening before I get the ditches. It will not stop raining. The spray killed most of the clover. It will look good if I can just get a few hours of sunshine.
- Joe David and I will be helping with the Don Garner service today. Visitation is 11:00-1:30 with grave side service at Herring at 2:00.
- GOLDEN GIRLS this morning.
- I’m constantly saying, “You never know what a day will bring!” Well yesterday was one of those days.
- Its going to be a jam packed weekend: I still have a half dozen things to do to get ready for VBS. Golden Girls this a.m. then Don’s memorial service, then hopefully grass cutting or work on VBS. We have a special service for our Seniors as GRACE POINT Sunday morning and then dinner at the church. June has baked a red velvet and made a strawberry pretzel salad, yum, yum. Sunday evening after lunch, we set up VBS props then Small Groups, then Picnic. I will need at least four Advil by Sunday night.