October 14, 2014

Painful Cut Backs

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 14, 2014

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:1-2

Our calendar can become cluttered with good causes that have run their course. As painful as it might be to stop engaging in an activity, this is the Spirit’s cycle of simplifying our schedule. We learn to go deeper with fewer opportunities. What’s even harder is disrupting a co-worker’s life. A person on the team may have lost their fire to execute the mission of the organization. Just as dead wood in the branches of a tree need to be cleared out, so from time to time we have to cut back those who underperform to make room for productive people. Painful cut backs create new life.

Ultimately, our heavenly Father is the gardener who gives life by pruning a life. He understands the bigger picture of His will, so His lofty goal is our oneness with His heart. In His loving, gentle and merciful manner He removes distractions so we can refocus on His faithfulness. A person who leads us away from our heavenly Father will eventually be led away by our loving heavenly Father. Relational pruning is necessary if anyone competes with our devotion to Jesus. Painful cut backs, even away from well meaning people, positions us for abundant fruit bearing.

“Filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11).

Are you in the middle of a painful pruning process? Do you struggle to understand the purpose of your loss? If so, ask the Lord to show you His bigger picture. Trust Him to give you strength and perseverance to remain faithful during this purging process. Let the comfort of the Holy Spirit take you into the depths of God’s grace you have yet to experience. Indeed, as Christ does serious soul work within He is preparing you for even greater works without. In our pain our heavenly Father gains more of us and we gain more of Him. Painful loss leads us to the Lord.

Most of all remain in vibrant connection with the true vine, Jesus. We allow Him to rejuvenate our faith by His life giving grace. The spiritual sustenance we need to sustain us comes only from Jesus. Other artificial vines vie for our attention but self-effort is woefully inefficient. Just like a branch does not need more effort to draw from the vine, so we wisely stay infused by the life of Christ. The Lord of life is Lord over our life. Though painful at times, we humbly stay submitted to His will. The more our self is pruned back, the more abundant His spiritual fruit.

“They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock” (Psalm 92:14-15).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, prune back the dead wood of my doubts and grow in its place Your life giving grace.

Related Readings: Psalm 80:8-11; Isaiah 5:1-7; Matthew 3:8; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:9

Post/Tweet today: Pruning is necessary when anyone or anything competes with our devotion to Jesus. #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 2 minute audio devotional by Spurgeon on Pruning: http://tinyurl.com/myynnxk

Order our new book, The Way of Wisdom: A Journey Towards Spiritual Growth just out          October 1st! Boyd’s one minute book videohttp://bit.ly/1nhZ2bt


Comments

  1. Michael Lee says:

    Wow, I subscribe to a variety of emails, only to delete many of them. Wisdom hunters devotional is so practical, insightful, and refreshing. Just wanted to encourage you all to keep on producing these devotionals–you are making a difference in my life and others’ lives for the Kingdom.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Michael~
      Thank you for your encouraging words about the Wisdom Hunter’s devotionals. We are so thankful that you have been blessed by them. We give all the Glory to God!
      We love hearing from our Wisdom Hunter’s family and look forward to hearing from you again sometime.
      We are thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne

      “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11

  2. Colleen Jones says:

    Thank you for this Wisdom Hunter devotional. I am in a time of pruning. It was a great encouragement.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Colleen,
      Thank you for reaching out to us after reading “Painful Cut Backs”. We are so thankful that you were encouraged during your “time of pruning”.
      In the devotional, Boyd stated, “Trust Him to give you strength and perseverance to remain faithful during the purging process. Let the comfort of the Holy Spirit take you into depths of God’s grace you have yet to experience.” Colleen, I hope you are feeling the heavenly strength and holy comfort that HE is offering to you during this time.
      As a gardener who is blessed to see the seasonal blessings of pruning, I am so thankful to our Heavenly Father and Ultimate Gardener for loving us so much that He prunes when it is necessary, so we can “bloom” later.
      We are so thankful for you, Colleen, and look forward to hearing from you again. Hold onto Him during this season of pruning and get ready for the blooming! The very last sentence of the devotional says it all: “The more our self is pruned back, the more abundant His spiritual fruit.”
      In His Love,
      a sister in Christ~
      Gwynne


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