—by Brett Merritt; Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, and Mission Board Director, Antioch Baptist Church
At first glance pruning a tree seems that it is detrimental to the tree. We cut away the dead and dying branches, which may seem logical, but we also prune healthy branches. The immediate effect is that we decrease the size of the tree; the tree may even appear sparse immediately after pruning. However, the long-term effect of proper pruning is very beneficial. Pruning a tree stimulates stronger more vigorous growth from the remaining buds.
- We prune out some healthy branches in order to produce a tree that is shaped properly so that the tree will be stronger and therefore able to withstand the storms that will surely come.
- We prune out dead or unhealthy branches so that disease does not spread to the rest of the tree, or other trees.
- We prune fruit trees to allow more sunlight penetration and air movement through the tree which helps produce more and healthier fruit.
John 15:1-2 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
If we want Christ to increase in our life, we need to decrease. We need to submit to His pruning.
- We need to allow Him to prune out the areas of our life that are diseased, the sin, so that the disease does not spread.
- We need to allow Him to shape us so that we will be strong enough for the storms ahead.
- We need to allow Him to prune the clutter from our lives so that we can produce more fruit.
- Prayerfully ask Him to show you areas of your life that need to be pruned.
- Allow His Word to penetrate your heart and mind to reveal the areas that need to be pruned.