John 15:2 (KJV)
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.
Purging! The very Word brings negative images. We like growth, progress, increase. We have trouble seeing how loss, slowing down, decrease could ever be a good thing.
Fact is, it’s the key to long term success.
When I was a teenager, I got a short-term job in an apple orchard. My responsibility was to go through each of the apple trees and, where there were two or three young apples in a bunch, pluck them leaving just one. More than one apple in a blossom results in smaller, scarred, misshapen and bruised apples. Better one really good apple than two or three that are sub-standard.
I think we see something like that in much of American Christianity. We have some huge, even mega-churches whose focus seems to be growth. They are always on the increase. But their produce is not what it ought to be.
To be sure, there is no intrinsic virtue in small churches. Some of them are merely an excuse for spiritual laziness. But there can also be no question that some church growth results in shoddy spiritual life.
It’s a humbling thing to be purged of God. When the time comes, I pray we are the sort of Christians who will surrender to it for the glory of the Lord.
To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.
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John 15:2 The Key To Long Term Success
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