I pulled in my daughter’s driveway Sunday afternoon. I was taking the grandkids home after a pleasant day with them.

As I pulled in, I noticed her beautiful hanging baskets on her porch. I thought, “how nice and colorful those look!”

I got out of the vehicle, as always, Brailee had to show me around.

I had to look at the new chickens. She had to show me which one was Tiny, again. After inspecting everything with Brailee, we walked upon the porch.

As I sat down, I looked up at the hanging baskets. Laughing, I remarked, “Breanne doesn’t remove the dead flowers from her baskets, does she?”
I began to think about how beautiful they looked from just a few feet away. However, with a closer look, you could see there were many dead flowers that needed to be removed.

God began to speak to me.

He showed me this is the way with many of us. We look good from a distance. But if you look closely, there are things that need to be pruned away. Things that aren’t producing life. Things that are already dead, that need to be removed.

John 15:1-2 says; “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

If we are walking with God, everything in us that isn’t bearing good fruit, will be pruned away. It is a simple truth.
I have found in my life, the more I walk with God, the deeper He prunes.

1 John 1:7 says; But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

It has been my experience, the closer I walk with God, the more His light shines on me. As that Holy Spirit light shines on me, it exposes and reveals anything in me that needs to change. It exposes things or attitudes in me that are not producing life. As they are exposed, and I repent of them, God prunes them away. Why? God wants us walking in the light. And He wants us dwelling in the Zoe life of God that Jesus died to give us.

We cannot have dead things in our life if we desire to produce good fruit. We must allow God to remove them.

Hebrews 9:13-14 says; For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

How do we make sure we are producing good fruit? How do we make sure we are producing life, not death?

In John 15:4, Jesus tells us. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”

If we are abiding in Jesus and His word is abiding in us, we can’t help but bear good fruit. Just like a branch on a healthy fruit tree can’t help but bear fruit. It will bear fruit. So will you, if you are abiding in Christ.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to look good only from a distance.

I want to be so hidden in Christ that the closer you get to me, the better I look. The more you come to know me, the more you see Christ in me. For that reason, I continually allow God to prune me. I continually ask God to remove anything from me that is not pleasing to Him. I invite Him to remove everything in me that is not bearing good fruit. And, I remain in Him and keep His word in me always.

Friends, God wants us to prosper and be in health. It is His desire for us. This will happen as our soul prospers, just as the word of God says. (3 John 1:10)

For our soul to prosper, we must feed it life. And we must keep all dead things pruned away.

John 1:4 says; In Him was life…life is in HIM.

Let us lay aside everything that is not producing life and abide in Him. In Him alone, we will bear much fruit.

May life, His life, be in you today. And may you continually produce an abundance of fruit.

“Be encouraged today and know that everything God does is for your good.” KP