River Run just completed our third fall outing in our four part study series on the Secrets of the Vine, a book by Bruce Wilkinson. We headed toward part of the Maine coast, viewing Penobscot Bay before heading for the Blue Hill Peninsula. The fall colors were still on display and awesome coastal scenery were viewed. Our focus, on this journey, was on how God prunes us so we will bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit. A key text was found in John 15:2b. See below.
A final outing is planned in this fall series. We hope to post an update as this series concludes.
… every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2b (NKJV)
As we looked upon Penobscot Bay, we learned if we are bearing fruit, God will prune us so we will produce more fruit.
We also learned some of the differences between God’s discipline and God’s pruning.
- Discipline is about sin, pruning is about self.
- When we are being disciplined we should feel guilt and sadness. However, when we are being pruned, we should feel relief. We should trust the Lord to help us refocus and reprioritize things in our life to allow us to produce more fruit.
- Our response to discipline should be repentance, while our response to pruning should be a willingness to be released from whatever it is that God seeks to prune away.
In concluding our tour of the Blue Hill Peninsula, we realized that early on in our Christian service the pruning may be of our outward activities or priorities.
However, later on, as we mature in our Christian faith, it is our values and personal identity that may be the things that are pruned. At this stage, our pruning point may be related to the people we love, the rights we perceive we have, our money or our possessions, or our perceived significance.