8 things about pruning tree’s

John 15:1-2 (NIV) “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”

Some thoughts about pruning in our lives:

1) Its Painful

Gods pruning is painful. Pruning involves cutting.
Cutting something is usually painful.
But, no pain – no gain!

2) Safety

Overhanging limbs can cause damage and BLOCK vision.
God cuts out whats no good in you and whats blocking you vision
Without pruning you could damage your self or others.
Correct pruning maintains a strong tree structure.

3) Health

Even healthy trees develop areas of rot or dead wood.
Removing these diseased or dead limbs prevents
the spread of disease.
Pruning can also improve and increase exposure to sunlight
which results in a stronger tree.
Some things just need cutting off,
“He cuts off every branch in methat bears no fruit”
Certain things and people need cutting off.
One bit of dead wood can take out 3 pieces of healthy wood.
Pruning keeps the whole tree healthy. Its good to get rid of dead wood.

4) Production & Growth

Trees are pruned to encourage growth and increased fruit yields.
Without pruning you get a much smaller fruit yield.
Matthew 7:16 “by their fruit you will recognize them”
Your known by the fruit you produce.
If you don’t let God prune you, you aint guna grow. Simple.
Gideon – 35,000 men to 300. Judges 6-7. Then, victory. Decrease doesn’t mean your losing. Gods strength.
‘Sometimes God will move you backwards before HE can move you forwards’ – Craig Groeschel

5) Aesthetics

No one takes any notice of bruised fruit.
How something is packaged actually sells the package itself.
“Style trumps content” – Chad Veach
Content is king.
But the style in which content is presented in matters.
What good is content if it can’t be understood or retained?

6) Compensates for root loss

When transplanting a small tree,
a certain amount of root is always damaged in the process.
Pruning back the plant helps stimulate new root growth.
Pruning can also restrict growth where too much
growth is undesirable.
Sometimes through storms and moving around we can lose some roots.
God likes to help us grow the lost roots back.
We need to be careful where are roots are setting.
After all, the root keeps the tree alive.
All roots need to be in GOD. nothing else.

7) Pruning avoids weak tree crotches and dual leaders.

Pruning avoids weak crotches which often split in a storm and instead limits the tree to a single leader.
We need to make sure were not all veering off in different
directions.
Our visions needs to fixed to the same cause, the king and the kingdom. Not our kingdom.
People divided fall and break.
‘a united effort can make a much bigger difference’
– Brian Houston

8) Is essential

‘God wants to do more in you before he can do more through you’
– Craig Groeschel – Hillsong conf 2009
Psalm 1
God does surgery, he prunes. But its for our good.
He does deep healing.
Keeping the main thing the main thing.
God always does stuff in you before he does it through you.
Pruning is good.

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Productivity without Passion

Revelation 2:3-4 “you have persevered and endured hardships for my name, but you have forsaken your first love”

The Church of Ephesus falls into the trap of “Productivity without Passion”. We can loose our passion for Jesus, but still carry on serving in the Church because it’s a habit, its what we do. Have you ever found yourselves busy serving him without bothering to further cultivate your relationship with him? Sadly our relationships with God can go through a period were we loose our passion. We serve God more out of habit or duty than out of a desire to know God more deeply. You can’t neglect something and expect it to grow. You need to plant, tend, water and weed. We need to be intentional about our relationship with Jesus.

Maybe God might occasionally want us to stop DOING for him so that we can concentrate on BEING with him and getting back our “first love”. When you put your relationship with God first, then your service for him will follow as a natural response.  A Christian without passion for Jesus is like a lion without teeth, its just not effective. If you want to have passion for Jesus cultivate your relationship with him and choose company that carries what you want to catch.

Who do you rely on?

Luke 18:18-30 – Jesus is talking to the rich young ruler about how he can get into the Kingdom of God. In verse 22-25 Jesus explanes that it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle. Now im not the cleverest person around but i know how  big a camel is and how small the eye of a needle is. Jesus says that its harder for us – the rich people, to enter Gods kingdom than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. I dont think you need to no the original greek to no that he means its really hard.

But why would Jesus say that rich people have a harder time getting into the kingdom of heaven? I dont think Jesus hated people with money. I think that Jesus was making an observation, not a judgement. Its not that the camels bad behavior that would prevent it from going through the needle, its its physical size. Similarly the more a person is able to control life through the power of money, wealth and status the more inclined he is to rely on his own abilities to make things happen, instead of relying on God. Its so hard for us rich people(yes you, hes talking to us as much as the young ruler) to see Jesus, to believe in him, because honestly we just dont need to rely on him that much. We think that the can rely on our material things our savings, abilitys and our own “success” to get us through. What do you rely on in your life? You? or God? One is much better than the other.

Nurturing Relationships

“Every relationship ends up somewhere but few relationships end up somewhere on purpose” – Craig Groeschel

How does a friendship go from being “bum buddies” to were not speaking? Or a marriage/relationship from every song on the radio is our song to a court hearing or a break up?

The reason why our important  relationships go south is because we fail to purposfully nurture them! After time we can get in a comfort zone with them our relationships, and can stop intentionally working on them and inputing into them. Relationships need constant, conscious, deliberate and intentional nurturing for them to flourish.

How do you nurture a relationship?

Galatians 5: 13-15 – ‘You, my  brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge in the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in Love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself”. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch our or you will be destroyed by each other.

So how do you nurture a relationship? “You serving one another in love!” We serve each other in love. Look at how Jesus served, it was all in love.

Its easy to say that we’ll serve each other in love. But, saying it isnt enough, love is not a feeling its an action. We need to choose to serve one another in love! You need to intentionally choose to serve on another in love. And intentionally nurture our relationships.

The meaning of the word serve or serving means to “meet the requirments of a purpose” and “to work through until complete”. We should do these things in love.

Our relationships needs constant nurturing. The word nurturing means “the act of brining up” or “something that nourishes”, it means to feed, train, to help grow or develop and to cultivate.

Our relationships need constant developing, they need constant training, growth, and feeding.

If you let your relationships take there natural course, you’ll end up eating away at each other until the relationship is destroyed.

You must choose to serve one another in love. Intentionally nurture it.

“Every relationship ends up somewhere, few relationships end up somewhere on purpose”

Change

When you strip back life the name of the game is change. The people who go with the times and refuse to be rigid and resist the mold of life are the people distinctively used by God.
To them change is a challenge, change is good, change is a breath of fresh air that changes routines and gets rid of sameness.

As stimulating and great as change may be: it is never easy! Before we get all hipped up about some sort of quick fix and easy change you plan to carry out, you better read the sentence again. Changes are especially tough when it comes down to certain habbits that harm us. That kind of change is hard/painful/difficult……..but its NOT impossible…….
You need to take of the old clothes(the habbits, bad lifestyle) and put on the new fresh clothes (the new, fresh, chistian lifestyle, put on your Chazown- you purpose, dream, vision).
Change-real change-takes place slowly. In first gear, not in overdrive. Far too many Christians get discouraged and give up. Like learning to play guitar, or dance. skate, ride a bike, or ski, certain techniques have to be discovered in the daily discipline of life, living.
“Never take lack of progress to personal, some things just take time” – Matthew Barrnet
Breaking habbits you’ve got over the years doesn’t happen in just a few days. Remember that instant change is as rare as it is phoney.
Change takes time, its the only way for it to happen. We need to be open to change and be free to be moved by God.
What areas of your life still need to be changed?