Jesus said, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit (grapes) and so prove that you are my disciples.” John 15:8

I am amazed that many faithful and active church-going Christians don’t know the difference between producing leaves and producing grapes.

We have often been in the home of Howard and Charlotte Black. They had a beautiful grape vine that regularly produced beautiful leaves. Some years it produced no grapes.

Reading the book Secrets Of The Vine by Bruce Wilkinson gives the answer. The branches needed to be pruned. Most of the leaves needed to be cut off so energy would produce grapes rather than leaves.

For thirty years I was pastor to hundreds of faithful, active and dedicated Christians whose leaves were impressive. But they produced few grapes. I wish I could go back and teach them how to receive pruning.

Recently a friend passed a sincere complement to me. He said. “When I get to be ninety I want to be just like you.” I quivered when I responded; “The only way you can become like me is to undergo the severe pruning that God has given me year, after year, after year of my adult life.”

God wants Christians to bear fruit. Bearing fruit comes only through pruning.

Jack Albright is a retired clinical chaplain and former Globe freelance writer living in Atchison. The views expressed here are solely of the columnist. They do not represent the opinion of Atchison Globe or NPG Newspapers.

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