“Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you” (John 15:3).
Yesterday I mentioned that God uses various kinds of shears to prune the fruitful, to the end that they may bear much fruit: he will use discipline, various sorts of tests and trials, suffering, the Word of God, the Body of Christ, and whatever else he deems necessary and appropriate (see Hebrews 12:3-11, James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 4:12-19, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, Romans 12:1-2). But in John 15:3, Jesus explicitly mentions one of these shears, namely, his word. In the original language of the Bible this verse literally reads, “Already you are pruned because of the word that I have spoken to you.” So, how does the word of Christ prune us?
Second Timothy 3:16-17 shows us four ways that the word of God prunes us: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” First, the word of God prunes us by teaching us the will of God and the difference between right and wrong. It prunes us by guiding us, by showing us the way we should go, and then shedding light on our path so that we will not stumble. Second, the word of God prunes us by reproving or convicting us of our sin. It rebukes and disciplines us and leads us back into the way we should go. Third, the word of God prunes us by correcting or restoring or improving us. When we have gone astray but not purposely or consciously so, the word of God grabs hold of our shoulders and gently leads us back into the way we should go. Finally, the word of God prunes us by training us for action, for obedience to the commands of God, for zealously walking in the good works which God has prepared beforehand for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
And what is the end result of this good and necessary and painful and loving process of pruning? That every man and woman of God, by means of the word of God, will be “competent and equipped for every good work.” Or put in the language of John 15, that every man and woman of God, by means of the pruning shears of the word of God, will be made to bear much fruit!
Prayer Focus: Pray that, by his grace, God will use the pruning shears of his Word to prune our lives that we would bear much fruit for the glory of his name.