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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Shelley Cramm :: God’s Word for Gardeners

Shelley Cramm :: John 15:4 – In the Vinedresser’s Company

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In the Vinedresser’s Company

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you.” - John 15:4

Read: John 15:3-4

Thicken the Plot: John 13:8-10; Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 John 1:9

Wonderful Jesus, speaking the reassurance we need the moment we need it; it is normal to feel a little edgy when the pruning shears come out. “You are already clean,” (John 15:3) reminding us he has made us holy, purified and righteous before God (Ephesians 5:26; 1 John 1:9). He spent time washing the feet of the disciples personally, giving an experiential memory to ground his assurance (John 13:8-10).

As gardeners we understand the dynamics of the pruning process and its necessary training; our gardener will not leave us “grow[ing] wild”:

Grapes were allowed to grow wild in the grove of many farmsteads of old, climbing up trees or shrubs, growing on fences around fields, or trailing alongside raspberries in a delightful tangle. This is a no-work method for those who have the space, but harvest can be a challenge and the size and flavor of many grapes is reduced unless vines have been pruned. — Barbara Doyen, The Farmer’s Wife Guide to Fabulous Fruits & Berries, 2002

Such a “no-work method” degrades the harvest. We are wise to remember a vinedresser’s viewpoint: He knows the vines in an intimate way, personally watching over and examining them, observing their daily growth, anticipating the sweetness of their harvest. Every cut is made with consideration and purpose, mindful of the growth that has occurred, directing it toward the productive harvest ahead.

Prayer: Jesus, you are patient with me. I hear calmness and gentleness as you remind me that I am already clean (John 15:3). If I talk to you about my resistance to your ways and my failure to embrace changes wholeheartedly, you will forgive me (1 John 1:9). Lord, you are tender and personal, and you have given everything up to have me cleansed (Ephesians 5:25-26); may I linger a moment on how much you have done for me. Though I dread the coming changes – pruning, cutting away of things I will miss, if I remain in your love, holy Gardener, keeping your company, I will stay in touch with the ways that you care for me (John 15:4).

This devotional content is Day 4 in Shelly Cramm's "Garden Stories: Away from the Last Supper," and is excerpted the NIV God's Word for Gardeners Bible. Visit the Next Section to read Day 5.

God’s Word for Gardeners

John 15:2 – Faithful and Fruitful ← Prior Section
John 15:5 – Branch and Vine Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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