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Worship: April 28, 2018
Nate Furness: "Pruning"
Our backyard is looking less like a pile of dirt and more like a proper backyard. The previous
owners had neglected the backyard and in particular the roses. Some of them were overgrown
and had become a tangled mess that were not producing healthy buds. One of my projects
was to prune all the roses before spring time. As a result we are beginning to see beautiful
buds from these neglected rose bushes. Jesus in the Gospel of John instructs his disciples,
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you (John 15:12).” Like
my backyard many of us have neglected friendships, marriages, children, and even ourselves.
The words of Jesus challenge me to have my tangles and overgrowth pruned so that I may
learn to love better.
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that
bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have
already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you.
Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless
you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them
bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me
is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and
burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will
be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my
disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep
my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandmentsand abide
in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that
your joy may be complete