Sermon: Prune Your Problems
Scripture: John 15:1-2
Would you rather have to sleep outside every time it rains OR stay inside every time the weather is beautiful?
In this series we have talked about the Power of Your Past in setting today's Priorities. The People, Places, and Things from our pasts become anchors that hold us back from the future potential we all have.
This week we began looking for ways to break free from those anchors. We started in John chapter 15:
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2 Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he lifts up, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.”
This passage uses the metaphor of a grape vine. Every year, vineyard owners have to go through the process of pruning the branches that grow at the base of the plant. These are called "laterals" and they divert the water away from the high branches where grapes grow. The gardeners call these "SUCKERS" and it is critical that they are pruned away.
If you do not prune, these misplaced branches literally SUCK the life out of the plant. They do not allow for PROPER PRIORITIZATION of the plants resources. The process of pruning is called "De-Suckering."
What is currently SUCKING the things you need out of your life?
How did it make its way into your life in the first place?
How could you possibly make a change?
We often fail to "De-Suck" out life because Pruning can be painful! The author of Hebrews in the New Testament knew this. He wrote about the process of discipline from God to His children.
11 No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
In this series, we are seeking how to live a FRUITFUL life - a life that brings more life! There are two kinds of suffering, the kind we bring on through poor choices and rebellion, and the kind of suffering that is not our fault, but is necessary to mature us into our best selves. Both forms of suffering are indicators of misplaced priorities in our life.
YOUR SUFFERING IS POINTING
AT WHAT NEEDS PRUNING
Establishing that you have Prior Ties, like we did last week, is the first step to Proper Prioritization. Discovering those Prior Ties is the obvious second step. We should never Waste our Suffering. If we can process our pain, it will show us how to change our priorities!
This week's application comes in two steps. Throughout this week, take some real time to walk through these:
Where are you suffering in life right now? In what areas are you experiencing pain?
What priorities need to be adjusted in light of the pain you are experiencing?
God is a good, good Father. He wants you to live a fruitful life and wants us all to learn from our pain. Perhaps the pain you are in is not your fault at all - God can still work it to your good! Adjusting your priorities is not guarantee that the suffering will disappear - it will guarantee your ability to endure it and to come out the other side closer to your God-given potential!
Ask God to make clear to you what is at the root of your pain. Seek the Holy Spirit's help in believing that God can really use your situation for good. Commit yourself to following after Jesus, and getting your life properly prioritized.