WE WILL WALK IN HIS WAYSIN 2019

Prune the vineyard!

Hi friend, please allow me to open my mouth in a parable; dark sayings are such as would save someone from taking some beating, lol.

Anyway, first I want you to know that we’re trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.

Isaiah 61:1-3, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

All believers are as Isaiah describes them above, “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.” 

The Psalmist also wrote, 
“The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.” Psalm 92:12-13

– we shall flourish like the palm tree: we shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 

We’ve been planted; and only those “planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.”

How have we been planted? As trees of righteousness, and Ezekiel 17:22-24 tells us how, “Thus saith the Lord God; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent: In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the Lord have spoken and have done it.”

Before God, you’re a goodly cedar, that should bring forth boughs, and bear fruit.

The Lord God took us from the highest branch of the high cedar, and he set us up. He cropped us off from the top, from young twigs, and he planted us upon an high mountain of his house.

Prune the vineyard

“And the Lord spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord. Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof.” Leviticus 25:1-3

"...six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof."

Pruning is one of those jobs church ministers either hate, or are afraid of doing. Everyone needs pruning though if we want a tidier church, one that’s healthier, and bearing much fruit. We got to prune ourselves, otherwise nature will do it on our behalf. In the parable of wheat and tares Jesus said “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:30. 

It’s not God/Christ alone with a vineyard, but every believer is a farmer/ gardener too; we all have our little vineyards to take care of if it’s yo thrive.

We’ve just seen above that we’re the Lord’s planting. Cutting back a tree is a drastic thing to do. If you don’t do it right, it leaves disastrous evidence against you if something goes wrong. It went wrong when the apostles wanted to prune off Paul, and when Paul also tried to cut off Timothy. Besides, pruning is however the Lord’s command; it has many rewards we shall also see below.

Why should we prune?

There are several good reasons why we should prune ourselves, and others, especially when we want to become trees which perform at their very best. We want to do well, to look better and to shine as lights in this world. When you’ve planted a tree in your garden, yourself wants to be in control. You do not want the tree to take over and swamp everything, but you want to determine how it should grow.

Why would you want to prune your plant or trees? Simple, so they’ll be shapely and productive. You want your trees to look healthy and not have any dead or damaged wood to spoil their beauty.

Pruning is done every year to improve flowering & productivity. Most plants produce more flowers if they’re regularly pruned, and trained. By maintaining an open plant, you enable the fruit to ripen properly. 

I said there are several good reasons why we should prune ourselves, and here is why in a literal sense;

1. Tree health

One of the first tasks when pruning is to remove all the dead and diseased wood. This helps to keep the plant in good condition and hence performing well.

The very act of pruning involves looking closely at the plant, so you may be aware of any problem it’s facing.

Pruning plants also prevents the branches from becoming overcrowded so that more air and light can enter, again helping to maintain a healthy plant. 

With shrubs in particular it is often good to remove some old growth each year so that new, healthy shoots are produced, and constantly rejuvenated.

Improved shape

Many trees/plants benefit from being shaped if their elegance is to be maintained. 
– remove wayward branches.

Tree Control

Plants tend to do their own things which you as a gardener may not want.

  • the soil may be richer, too much experience can work against you.
  • competing with other plants

Listen to this verse, “That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.” Leviticus 25:5

What it means is your vineyard should be well looked after; know how your plant is thriving; prune it, feed it and train it. That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap. It’s not every fruit that is useful.

Some plants go mad and ramp away.

To prevent them swamping other plants or upsetting others, you need to cut them back.

Some plants increase by running below ground and producing suckers and these will need to be removed before a miniature forest develops.

Shade can also be a problem, and many shrubs that have outgrown their space will need cutting back to stop them overshadowing sun loving plants.

Now Revelation 3:22 says, 
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Pruning hooks

“For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.” Isaiah 18:5 

This verse suggests there are a number of pruning hooks; tools that are used to prune/cut plants or gain access, and finally clear up cutoff plants. 

Pruning involves both cutting off the sprigs with pruning hooks, then reach out to and cut down and take away the branches. 

The majority of plants will do with just pruning hooks, but the larger the garden and more varied the job, the larger the collection of tools you need. To do it well, it is well worth investing in power tools equipment for cutting, reaching up, clearing, and safety equipment.

Now back to the text; 

“…he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.”

Now, last time I said all believers are as Isaiah describes them that we’re, “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.” 

The Psalmist also wrote, 

“The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.” Psalm 92:12-13

– we shall flourish like the palm tree: we shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 

 We’ve been planted; and only those “planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.”

Before God, you’re that goodly cedar, that should bring forth boughs, and should bear fruit. And for you to thrive you need to be look after well.

“And the Lord spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord. Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof.” Leviticus 25:1-3

“…six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof.”

Pruning is one of those jobs church ministers either hate, or are afraid of doing. How so? Because they use wrong types of pruning tools and equipment. If we use right tools the church/believer will look tidier, healthier,  and bearing much fruit. 

Paul says to Timothy, “These things command and teach” 1 Timothy 4:11. 

“Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure” 1 Timothy 5:19-22. What is he teaching here? He’s saying prune, but learn to do it well. He says, “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren” 1 Timothy 5:1.

You don’t go about pruning everyone, but where you’re compelled to do it, use the right kind of tools.

I like this scripture, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured. As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.” Proverbs 27:17-19 

Jesus said, “Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.” John 8:15. In Luke 12:14, “And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?” All that means is use proper tools so you’ll not crush and bruise the wood. 

Paul says “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

The tools and equipment we use on pruning ourselves and others “are not carnal, but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;” 

First it’s the word of God, and the spirit of Christ, to esteem others, and to be at peace among ourselves, to comfort the feebleminded, to support the weak, and be patient toward all men, and to ever follow that which is good, it’s to pray without ceasing and and exalting all godliness, and finally in everything giving thanks to God.

God bless,

Laurence 

Muzembi.org – Simple Gospel Summation 


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Laurence Muzembi (Th.D, D.D, MDiv, B.A in Biblical Studies, Cert in Counselling & Psychotherapy ) is author, pastor, life coach and business consultant. Tired of seeing Christians stumble and crush landing, he sets up Muzembi.Org as a guiding beacon for them, and to make a difference.

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LC Muzembi

Biblical advice for new and growing Christians