(Joyce Meyer) Have you ever hired a professional to prune a tree in your yard? Dave and I hire someone to do that for us and there are times when he cuts the branches back so far that I’ve said to him, “There is nothing left. You have totally destroyed our tree!” But he says, “You just watch and see.” And sure enough, before long, the tree is much better looking than it was before. Just like trees need pruning from time to time to remove dead branches or areas where there is overgrowth, you and I need to be pruned or reshaped at different times in different areas of our lives. We may not enjoy the pruning process, but when it’s over, we’re much better off than we were before. You see, God wants us to be at our very best—spiritually, emotionally and physically.

John 15:2 (AMPC) says, “Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.” It’s good for us to stop and evaluate our lives sometimes and ask God to show us if there are things that need to be cut off because they are hindering our growth in our relationship with Him. Ask yourself: Am I dragging around “dead branches” in my life? Maybe it’s a bad relationship, an old wound from your past or a negative attitude that keeps you from enjoying life to the fullest. CONTINUE