There are many reasons that pride, boastfulness, thinking more highly of ourselves when life is going well, are evil activities that get in the way of our growing in God’s ways. The very minute we think we can be good on our own, we are not.  Only God is good.  Only God is to be praised for all the good in us.  God is at the root of our redeemed lives in Christ.  God IS the root of all that is good, thriving, growing and maturing into a beautiful bounty of life-producing fruit in us.

Pride spoils the fruit.  Boasting that we are responsible for the miracle growth of the fruits of God’ Holy Spirit in us is irresponsible and leads to a “pruning”.  We cannot be good on our own.  (We have discussed this before with Paul!)  Only God is good.  Only God creates and reproduces what is good from Him into us.

Let’s step back and review God’s character traits, all that is holy, that He works into us comes from His root of salvation.  Paul lists these traits as the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit because it is HIS powerful Spirit that helps to nurture and mature these fruits in us, changing us from our former sinful selves, saving us to grow into His forever life-giving, grated and gifted for His purpose, holy beings!  The list is found in Galatians 5:22-23…   “the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  Tall order, right? —only God in us produces this fruit as gifts to help us grow in His love, mercy and grace.  Allowing His Holy Spirit to do so is an act of worship to God!

Friends, all because of Jesus, we are now attached to the root of all that is good, growing and alive for eternity! Paul explains to his fellow Jews that now everyone can be grated into God’s root who believe and want to grow in Jesus Name, for His glory. 

We learn that God, the Miracle Grower, can and will graft deadwood back into His root of salvation.  The Jews who previously rejected Jesus (pruned as deadwood laying on the ground) but decide to come back and believe will be grafted back into the Life-giving root!  No one but God can do that!  What amazing love and grace!  And what a homecoming indeed, when ALL who believe will come together someday in unity with God and believe that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords, Son of God, sitting at the right hand of God.  Jesus, the One and Only who saved us from our sins!


Romans 11:11-24, The Message

Pruning and Grafting Branches

11-12 The next question is, “Are they down for the count? Are they out of this for good?” And the answer is a clear-cut No. Ironically when they walked out, they left the door open and the outsiders walked in. But the next thing you know, the Jews were starting to wonder if perhaps they had walked out on a good thing. Now, if their leaving triggered this worldwide coming of non-Jewish outsiders to God’s kingdom, just imagine the effect of their coming back! What a homecoming!

13-15 But I don’t want to go on about them. It’s you, the outsiders, that I’m concerned with now. Because my personal assignment is focused on the so-called outsiders, I make as much of this as I can when I’m among my Israelite kin, the so-called insiders, hoping they’ll realize what they’re missing and want to get in on what God is doing. If their falling out initiated this worldwide coming together, their recovery is going to set off something even better: mass homecoming! If the first thing the Jews did, even though it was wrong for them, turned out for your good, just think what’s going to happen when they get it right!

16-18 Behind and underneath all this there is a holy, God-planted, God-tended root. If the primary root of the tree is holy, there’s bound to be some holy fruit. Some of the tree’s branches were pruned and you wild olive shoots were grafted in. Yet the fact that you are now fed by that rich and holy root gives you no cause to gloat over the pruned branches. Remember, you aren’t feeding the root; the root is feeding you.

19-20 It’s certainly possible to say, “Other branches were pruned so that I could be grafted in!” Well and good. But they were pruned because they were deadwood, no longer connected by belief and commitment to the root. The only reason you’re on the tree is because your graft “took” when you believed, and because you’re connected to that belief-nurturing root. So don’t get cocky and strut your branch. Be humbly mindful of the root that keeps you lithe and green.

21-22 If God didn’t think twice about taking pruning shears to the natural branches, why would he hesitate over you? He wouldn’t give it a second thought. Make sure you stay alert to these qualities of gentle kindness and ruthless severity that exist side by side in God—ruthless with the deadwood, gentle with the grafted shoot. But don’t presume on this gentleness. The moment you become deadwood, it’s game over.

23-24 And don’t get to feeling superior to those pruned branches down on the ground. If they don’t persist in remaining deadwood, they could very well get grafted back in. God can do that. He can perform miracle grafts. Why, if he could graft you—branches cut from a tree out in the wild—into an orchard tree, he certainly isn’t going to have any trouble grafting branches back into the tree they grew from in the first place. Just be glad you’re in the tree, and hope for the best for the others.


Don’t become deadwood—stay attached to The Root of our salvation and life forever!


You speak to our hearts each morning with thoughts that help us to grow more deeply in love with you, depending on you for all that is good. Thank you for your patience as you watch us grow, helping us all along the way with your miracle growth of your holy fruit bearing in us.  It’s all about you.  It always has been.  Continue to weed out the evil and grow me to be all you created me to be.

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen. 

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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