"I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more" - John 15:1-2 NLT
Notice that both branches get cut. The difference is in how we respond to the pain of the pruning. In many ways, the way that we bear the pruning is how we know that we are growing in our relationship with God. Do we get bitter, or better? What does the experience of loss or hindrance expose in us?
Our Father is a faithful gardener, ready to cut off the things in our lives that don't bear fruit, and reminding the fruitful ones that our life is not in the fruit, but only in the vine.
Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me. - John 15:4 NLT
This is both sobering and liberating! To experience a growing, vibrant spiritual life with Jesus is not just an intellectual exercise. Nor is it and exhausting series of good deeds. It is in remaining in the vine that our fulfillment comes. From the vine comes knowledge and good works, but now it's from a position of having experienced God's love and acceptance. We must resist the urge to do things to get God's acceptance. He is offering us a resting place with Him with amazing results.