God's pruning knife

(Thomas Watson, "The Spiritual Vine")

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
 Every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so
 that it will be even more fruitful." John 15:1-2

God's love to the elect branches, appears in His
pruning them. He prunes them by affliction. We
are apt to think that when God afflicts us, that He
does not love us. Affliction is God's pruning knife.
He prunes us to make us bring forth the peaceable
fruit of righteousness, Hebrews 12:11. God would
rather have the branches bleed—than be barren.
All this is done in love. It is God's love, that He will
rather lop and prune the branches—than let them
grow wild.

God's love to the elect branches, also appears in His
transplanting them to heaven. The branches of Christ
will thrive best when they are transplanted; because
then they will grow in a better soil.

Christ desires to have all His elect branches, which are
scattered up and down in the world—to be with Him.
"Father, I desire those You have given Me to be with
Me where I am." John 17:24. The elect will never be
happy—until they are transplanted to the heavenly
garden. In heaven, there will be no bramble to tear
the vine branches; none of the red dragon's brood.
Then all the branches will be sweetly united in love.
Then they shall grow in the sunshine of God's
countenance. In this life, the elect branches partake of
God's grace; hereafter, they shall partake of His glory!