His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.
My mailbox has a pesky palm tree bush growing around it. It expands so fast it prevents the mail carrier from entering my mailbox within a month of cutting it back. Finally, I pruned it to one stalk with one leaf. It multiplied twice as fast as just cutting it away from the front of the mailbox. In the same way Jesus prunes us.
Jesus sends his Holy Spirit (unquenchable fire) to burn away our chaff (the part of us that no longer produces fruit) so we can produce the most fruit (wheat) for Him. He may cut away jobs we are doing at church that He wants someone else to do, so we will have more time for the work He will give us. We may not have a ministry, but God has given us a family, friends, and coworkers to care for. John’s fruit was encouraging (exhorting) people and telling them the good news of Jesus to give them hope. What fruit are we producing?
God, keep immersing us in your Holy Spirit to burn away the parts of us that aren’t fruit-producing. Let us live to do the work You give us and encourage, care for, and give the good news to those around us.