No one said it would be easy. In the first installment of his BreakThrough series, Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson urged Christians to find the abundant life through following a simple prayer. In Secrets of the Vine, his follow-up to the bestselling The Prayer of Jabez, the president of Walk thru the Bible Ministries explores compelling images from Bible verse John 15 in support of his message that asking for God's blessings may result in suffering and difficult circumstances. Through Jesus' symbolic portrayal of himself as the vine, the Father as vinedresser, and his followers as the branches, Wilkinson believes that Christians can better understand God's methods for ensuring personal fulfillment, and find a closer walk with him.
Grapes need pruning--and so do Christians, Wilkinson writes. God's "pruning" is painful, but Wilkinson argues that this pruning away of "self" is necessary to gain desirable results. He notes, "Pruning will intensify as God's shears cut closer to the core of who you are." Wilkinson urges Christians not to confuse "pruning" with "discipline," and offers a helpful chart to distinguish between the two. He discusses four levels of fruit bearing, from "no fruit" to "much fruit," and the connection between God's pruning and an abundant harvest.
Wilkinson's warm, personable writing style helps him come across as a confidant and mentor. Even though he admits, "I assure you that I possess no special knowledge in these matters," millions of readers seem to think he does. He lays down the challenge: "If you don't know and apply Jesus's vineyard teachings, you'll never experience the abundant life you long for. There is simply no other way." Christians aspiring to maturity in their spiritual lives will likely sit up and take notice. --Cindy Crosby
In this powerful follow-up to his bestseller The Prayer of Jabez, Dr. Bruce Wilkinson explores John 15 to show readers how to make maximum impact for God. Dr. Wilkinson demonstrates how Jesus is the Vine of life, discusses four levels of "fruit bearing" (doing the good work of God), and reveals three life-changing truths that will lead listeners to new joy and effectiveness in His kingdom. Secrets of the Vine opens listeners' eyes to the Lord's hand in their lives and uncovers surprising insights that will point them toward a new path of consequence for God's glory.