Book Review: Secrets of the Vine

Secrets of the Vine, Bruce Wilkinson, Multnomah Books, 126 Pages

  • Critical read
  • Must read
  • Good read
  • Read if you want
  • Read something else

Why read this book: If you have read Wilkinson’s book, “The Prayer of Jabez,” you will know the purpose of our God in leading us into an impactful and significant life in the Kingdom of God.  This book, like Jabez a short read, goes on to unpack how our God intends to bring about that impact and significance in us.  He intends to bring us to a life of abundant fruitfulness in the Kingdom, yet we must come to the point of cooperating with Him in that transformation.  Generally speaking, our God will not accomplish His work in us against our will, and this book gives us insight into how we can participate with Him in this work.

Wilkinson unpacks the work of God to bring to the point of bearing much fruit for Him.  That work is frightening to many believers, because it involves His pruning of our lives.  Pruning may sound painful and difficult, and at times it is.  Yet as Wilkinson points out, the pruning of the Lord in our lives is never for our harm or diminishment, but for our good, our impact in the Kingdom, and our eternal significance.  Truly, as Wilkinson points out, it is by the pruning process that we experience the fulness of the love of our God.  It is in the pruning that we come to thrive.  And it is the result of the pruning that we come to bear the most fruit.

The point: In the book you can discover why the pruning is necessary and how our God prunes us.  Drawn from lessons he learned from real-life vine-dressers, Wilkinson paints effective word pictures of a tender and compassionate God leaning into our lives to lift us up, clean us up, and trim our living so that we will have the greatest significance in the economy of the Kingdom.

Impact:  This book is so simple and straightforward in explaining the “other half” of the John 15 abiding lesson.  We like the idea of abiding in close connection to Christ by the Holy Spirit He has placed in us.  For that abiding to lead to fulness, fruitfulness, and abundance, the pruning and cleaning of our living must take place.  The book makes this case clearly and prepares the reader to embrace the pruning process as a gift from a loving Vine-dresser, God the Father.

Quotes:  “While the early pruning is mostly about your outward activities and priorities, mature pruning is about your values and personal identity.  God moves in close for more intensive pruning because by now you are ready to really produce.  What God asks of you now may seem difficult.  But the results, if  you say yes to the Vine-dresser, will be dramatically more than you could have imagined. Many Christians never get this far….”

Similar:  “The Crucified Life,” by AW Tozer, “The Normal Christian Life,” by Watchman Nee, “The Imitation of Christ,” by Thomas aKempis.

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