On Monday I had the chance to speak at a camp that I first attended 20 summers ago (wow, I feel old)! I started out as a day camper, worked as a counselor, and eventually was over all the program directors. I dedicated every summer either learning the person and character of Jesus Christ or teaching others about Him. It was a blessing to be able to return to a place that holds so many memories.
I spoke on John 15:4-8 where Jesus gives the analogy of the vine and branches. I focused on verse 8: "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples" (NASB). Three points stick out: we can glorify God; we glorify God by bearing much fruit; our fruit proves that we are His disciples. I was able to give a very clear gospel presentation with 1 John 4:13-14 which describes how we know we abide in Christ (what it takes to bear fruit): "By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world."
It had been a while since I last spoke in front of so many people (around 300) and had spent the time and energy focused on just one passage. I find it's really easy to read the Bible because it is so good and necessary for our lives, but I rarely take the time to study just one section and it's supporting verses that bring a fuller meaning of the text. This was a great reminder for the depth of God's Word! So I challenge you and myself... study God's Word, know it well; It's not just a good read, it's God's very Word to us!