Listen to today’s devo!

See that what you have heard . . . remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. (1 John 2:24)

John heard it from Christ himself.

In the aftermath of the Last Supper, where John was so close to the Lord that he actually leaned on him at one point during that lengthy Passover meal, Jesus gave his disciples a powerful analogy. Imagine a vineyard, he said. “I am the vine; you are the branches.” John remembered the imagery: If you remain in me, you’ll bear fruit, but if not . . . dead branches are good only for the fire (see John 15:5–6).

Later, writing as an old man and the last surviving apostle, John relayed that same truth to new generations of believers in his first epistle. He had never forgotten the power of if.

Growing up, I learned the value of if pretty quickly. It’s a conditional word. Sure, I could play with my friends if my chores were done. Yes, I could watch TV if I did my homework first. If not, there was always an alternate ending!

Over time, I began to understand its role in relationships too. If I neglect a relationship, it will die. It’s not because I have to earn my place in that relationship, but because, by definition, any relationship takes two who are committed to its success. God is committed to us. We’re the ones who, in the free will he gave us, have to meet the challenge of if.

Remain in him so that you can live for him.

Bob Black is professor emeritus of religion at Southern Wesleyan University, where he served for thirty-two years. He co-authored the denominational history, The Story of The Wesleyan Church.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House.  Reprinted from Light from the Word.  Used by permission.  Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.