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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of February 5, 2018

The power of sin's promises is broken by the power of God's promise.

Sin's power is rooted in its promise of satisfaction. You're compelled to a one night stand because it promises quick joy without the hard work of a committed relationship. You're drawn to gossip about your ex-spouse because it promises the instant gratification of revenge. You're tempted to be greedy and not give to the poor because it affords you the comfort of buying more for yourself.

We sin not out of duty but out of hope for happiness. (We wouldn't sin if we didn't think we stood to gain something by sinning.) In other words, sin's power is in its promise of happiness.

Sin, which leads to death (Romans 6:16), will continue to enslave us as long as we believe that sin provides greater joy than righteousness, which leads to life.

The breakthrough over sin comes when we realize who God promises to make us if we trust in him.

In contrast to sin, God promises us much greater joy and satisfaction in him than in sin. When we receive Christ and are born again, our eyes are opened and our desires transformed. God makes immense promises to those who are born again. Specifically, in Christ we are made righteous (Romans 5:19), dead to sin (Romans 6:11), given eternal life (Romans 6:23 and John 3:15), not condemned (Romans 8:1), sanctified (1 Corinthians 1:2), made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22), made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:19), clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:27), immeasurably blessed (Ephesians 1:3), forgiven (Ephesians 1:7), and made the very righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). What an awesome set of promises given by God! All that God promises to be for us in Jesus stands against what sin promises to be for us without him.

A mature Christian "preaches" with his or her life.

Many times we try to talk people into accepting Jesus, but yet we fail to show them Jesus; we don't act any differently than the rest of the world, even though we claim to be saved. The world isn't looking for talk; it wants walk. Therefore, we, as Christians, must live differently: stop telling, and start showing.

Matthew 7:20 tells us how to recognize truly mature Christians: "by their fruit." Stop worrying about the outward show that you put on in front of your friends, and start developing the Fruit of the Spirit in your inner life (see Galatians 5:22-23). Then once you have learned to be kind, gentle, peaceful and joyful even during difficult circumstances, non-Christians will see you and say to themselves, "I want what you've got." Then, you will be able to share Jesus with them effectively.

We need to develop the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Interestingly, the first Fruit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 is "love." Furthermore, in John 13:35, Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." In other words, love ought to be the trademark of every believer.

It is by living a life of love that you make the world hungry and thirsty for the joy, kindness, patience, peace, and stability that you have. The world isn't reading the Bible; they're reading Christians like you. And if they don't like what they see in you, they're not going to want what you've got—Jesus.

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