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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of May 13, 2019

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.

Christ must be at the center of your relationships because He provides a stable, fixed point of reference; otherwise, your relationships will be frail and fragile.

Every relationship is based or founded on something. For example, some relationships are based on the fact that both people work for the same company, attend the same school, or sharing a similar interest in a hobby or sport.

With all of relationships, once a common bond is no longer present, the relationship will tend to deteriorate. For example, once a child graduates from high school and moves off to college, he or she will probably lose most of the relationships formed with classmates, because school is no longer a common bond and thus there is nothing holding the relationship together.

However, if your relationships are formed around a common belief in Christ, then no matter what else happens in life, as long as that common bond is still present those relationships will last.

Thus, it is clear why 2 Corinthians 6:14 instructs believers not to marry unbelievers: Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

If you want to maintain lasting, stable relationships, they must be Christ-centered.

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