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The words wisdom and wise appear 484 times in the Bible. They appear some three hundred times in the Old Testament, one hundred of those times in the book of Proverbs alone. We learn that God is “wise in heart and mighty in strength” (Job 9:4) and that He is the source of wisdom: “Where can wisdom be found. And where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:12). Job answers his own question, saying, “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:12, 28).

Two months ago I wrote a pastoral word about suffering that is grounded in hope. It was in the context of my friend Jim who had brain cancer and how God was being glorified. Jim went to be with the Lord on June 3. On Monday, at his memorial service, the Gospel was given in its entirety to several hundred people, including many non-believers. This was a unique opportunity with a captive audience.

Democrat. Republican. Obama. Health care. Supreme Court. Senate. This week, another election season has come and gone. As always, politics and the government have dominated news reports, talk shows and across-the-fence discussions. And yet again, I wonder if we are thinking as Christians in America. Let’s consider just a few principles from God’s Word regarding government and the philosophy of our church.

How must saints respond to sin in their lives? The Apostle Paul answers, “Put to death [or mortify] therefore what is earthly in you” (Col. 3:5-7 ESV). Puritan John Owen’s comments, first published in 1656: “Do you mortify? So you make it your daily work? You must always be at it while you live; do not take a day off from this work; always be killing sin or it will be killing you…Indwelling sin always abides while we are in this world; therefore, there is always a need for it to be mortified. Some have wrongly and foolishly believed that we are able in this life to keep the commands of God perfectly and are wholly and perfectly dead to sin.

The school year is almost over! As a teacher, that probably brings me more joy than most (other than students). I look forward to summer: family time, late evenings, BBQs, swimming, vacation, a time to catch my breath and of course, a break from work. As I anticipate this time of year, I must confess that often the driving force behind my thoughts and emotions is not a desire to know God more and make Him known. When considering unscheduled free time and opportunities to get away, my selfishness can take over my thought life and desires.