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Wisdom
James 3:13-18 

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Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. [14] But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. [15] This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. [16] For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. [17] But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. [18] And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. 

In the conclusion to his speech to the joint houses of Congress on September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush said:

"I will not forget this wound to our country, or those who inflicted it. I will not yield -- I will not rest -- I will not relent in waging this struggle for the freedom and security of the American people. 

The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them. 

Fellow citizens, we will meet violence with patient justice -- assured of the rightness of our cause, and confident of the victories to come. In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom, and may He watch over the United States of America." (Fresh Illustrations http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

Two things strike me about the President's comments. First, it is clear that our President is not exclusively depending upon on military might to win this war on terrorism. He said that God is not neutral between justice and cruelty and freedom and fear. I'm encouraged that our President understands that military might cannot thwart the purposes of God, but that it can be used by God to administer His justice.

The second thing that impresses me about our President's conclusion to his speech is that he ended it with a prayer. He said, "may God grant us wisdom, and may He watch over the United States of America." And to that prayer I say Amen.

Certainly we all would pray for God to watch over us, and we'd also join our President in praying that God will give our leaders wisdom. Not a worldly wisdom, but godly wisdom.

In a letter to the editor of the Detroit News, Cassandra George Sturges of Ypsilanti, Michigan wrote:

"On Sept. 11, I acknowledged George W. Bush as my President and knelt in prayer to ask God to lead him with wisdom, courage and compassion. A part of me felt responsible for what happened because I wondered how things might have been if I had prayed for him sooner." (Fresh Illustrations http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

Regardless of our political agendas, we need to pray for our leaders, especially during times of crisis. 1 Tim. 2:2 NLT says, "Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity." Since we want to live in peace, quietness, godliness and dignity, we need to pray for our leaders. And I can't think of a more appropriate prayer right now than the one President Bush and Cassandra Sturges prayed-that our leaders will have wisdom.

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