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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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THE BOOK THAT MAKES US BETTER

Someone observed that a Bible that is falling apart probably belongs to someone who isn't. Millions who read and study the Bible affirm that it continuously provides a source of strength, encouragement and assurance found nowhere else on this earth. The Bible's beneficent influence on human history and society is incalculable. Some of history's greatest men and women have expressed confidence in the Bible's ability to impact human society for the better. Abraham Lincoln said, "I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this book upon reason that you can, and the balance by faith and you will live and die a better man" (quoted p 6 6/91 Firm Foundation magazine in an article entitled "What Some Great Men of the Earth Thought of the Bible). *Thomas Jefferson echoed the same sentiment toward the Scriptures: "I have always said, and will always say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better homes, better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands." Both of theseAmerican presidents from the past expressed great what history has verified over the centuries. The Bible, when believed in the heart and then fleshed out in daily life, has a powerful effect on human society. As it changes individual people for the better, it raises the moral and spiritual character of human society. *Queen Victoria said, "This book is the secret of England's greatness." *The great commoner W. J. Bryan spoke of the Bible's power to make human beings better with these words: "There is not a community which cannot be purified, redeemed, and improved by a better knowledge and broader application of the Bible to daily life." *American scientist Dr. Robert A. Millikan went so far as to say, "I suspect that the future progress of the human race will be determined by the circulation of the Bible."

Enough. Many more human voices could be noted who affirm the powerful and unique effect the Bible has on human lives. But the most critical claim concerning the Bible is not what men say about it, but rather what it says about itself. An example of that is 2' Timothy 3:15-17 where the great apostle Paul reminded his younger preacher/friend Timothy: "From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." The greatest impact of the Bible is that it prepares us for life not only in this world but also in the one beyond!
*(These quotes are from pp 9-11 of The Heart of Hebrew History by H. I Hester, 39th printing, Quality Press. Inc.: Liberty. MO: 1962)

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ