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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Monday, February 8, 2016

O Livro dos Livros

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Uma compilação

Nunca vi um cristão útil que não fosse um estudante da Bíblia. — D. L. Moody

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É impossível governar corretamente sem Deus e a Bíblia. — Atribuído a George Washington

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Faço um apelo para que, na correria de uma vida tão atarefada, não nos afastemos da Bíblia, à qual nossos antepassados tanto se apegaram. O meu desejo é que o estudo da Bíblia seja incluído no currículo das faculdades seculares tanto quanto nos dos seminários. Ninguém, seja ele culto ou inculto, pode ser dar ao luxo de ser ignorante da Bíblia. —Theodore Roosevelt

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A Bíblia nos foi dada para causar transformação, enquanto outros livros para nos prover informação. As pessoas não rejeitam a Bíblia por causa das contradições que lhe são atribuídas, mas porque a Bíblia as contradiz. O Novo Testamento é o maior livro que já existiu. — Atribuído a Charles Dickens

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Sempre disse e continuo dizendo que o estudo constante do Livro Sagrado formará melhores cidadãos, melhores pais, e melhores maridos. — Atribuído a Thomas Jefferson

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Todos os livros perdem importância diante da Bíblia. Em todos os meus momentos de perplexidade e angústia ela sempre foi minha luz e força. — Robert E. Lee

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É impossível enfatizar demais que esta grande nação foi fundada não por religiosos, mas por cristãos; não com base em religiões, mas no Evangelho de Jesus Cristo. — Autor anônimo

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Não existe Ciência mais comprovada do que a religião ensinada na Bíblia. — Sir Isaac Newton

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O Livro imortal sobreviveu a três grandes perigos: (1) à negligência de seus amigos, (2) aos ataques de seus inimigos, (3) e aos falsos sistemas montados com base nele. — Isaac Taylor

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A Bíblia na língua inglesa tem sido uma influência maior nos cursos de literatura inglesa do que todas as forças somadas. É impossível entender os maiores autores sem um conhecimento da Bíblia, pois todos presumiam que seus leitores estariam familiarizados com ela... A todo jovem, homem ou mulher que pretende ser um escritor, dou o seguinte conselho: antes de qualquer outra coisa, APRENDA A BÍBLIA. —William Lyon Phelps, ex-professor de Literatura Inglesa na Universidade de Yale

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Devemos ao Livro dos livros a instituição e os ideais nacionais, cuja preservação depende da observância dos preceitos ali indicados. — Herbert Hoover

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Aquele Livro, senhor, é o alicerce, a Rocha que serve de fundamento para a nossa república. — Atribuído a Andrew Jackson

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Toda noite, por mais cansado que esteja, leio a palavra de Deus antes de me deitar. —Gen. Douglas MacArthur

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Acredito completamente em educação superior para homens e mulheres. Mas acredito que o conhecimento da Bíblia sem a educação superior é mais importante do que cursar uma faculdade e não conhecer a Bíblia. — William Lyon Phelps

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Fiz uma aliança com o meu Deus para que Ele não me dê visões, sonhos ou contato com anjos. Estou satisfeito com o dom das Sagradas Escrituras que me oferecem orientação abundante e contêm tudo o que preciso saber tanto para esta vida como para a próxima. — Martinho Lutero

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Seja honesto consigo mesmo, ajude as pessoas, transforme cada dia em uma obra-prima, aprenda a fina arte da amizade, absorva profundamente bons livros — principalmente a Bíblia — construa um refúgio para os dias de chuva, agradeça pelas suas bênçãos e ore todos os dias por orientação. — John Wooden

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Se não cultivarmos o hábito de recorrer à Bíblia tanto nos bons momentos como nas dificuldades, não conseguiremos responder de forma plena ao consolo que nos oferece, pois nos faltará equilíbrio entre luz e trevas. — Helen Keller

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A Bíblia — banida, queimada, amada; amplamente lida, sob constantes ataques, mais do que qualquer outro livro já publicado. Gerações de intelectuais tentaram desacreditá-la, ditadores de todas as eras a proibiram e executaram seus leitores. No entanto, soldados a levam para a batalha acreditando ser mais poderosa do que as armas que carregam. Trechos dela, contrabandeados para celas de prisão transformaram assassinos cruéis em pessoas mansas e gentis. — Charles Colson

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A verdadeira influência da Bíblia é incomensurável. Pode ser avaliada apenas em termos dos corações reconfortados, decisões mudadas e de homens e mulheres que, respondendo às suas demandas, agiram com justiça e bondade, caminhando humildemente com Deus. — J. Carter Swain

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Uma Bíblia caindo aos pedaços normalmente pertence a alguém bem firme que não está caindo aos pedaços. ― Charles H. Spurgeon

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O propósito principal da leitura da Bíblia não é conhecer a Bíblia, mas a Deus. ― James Merritt

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De cada cem homens, um lê a Bíblia. Os outros 99 leem o cristão. ― D. L. Moody

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O conteúdo da Bíblia oferece respostas para todos os problemas que o ser humano enfrenta. — Ronald Reagan

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A Bíblia não é um livro qualquer, mas um organismo vivo com poder para conquistar todos os seus adversários. — Napoleão

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A Bíblia é… tão necessária para a vida espiritual quanto o fôlego para a vida física. Nada é mais essencial para a nossa vida do que a Palavra de Deus. — Jack Hayford

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A Bíblia foi escrita entre lágrimas e oferece os maiores tesouros aos que assim a leem. — A. W. Tozer

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Toda a Escritura é inspirada por Deus e útil para o ensino, para a repreensão, para a correção e para a instrução na justiça, para que o homem de Deus seja apto e plenamente preparado para toda boa obra. — 2 Timóteo 3:16–17 NVI

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Não deixe de falar as palavras deste Livro da Lei e de meditar nelas de dia e de noite, para que você cumpra fielmente tudo o que nele está escrito. Só então os seus caminhos prosperarão e você será bem sucedido. — Josué 1:8 NVI

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Pois tudo o que foi escrito no passado, foi escrito para nos ensinar, de forma que, por meio da perseverança e do bom ânimo procedentes das Escrituras, mantenhamos a nossa esperança. — Romanos 15:4 NVI

Publicado no Âncora em julho 2014. Tradução Hebe Rondon Flandoli.

Witnessing Is Never Wasted

By Maria Fontaine: Link - Audio length: 7:54
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A point that is easy to forget when you witness to people is that you’re doing just as much for the Lord and being just as successful when you’re witnessing to people who maynot receive the witness in the end, and are not going to accept the Lord, as you are when you’re witnessing to those who decide to pray with you. The ones who don’t receive the witness in the end need the witness just as much as the ones who are going to decide for Him.

Often the majority of people you talk to are not going to pray with you to receive the Lord. So you shouldn’t feel that you’re wasting your time and not accomplishing much because your witness didn’t result in immediate decisions. Granted, after praying and struggling to witness to people, when you finally find a person who receives the Lord, it’s wonderful when a soul is saved! All the angels in heaven rejoice when a soul is saved, and Jesus said, “Likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.”1 But the truth is, even if your whole day is spent witnessing to people who don’t take that step to receive Him, your time was well spent. We accomplish just as much when we witness to those who don’t receive the Lord as when we witness to those who do.

Those who don’t receive the Lord have to have the witness just as much as those who do, because they have to be able to make the choice. I know we have often said, “Avoid the devoid” and “Don’t cast your pearls before swine,”2 and that’s true. If people don’t want to hear the message, don’t want to listen to you, then there’s not much you can do.

However, there are many people who will listen politely and ask you questions and get your answers. Maybe they’ll do a little friendly debating with you or arguing, and then in the end say they’re not prepared to receive the Lord at that time. But you will have planted seeds that may yet take root in the future. So it’s important that we give them the message.

Of course, when you first start sharing your faith with someone, you don’t know if they’re going to accept your witness or not, so you just have to be faithful to witness. But to reflect back on it afterward and say, “I didn’t accomplish anything because the people I talked to didn’t end up praying to receive the Lord” would not be the right conclusion. You did what the Lord wanted you to do: you shared the message with people.

Our job is to witness and share the good news! Disciples of Jesus are called to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”3 We know that not “every creature” is going to receive the Lord. So if we measure how we are fulfilling the Great Commission by how many people pray with us to receive the Lord, then we’re missing the point of the Great Commission.

It’s also important to remember that many people who don’t receive Jesus with you on the spot will receive Him later—you’ve just planted some seeds. You can’t always expect to plant the seed and have the plant grow up to full bloom right then and there while you’re talking to them. If the seed hasn’t been planted before, it may need some time to be watered, to grow, and then to be harvested. Maybe in some cases the seed has already been planted, and when you come along, you water it, but it’s still not quite ready yet. So who knows? It may be a while, but they may yet receive the Lord.
Gauging the worth of a witness

Do you sometimes in your heart question, “Is the witness I am able to give really making a difference in people’s lives? I’m hardly doing anything for Jesus. I’m occupied with my job and my family. I barely get a chance to tune in to anybody or anything else.”

What would be enough to make you feel you are doing enough for Jesus? What is your criterion? Is it to save a soul every day, or give a Bible study once a week? What if you could only do a few small things each week or month? Maybe you got a chance to tell someone how you depend on Jesus and prayer to strengthen you. Or maybe you were able to give someone Jesus’ comfort or help them to feel happier and more confident.

What if you feel like you did all you were able to do, but you don’t feel that it was nearly enough? How much would you have to do in order to know that it was enough? Would feeding Jesus be enough? Would finding Him shivering with cold and giving Him a blanket be enough? How about going to visit Him if He were in prison? Would encouraging His aching heart or taking care of Him when He was sick satisfy your heart and mind that what you are doing is pleasing Him?

Mother Teresa expressed it like this: “Christ said, ‘I was hungry and you gave me food.’ He was hungry not only for bread but for the understanding love of being loved, of being known, of being someone to someone. He was naked not only of clothing but of human dignity and of respect, through the injustice that is done to the poor, who are looked down upon simply because they are poor. He was dispossessed not only of a house made of bricks but because of the dispossession of those who are locked up, of those who are unwanted and unloved, of those who walk through the world with no one to care for them. Jesus, in the least of His brethren, is not only hungry for a piece of bread, but hungry for love, to be known, to be taken into account.”

Jesus Himself said: “Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited Me in. I needed clothes and you clothed Me. I was sick and you looked after Me. I was in prison and you came to visit Me. … Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”4

How can we judge what is important and what will yield eternal results? We want to give our time to a worthy cause, something that is going to succeed and have exceptional and visible results. Trouble is, we won’t know until we’ve put in the time—and sometimes we won’t even know then. It’s not always so easy, this life of faith.

We often may make small investments and yet reap huge dividends. But we never know the extent of those dividends in advance, do we? We so often look at the likely outcomes and figure it won’t be worth much. It’s hard to believe that little old you, laboring alone, or with your little family, could possibly be accomplishing things that are truly great and important to God.

What you do matters to God. What matters to God impacts everything, because He designed it all. God has created this huge universe, but He designed it so that its very existence is dependent on the minute particles, each doing what they were ordained to do. How much more is the immensity of His love activated through even your seemingly insignificant actions and words! If one atom can start a nuclear reaction to bring a world of devastation, imagine what small words and deeds done in His love can trigger for good in the lives of others, now and on through eternity.

Compiled from the writings of Maria Fontaine. Adapted and republished February 2016. Read by Carol Andrews.

1 Luke 15:7.
2 Matthew 7:6.
3 Mark 16:15.
4 Matthew 25:34–36 NIV, 25:40 KJV.

Syrian Forces Press Aleppo, Sending Thousands Fleeing

By Anne Barnard, NY Times, Feb. 5, 2016:

BEIRUT, Lebanon–Syrian government and allied forces pressed their most significant advance in months on Friday, sending insurgents scrambling and tens of thousands of civilians fleeing toward the border with Turkey.

The advance has accelerated in recent days, with new momentum from heavy Russian airstrikes in the northern province of Aleppo, according to Syrian state news media, residents and antigovernment activists. The government’s gains have given a morale boost to loyalists and prompted opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, to calculate their next moves.

The government’s gains in Aleppo Province, building on earlier ones in Dara’a in the south and Latakia in the north, also scuttled United Nations-mediated peace talks this week in Geneva. Neither side saw much to discuss there: The government believed it was achieving its goals on the battlefield, while the opposition accused the Assad administration and Russia of using negotiations as a cover for indiscriminate attacks.

Russia’s four months of escalating military intervention have strengthened the government, allowing Mr. Assad’s forces to go on the offensive in several provinces at once for the first time in years. It remains to be seen whether the most recent advances will hold. But they have dealt major blows to the armed opposition and made crucial military gains around the divided city of Aleppo, the provincial capital that was once Syria’s largest city and industrial hub.

Government forces and pro-government militias, including the Lebanese group Hezbollah, have cut the main supply route for weapons and humanitarian aid north of the city. If the government and its allies advance farther south, they could surround rebels in Aleppo and employ the type of “starve or surrender” siege the government has used elsewhere.

Mr. Assad’s forces also broke the insurgents’ siege of two towns near Aleppo, Nubol and Zahra, which had survived on government airdrops of food. People there were celebrating on Friday and thanking the troops in videos posted on social media.

The government gains have increased the sense of alarm among antigovernment insurgents and their civilian supporters, sending thousands of people, including women and children with whatever they can carry, fleeing through orchards.

The United Nations said 20,000 people were stuck at the border fence between Syria and Turkey, and aid groups said as many as 50,000 were expected. Turkish officials have said they will allow refugees to cross, but it was not clear when they would open the crossing or how many would be allowed through. A few people requiring urgent medical care are being taken to Turkish hospitals.

The United Nations’ director of humanitarian operations, John Ging, told the Security Council on Friday that the situation around Aleppo, and the closing of an important border crossing with Turkey, could prevent food and medicine from reaching 325,000 people caught in the fighting, according to two diplomats who attended the closed meeting.

The new advances are squeezing rebel groups north of Aleppo that have been holding off Islamic State militants, who want to expand into a coveted section of rebel-held territory near the Turkish border. Long controlled by United States-backed insurgents and hard-line Islamists, that strip of land is wanted by nearly every party to the conflict.

Kurdish militias want the area to connect two enclaves they control near the border to the east and west. That is where the United States and Turkey sought last year to create a “safe zone” for refugees, free of Islamic State fighters. That plan broke down when the two countries, NATO allies, disagreed on the details.

Turkey would be particularly troubled if the Kurds, whom it considers its main enemy in the area, further encroached on the border area.

It would be unusual, though, for Turkey to send in troops without consulting with the United States, even though their relationship has been strained by Turkey’s frustration that the United States is more focused on battling the Islamic State than Mr. Assad.

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