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Bookstore Browsing

July 19, 2018


Bookstore Browsing

Maybe it was just for the time  that I was in the book store,  but it seemed like  there were more people  in the area where the “self help” books were  than anywhere else  in the store.     Nobody was  in the history area.     One person was  in the computer section.     Nobody was  in the cooking section  or even  in the fiction area.     There was a young mother  in the children’s section  showing a book  to her little boy.

Seeing quite a number of people  in the “self help” section  made me think  about how God has promised  to be our help  in time  of need.      So much of the time  people don’t even think  of going to the Lord  for the help  they long for.     But,  Psalm 34:8 invites us to,

O taste  and see  that the LORD  is good;    
How blessed is the man  who takes refuge  in Him!

With whatever  sort of challenge  we might have,  God wants us  to go  to Him.     Only God  can guide us  in ways that will be honestly right  and good  in this world.     For instance,  some people are really looking  for the approval  of others,  and 2 Timothy 2:15 shows us  what kind of approval  we really should be  looking for.     It says,

Be diligent  to present yourself  approved to God  as a workman  who does not need  to be ashamed,  handling accurately  the word  of truth.

Then,  many people are very concerned  about their self-image.     They desire  to feel good  about themselves.     In Romans 8:29,  Paul tells us  about the image  that will make us feel  so much better  about ourselves.     It says,

For whom He foreknew,  He also predestined  to become conformed  to the image  of His Son.

We should all be concerned  about self-improvement,  and actually need  to aim for the very best kind  of self-improvement  as shown  in 2 Corinthians 5:17,

Therefore  if any man is  in Christ,  he is a new creature;  the old things  passed away;  behold,  new things  have come.

We often wonder how we can muster up  the human resources needed  to be all  that we can be  in this world.     2 Corinthians 3:5 shows us  where to look,

Not that we are adequate  in ourselves  to consider anything  as coming  from ourselves,  but our adequacy  is from God.

Life is different  when we know our help comes  from the Lord.     The people  in the “self help” section  of the bookstore  were looking for ways  they could use their self-efforts  in making themselves  into better people  according to puny,  worldly standards.     We have it all turned around  from God’s wisdom.     Galatians 2:20 shows us  that it is much more important  to simply let Jesus live  in us.

I have been crucified  with Christ;  and it is no longer I  who live,  but Christ lives  in me;  and the life which I now live  in the flesh  I live by faith  in the Son of God,  who loved me,  and delivered Himself up  for me.

What a difference there is  between God’s improvement plan  and man’s “self help” ideas.

When it comes  right down to it,  the Bible is the absolute best  “self help” book  anyone could ever have.     It has proven itself  over and over  for thousands of years — and its Author  is none other  than God Almighty, Himself.     The authors  of all the other books  have their own foibles  and impracticalities.     But,  God is perfect  in all His ways  and His word  can mold us  to be pleasing and useful  in His sight.

As we taste and see  how good the Lord is,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     My Lord,  You created me  and You alone know me  perfectly well.     You know  where I need self-improvement,  and You alone know  how to rightly mold me  and perfect me  in Christ Jesus.”



A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods


Pray for our country.


This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30


Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4


Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13


Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1


Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3


Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12






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