Accept No Substitutes

Do you remember the ad claims for some of the “butter substitutes”?: “Tastes just like butter”; I can’t believe it’s not butter!”; “Everything’s better with __________ on it!” I have always wondered if the substitute claims to be “just like” the original, what is the reason for the substitute?

So, the margarine substitute tastes like butter? Then what is wrong with just using butter? If God gave us butter first instead of margarine, does it mean he made a mistake? Why didn’t he just create margarine? The same thought applies to the claim that some exotic meats taste “just like chicken.” Thanks, but no thanks, I’d just as soon have chicken as rattlesnake, or alligator. Substitutes just aren’t the same.

The same line of thought can apply to self-help literature. When God gave us his Word, I believe it was for a purpose. Listen to the psalmist as he writes in Psalm 119… “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word” (verse 9); “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (verse 11); “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (verse 105). “Direct my footsteps according to your word, let no sin rule over me” (verse 133).

Exchanging the Bible for any other publication may seem like a good deal, but His plan is for us to pattern our lives on His Word, and nothing else. I have nothing against good literature of every kind, but those all have to be held up to the mirror of scripture. Libraries and bookstores are full of books that claim to have the answer to life’s problems or that want to show us the right way to live, but compared to the Bible they fall far short of being really helpful.

Self-help books, or God’s help Book. Which one do you think is the most helpful? Accept no substitutes.

Just thinking,
Pastor Jerry

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