Francis Bacon died almost 400 years ago, but his famous description of words on pages are still as relevant and important as ever. Bacon wrote:

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and a few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.” (Francis Bacon)

When it comes to reading, we should always remember the wise words of J.C. Ryle

“Whatever you read, read the Bible first. Beware of bad books: there are plenty in this day. Take heed what you read.” (J.C. Ryle)
“Gratitude isn’t only a celebration when good things happen. Gratitude is a declaration that God is good no matter what happens!” (Ann Voskamp)
“Nowhere in Scripture do we find doctrine studied for its own sake or in isolation from life.” (Dr. Wayne Grudem)
“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” (Martin Luther)

The Snare to Compare…

“Comparing ourselves to others is a dead-end street. As Theodore Roosevelt aptly said: Comparison is the thief of joy. So why do we continue to diminish our neighbor as a way to build ourselves up? Why do we find pleasure in negative gossip and the misfortune of others? Why do we feel we must win in order to feel okay about ourselves? No matter how athletic, slim, handsome/pretty, intelligent, well-read, respected, connected, funny, wealthy, or religious we are, if we anchor our worth in these things instead of in the smile of God over us, these things will eventually wreck usC.S. Lewis said “Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown itAim at earth and you get neither.” The only esteem that won’t abandon us is the esteem given to us by Jesus. Why? Because only in Jesus are we fully known and always loved, thoroughly exposed yet never rejected. Only Jesus will repeatedly forgive us when we fail Him. Only Jesus will declare His affection for us when we are at our very worst as well as at our very best.” (Ann Voskamp)
“If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself!” (Augustine)
“One reason why God usually doesn’t give us specific guidance in our sometimes-perplexing decisions is that He places a higher priority on our being transformed than our being informed in order that we will be conformed to the image of Jesus.” (Jon Bloom – President of Desiring God Ministries)
“I know not the way God leads me, but well do I know my Guide.” (Martin Luther)

“Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness makes for pride. Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair. Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because He shows us both God and our own wretchedness. Jesus is a God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.” (Blaise Pascal – from his book Pensées)
“The duties that are required of us are not proportioned to the strength residing in us, but to the supply laid up for us in Christ.” (John Owen)
“Prayer is an acknowledgment that our need of God’s help is not partial, but total.” (Alistair Begg)