First Verse: a journey through the Psalms: Psalm 1

“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.”
(Psalm 1:1, NLT)

Seems everyone has an opinion.  Family.  Friends.  Coworkers.  Strangers.  Mostly with good intentions, I’m sure.  But opinions are shared and advice is given whether asked for or not.  It’s easy to tell someone else what he/she should do.  And wherever we look, answers show up for everyone with (or without) a question.  From commercials telling us why we need spotless floors, spotless clothes and spotless teeth, to magazine headlines telling us how to find that perfect someone, keep that spouse happy, and what to do if we find that he/she’s not perfect and we’re not happy.   Self-help programs, diet plans, and ways to fix this or fix that fill book shelves and websites.  Advertisements riddle our Facebook profiles, tailored to our browsing habits.  And don’t even get me started on the stuff that fills our email spam box.

But not all advice is created equal.  And not all advice comes from trustworthy sources.  In fact, a lot of advice is probably very questionable.  It does matter to where and to whom we turn to for guidance.

God’s word is trustworthy.  It provides insight into what God knows that works and what doesn’t.  “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, NLT).

Jesus is someone we can follow.  He tells us “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.”
(John 12:44-46, NLT)

The Holy Spirit is our perfect counselor.  He teaches those who follow Jesus.  “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.” (1 John 2:27, NLT)

Where do you get your advice?  Do you follow the advice of anyone who comes along with the next great thing or, as the Psalmist says, do you find joy because you do not follow their advice, but rather turn to God’s word and to His Spirit for guidance?

Heavenly Father, I want to trust you and not depend on my own understanding.  I want to seek your will in everything because I know you will show me the best way.  Amen.
(from Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT)



About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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