Most Christians have at least one favorite Psalm. When we face hardships or challenges, it’s usually Psalm 23 which we turn to. Psalm 42 speaks to our desire and longing for God, and Psalm 51 is a cry out to God for His forgiveness. It’s easy to skip around through the Psalms, but they will all strengthen us. Let’s take a look at Psalm 1 and see if we can find some wisdom there.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1).
Instead of listing things a man (or woman) can do to be happy, the psalmist tells us what not to do. We all need to walk in the ways of the Lord, and secular people can’t help us to walk according to Scripture. I learned at a young age who to go to in order to get the advice I wanted. If I didn’t want to walk the straight and narrow path, I would go to secular friends. On the other hand, I also knew who would give me advice that was based on Scripture. I’m sure you’re much the same. As I’ve aged and have drawn closer to my Lord, Scripture is my guide. I do have a dear friend I turn to if I need advice, and I’m confident she will give me honest help based on Scripture. It’s important to choose friends, spouses, and partnerships wisely. We will be much happier if we don’t follow in the footsteps of nonbelievers.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
If your friends don’t know Jesus, there’s a good chance they will mock Him and make you embarrassed to follow Him. Does that make you happy? It shouldn’t. You’ll be much happier fellowshipping with Christians. We all need advice once in a while, but if we go to someone who doesn’t base decisions upon God’s ways, we’ll get ungodly answers.
The Apostle Paul wrote many letters, including one to a pastor in Crete named Titus. Crete was a rather wild place, and the letter advised Titus on how to be a better pastor. Paul advises Titus to encourage the congregation to walk closer to the Lord.
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience” (Titus 2:1-2).
This is the kind of advice Christian men need to take to heart. What about Christian women?
“The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5).
This isn’t advice you’ll get from secular friends, but this is solid Christian teaching. Next, Paul tells how to advise the young men. Should they sow their wild oats, or honor God?
“Young men, likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you” (Titus 2:6-8).
People who don’t know God cannot give Godly advice, so to be happy one must “…walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.” How many of you gather around the water cooler at work and grumble about your boss? Is that where you’ll find godly advice?
“Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things: not answering again; not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things” (Titus 2:9-10).
If you need advice, you’ll be much happier if you talk with a friend who follows Jesus rather than the world. A person who fears and honors God isn’t happy if he, or she, makes choices that aren’t Scriptural.
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:2).
Although the word “meditate” is used, this isn’t talking about eastern religions that encourage you to empty your mind and allow whatever demon happens to be passing to fill the void. This means to study God’s word and think about it day and night in order to understand it, apply it, and take delight in it. If you’re following worldly ways, you’ll never be truly happy. When you please God you find His peace.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
It may look as if worldly people are happy and think they have things pretty well figured out, but do they have God’s peace? Many celebrities have fame and fortune, but the reality is they’re not happy. Most take many drugs or drink to excess, always searching but never finding the happiness they think money can buy. They are walking in the counsel of the ungodly. It would be so much better to “delight in the law of the LORD.”
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3).
Trees grow strong and tall and need water to thrive. A tree that’s near a river has an abundant supply of water and nutrients and will thrive. People can take shelter under its limbs and be cooled by the shade of its leaves. Christians have a source of Living Water that will never fail.
“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water” (John 4:10).
The more we drink from the Living Water, the more fruit we will bear for Him.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
If we stand in the way of sinners or sit on the seat of the scornful, we’ll never be like the tree planted by the rivers of water. We won’t bear the fruit of the Spirit.
“The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away” (Psalm 1:4).
Chaff is the part of the wheat that’s useless. Before wheat is able to be used for flour, the chaff has to be removed. John the Baptist used chaff as an example when he was asked if he was the Christ.
“John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable” (Luke 3:16-17).
The day is fast approaching when Jesus will call His followers Home. Those who do not know Him as Lord and Saviour will be left behind and eternally burned in the fires of damnation. It will be their own choice. Jesus doesn’t force anyone to choose to follow Him, but the consequences of rejecting His free gift of salvation is eternal damnation. Today is the day to make a decision to accept Christ’s gift. The offer is there for everyone, but each individual has to make his or her own choice. If you were baptized as a baby, that only shows your parents had good intentions to raise you in the admonition of the Lord. Baptism doesn’t impart salvation, so you must make your own confession of faith.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
If you have made the confession of faith and believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, follow Him. Don’t follow ungodly people down the path that leads to destruction.
“Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” (Psalm 1:5).
Sinners cannot stand before God Almighty and enter Heaven based upon their own good works. We are all sinners. Judgment will come all too soon, and saint and sinner alike will bow before Jesus Christ.
“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11).
As Christians we know that our righteousness is only through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Everyone has a choice whether to accept Him or reject Him. The sad truth is that many will choose to reject Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection and will be as the chaff thrown into the unquenchable fire. Christians must stand strong in our faith and allow our example to influence those who haven’t found salvation. The lost people of this world need to come to us for answers rather than us going to them. We need to take our advice and guidance from God’s word.
“For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalm 1:6).
Jesus Christ is our example. He made it very clear that He is the only Way.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
That means that a guru cannot lead you to Heaven, nor Mohammed, Joseph Smith, or any New-Age lie. There is only one Way. Jesus is the Way. Do you know Him? If you’re concerned about where you’ll spend eternity, don’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Their counsel will only lead you to choose to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. Turn to God for guidance; seek the counsel of a Christ-centered Christian. Our righteousness only comes from Jesus, and our joy is sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Be careful where you seek advice. If it’s not godly advice, then it’s useless.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God breathed.
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