Foggy Truth

I've been reading in 1st and 2nd Timothy this week. These letters are from Paul to Timothy. Timothy is very young and is trying to Pastor a church. Naturally he is unsure of himself. Paul is writing these letters to give him instruction. I notice something that he says multiple times in both of these letters.

"Guard the precious truth inside of you." 

You know, the closer we get to the return of Jesus (and he is returning, friends!) the more foggy the truth will become to some. In fact, in 1st Timothy Paul addresses the last days and some of the signs that will follow. In a nutshell,

man will pursue his own truth. 

I was sharing my story with someone recently. I cannot share my story without talking about Jesus. He is the reason I share, the reason my story matters. My zeal for him always comes out in my sharing and I am so grateful it does. What struck me though, in that conversation, was that this person didn't respond with offense or even confusion but simply,

"That is your truth and that is great for you."  

No, friends, no! We cannot take this stance, as much as it seems like the right thing to do. I have learned much recently about how to share Jesus with others. We must always share from a humble, grace filled perspective. None of us understood before the truth was revealed to our hearts and so we should be understanding of how people are led astray, how they don't see what we see....but never should we accept any idea as truth that isn't found in God's word.

A line does have to be drawn. 

There is only one truth, friend. Only one. The fog of this world will try to deceive us, pull us away, but the truth is unchanging. Jesus is the only way to salvation. He is the only way and every soul needs him to find eternal life. It is not our job to transform others, or to make them accept the truth but we are called to stand firm in the truth. The enemy is cunning, and we must be on guard. He will slip us little pieces of lies mixed in with little pieces of truth and many will be deceived. Sometimes those lies come dressed in fancy suits and shiny shoes, with big black Bibles in hand. Sometimes, those lies come dressed in knowledge and profession. Sometimes those lies come dressed in acceptance from a group who thinks and acts like you....

The plea Paul makes to Timothy is for us, today. For those of us who follow Jesus, we must guard that precious truth inside of us. We are easily persuaded, friends. Our nature is selfish. The things we think we would never do or believe, those are things the enemy will place in front of us, packaged beautifully and enticingly. How, though, how do we guard this gift of truth inside of us?

We run.

Paul says it best in Hebrews 12...

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set out before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith." (Heb. 12:1-3)

Run the race, friend. That is how the truth is guarded inside of us. Look to Jesus and run for him, like your life depends on it. How many will be lost when Jesus returns that didn't even know they were lost? How many will be lost that wandered from the truth into something packaged beautifully that sounded right? How many....

Jesus, fill us with passion for your name.... 

For your truth... 

Give us strength to run the race.... 

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