1 & 2 Timothy and Titus: Day 1

Timothy’s Ministry

by

Today's Text: 1 Timothy 1:1-11, Psalm 119:1-7, Acts 16:1-5

Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 1:1-11, Psalm 119:1-7, Acts 16:1-5

My maiden name was regularly mistaken for a similarly spelled, but distinctly different, last name. People confused the two enough that my father, brother, and I often answered to the wrong name without much thought. My mother, though, never let the wrong name slide. She’d politely smile and correct every person, sometimes more than once, who added an unnecessary “r” to the pronunciation of our last name. Though it was only part of her name by marriage, she fiercely defended its integrity.

What remains fascinating to me about this common mistake is how often people disagreed with her correction, telling her the way they misunderstood our name was, in fact, more accurate. It was as if their opinion of what our last name ought to be was more important than what our name truly is. Persistent as they were, they could not change the truth.

The fight for preserving what is true is at the heart of today’s reading, and of 1 Timothy as a whole. Paul wrote to Timothy, his coworker and protégé, to encourage him to guard the heritage of the Christian faith—a faith that was being challenged by false teaching and a skewed understanding of what it meant to be a follower of Jesus.

In Acts 16, we catch a glimpse of how Paul’s mentorship of Timothy began. Timothy left his family to travel with Paul on his second missionary journey, sharing the gospel and establishing the early Church. He became one of Paul’s most trusted disciples and coworkers, ministering alongside Paul as he wrote much of the New Testament. Paul wrote this first letter to Timothy while the young protégé was serving as pastor to the church in Ephesus.

We see the depth of their relationship in how Paul addresses Timothy. More than just a coworker, Timothy is Paul’s “true son in the faith” (1:2).  That affectionate reference is, in part, a reminder to Timothy that he, and all believers, are part of a spiritual heritage. When we come to faith in Jesus, we become part of the family of God (1 John 3:1-2). In this family, part of our ministry is to guard the lineage of our faith by remembering what it means to be a believer and then passing those truths down to future generations.

The believers Timothy pastored were distracted by empty speculations and false doctrine. We have to guard against the same—whether in our own hearts, in our own conversations, or in how we teach others about our faith through our words and actions.

God Himself is the best authority on our faith. His Word isn’t a list of meaningless rules; it is light in the darkness, a lamp that shows us where to place our feet as we live lives faithful and true to the heritage of the gospel. When we keep our focus on growing in affection for God and His Word, we stay true to our pursuit of love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.

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Jessica Scoggins (not Scroggins) Lamb consumes books, tea, and street-style tacos with equal ferocity. When she’s not working as the managing editor for She Reads Truth, she can be found singing Broadway tunes off-key or traveling. She lives with her husband, daughter, beloved mutt, and tolerated chickens in Nashville, TN.

  • Adrianne Pepitone

    I do think the idea of traditional Christianity that seems to be so prevalent in America, is loosely based on the Bible and more on traditions and cultural influences. We have gone so far from the basics of what Jesus taught in the Bible — love. I am seeing a shift and wave to go back to the original gospel and work of Jesus in the younger generations.

  • erin sweet

    Paul here is showing the importance of the ethical implications of the gospel. Furthering Timothy and encouraging him to build true teachers of the law.

  • Olivia Vin

    Thank you for sharing Kadie. Your post encouraged me! I will be praying for your husband as well. I needed to be reminded myself to trust the Lord instead of feeling the weight of responsibility…. for loved ones who I want to know God deeper. Only God can truly do a work in someone’s heart. We just have to trust the Lord and be faithful to listen. And if we play a part or not, that’s up to Him!

  • Amber Underwood

    Lord, I pray that I be the light for others to want to know the Truth about You. I pray that you would educate me and show me only the Truth. I want others to feel and know the Love that You can only provide. Amen

  • Tania Hernandez

    No matter how difficult things may get it is sooooooooo important to stay true to who God is and what his truth. It’s only when we are able to do that that we eliminate running the risk of trying to rule over our own lives. The only direction and opinion that matters is God’s many people may not understand or simply not care but if God is for us who can be against us. Let us lead a life according to His will

    • Janelle Hayes

      Amen!

    • Janelle Hayes

      I understand completely, and agree whole heartedly. God is dealing with me concerning just this, being open to HIM. Not man, or what appears to sound and look like him. We have to be very watchful, even in the body of Christ.

  • This is so impactful. I think it’s so important for us to step up and be Paul and fight for the truth and spreading the good word to those around us. Someone once told me that we are sometimes the only bible someone has and we need to spread the light like fire :)

  • Very encouraging from two views:
    1. Paul being the encourager
    2. Timothy being encouraged

    At some point in time we either going be the Paul or we’re going to be Timothy!!! Regardless of who you fall under the importancy is knowing who you are in Christ and that the mission at hand is that the world needs to hear the good news and that good news is the Hope in Jesus Christ!!! Are you protecting the heritage? What kind of lineage are you leaving behind?

    • Tania Hernandez

      Thanks Ruby I needed to be reminded about what testimony am I building up and if that is encouraging others as well as strengthening myself.

  • Peony Noirr

    ❤️

  • Gabi Smith

    So helpful!!

  • Kadie Henderson

    “Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5) Sometimes, most of the time, (Okay, all of the time…), I ask God to use me to change hearts rather than asking Him to change hearts, like I expect Him to give me the power to perform that task rather than believing that He is powerful enough to do a task that extravagant without my help, not saying that God doesn’t use me (or you or us) to help bring change, just saying I feel the responsibility that that is what He is expecting me to do – change hearts – when that is His job. I found today’s reading so comforting… All I have to do is keep my focus on growing in affection for God and His Word. And have faith! God’s plan operates by faith. (1 Timothy 1:4) I love that Truth!

    Please join me in praying for my husband’s heart. I desperately want Him to truly know and love the Lord!

    • Tania Hernandez

      Hey Kadie,
      I will definitely be praying for your husbands heart. Thank you for sharing

      • Kadie Henderson

        Thank you so much, Tania. <3

      • Lorin Stubblefield

        Kadie—I have a similar prayer for my own husband. Thank your for helping change my perspective—let the Glory be God’s not mine…let the his heart be changed in a way that only God gets the credit.

  • Victoria F

    Thank you Maryanne this was super helpful! God bless you

  • Terri Sconce

    My husband is facing tough times because of preaching these same truths. It’s imperative that Gods Word remains faithfully taught. I’m so thankful for these daily readings.

  • Juliet Bromme

    I loved the connection that related that when we accept Jesus and have a relationship with Him, we become a family; we are all united through our belief in Him

  • Laura Veenema

    Anyone else super curious what the author’s maiden name was? :)

  • Lindsey Scoma

    Remembering to keep His word alive in us…on the forefront’s of our hearts, so that we can love sincerely. Love this word!

  • Oh I love this beautifully-shared call-to-action to remember our calling in Christ, preserve what is true, and resonate with His love. Thank you for post.

  • Lea Potter

    I appreciate Paul’s words because they align with the teachings of the Church that I find most valuable… to just love others wholly and without prejudice

  • Lana Kemp

    As I begin to rekindle my relationship with Jesus, this came at the perfect time. A loud reminder to stay true to God’s word

  • Anonymous

    Lord,

    I am convicted as I think of the times that you have called me to have truthful conversations with friends who have turned against you or questioned you. I have chosen the non-confrontational path rather than the path that is messy, difficult, and uncomfortable. Yet you call me to instruct in a love “that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.” Often my vision is clouded by judgement, my own guilt, or my doubts in who You are, and this impedes my ability to share the truth about who You are. Truthfully, I feel overwhelmed by the amount of pressure I feel from society. Those around me seem to be screaming, “God is a lie. God does not love us!” Yet I so badly wish that they could know Your grace and love. It is hard to find a balance between sharing the truth with the world and sharing love with the world. Lord, help me to do both. Give me Your wisdom so that I know the words to say when Your authority is questioned.

    I also pray for my friends SG, HB, AW, BM, and JA. Lord, would the truth of Your gospel be illuminated to them, and would you remove any scars that surround their hearts. Lord, in whatever what You see fit, would you allow me to speak truth into their lives in love. Lord, I also pray for my mom, who is experiencing health issues currently. I ask that you would give wisdom to the doctors who are reading her scans, and that you would provide her with immense peace.

    Lord, I praise you for the blessings you have bestowed upon my husband and I this week, as you have provided for us financially. I am so grateful for Your provision. I trust You Lord. I ask that you allow this passage to sink in and continue to speak to me.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks so much for sharing. We’re praying for you, your friends, and your mom during this time. We’re grateful for you. -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Maryanne Njoroge

    The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love —love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God.

    • Jaelyn Hamilton

      Wow amen. This really showed me how much I have been letting my self interest take control of my relationship with God

  • Kelsey Ross

    Taking this as a reminder about instructing my own kiddos- love that comes from a pure heart!

  • Anika Lee

    I love being reminded that we are part of God’s family!! As I struggle to find a home church, it is amazing to know that I’m still part of God’s family.

    • Ashley Dillon

      Amen! It is amazing to be part of God’s family. Anika praying that you find a church family.

  • Danisha TuneeBrown

    Lord help me to pass on the heritage of the gospel to those around me. Please help me to exude who you are in all that I do.

  • Chloe Harrison

    I love the reminder to guard our lineage in Christ and to always look to God for clarity remembering that we are to always have Love as our guide! I think I always need that reminder to put on a love filter… is what I’m about to say loving to the person, is what I’m about to do loving because we can stand for the right things but our faith and lineage always makes the most impact by our everyday conversations and actions. It’s not a call to be perfect but a call to convey love

  • Victoria Fisher

    I love 1 Timothy 1:3-7. I am currently struggling with my relationship as my boyfriend is a different denomination as me. And even though denomination doesn’t matter it matters if you’re living your life for Jesus, I do feel like he’s trying to almost make me believe the things he believes. And I keep praying about it and searching in scripture for answers, but I feel like I’m so confused. But these verses made me just stop and breathe. God’s word is what matters, I need to turn my heart from false teachings and go to Him for my answers. I could really use prayer though. I feel God working in my life but I’m not sure in what ways.

    • Karen Bailey

      Praying for you. Wisdom and peace. God will lead you. He leads in grace and freedom. He gives you greater hunger for Himself and to know when the issues are central to the gospel and what is not (that there can be disagreements over some things and it’s okay). I pray for discernment over legalism and also his need to dominate or have you believe what he does instead both of you learn from one another. That’s a red flag. I don’t know anything about you so please don’t be offended I know people and what grace and love looks like. Grace to you.

    • Maryanne Njoroge

      Dear Victoria,

      Amos 3:3 Two people cannot walk together unless they agree. I pray that God may make His path clear for you to follow with regards to your relationship.

  • Tanis Stewart

    I love the 1 Timothy 1:5 verse. “The goal of our instruction is LOVE”. Wow, how true! When I instruct my children or love my friends with truthful conversations, sometimes it is hard AND it comes from “a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith”. I needed that reminder. Sometimes I have to put friendships on the line by encouraging them to take needed next steps in their faith. Sometimes they do not like what I have felt called to say, but it is Love (Jesus) in me that is speaking through me to them. I have to rest in the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives and rest in the truth of Jesus using me to speak into their lives, no matter their response. I continue to love them in prayer and when they return, I have faith, they will realize it was Love that spurred me to challenge them in their next steps of faith. What is also interesting is how MANY times the truthful conversation has been well received by my mentees, but the conversations that I rehearse over and over are the ones where they chose a different direction…..

  • God will allow for difficult situations. I must prepare my mindset to meet the challenge. Paul told Timothy to remain in Ephesus because it seemed that Timothy wanted to give up and run away. Paul wrote this to be personal encouragement and hopefully equip Timothy for a tough job.

    It’s critical that, in a challenging season, we have the right friends backing us up, sisters in Christ. We need a friend like Paul to encourage and equip our mindset in Truth.

    The sinful environment of Ephesus was a difficult place to serve God.

  • Abigail Huckabee Wellinghurst

    Growing up, people always referred to my family as the “Hucklebees” instead of “Huckabees”. I still don’t know why it is so difficult for people to pronounce certain names but this made me laugh & I am glad I am not alone! Ha!
    Ps- The about the author section– #favorite.

  • Elsa Da Silva

    Im so happy that the law purpose is to reveal our failures. Without it we wouldn’t realise our need of God and be thankful for a Saviour like Christ.

  • Justine Humnick

    I am in a season of waiting and 1 Timothy 1:4 was a good reminder that God’s plan operates on faith. Trusting is hard in some seasons but God has promised he is faithful.

  • Meg Herlaar

    This is an incredible reminder and wake up call

  • Aleshia Kellman

    I love this comment

  • Ali Dupuis

    Seeking prayers for our family right now as we navigate through a difficult financial season.

  • Jess Rivera

    I am one to always stand for what Gods word says. This is a wonderful reminder and encouragement to always stay true to what God speaks to you and not to listen to what everyone else is saying and doing. Thank you❤️

  • May the church be known to stand for God’s truth!

  • Kristen LynnMothershead

    What a good word about always following the heritage of the gospel, and how important it is to teach and pass down every part of that heritage. ❤️

  • Rebekah James

    I love how Paul indicates that the overarching goal of his instruction is to gain the art of love by having a pure heart, sincere faith, and good conscience

    • Sarah Marr

      This really stood out to me as well, because so often in our defense of what we believe (something I think we should certainly stand up for!) we can get caught up in an “us” vs. “them” mentality which ignores the real reason we are defending what is right in the first place! If we prioritize love (for the Lord, his instruction, and for the people around us), then our hearts will be in the right place as we stand firm to the true teachings of The Word amidst the false teachings proclaimed by the world around us- hopefully drawing others in with our demonstration of love and faith!

  • Elizabeth Howard

    ❤️

  • Nicole Valdez

    As I grow my new faith, I love that Paul tells Timothy that the law isn’t for the righteous but those who are ungodly and sinful. Because we all sin and only through His word can we become Godly.

  • Emily DeSantis

    This is what j needed today. My soul has been aching for the Word to be in my life and a priority in my life.

  • This was exactly what God needed me to hear today. I have been struggling with this inner conflict about finding a permenant church home. I grew up Catholic and although I do admire their principles, I feel spiritually unfulfilled . My heart is pulling me to different churches and I just don’t know where to go.
    How do I know if this is God calling me to branch out or if the devil is trying to lead me astray? I pray that God can open my eyes and ears today to hear his voice throughout all of this uncertainty.

    • Nikki

      Yes look for a bible teaching church in your area … Satan would never lead you to learning more about Jesus through the scriptures while submitting you life to Him! (Jesus)

  • Olivia Fortner

    We must remember our lineage. This is so good.

  • Jessie Lamb

    “The aim of our charge is love…”

  • Sarah Schwanke

    Loved this! ♥️

  • Allison Joy

    At my church, I’m in an adult Sunday School class that goes into books really in-depth. Like to the point that, using Acts as an “intro,” we are 2 1/2 YEARS into a study on 1 & 2 Timothy, and are now on 1 Timothy 4. My Bible practically falls open to 1 Timothy now, so this should be a good supplement, and I’m sure we’ll pass my class up by this Sunday. :)

  • I am so thankful to SRT for these great bible studies. It has really got me digging deep in the word. Today’s writing on the scripture reading was so helpful and it helped me to see the direction of this bible study. I look forward to further reading of 1&2 Timothy and Titus. I can honestly say I have not studied these books of the bible but I am so glad do be doing so now.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Julie, we’re so glad that you’re reading along with us through this study. So grateful for you! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Such perfect timing for me…excited for this study.

  • I am so excited to begin this study and see how the Lord guides me towards a more mature faith and solid foundation in Him!

  • Pua Johnsonķ

    This reading couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. Lately, I’ve been struggling with debilitating mood swings. Something small turns into something bigger. It drains me, physically, emotionally and spiritually. But reading about how love is the foundation to living the way God intended for us ( for me) is really eye-opening. I think It stemed from my love of self. I always got to be first, I always got to be right, I always need to be loved and taken cared of. But me focusing all my attention on myself, leaves me with very little left to love on my husband, on my son, on my Heavenly Father, and others around me. Lord help me see past my self-interest and show me how to love like you, Lord. Amen!

  • Ashley Martin

    I’m also reading Ecclesiastes with one of my youth girls and read the first two chapters today. It had a similar theme today to this word. It seems like the Lord is really trying to speak to me about being intentional in what I’m doing and letting into my heart. So good.

  • Hollyn Durkin

    Loved this!

  • Ellie Uribe

    I truly need to get back in fellowship with other believers. It was a true blessing reading this. Thank you.

  • Sam Burnett

    I am excited for this new plan and to be reading alongside my SRT sisters! I would appreciate prayers at this time – me and my husband have just moved to a new area and my new job is very stressful. We are struggling to find a church to attend and I feel I have fallen away a bit. The stresses of my job and life are just taking over at the moment and I’m finding it hard to put my trust in Him. Praying that this new plan will help me get back on track.

    • Susan

      Praying for your situation, God knows it all, rely on Him.

    • Lindsey Flesch

      Sam, where are you moving to???

    • LeighAnn McLean

      I would love to pray for you during this series!!

    • Peggy Lester

      Praying for you, Sam!

    • Leslie VanNess

      Hi Sam sometimes it’s just 1step, 1inch at a time

    • Emily Bennett

      Praying for you Sam! I just recently moved from California to Tennessee, so I know how difficult it is to find a new church. Keep visiting new churches and ask God to lead you to a good one!

    • Emily DeSantis

      Sam I am praying for you! I am in a similar place of my life being completely changed. The stresses are overwhelming. But I loved what it said today in I Timothy 1:4 that God’s plan operates by faith. How easily I forget that because I so want the plan and security of what I know. I am praying for you, dear sister. May the Lord overwhelm you tonight with His peace and love.

    • Timberly Cabe

      Praying for you!

    • Mandy Smith

      With you. ❤️

    • Andrea Lewis

      Thank you for your vulnerability and willingness to share. That’s such a hard thing to do, but it’s through that sharing that God’s glory can be known. Continue to ask for help! Sending prayers!

  • Monica Davis

    Pray for me and my marriage. #rockyroad

  • Christina Currano

    Heather I’m praying for you and can also understand your pain. Just as I felt healing from my divorce I met someone who appeared to be a Godly man that wanted the same things I did. Unfortunately it was not what it seemed and it very much hurt my heart. In the midst of trying to recover from that I decided to do this reading plan. I’m so glad I did because these verses are about Gods grace, mercy, and what love should truly be. What a great message in such a painful time.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for sharing this Christina and we’re so sorry to hear that. We’re praying for you and are so glad that you’re here. -Margot, The SRT Team

    • Christie

      Christina,
      I didn’t read the prior message but something very similar happened to me (spouse’s affair, divorce, what I thought was a God-led relationship after that didn’t end well.) The pain and confusion are real, but so is the immense love and grace of the Father in Christ. I will be praying for you as well- thank you for being open and vulnerable in your comments; it encouraged my heart.

  • Sherree Hunsberger

    “Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5 is my prayer and goal as I seek Him through the scriptures.

    After such an amazing walk through the scriptures during LENT 2018, this is what I need to stay focused on HIM and HIS WORD. Thank you for SRT!

  • Lol I was about to pray and ask God for a man with “a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith” but quickly realized that I need those things more for myself than anyone else. Thank you Lord in advance for answering this prayer.

    • Kelly Chataine

      Wonderful!!!

    • Celine Brant

      Yes! I’m a young single mother and my desire is to find a Godly husband. But God has recently shown me that my desire should be on Him! I can’t expect a Godly husband if I am not yet the Godly wife he deserves.

      • Rhonda

        So true to remember! After a divorce, I prayed and would journal my desire to find a Godly man that would love me and make my world complete. God worked on me FIRST for more than a few years, and yes, it was lonely at times….but you wait on God’s timing. Here years later, with a great man by my side, coming up on 8 year marriage, God has answered all my prayers I had written down 15 years ago. I am truly blessed, and you will be too!

  • Britany lou

    How are we teaching others about our faith through our words and actions? This question is so incredible and something I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. Those around me do they see Jesus when I speak? Do they see Jesus in the way I hold myself?
    We may be the only part of Jesus that that person sees for the rest of their lives… Would Jesus be proud of me? Would he be honored to call me his? When I get to heaven will he say to me “WELL done good and faithful servant you loved like me, you shared the good news!”

  • Claire Gurley

    I love when he talks about how the Law is for the lost. It was given as a gift not a set of strict rules to follow. That’s the merciful God we serve

  • Katie Braun

    I was blown away by verse 5 & the description of love. I compared it with 2 John 1:6 & everyone’s favorite 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6. What an amazing definition of love that these three verses make up! So revealing of God’s character, but also reassuring to apply to dating relationships & what to look for in a partner. I’m in a new relationship (my first Christian one) & it’s overwhelming to experience the Father’s love through a man with strong faith. Lord, I’m humbled by your grace & the expression of your character than I’m experiencing in my relationship. Help me fully appreciate it & steward it. Give me spiritual eyes to see You in this season & experience your joy & promises. Help me have the strength to show your character in me, too. Amen!

    • PamC

      When I went to make further notes in my Bible on these verses I saw that I had put a sermon note on 1Cor 13 that says “these are actions not emotions.” I remember that sermon from our pastor. I would say it’s also true of these 3 verses. What a blessing!

  • I love the overarching themes. That the Old Testament laws is good, but it’s not a measuring stick for believers to compare or a list of relgious goals. That is is meant to make us aware of our sin, the depth of our need for God. David connects this need even before the coming of Christ : that the key to happiness is the focus on God, not us. That true love has self control, dedication of a pure heart, good intentions, and a sincere faith.

  • Penny O’Connell

    I’m praying for you, Heather.

  • Louanne Provonsha

    I want to focus this week on verse 5 – Pure Heart – Good Conscience- Sincere Faith. A tall order ……..God lead me and show me your ways.

  • Janie Cox

    “If you need wisdom, go to the source of all wisdom. If your “cheering squad” speaks truth from God’s Word, listen to what they have to say. If they can only offer their opinions or experiences, just go out for lunch and talk about the weather.”. I got this from ny devotional today and feel like it agrees

  • Churchmouse

    I don’t like much of anything that is fake. Fake news. Fake friends. Fake goods. I prefer honest journalism. Transparent people. Brand – name products, not knock – offs. I don’t mind reading fiction but I keep it in its place. I’m not going to make life decisions based on make-believe or fairy tales. But the Bible… it stands alone as Truth. It deserves a capital T. It is God’s Word. He cannot lie. He is not fake. His book is unique. It is honest and transparent. It is completely reliable. It is extremely personal. It speaks to my heart as if the Author knows me… BECAUSE the Author knows me. There is no better pursuit than reading His Word, reading TRUTH.

  • Heather Shores

    This study hit me hard. Beginning in 1 Tim v 5-7. I have been struggling with a break up and shards of bitterness from its aftermath. I’d like to have a clean heart motive for doing things again. I’m reminded to be small and quiet during this time to seek Him in scripture and answers in Scripture. Lord please break my heart for what breaks yours. Help my eyes to focus on you today. .

    • Abby

      Praying for you Heather!! Breakups are difficult…the only balm for broken hearts and broken dreams, is finding yourself Beloved by God and drawing close to Jesus. May this bittersweet truth bring you comfort.

    • Marci

      My heart is with you, going through something similar!! Lean into Gods word, praise him in times of trial.

    • Dawnelle Priest

      Praying for you during this difficult time.

    • Ashley Flores

      I’m praying for you as well Heather! It’s not easy.

    • Sheila C.

      I’m praying for you Heather. My fiancé just ended our engagement and I don’t even have a reason as to why. My goal is to just draw near to Him because I know He will NEVER let me down or break his promises. I hope you can find comfort in the arms of the One who loves you so deeply!

      • Laura

        Praying for you Sheila – how awful for you. This message is probably a bit late but I hope you’ve been truly comforted by God in your suffering and know that he feels it too. He will hold you fast! x

  • Sarah Best

    Gods laws and rules are for sinners. All sinners. We are to take care in teaching and raise up new believers in the truth. Not our truth but gods truth.

Further Reading...