Day 1

Teach Truth in Love

from the 1 & 2 Timothy reading plan

1 Timothy 1:1-11, Deuteronomy 6:1-8, Romans 10:1-13

BY Jessica Lamb

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 younger man 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” (1Timothy 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 (1John 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. 

Post Comments (141)

141 thoughts on "Teach Truth in Love"

  1. Jennifer Stewart says:


  2. Julia Brown says:

    Brenna, I don’t know if you will ever see this but I am so glad to hear that you are excited to teach your son about Jesus and his heritage of faith. So many parents outsource the gift of telling their children the amazing things of God, allowing their Sunday school teachers the huge thrill of leading them to Jesus, which in my mind is not only so sad but also goes far from what God intended for the family. Talk about God regularly, ready the Bible to your son, even now in your belly! Read your scripture reading to him! Once he hits one or two you could switch to a children’s bible but never stop reading the whole Bible to him. Sing praises to God together. Pray all the time. You are going to be an amazing mom, and congrats on your son! He is so blessed to be born into a loving Christ following family ❤️

  3. Julia Brown says:

    I am so happy to hear this! I am a mom of

  4. Amber Lyman says:


  5. Sydney Smith says:

    I pregnant with my first child (a boy!) and loved how this study mentioned that part of our ministry is passing down the teachings of the Bible to future generations. I can’t wait to teach my son about Jesus!

  6. Joy Baba says:


  7. Marilyn Soto says:

    His Love is like no other.

  8. Marilyn Soto says:

    Amen. Grateful

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