How Do We Respond to a Growing World of Deception?

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      Run in fear or walk in victory? Deception often stems from a small, yet powerfully persuasive group, attempting to portray a majority voice through a veiled social media platform. How do we as Christian parents and educators respond? The answer is found in 2 Timothy, a letter from apostle Paul to his beloved young Timothy.

Similar to a father nearing death, Paul pours out invaluable detailed instruction, warnings, and assuring truths for Timothy to stand firm in Christ. From an early age, parents need to show and teach the love of Christ in the home. By teaching our children His Holy Word, we are equipping them in the future to discern between truth and deception; half-truths twisted by lies. Following Paul’s example, may we as parents and educators equip, teach, and encourage our young with these same truths:

GOD PREPARES US:

•  God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-    discipline (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)
•  God saved us and called us to live a holy life” (2 Timothy 1:9 NLT)
•  God’s Holy Spirit lives inside of each believer to guard His truth (2 Timothy 1:14)
•  God truth stands firm … (2 Timothy 2:19a)
•  God helps us to be pure and to draw toward those who love God (2 Timothy 2:21-22)

GOD EXPECTS US:

• To not be ashamed in telling others about Christ (2 Timothy 1:8)
• To turn away from evil (2 Timothy 2:19b)
• To work hard in living honorable lives and correctly explain His truth                         (2 Timothy   2:15)
• To not gossip that leads to hurtful behavior (2 Timothy 2:16)
• To pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace and enjoy the     companionship of other believers (2 Timothy 2:22b)
• To be patient and gentle in sharing His truth (2 Timothy 2:24-25)

GOD FORETELLS US:

• In the last days, there will be very difficult times (2 Timothy 3:1 NLT)
• Growing disrespect toward God, disobedience toward parents, greediness, selfishness, arrogance, and ingratitude. “They will consider nothing sacred.” (2 Timothy 3:2 NLT)
• Unloving and unforgiving, slandering others with no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. (2 Timothy 3:3 NLT)
They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. (2 Timothy 3:4)
They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! (2 Timothy 3:5 NLT)
• Manipulate the vulnerable who are burdened with guilt and controlled by sin with a counterfeit faith. (2 Timothy 3:6-8)
• Expect persecution (2 Timothy 3:11-12)
• More will choose to not listen and reject the truth to justify sinful lives (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

WALKING IN VICTORY REQUIRES:

• Reading and studying HIs teachings that give wisdom (2 Timothy 3:14-15)
• Obeying His Holy Word that teaches and corrects (2 Timothy 3:16)
• Doing His good work (2 Timothy 3:17)
• Teaching the Word of God, patiently correcting, rebuking, and encouraging with good instruction (2 Timothy 4:2)
• Keeping a clear mind and not fearing to carry out His work wholeheartedly              (2 Timothy 4:5)
• Fighting the good fight and finishing the race by remaining faithful to God (2 Timothy 4:7)

WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO:

• Jesus will give the faithful a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8)
• Jesus will return and judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 3:9; 4:1)
• Our Lord will stand with us and give us strength to teach His truth by delivering us from every evil attack (2 Timothy 4:17)
• God will bring us home safely into His heavenly kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen. (2 Timothy 4:18)

This article was authored by Susan Dyer Layer, a Christian counselor and founder of Christian Peace Keepers. She may be reached at: Susan@Christianpeacekeepers.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/susandyerlayer.