Specific Text: Titus 2:1-15
A couple of words really jump out of Paul's instructions to Titus. The first is the responsibility the church has to constantly teach. We tend to think of teaching as being an introductory activity. We're in the middle of graduation season, where we celebrate the fact that the teaching has been accomplished and the student can be done with the classroom and move on to whatever is next.
This chapter reminds us there's no graduation ceremony for church members. It makes sense that we are instructed to teach the young men and women, but the young people are only a small fraction of who gets mentioned here. Even though slaves (just regular everyday employees in that day & age... even doctors and professors were slaves) were out working everyday in the world, they still needed to be taught by the church. Even the old men and women still needed to be taught and reminded of God's truth. In the church, the learning never stops. There's always something new to learn about who God is, what He's done, and what He is doing.
The other phrase that jumps out isn't as evident in English. It's called a ἵνα (hina) clause, and we often translate it as 'so that' (v 5, 8, 10. It also occurs 3 other times in this short chapter). You've probably joined the chorus before, wailing 'why on earth do we need to learn this stuff... we'll never use it!' We don't like learning things where it doesn't seem like there is any practical application.
But there's always practical application for what you are taught in the church. Each one of the eight commands to 'teach' in this chapter are followed by a hina clause. The pattern goes like this:
Teach (old men & women / young women & men / slaves)... so that
they can be a benefit to themselves & others by doing...
In other words, the learning you do in the church is never pointless, rather God wants to teach you so that you can you can do good things, both in the church and in the world.
It may often seem that you don't need any more teaching in your life, or that the teaching you are receiving at church is dull and that you have heard it all before, but stick with it. Don't ever stop being taught, so that God can continue to shape you more and more into the image of Christ and continue to use you more and more to glorify Him in all you do.
Prayer For The Day: Dear Father, thank you for my teachers, at home, at school, and at church. Please increase my curiosity and desire to learn more and more about you so that I might be an effective person in my church and community. Amen.