TEACH AND BE TAUGHT: Remember the context of these letters we've been reading to Pastor Timothy and Pastor Titus. These men did not have the benefit of being able to attend seminary or have access to hundreds of inspirational books and videos published every year on how to do this or that in the church, so Paul wrote them these letters to give them a crash course. Chapter two makes clear a big part of the job: teach. Teach the older men (v2), older women (v3), the young men (v7) and even the slaves (v9) (remember, most people were slaves in that day & age). Pastor Titus will be able to do this because he himself has been taught by grace to say no to the world and instead live a godly life (v11-12).
You may not be a pastor or elder, but this same principle applies to you as well. As you are taught by grace, you have a responsibility to be teaching all those you are in relationship with.
WAITING- EVERYBODY'S FAVORITE ACTIVITY (NOT): The older we get, the harder it can be to wait. Kids are actually pretty good at it, because they have to wait so often. They wait for recess, for summer vacation, and anticipate what they will be someday as they wait to grow up. Waiting is at the heart of the lifestyle Paul commends to Pastor Titus:
... live godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope = the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (v12-13).
Come to think of it, kids are great models for both of the disciplines presented today: they are eager to be taught and learn new things (although not always in the classroom), and they know what it means to live life to the fullest while they wait. How can you be more like a kid in these areas?
WHICH IS IT? Did you catch the massive theological statement there at the end of v13 (the pull quote in the paragraph above)? Maybe you didn't, depending on the translation you were reading:
NIV: the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ;
ESV: the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ;
KJV: the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
At first glance, these three renderings do not look all that different. The King James makes it look like both our great God and our Savior Jesus Christ will appear, as in two distinct members of the Trinity. The NIV places a comma after Savior, which makes Jesus both God and Savior. The ESV can be read either way, that both God the Father and Jesus the Savior are being referred to, or that Jesus is both.
For lots of grammatical reasons that I won't bore you with, the NIV got it right. Jesus is not only our Savior, but He's also our God. All of our English translations are good and trustworthy, but find a tool like BibleGateway or other online Bible that makes it easy to read multiple translations at once so that you don't miss little nuances like this that make a big impact.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (v13)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for strength to say no to ungodliness and to live a godly life while you wait (v12)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: