When we are in Christ to instruct, we learn to teach. Learning is the vertical component of the cross; teaching is the horizontal. In order to learn, we must engage in the grace of Christ. Paul wrote: “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). There is no other place or person where we can receive the grace of God.
When we fully surrender our hearts, desires, and lives to Him, He becomes our Teacher; and His instruction includes a purpose. We learn in order to teach others. Paul continued: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2). We are to entrust the wisdom of Christ to others who will also be in Christ to instruct. As ministers, we were designed to learn to teach.
This will not come without opposition and challenges, so we must endure and empower. Paul warned: “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3). Endure means “to be tenacious,” like a warrior who battles for the advancement of Christ in the lives of others (see 2 Timothy 2:3-7). We are empowered with the resurrection of Christ and His unchained word so that we may empower others (see 2 Timothy 2:8-13).
First, ask yourself, “Who is my teacher?” Is Christ instructing you through a parent, grandparent, an older sibling, a coach, a professor, a friend, a life group leader, or a pastor? Do you even have a teacher? If not, pray to God and seek guidance. Survey your relationships for someone who could help teach about the heart and life of Christ. If you have not already done so, surrender your heart, desires, and life to Christ.
Second, ask, “Who is my student?” Are you intentionally teaching anyone about Christ? If so, pray about how to best help him or her to grow in wisdom. Seek the Bible’s passages that are most suitable for the needs of your disciple. If you don’t have a student, then pray to God and ask for one. Make your muscles move with your prayers by examining your relationships for someone who could benefit from your investment. As you study your personal contacts, pray behind their backs in order to discover God’s prompting.