Be-Attitudes for Teachers: A Devotional for Sunday School & Other Bible Teachers

Be Filled With the Holy Spirit

Your life teaches! That is an undeniable fact. The question is, "what does your life teach?" You are either underscoring the Bible truths you have verbalized or you are negating them.

To consistently model truth, you need to be living under the control of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:15 says that it is when you live by the Spirit that "you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." The fruit of the Spirit is "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23). These Christ-like characteristics reinforce truth.

For example, if you are impatient or unkind with the troublemaker in your class, you undermine your teaching about the love of God. If you are walking in the Spirit, however, you will not lose control with that student. Instead, you will be patient and kind and reinforce the truth.
If you are having a bad day and come into class complaining and griping about all that's wrong in your life, you counteract your teaching about the power of God to live victoriously. If you are filled with the Spirit, however, you will "sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God for everything" (Eph. 5:19). You will express the joy of the Lord regardless of your circumstances.
Let's say you want your students to be growing in the Lord, to be consistent in their walk, and to be real but your own spiritual life is stagnant and inconsistent. Why should your students listen to you?

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is simply letting Him have control. Ephesians 5:18 compares it to being under the influence of alcohol. When you are drunk you have consumed so much alcohol that the substance affects you, removing inhibitions and causing you to do things you would not normally do. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you have submitted yourself so much to the Spirit that He affects you, making you Christ-like, something you would not be by nature. It is no longer you, but Christ in you, who controls the details of your life.

Begin by confessing your sin (1 Jn. 1:9).
Surrender your life to His control (Rom. 12:1-2).
By faith claim what He has promised to be yours (1 Jn. 5:14-15).

The only way you will live a Spirit-directed life is by continued, complete trust in Him. You cannot make yourself into a testimony for Christ. The moment you try, you hop onto the throne of your life as the one in charge. The Spirit-filled life is about being controlled by Him. If living in the fullness of the Spirit was dependent on you, self would be at the center of it. The whole purpose of being Spirit-filled, however, is that you become Christ-like. It is then that your life teaches what it ought to teach.

For more about relying on the Holy Spirit, order The Holy Spirit and My Teaching Devotional.


For Teachers: Examine yourself. What is exemplified in your life? --the fruit of the Spirit or the work of the flesh? --the newness of life in Christ or traces of that old sin nature? --godly standards or worldly compromise? Spend a significant amount of time in prayer. Discuss with the Lord who is in control.

For Leaders: As your teachers need to model a consistent Christ-likeness before their students, so you need to be real before your staff. Apply this teaching to your own life and follow the above suggestion for teachers.

For Group Use: On the board make two columns titled "Positive" and "Negative." Use Galatians 5:22-26 and Colossians 3:12-14 to make a list of positive qualities. Use Galatians 5:19-21 and Colossians 3:5-9 to make a list of negative traits. Discuss how both the positive and negative characteristics can be evidenced through their words, actions, and/or attitudes, as teachers. Get specific illustrations. State that the way to avoid the negative and exemplify the positive is to be filled by the Spirit. From there go into the content of this devotional.

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(Last updated 4/01/17)

Benefit from more of these devotionals for Bible Teachers:

Be-Attitudes for Teachers
for Teachers