Holy Spirit Who? “Our Teacher”
Holy Spirit Who?
June 07, 2015
To teach is a verb meaning to instruct, educate, edify, coach, inform, enlighten, inspire, remind. It’s a big job. Good thing that Jesus promised us, his followers, the ultimate teacher of all time…
HOLY SPIRIT WHO?: Our Teacher
June 6 & 7, 2015
Sermon Series: Holly Spirit Who?
Pastor Rosario Picardo
I wonder how Oliver’s going to do with that birdhouse. I bet he could use a good teacher.
As a child, the best two days out of the year for me were the first day of school when the teacher didn’t give us homework, and the last day of school where you would be off the entire summer.
Kids across America are celebrating being out of the classroom. Do you remember those days? As special as those moments were, the memories I have from my school days weren’t necessarily the first and last days of school, but they were the friendships I made, the trouble I got into and the teachers who invested in me, which leads me to one my favorite teachers in my entire school career, my second grade teacher, Mrs. Mallory.
Mrs. Mallory was probably in her late 60s, and I was one of her most difficult students. I got in fights on the playground, wouldn’t sit still in class, struggled academically and really didn’t want to be in school. My parents didn’t speak much English, and only had a third grade education themselves from growing up in Sicily, so I didn’t have much help with homework. I wasn’t doing well in school at all, so I acted out. She could have written me off, but instead, she took the time to discipline me, mentor me, and even meet with my family in my home because she cared about me as her student. It’s been nearly 30 years and I will never forget the influence she had on my life. That was the year I actually began to enjoy school, and with her extra help after school, I started understanding things and learning. Without Mrs. Mallory there may not be a Pastor Roz.
Do you remember your favorite teacher? What made that person your favorite? There are many qualities to why someone is our favorite teacher. Teaching these days is not easy, and when I ask teachers what the most rewarding part of their job is they often say when kids actually learn and start to believe in themselves. The hope is that it continues long after they leave the classroom and continues for their rest of their lives as life long learners. As human beings we never stop learning. In the Christian life as we are students of the best teacher, The Holy Spirit, which is what Jesus is communicating to his disciples in John 14:26:
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
It’s the Holy Spirit. When I wish for someone like my amazing second grade teacher Ms. Mallory… when Jesus’ disciples were scared to lose Jesus as their rabbi, their teacher… when you wish you knew God’s will for your life… it’s the Holy Spirit. God sends us as the best teacher we could ever have. Could you use an awesome, caring teacher in your life, even those of you who graduated more than a couple years ago?
Pastor Mike kicked off our series by talking about the power of the Holy Spirit that is given to every believer and lives inside of us and continually needs to be stirred within us. Pastor Chris Freeman spoke last week on how The Holy Spirit speaks to us, and how it’s seldom in a loud voice but through a whisper and even a nudge. Today, we want to talk about the role of the Holy Spirit as not just the one who empowers us and calls us, but also the one who is our teacher.
As the ultimate teacher, the Holy Spirit teaches us as believers in a number of ways, and this morning we want to look especially at 3 ways.
The first way is that as a teacher, the Holy Spirit inspires us.
When you think about it, any good teacher inspires their students like Mrs. Mallory did for me.
When the devil gives you an idea, we call that temptation. When Holy Spirit gives you an idea, we call that inspiration. They are both suggesting ideas, and we have a choice of which to listen.
The Holy Spirit is trying to talk to us all the time. Sometimes, we just don't recognize it. There is a myth that says God only speaks to the superstars, the special saints, TD Jakes, Billy Grahams, Joyce Meyer and Mike Slaughter. They get the direct word from God. But that’s not true. God doesn’t have his favorite child and only speak to him or her. God speaks to all his kids because God loves them all. We’ve got to tune into him. As a teacher, The Holy Spirit says to us, “I want to instruct you, guide you and advise you in the best pathway of life.”
Job 33:14-16 says, "For God speaks again and again in dreams and visions causing them to change their minds and keeping them from pride and keeping them from falling into some trap."
Has God ever changed your mind? He's changed my mind many times. He gives us inspirations, ideas, thoughts. I depend on this all the time when I'm preparing messages. When people say they feel that I'm speaking directly to them, it's because as I prepare each week I say, "God, you know who's going to be there. What do you want to say to them?" I've not been reading your mail but the Holy Spirit has. I simply say, “God, what do you want to say to your people?” The inspiration happens but never on my timetable or in the places I’m expecting. It could be when I’m mowing the lawn or getting ready to leave the house in the morning but it happens when I’m open to it.
I see the Holy Spirit as teacher inspiring some of you. When a great teacher inspires us, we dream and explore who we are called to be. When we are inspired, it might mean stepping out of our comfort zone and doing something new. That’s what our Fort McKinley campus has done with Soul Food Café.
The Holy Spirit has inspired us to create and do. The Holy Spirit has given us the toolbox with the tools in it just like Oliver had. But like Oliver, we can choose to pick up the tools and use them, or try to do things our own way—the hard way. We’ve got to stop and use the tools we are given. We’ve got to be still with God and invite the Holy Spirit as our teacher to inspire us.
The Holy Spirit as a teacher not only inspires us, but the second thing our amazing teacher does is instruct us.
James 1:5-6 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
Raise your hand if you are sitting next to someone who lacks wisdom?
Coach K—The greatest threat to future success is current success.
This is what I call the faith factor. You have to believe God's going to hear. You have to believe God's going to answer. You have to trust God. God always works in our lives according to faith. God rewards those who trust Him, who believe Him.
Sometimes we don't get guidance because we don't really believe God wants to tell us the right thing. Instruction is only as good as the person giving it. Instruction is only helpful if you trust the person who gave it to you. You can always trust God for the right instruction because The Holy Spirit is never wrong. When God tells you, you can depend on it. We must trust God; we must expect God to answer. When we really expect instruction then we’re really going to get it.
We also need to read for instruction and seek it out. The Holy Spirit wants to instruct us but we need to read God’s word, pray and be open to it.
I have to admit it. I’m the worst person at reading instructions because I’m so impatient. Can any of you relate? I’m like Oliver in our skit. I’d rather try to put something together without instructions but when I do it usually reflects it. Reading the instructions actually would save me more time but at the moment we don’t want to because we want to get right into a project because we think we know better. The problems in our lives are no different. We want to go in and fix things without taking the time to “read the instructions” because praying and even reading may seem at the time like we are not being productive in the natural. However, the Spirit moves and directs us when we are taking the time to read the instructions in ways we can’t see immediately. That’s what Jesus said about the Spirit.
John 3:8 says, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
We need the Spirit’s instruction on a regular basis.
Psalms 119:19 says, "I'm a pilgrim here on earth and I need a map and your commands are my chart and guide." The Bible is our guiding book. We’ve got to stay in it on a regular basis. Some of us are waiting for God's will and we want God to write it in the sky. God’s already written it in a book. We call this book “the B-I-B-L-E. Yes that’s the book for me.” Kids sing the song, but then as adults, we leave our bibles on the shelf. But friends, the Bible has no shelf life. It doesn't do us any good sitting there.
Reading your bible is like calling back to “mission control” to make sure we are still on course. During the Apollo space launches to the moon, they were on course less than one percent of the time. They constantly had to call back to Mission Control to get mid-course corrections. Because of the way the earth turns and the moon turns they were constantly getting off course. Can you imagine only calling back to Mission Control once a week? You'd get way off course. For some of us, the only time we get biblical input is on Sunday morning, and we get off course a lot quicker than that. We need it on a daily basis. We need to set aside time on a daily basis to check in with God. We give him our undivided attention, even if it's only 5 minutes, but do it daily. We can get way off course. The Bible is the guidebook but we need it more often than just on Sunday.
The amazing thing is when you read through the Bible on a regular basis, The Holy Spirit always knows what you're going to need. Have you ever read a verse and know that's just what you need that day? How did God time that? I don't know, but He does. And he does it over and over again.
So the Holy Spirit as our teacher inspires us. He instructs us, and the third thing the Holy Spirit as our teacher does is reminds us.
Jesus said, “The Holy Spirit will teach you and remind you of everything I have said.”
God has told us most of what we already need in life. Just like Oliver in our skit was trying to use his brain to figure out how to build a birdhouse, but he’d never read the instructions. He couldn’t begin to remember the instructions never having read them in the first place. God's will is found in God's word. The more I read God's word, the better I can understand God's will for my life.
God wants me to understand his word. It's there and I try to read it every day. But there is a problem with that. That is retention. We just don't remember everything we read. The U.S. Air Force did a survey and discovered that we lose between 90-95% of what we read and hear in about 72 hours. That is a statistic that depresses pastors. You hear all these pearls of wisdom on Saturday and Sunday and by Wednesday you've forgotten it all. That's why taking notes helps.
Fortunately, a part of the Holy Spirit's job is to REMIND us what's in the Bible.
Have you ever been just going along and all of a sudden a verse that you needed just popped into your mind? When you study the Bible, you begin to fill your mind with it. There is nothing supernatural about this; it's like breathing. I'll be talking on the phone and think, "What am I supposed to say to this guy?" and a verse will come to mind. I'll be in a situation, a crisis, and think, "What in the world can I say to this person to encourage them?" They don't need to hear from me; they need to hear what God says to them. I want to encourage those of us who are new believers, get in God's word on a regular basis. For some of us this never happens. No verses come to your mind. Why? There's nothing to pop in? You've got to get it in there first so the Holy Spirit can remind you of it. Then consider trying to actually memorize some key scripture verses that encourage and inspire you. We write off scripture memorization as hard or antiquated, but the more we repeat it to ourselves, the more quickly it comes to mind in crisis. Also, the more we know the word of God the easier we'll know the will of God.
The Holy Spirit equips us to use the tools that are in our toolbox, and follow the instructions of God’s word. He develops our skills.
The Holy Spirit is the best teacher we can ever have and we have access to this teacher anytime we want. The Holy Spirit doesn’t care how smart we are, how many books we have written or the amount of languages we speak. The Holy Spirit as teacher is looking for folks who are humble enough to ask for help. The teacher is ready to remind us, inspire us and instruct us, if we are willing to learn.
The early Christians didn’t have everything figured out on their own, especially in the book of Acts when the Church was being formed before their very eyes. They didn’t know what they were doing on their own but it was the Holy Spirit who was teaching them.
We see an example of this in Acts 4:13 where it says “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.”
Did you catch that? They were uneducated and untrained but people recognized that they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit wants to teach us who if we are willing to learn as we get reminded, inspired, and instructed!
My hope for you is that you will allow the Holy Spirit to be your teacher each and every day of your life. If you want that too and don’t know where to start, I invite you to pray with me this prayer in just a moment. Then I encourage you to take the scripture on the back of your message notes and take the time to read one passage each day this week. Then, try to learn one verse of scripture this week. It could be one of the scriptures on the back of these notes or a favorite verse you’d love to commit to memory. Let the Holy Spirit be your teacher.
Let us pray this prayer together:
“Remind me Spirit of truth. Inspire me Spirit of knowledge. Instruct me Spirit of wisdom.”
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