Tuesday Teaching Tips: “How to include God” – VIDEO

Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Are our lessons really about God? It’s easy to emphasise practical application at the expense of a focus on God.

I share two practical ways to make sure we keep God the main thing.

What are your ideas to keep God front and centre as we speak? Please leave a comment below.

Many thanks,

Malcolm

Tuesday Teaching Tips: “How to include God” – AUDIO

Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Are our lessons really about God? It’s easy to emphasise practical application at the expense of a focus on God.

I share two practical ways to make sure we keep God the main thing.

What are your ideas to keep God front and centre as we speak? Please leave a comment below.

Many thanks,

Malcolm


How can we live hopefully in a world of sadness? Jesus gives us insight as he talks about the resurrected life in an age where we cannot die, we are like the angels, and we are children of God.

We learn the value of praying hopefully – praying about:

1. Heaven

2. Others

3. Patiently

4. Expectantly

The Sunday Sample, June 18 2017

Reflections on corporate worship

Dr Ben Dannatt sharing about the Lord’s Supper

Date: Sunday 18th June

Location: Watford and Bracknell

Special occasion: Fathers’ Day

“There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”” (Deuteronomy 1:31 NIV11)

It was a special joy celebrating fathers’ day with all the dads in the Watford and Thames Valley churches. We’re lucky if we have a good relationship with our earthly fathers, for not all do, but we are especially fortunate to have a loving heavenly father who gives us the perfect parenting no human father can provide.

Note to self: we could have made more of this theme in the Watford service. The handing out of chocolate byt the chidlren to their fathers in Bracknell delighted both dads and their kids!

Speakers

Mike Desouza was our visiting speaker in Bracknell. It’s always good to see and hear from an old friend. He did not disappoint. One of Mike’s signature speaking strengths is his use of illustrations and media. Video clips and powerful images gave his message extra punch.

Note to self: add video into my lessons more often

Music Worship

The heat in both locations meant the physical enthusiasm was a little lacking – especially in Watford where we had an oven of a hall in which to meet! The weather was stiffling.

Note to self: bring fans when it’s hot. Open all windows etc as soon as arriving at the venue.

Other Thoughts

Last week

  1. Agree who is leading which song in advance – done
  2. Use scripture to help us focus – not applied

Focus for next Sunday

  1. Continue to focus on agreeing who is leading which song in advance (Lower Earley)
  2. Prioritise ventilation

Please comment on what you’re doing locally with your services. Share ideas with us so we can grow and please God.

Let me know your ideas. You can leave a comment below.

God bless,

Malcolm

PRAYERS THAT MOVE GOD TO ACT – Part 1

How to Pray So God Hears and Acts

One way you can develop a healthy prayer life is to pray in such a way as to be confident God will act.


Filip Mroz

Charles Spurgeon said, “Prayer is the slender nerve that moveth the muscles of omnipotence.”[1]. Nerves are so tiny, aren’t they? I’ve got some damaged nerves from knee surgery. Hit me on my left knee in just the right place and I won’t feel a thing. I don’t think I’ve ever physically seen a nerve, but the movement of my muscles depends on them. Spurgeon saw prayers as the nerves that move God’s mighty muscles. I like that picture. It reminds me of Psalm 89.9-13,

“You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them. You crushed Rahab like one of the slain; with your strong arm you scattered your enemies. The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. You created the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name. Your arm is endued with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.”

My prayers often feel more like invisible, fragile nerves than mighty muscles or a strong arm. But I guess that’s the point. I’m the nerve – God is the muscle. I don’t need to worry about how ‘powerful’ my prayer is. My faith should be in God’s ‘muscles’, not my own.

So, how are our ‘nerves’ and God’s ‘muscles’ working? How should we pray? What should we expect? Let me offer the first of three thoughts …

Prayer is satisfying when God is who we are seeking

Did your mother or father ever accuse you of loving them only for their money? God wants a relationship with us, and we need a relationship with him more than any ‘gift’ he has for us. John Piper is quoted as saying, “God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.”[2]. Why not spend the first part of your prayer time communing with God – before asking him for anything.

Discipline your mind and heart to speak only to Him of who He is and what it is about Him that impresses you the most. Pray through this passage:

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalms 27:4 NIV11)

Follow up by meditating on these verses:

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” (Psalms 63:1–4 NIV11)

We’ll look at two further points in upcoming articles.

Questions: Have you been more focused on your requests and problems than God Himself? What will help you get your priorities straight? What will you do differently in your next prayer time? Leave a comment in the comment section.

Your brother,

Malcolm

 

Would you like some prayer coaching? Contact me by clicking here.

Get coached on Coach.me

[1] Twelve Sermons on prayer, Baker Books, p 31

[2] Quoted in The Joy of Fearing God, J Bridges, Monarch, p 254

 

 

“Tuesday Teaching Tips: “How to add mystery to your lessons””
by Malcolm Cox

Tuesday Teaching Tips
13 June 2017


My friend Leon preached a super sermon on, Luke 20.20-26, and included some mystery.

His points were: T.A.X.

Treachery; Authenticity & X…..?

1. Significance: Hold attention, but not too much information

2. Jesus: Luke 15:11 “There was a man who had two sons.”

3. Issues: Must relate to core idea & beware being manipulated

4. How? Short & applicable

#preaching, #teaching, #wittertainment, #mystery, #mccx

Tuesday Teaching Tips: “How to add mystery to your lessons” – VIDEO

Taking a lesson from Leon

 

My friend Leon preached a super sermon on, Luke 20.20-26, and included some mystery.
His points were: T.A.X.
Treachery; Authenticity & X…..?
1. Significance: Hold attention, but not too much information
2. Jesus: Luke 15:11 “There was a man who had two sons.”
3. Issues: Must relate to core idea & beware being manipulated
4. How? Short & applicable

The Sunday Sample, 11 June 2017

Reflections on Corporate Worship


Date: Sunday 11th June

Location: Watford and Lower Earley

Special occasion: n/a

I just love the look on this young lad’s face! The astonished joy etched on the face of Enitoni was a sight to behold. He is looking at his candle-strewn birthday cake (just out of shot). We had a good time in Watford in the morning, and likewise in Lower Earley in the afternoon. Here follow a few reflections on both services.

Speakers

Both services featured inexperienced speakers. It added to the atmosphere of the occasions in a very positive way since the congregations were willing the speakers to do well, and the speakers themselves brought fresh perspectives. Leon preached his first sermon (highly recommended viewing/listening – check the Watford church of Christ podcast and YouTube channels). It will not be his last. Michael shared his first communion talk since being restored two years ago. Wale preached his second ever sermon in the UK.

Note to self: don’t be afraid to ask people to speak even if they are inexperienced.

Music Worship

The song services went well in both places. The opening song was preceded by the scripture which inspired the song – which helped connect the spiritual point with our hearts and minds. I would say it helped the focus of the worship. The communion song in Lower Earley was led without a leader in a central position. I sense this helped people reflect on the words more than usual.

Note to self: agree who is leading which song in advance. 

Other Thoughts

Focus for next Sunday

  1. Agree who is leading which song in advance (Bracknell)
  2. Use scripture to help us focus

Please comment on what you’re doing locally with your services. Share ideas with us so we can grow and please God.

Let me know your ideas. You can leave a message here, or send me an email: mccx@mac.com.

God bless,

Malcolm

“Orchestras tune up before a concert, not afterwards, and so, whoever we are, we need first thing each day to find a time and space of quiet and solitude and allow God to quietly repair us, as well as to access our own capacity for self-healing.”

Shaun Lambert
A Book of Sparks (Watford: Instant Apostle, 2014), 90

“Prayer was God’s idea. He created it for people who are weakened by sin, fickle in their commitment, at times overwhelmed by doubt, often discouraged and bewildered, and nearly always fretting about life.”

Ronald Dunn
Don't just stand there ... pray something (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 17