Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 91: “Jettison the Jargon”

If you confuse you lose

What’s the danger with jargon?

As someone said, “If we confuse we lose.”

We talk this week about the problems with jargon and some common pitfalls to avoid.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

Thanks again for watching. Have a terrific Tuesday, and a wonderful week.

God bless,

Malcolm

Episode 17, Sunday Sample, “Freshen up an old song”

Reflections on corporate worship

Is your congregation switching off when you lead an oldy-but-a-goody? Here’s one way to freshen up a song we want to keep. It’s all here in today’s Sunday Sample.

Here’s the file mentioned in the recording; New Jerusalem Vocal Parts

Please leave a comment or a question.

God bless, Malcolm

“Would you like some mercy?” Hebrews Chapter 4

Hebrews series 2018

Would you like some mercy? Jesus has plenty on offer. We dive in to Hebrews 4 to investigate the obstacles and openings to the mercy of God.

Please leave a comment with your own thoughts, or post a question.

God bless, Malcolm

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Heb 13.20-21

“Who are you looking up to?”, Hebrews Chapter 3

Hebrews Series 2018

We dive in to Hebrews 3 seeking a way to fix our thoughts on Jesus.

Please leave a comment with your own thoughts, or post a question.

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Heb 13.20-21

“How to Deal with Drifting”, Hebrews Chapter 2

Hebrews series 2018, class 3

What’s the big deal with drifting? The writer to the Hebrews offers a stern warning about its dangers in chapter 2 of the Epistle.

Please leave a comment with your own thoughts, or post a question. “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Heb 13.20-21

“How to avoid the danger of drifting”

Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 20

Drifting is dangerous. Ask anyone caught in a riptide. But what about spiritual drifting? How dangerous is it? What are the signs?

Drifting and Driving

Not long before Christmas my father drove home from church. He is a priest and, having finished the service, set off home for lunch. Rounding a bend on the narrow Kent country lane, he was startled to see a car coming towards him on his side of the road.
 
He took evasive action, pulling to the left as far as he could. But his Skoda was struck by the Land Rover Discovery. It was not a contest between equals. Fortunately, my father was not injured, but the car was seriously damaged. The drifting driver turned out to be a member of the church and took full responsibility. They could hardly lie to the priest!
December’s drifting driver damaged only a car. But what of spiritual drifting? What damage does it do?
 

Warning from Hebrews

The writer to the Hebrews has drifting on his mind. He wrote:
 
“We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” (Hebrews 2:1 NIV11)
What kind of ‘drifting’ did he have in mind? The word is, ‘παραρρέω’ (pararreo). In this context, it means to gradually give up one’s belief in the truth. In other contexts, it describes a boat drifting away, or a ring slipping off a finger, or water leaking out of a damaged jar.
 

Drifting Diagnosis

One key to dealing with drifting is to be self-aware of your symptoms. When I taught on this passage recently I asked the group if they knew what their signs were? They said,
  • “When I try to control everything”
  • “When I get frustrated.”
  • “When I stop reading my Bible.”
  • “When I avoid people.”

Are any of those familiar? Some of my own signs are:

  • Not answering the phone when it rings
  • Getting inappropriately angry over trivial things
  • Reading the Bible but not feeling it’s message in my heart
Rudie summed it up best when he said, “When I find myself reverting to type.” By which he meant his unregenerate nature. Do you know your symptoms?
 

Drifting Defences

What are our best defences to the drifting disease? The ones which help the most will depend on you as an individual. However, these will make a difference to all of us at one time or another.
  1. Listen to GodHebrews 3.7, 15Read the Bible, but don’t stop there. Pause before leaving. Ask yourself the question, “What was relevant to me from this passage today?” The better question might be to ask God directly, “What are you teaching me today, Father?”
  2. Listen to FriendsHebrews 3.12-13 (Prov. 27.6; Gal 4.16; Eph 4.15). We need friends who care. They have insight we do not. They see us from a different angle. Listen to your friends, and pray for the strength to accept the truth they offer.
  3. Listen to YouJames 3.14; 4.8. We are responsible for what is in our hearts. A lot of it is good, but not everything. It’s true that just because we have a clear conscience does not mean we are pure of heart (1 Cor 4.4), which is why we need 1 and 2 above. But you have a conscience for a reason. Listen to it. What is it saying? Guard your own heart by being honest with God and other people.

Conclusion

Drifting is inevitable. But its duration is controlled by you. The drift distance is decided by you. With God’s help and the love of friends, we can course-correct before we’ve drifted too far.
 

Question

What do you do to deal with drifting? What suggestions do you have to help me and others? What questions come to your mind about the how and why of drifting?
 
Please leave a comment here so that we can all learn from one another. We learn best when we learn in community.
 
I hope you have a wonderful week of quality quiet times.
 
God bless, Malcolm
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“What is the difference between an anecdote and a story?”

Tuesday Teaching Tips: Episode 90

We are here to think about the difference between an anecdote and a story, and which are best in what circumstances. We look at two examples from Jesus in Luke’s Gospel.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

Leave a comment below.

Thanks again for watching. Have a terrific Tuesday, and a wonderful week.

God bless,

Malcolm

“What does the New Testament teach us about preaching?” Part 4

Tuesday Teaching Tips: Episode 89

The Inspiring Example of Jesus, Mark 6

    1. Teaching that amazes causes a reactionMark 6:2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.” “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?
      1. Not teaching to create a reaction
      2. But teaching that causes a reaction
      3. Draw out implications and applications 
    2. Teaching that inspires others to teach Mark 6:6 Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village….. Mark 6:30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.
      1. Others active
      2. Draw even more people to Jesus
    3. Teaching when it is inconvenient to teachMark 6:34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
      1. Needed quiet / rest
      2. Compassion not exhausted by effort of teaching
      3. See the people, not just the page

NT references to ‘didasko’:
Matt 4:23; 5:2, 19; 7:29; 9:35; 11:1; 13:54; 15:9; 21:23; 22:16; 26:55; 28:15, 20; Mark 1:21–22; 2:13; 4:1–2; 6:2, 6, 30, 34; 7:7; 8:31; 9:31; 10:1; 11:17; 12:14, 35; 14:49; Luke 4:15, 31; 5:3, 17; 6:6; 11:1; 12:12; 13:10, 22, 26; 19:47; 20:1, 21; 21:37; 23:5; John 6:59; 7:14, 28, 35; 8:2, 20, 28; 9:34; 14:26; 18:20; Acts 1:1; 4:2, 18; 5:21, 25, 28, 42; 11:26; 15:1, 35; 18:11, 25; 20:20; 21:21, 28; 28:31; Rom 2:21; 12:7; 1 Cor 4:17; 11:14; Gal 1:12; Eph 4:21; Col 1:28; 2:7; 3:16; 2 Th 2:15; 1 Tim 2:12; 4:11; 6:2; 2 Tim 2:2; Titus 1:11; Heb 5:12; 8:11; 1 John 2:27; Rev 2:14, 20