The connection between courage and joy, Acts 8.1-8

I’m preaching soon on Acts 8.1-8, and noticing a connection between courage and joy. Could you help me in my sermon preparation by sending me your reflections on the connection between courage and joy? I’d be very grateful.

“And Saul approved of their killing him. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralysed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:1–8 NIV11)

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

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.

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God bless, Malcolm

PS: If you would like some coaching in spiritual disciplines, look me up here

PPS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John

“Pay Attention!”, Acts 7

Thames Valley churches of Christ

When we pay attention we notice what God is doing. When we don’t pay attention we miss out. We explore the lessons on paying attention from Acts chapter 7.

 

Slides can be accessed here: Acts7 Slides.

Context:

  • Charge One: Stephen is anti-temple
  • Charge Two: Stephen is anti-law
  • Summary: Jesus wants to destroy the temple and the law

Summary:

  • You seek to preserve a law you have not obeyed and protect a temple in which God does not dwell
  • You have made an idol of the very law which forbids idols.
  • You killed the people God sent to help you – including the most recent one
  • Your pride has blinded you and deafened you to what God did and is doing
  • You don’t keep the law and you dishonour the temple by making it an idol

How to notice: Three ‘A’s

1. Agony
2. Anxiety
3. Anger

Mistakes to avoid:

1: Don’t reject God’s messenger
2: Don’t restrict God influence
3: Don’t resist God’s calling

How to respond:

  • Open heart, mind
  • Listen to truth
  • Act in faith

Don’t miss out on the adventure!

People who pay attention live with faith, hope, zeal, wake up eager, pray with expectation

If you don’t pay attention you’ll pay the price. If you pay attention Jesus will stand up for you! Click To Tweet

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send us your questions or suggestions.

Thanks again for watching. Have a super day.

God bless,

Malcolm

“How to steal a dragon’s treasure”, Watford church of Christ

We take a look at how to steal a dragon’s treasure. What does it mean to have faith and courage to grow into and through the challenges God allows in our lives?

You can find more videos on our YouTube channel. Our web site is www.watfordchurchofchrist.org.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send us your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: thewatfordchurch@gmail.com.

Thanks again for watching. Have a super day.

God bless,

Malcolm

“For God Alone”, Class 4

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.” (Psalms 62:1–2 NRSV)

Class Four: “Considering what God has shown us”

24 August 2018

Here’s the FGAClass4 Handout.

Here are the slides: FGA4.

How to process this class series:

  1. Consider what God has shown you. What have you learned, or been reminded of?
  1. Confirm your biggest convictions. What is your resolve going forward?
  1. Clarify what questions still remain. Is anything important unclear?

Question: “What one change in your ‘quiet times’ would bring you the most joy?”

Two bonus ‘quiet time’ ideas

  1. Contrast Psalm 1 and Psalm 150
    • Read the two Psalms and consider that life often makes this level of trust and praise hard
    • Read and think about these quotes from Walter Brueggemann
    • “..praise as glad, exuberant yielding and self-abandonment (as expressed in Psalm 150) takes place only when one comes to terms emotionally, psychologically, dramatically, and theologically with the demanding, sovereign reality of God.” Brueggemann, “Psalms”, p194
    • “In the end, Israel goes to the sanctuary [temple] in doxology [praise]. Israel comes there with old, unresolved complaints that still sob and ache. Israel comes there with hymns of hope and gratitude still to be fulfilled. Israel carries to God’s throne all its old, powerful memories of brutishness and envy. Israel brings with it to the sanctuary the whole Psalter, its awesome account of hurts and hopes that are voiced in God’s presence.” Brueggemann, “Psalms” p212
    • In what way can a ‘quiet time’ help you to reconcile what you know, by faith, about God with what you actually experience in life?
    • What does the example of Jesus have to say to you about this?
  1. Elijah’s extended ‘quiet time’, 1 King 19
    • Challenging circumstances! Read chapter 18 for context.
    • Honest prayer, v4
    • God refreshes him, vv5-8
    • Taken to right place, v8
    • Rest, vv5, 9
    • Expresses his viewpoint, vv10, 14
    • Encounter with the presence of God, vv11-13
    • Renewed mission, faith and courage, vv15ff
    • What do you learn about the nature of God?
    • What do you learn from the way Elijah related to God that could help you in your ‘quiet times’?
Thank you for listening to this podcast and watching this video.
Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.
Do you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions.
Thanks again for listening. Have a super day.
God bless,
Malcolm

“For God Alone”, Class 3.

Dealing with boredom and bewilderment

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.” (Psalms 62:1–2 NRSV)

Sometimes the most basic things in the Christian life suffer. Either because we forget their significance, or we lose inspiration. This class series is designed to refresh our desire for a daily focused time with God – something that is often called a “quiet time”.

The FGAClass3 Handout and FGA3 Slides for the third class are attached.

If you have any questions about quiet times in general or about the class material in particular, please drop me a line.

I hope you find this a blessing.

God bless, Malcolm

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send us your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: tvcochrist@gmail.com.

Thanks again for watching. Have a super day.

“How to steal a dragon’s treasure”, Mark 9.30-37

Have you ever fought a dragon? I expect you have. We all have our ‘dragons’ to battle. But how do we know when a dragon is in our way? And, how do we fight it? Is it worth the effort? Are there any rewards?

Oh, yes! Every dragon is hoarding treasure that’s rightfully yours. We take a look at an example of Jesus slaying a ‘dragon’ with his disciples in Mark 9.30-37.

The slides are available here: Dragon’s treasure Mk9 Slides.

God bless, Malcolm

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send us your questions or suggestions.

Thanks again for watching. Have a super day.

“For God Alone”, Class 2

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.” (Psalms 62:1–2 NRSV)

Sometimes the most basic things in the Christian life suffer. Either because we forget their significance, or we lose inspiration. This class series is designed to refresh our desire for a daily focused time with God – something that is often called a “quiet time”.

The FGAClass2 Handout and FGA2 Slides for the second class are attached.

If you have any questions about quiet times in general or about the class material in particular, please drop me a line.

I hope you find this a blessing.

God bless, Malcolm

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send us your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email.

Thanks again for listening and watching. Have a super day.

“The antidote to chaos”: Psalm 62

A sermon for the Thames Valley churches of Christ

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.” (Psalms 62:1–2 NRSV)

I spoke on what Psalm 62 has to teach us about what to do with the chaos in our lives. We looked at how Jesus has the rest, salvation and hope we need because of the power of his resurrection and the evidence of his love shown us on the cross.

 

If you have any questions about quiet times in general or about the class material in particular, please drop me a line.

I hope you find this a blessing.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Thanks again for watching and listening. Have a super day.

God bless, Malcolm

“For God Alone”. Class 1.

Thames Valley churches of Christ

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.” (Psalms 62:1–2 NRSV)

Sometimes the most basic things in the Christian life suffer. Either because we forget their significance, or we lose inspiration. This class series is designed to refresh our desire for a daily focused time with God – something that is often called a “quiet time”.

The handouts for the first class and the class series are attached below. The pdf of the slides is here.

If you have any questions about quiet times in general or about the class material in particular, please drop me a line.

I hope you find this a blessing.

God bless, Malcolm

“How to feel fully alive”, Acts 16.13-15

Our Watford outdoor service, sports and picnic day was held together with the North West London church. I spoke from Acts 16.13-15 on how to feel fully alive.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send us your questions or suggestions.

Thanks again for watching. Have a super day.

God bless,

Malcolm