Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 144: “Awesome Apollos”, Part 6, “Go your own way”

“When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. For he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.” (Acts 18:27–28 NIV11)

  1. Learned man
  2. Self-motivated
  3. Passionate
  4. Humble
  5. A great help – effective
  6. Not afraid to go his own way
  • Big personality
    “My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”” (1 Corinthians 1:11–12 NIV11)
  • Assertive
    “Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.” (1 Corinthians 16:12 NIV11)
  • Connected
    “Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need.” (Titus 3:13 NIV11)

How can we be a great help?

  1. You will attract ‘followers’
  2. Have your own mind
  3. Cultivate peer relationship

Thank you for listening to this recording. You can find more teaching tips here and on the on the YouTube teaching tips playlist.

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.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

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

God bless,

Malcolm

“Pictures of Pergamum”, Revelation 2

Malcolm brings a report on the recent leadership conference in Turkey. We also take a look at the church in Pergamum.

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.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

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

“The Eagle’s Eye”, John’s Gospel Class 7

“The Eagle’s Eye”: Class 7

John Chapters 17 & 18

“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:” John 17.1

“Jesus’ prayerful waiting for God’s instructions freed Him from the tyranny of the urgent. It gave him a sense of direction, set a steady pace, and enabled him to do every task God assigned. And on the last night he could say, ‘I have finished the work you gave me to do.'”

-From “Tyranny of the Urgent”, Hummel.

1. “Oneness”: John 17

  • heis”: one and the same
  • Love – Witness – Unity
  • “Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is success.” Henry Ford

2. “Riskiness”: John 18

  1. Devotional Questions
  • Why do you think the arrest party “drew back and fell to the ground”? (v6) 
  • The phrase, “I am he” is repeated three times (vv5, 6, 8). Can you think of a particular reason why John might have recorded these statements of Jesus? 
  • Is there any significance in the fact that Jesus identifies himself three times, and Peter denies he knows Jesus three times? (vv17, 25, 27)? 
  • Apart from the deeper meaning of this phrase, what does the fact that Jesus stepped forward to identify himself and protect his disciples tell you about his heart? 
  • Why do you think Peter attacked Malchus? 
  • And then, why does he become so quick to deny his association with Jesus (v17)? 
  • Peter’s three-fold refusal to be associated with Jesus is tragic, but all-too understandable. What do you think was going through his mind as the cock crowed? (v27) 
  • His is not the only betrayal in this chapter. The Jewish leaders are scrupulous in avoiding ceremonial uncleanness (v28) while at the same time becoming guilty of something far worse – scheming the death of an innocent man. What do you think causes so-called spiritual people to compromise what they say they believe in? 
  • Why would the crowd prefer Barabbas over Jesus?
  1. Pilate Interview
  • Question / question (v34)
  • Provocative statement (v36)
  • Invitation to contemplation (v37)
  1. Conscience Questions
  • In which situations do you feel intimidated?
  • Where is it that people might not know you are a Christian? 
  • In front of which people do you feel heart thumping, mouth going dry, head spinning? 
  • What’s going through your mind at times like that? 
  • How might you react next time in a way that is more like Jesus?

Summary

  • “What has stood out to you from tonight?”
  1. Read John 19 between now and Sunday
  2. Discuss what you’re learning and your questions with your spouse/friends.
  3. Ask God to reveal what aspect of Jesus he would like you to focus on through this series.

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.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

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

The Sunday Sample Episode 70: “Integrated worship”

I am trying to create a greater connection between the different parts of our services in the Thames Valley churches of Christ this year.

I share what we did last Sunday from John 15.

I’d love to know your ideas on this.  

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.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

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

Quiet Time Coaching, episode 75, “Gratitude in the dentist’s chair”

A spell in the dentist’s chair surprisingly led me to a contemplation of gratitude. Let me share with you how this developed.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

(Colossians 3:15 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.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

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

Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 143: “Awesome Apollos”, Part 5, “How to be a great help”

“When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. For he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.” (Acts 18:27–28 NIV11)

  1. Learned man
  2. Self-motivated
  3. Passionate
  4. Humble
  5. A great help – effective

proving – epideiknymi – to exhibit, to show, to point out, to demonstrate, prove*

“a great help to those who by grace had believed. For he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures” (Acts 18:27–28 NIV11)

  • Did what they needed him to do

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it” (1 Corinthians 3:6 NIV11)

  • Content to be a waterer rather than a planter

How can we be a great help?

  1. Find out what your hearers need
  2. Put all your effort into meeting that need
  3. Be content to play a part

Thank you for listening to this recording. You can find more teaching tips here and on the on the YouTube teaching tips playlist.

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.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

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

God bless,

Malcolm

The Sunday Sample Episode 69: “Creativity in Worship”

I value creativity in leading worship. However, how do we protect ourselves from making it about ourselves instead of God? 

I share a quote from the book “Participating in Worship” by Craig Erickson.

I’d love to know your ideas on this.  How can we hear the voice of the Spirit helping us with our creativity and avoid ego?

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.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

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

“I am he who searches hearts and minds”

Tom McGuirk opened the Friday morning session at the “Alpha and Omega” leadership conference in Izmir. A few notes on his presentation follow……

The churches mentioned in Revelation 2 & 3 are inspiring in their faithfulness despite persecution and opposition. Yet they are also a helpful call to soberness,

“Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet.”

(Revelation 2:20 NIV11)

Jesus has a passion for the church, his bride, and will do whatever it takes to help her be pure and inherit the promises he offers.

Why would we tolerate the sin that enslaves when promises like these are available?

“To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—that one ‘will rule them with an iron sceptre and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star.”

(Revelation 2:26–28 NIV11)

Victory over sin is available. It will take:

  1. Believing that change is possible. Past ‘failures’ do not mean victory is not possible now. If God is with us all things are possible.
  2. Investing the effort and getting our hands dirty. It might be hard work, we might be misunderstood or even opposed, but it is worth it. God will honour our efforts.
  3. Being honest about our own struggles so that we do not feel like hypocrites when talking to others about their sin. And doing this not for the sake of example, but because a life of purity honours God.
  4. Recognising the problem is sizeable and urgent. Complacency about sin is not becoming for a follower of Jesus. The long-term effects on current and future members could be catastrophic. The younger generation are the most vulnerable.

Questions to consider:

  • Do we need ‘purity groups’ in our churches?
  • Do we have people who we can count on to listen to us confess our sins and temptations?
  • Are we intentional about using scripture to help our spirit be strong against temptation?
  • Are we making best use of software on our devices to block unhelpful materials?
  • What are we doing to equip parents in the church?

Tom spoke passionately and from the heart. I am grateful for his honesty and openness.

God bless, Malcolm

Quiet time coaching, episode 74, “Your sins shall be white as snow”

A surfeit of snow set me in mind of this scripture:

““Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 NIV11)

Let me share with you what I learned while musing on this Scripture and making my way through the snow. 

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.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

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

Turkey Conference – Prayers Requested

On Thursday 7th February I’m travelling to the “Alpha & Omega” conference in Izmir, Turkey.

It’s a gathering of leaders from all around the UK, Ireland, other parts of Europe, Scandinavia, the Nordics, and the Middle East.

We’ll be learning from one another and visiting several Biblical sites located in that part of Asia Minor. Please pray that I and all who attend will return with our faith refreshed and our hearts purified.

Where wifi permits I’ll be posting updates as we go.

God bless, Malcolm

The last time I was in Ephesus, 12 years ago. Andrew, Simon and I sang “The impossible dream” in the amphitheatre. I wonder what the Apostle Paul would have made of that!