The Sunday Sample: Episode 72, “Worship as a military drill”

“A friend once described worship as like a military drill. It is not meant first of all to be personally uplifting in each and every instance, but rather to discipline us and equip us so we can respond immediately and appropriately in battle or a crisis.”

from “Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies” by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung

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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 77, “God’s Remarkable Restraint”

A super-bright moon led me to contemplate the blend of power and compassion as twin aspects of the nature of God. What difference does it make to our devotional times that God has such power and such compassion?

“..what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:4 NIV11)

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV11)

“it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.” (Luke 10:14 NIV11)

Let me share with you what I learned while musing on these ideas today.

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 145, “Resurrection Resources”

The Thames Valley churches of Christ want a study on the resurrection to include in the study series.

Increasingly significant in modern age.

“if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17 NIV11)

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4 NIV11)

Not just looking for resources, but material you have used and found effective.

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 Relentless Love of Jesus”, John 21: Sermon for the Thames Valley churches of Christ

John 21 Sermon TV 2019Download

I spoke from John chapter 21. My topic: the relentless love of Jesus as shown to Peter. The love of Jesus was displayed by Jesus taking the initiative, reminding Peter of his acceptance and commissioning, and restoring their friendship through a painful but healing conversation.

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”, Class 8, Gospel of John Chapter 20

  1. Mary’s Moment: 20.1-3, 11-18

2. Disciples Redirected: 20.2-9, 19-23, 24-29

  • Sent by the Spirit
  • If the Holy Spirit has not yet indwelled them (Act 1.4), what kind of reception of the Spirit is Jesus talking about in v22? 
  • Commission for a Mission
  • In the Strength of the Spirit
  • For the Saving of Souls
  • Doubter Redirected
  • What take do you have on how Jesus felt about Thomas’ doubts? Was he understanding? Indignant? Another feeling? (Jn 11.16)
  • What lessons do we learn from Jesus about how to deal with people’s doubts (see also Chapter 21 and how Jesus helps Peter)?

3. Jesus’ Body: 20.19-23, 26

  • Lazarus / Jesus
  • Us / Jesus

Summary

  • Who do you relate to most in these chapters? Mary, Peter, John, Thomas? Jesus himself? 
  • What has stood out to you from tonight?
  1. Read John 21 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 71, “Writing a ‘farewell’ song”

I have been working on writing a congregational voices only “farewell” song for a long time. I’ve been rather stuck. Something came to me last night at the piano. I offer it for feedback. I’d love to know what you think.

“‘May the LORD bless you and protect you. May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. May the LORD show you his favour and give you his peace.’”

(Numbers 6:24–26 NLT)

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 76, “Dadda Delight at the Dunstable Downs”

A Tim Keller sermon refreshed my spirit when contemplating the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. The focus is on the word “abba”, or, dadda!

“He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.” (Luke 11:2 NIV11)

““Abba , Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”” (Mark 14:36 NIV11)

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”” (Romans 8:15 NIV11)

“Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba , Father.”” (Galatians 4:6 NIV11)

Let me share with you what I learned while musing on these scriptures today.

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 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