Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 136, “Are you listening to Classic FM, or Radio 3?”

Who inspires your thinking about teaching and preaching? Someone who challenges your thinking in a way that raises your vision. I share some lessons from today’s visit to see an old friend of mine, Laurence Roman, who left me wanting to hear more of Radio 3 instead of Classic FM.

 

 

 

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

“New Year, Newer You!” Ephesians 2.19-22, Thames Valley churches of Christ

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19–22 NIV11)

Audio

1. New Identity, v19 – this is what has been done for us by Christ: vv4-22
2. New Foundation, v20 – Revelation 2:1–7
3. New Purpose, v21-22 – We have a new purpose – Ephesians 2.10

Therefore we…

a. Pay attention to our personal relationship with God: Matthew 4:4; Luke 6:46–49; John 15:42.

b. Pay attention to our relationships with one-another in church: 1 Peter 2:5; Ephesians 4:15–16.

Questions for reflection

1. How “joined together” do you feel with God, and with the rest of the church?

2. What is it about Jesus (see the rest of Ephesians 2) which will provide the inspiration for you to grow, serve and sacrifice for others in the year ahead?

3. How do you anticipate us experiencing the presence of God by His Spirit dwelling in us as a congregation in 2019?

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,

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Malcolm 

“Are we sensitive to the congregation’s need for fellowship?”

The Sunday Sample, Episode 62

What is the buildup to your church service like?  Is it conducive to the congregation having fellowship?  I recently received some feedback on our services in Watford.  I learned that some people were coming late to church because the hall is too noisy with worship team rehearsing.
We’ve done some experimenting to reduce the “rehearsal racket”! What is your situation?

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

“Sources of spiritual courage” Part 3

Quiet Time Coaching, episode 65

Recently I preached a Sermon based on Luke 4.19-30 and the visit of Jesus to the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth (synagogue video).
“All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.” (Luke 4:28–30 NIV11)
Where did his bravery come from?  In Luke chapters 3 and 4 I can see four sources of his bravery.  If we can understand them, they can help us with our growth in spiritual courage. The first one is God’s approval, the second is God’s refining and the third is:
God’s Word
God’s word gave Jesus courage in the wilderness. His response to the devil was: “It is written…it is written…it is said…”
He clearly had the Word in his heart, not just as head knowledge. This is the difference between simply reading the Word and being devoted to it. His love and knowledge of scripture were such that when temptations came they were deflected by the word already seated within him.
What does it mean to you to be devoted to the Word? What would that look like in your own life?
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

An important question about the future of “Quiet Time Coaching” podcasts

Hi everyone, I’m looking for a bit of help.

Should I continue making “Quiet Time Coaching” YouTube videos? Or should I make them audio only?

 

I’m thinking through my priorities for 2019 and looking to find some time-saving opportunities. I enjoy making the “Quiet Time Coaching” videos, but they do take more time than a podcast.

I would be grateful if you could let me know your opinion on how helpful the videos are as opposed to the podcasts. I’m happy to continue making the videos, but want to get a good return for my investment of time and effort.

Drop me a line, and let me know whether you think the videos are particularly helpful. If not, I will stop doing those, but continue the podcasts.

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 on coach.me.

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

“How to assess your preaching year”

Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 135

What is the best way to assess the development of our preaching and teaching?  I offer four thoughts on this important topic to help prepare us for the year ahead.

“At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.” (Acts 14:1 NIV11)

1. Did you start with any goals? How did it go?

  • SCORRE method – Subject; Objective; Rationale; Resources; Evaluation
  • Andy Stanley: ME – WE – GOD – YOU – WE

2. What have you noticed?

  •    More personal sharing needed
  •    Notice difference when really familiar with material

3. What have others noticed? Any feedback?

4. Pray for God’s guidance

Set some new goals for 2019. What are yours?

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

“Interview with Daniel Smith” Bonus Episode

The Sunday Sample Episode 61

On my recent trip to Israel I made a new friend. His name is Daniel Smith and he leads worship in the San Diego International church of Christ. We sat and chatted about all things worship. Today’s recording is bonus material from the end of our conversation. Daniel shares some extra convictions about leading corporate worship.

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

“Sources of spiritual courage” Part 2

Quiet Time Coaching, episode 64

Recently I preached a Sermon based on Luke 4.19-30 and the visit of Jesus to the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth (synagogue video).
“All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.” (Luke 4:28–30 NIV11)

Where did his bravery come from?  In Luke chapters 3 and 4 I can see four sources of his bravery.  If we can understand them, they can help us with our growth in spiritual courage. The first one is God’s approval, the second is:
God’s Refining
    “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.     The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”     Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”     The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”     Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”     The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:  “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”     Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”     When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:1–13 NIV11)
Jesus is taken to the same place where John heard the word – the desert. For John this was the place of hearing the word of God, for Jesus it is the place where he hears the words of the devil! His convictions are being tested in the most brutal of conditions and while he is in a weakened state.
“The Christian discipline of fighting temptation is not about self-hatred, or rejecting parts of our God-given humanity. It is about celebrating God’s gift of full humanity and, like someone learning a musical instrument, discovering how to tune it and play it to its best possibility.”  Wright, N.T. Luke for Everyone.  4. Accordance electronic edition, version 2.1. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011.
We are refined in order to create the greatest beauty for God. Accept his refining and you will see greater beauty in your life and thus greater courage.
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

“How to use your expertise to illustrate”

Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 134

My friend Alex Clegg spoke last Sunday for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (tvcoc.org).
He began his sermon with an illustration claiming that 2=1.  He then proceeded to demonstrate how he arrived at that so-called truth, followed by revealing the algebraic mistakes he had made. In doing so he used an illustration which was authentic, personal and effectively introduced his central concept – that of not overcomplicating things. He used his degree in mathematics to good effect. Do we use our areas of expertise effectively in our sermons and lessons?

There are 127 verses specifically about music in the Bible. As a musician, I wonder if I use my expertise in this area as much as I could? Certainly my experience would mean that a verse like the following could be brought more to life:
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18–20 NIV11)
Then, how about the prophet Amos?  He was a shepherd, and used his background in his teaching.
  • “The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa” (Amos 1:1 NIV11)
  • “the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel withers.”” (Amos 1:2 NIV11)
  • ““As a shepherd rescues from the lion’s mouth only two leg bones or a piece of an ear, so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued, with only the head of a bed and a piece of fabric from a couch. ”” (Amos 3:12 NIV11)
  • “Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees.” (Amos 7:14 NIV11)
Questions for us to consider before using our area of expertise:
  1. Will it clarify?
  2. Will it confuse?
Confusion is acceptable as long as it is temporary and resolves helpfully.
Thank you for listening to this recording. You can find more teaching tips here and 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

“New Year, Newer You!”, Ephesians 2.19-22, Malcolm Cox, Watford Church of Christ

Eph2v22 Slides

Eph2v22 Handout

Introduction
We are all building something
Have a choice as to what build
And how well we build
What kind of building we turn out to be
How closely we are building to God’s design – or not

1. New Identity, v19
Nothing more fundamental
Identity theft serious
Something exciting to explore
Still understanding implications of new identity in Christ
vv4-22 – what has been done for us by Christ

Application:
If you want meaningful life, need to be born again
If you want to grow in 2019 make developing your sense of identity in Christ a priority
Use a passage like Eph 2 to explore your new identity – make it a source of study and meditative prayer

The work of God is to give us a new identity
Our work is to grow into this identity and enjoy it more fully

2. New Foundation, v20
““To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favour: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:1–7 NIV11)

Application:
Make time and space for the teachings of Jesus in your life.
Basing your life, your new identity life, your kingdom life on him
Following King Jesus as a disciple

3. New Purpose, v21-22
We have a new purpose – Eph 2.10
To become a new dwelling for God – collectively!
“In him”
What does that mean?

A. Pay attention to personal relationship with God
Walking with God
Walking the kingdom way
“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”” (Matthew 4:4 NIV11)

We connect with God through the scriptures
We gain strength from God’s word

““Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”” (Luke 6:46–49 NIV11)

We can be that well built house as a church
A church that glorifies God needs members who devote themselves to God
Cannot cut corners here

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4 NIV11)

Good fruit, that lasts depends on us being connected to Jesus
We cannot bear fruit by ourselves, we need Jesus
We are only as strong as our relationship with God
Two-way connection enjoyed by ourselves and Jesus

B. Pay attention to relationships with others in church

“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5 NIV11)

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:15–16 NIV11)

Not superficial, but real
Using gifts as a sacrifice to help others

Conclusion
Process continues as we enter our next year as a congregation
“being built”
Because of new identity
On a new foundation
With a new purpose
To God’s glory

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