“Awesome Antioch”, Acts 11.19-30. Sermon for the Watford Church of Christ

1. sPeak words of encouragement, vv22-24 

A. Notice what God is doing

B. Speak words of encouragement 

C. God brings the increase

2. Partner with a friend, vv25-26

A. Find a partner not a problem

B. Someone different from you

C. Active in service together

3. Provide practical help vv27-30

A. Listen to needs

B. Respond

C. Sacrifice

“What this means for me is……………………………….……”

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 be a Barnabas”, Malcolm Cox, Watford Church of Christ

I led a discussion on the fascinating New Testament character of Barnabas.

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

“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

“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

“Let Jesus be your friend”, John 15, Malcolm Cox, Thames Valley churches of Christ

John 15 Sermon SlidesDownload

“Let Jesus be your best friend”,  John 15

  • We are made for friendship
  • Adam needed Eve
    • “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”” Genesis 2.18
  • Think about the significance of friends throughout your life
  • None like Jesus
  • Friendship he offers us cannot be earned
  • Friendship he offers cost him dear

1. Jesus defines friendship

  • Only he really knows what friendship is all about
  • Jesus-style friendship
  1. Initiative
  2. Investment
  3. Innocent

2. Living in friendship with Jesus

  • “meno”: stay, continue, dwell, lodge, remain, rest, settle, endure, continue unchanged, persevere, constant, steadfast, indwell, abide….
  • “to be in close and settled union”

Friendship with Jesus means…

  1. Time: Spark + Proximity + Time
  2. Trust: life and doctrine
  3. Telling: proud of our friend Jesus

Conclusion

  • What would your life be like with a closer friendship with Jesus?
  • What would your church be like with a closer friendship with Jesus?
  • What would your world be like with a closer friendship with Jesus?

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 5 John Chapters 13-14

1. Unique

  • John 13-17
  • Unique material
  • Unique relationships
  • Unique identity

Moses/Jesus

“The entire section is controlled by one purpose: Jesus’ preparation of his followers for the immediate future – that is, the trauma and loss resulting from his crucifixion and burial – and the time after his ascension.”

Encountering John, Andreas Kostenberger

2. Love’s Legacy: Chapter 13

  • Sections
    1. Footwashing: 13.1-20
    2. Betrayal: 13.21-30
    3. New commandment: 13.31-38
  • Greater love
  1. John 1-12: 12
  2. John 13-21: 45
  3. “The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;” John 13.2-3

3. Greater Things: Chapter 14

  1. Preparing a place: 1-4
  2. Knowing the way: 5-7
  3. Greater intimacy of relationship : 8-11
  4. Greater works: 12-14
  5. Another divine helping presence: 15-31

Summary

  • “What has stood out to you from tonight?”
  1. Read John 15 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

“Heaven-Sent” Luke 10.1-20, Watford Church of Christ

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”     The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”” (Luke 10:1–20 NIV11)

  1. Who is God?
  2. What is God’s experience?
  3. What’s relevant for you?

Summary

  • Which of the revealed characteristics of God challenges you the most?
  • Which of the revealed characteristics of God inspires you the most?    

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 4, John Chapters 9-10

1. Water: 7.37-39. John 6:35. “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, l and let him drink who believes in me. As the scripture said, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” John 7:37-38 Isaiah 12:3; Numbers 20:11; Ezekiel 47:1; Zechariah 14:8; Joel 3:18 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 Revelation 22:1-2

2. Light: 8.12. Bible study suggestion. “What do these passages tell you about the meaning in your own life of the metaphor of light?

Isaiah 42:6; 49:6; 51:4 ___________________________________________

Matthew 5:14-16 _______________________________________________

Colossians 1:13 ________________________________________________

John 4:4 ______________________________________________________

1 John 2:9-11 __________________________________________________

Ephesians 5:8-10 _______________________________________________

3. Expulsion: 9.22. Why aposunagogos? John 9:22; 34-35; 12:42; 16:2 Read the Gospels thinking about what it tells you about the early church and what they were going through. When doing Bible study, ask yourself this question: “What might have been the value to the early church of this teaching, story or example?”

4. Voice: 10.3-5, 8, 14, 16

“Obviously God must guide us in a way that will develop spontaneity in us. The development of character, rather than direction in this, that, and the other matter, must be the primary purpose of the Father. He will guide us, but he won’t override us. That fact should make us use with caution the method of sitting down with a pencil and a blank sheet of paper to write down the instructions dictated by God for the day. Suppose a parent would dictate to the child minutely everything he is to do during the day. The child would be stunted under that regime. The parent must guide in such a manner, and to the degree, that autonomous character, capable of making right decisions for itself, is produced. God does the same.”

E. Stanley Jones

Three aids to hearing the voice of God:

i. Scripture: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

ii. Friends: 1 Samuel 3:1-21

iii. Time: Psalm 40:1; Romans 8:25; Hebrews 6:15

Book recommendation: “Hearing God: developing a conversational relationship with God”, Dallas Willard

Summary

“What has stood out to you from tonight?”

Read John 11-12 between now and Sunday

Discuss what you’re learning and your questions with your spouse/friends.

Ask God to reveal what aspect of Jesus he would like you to focus on through this series.

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