The Sunday Sample Episode 68: “Lifting off at the chorus”

A time of worship at a conference I recently attended reminded me of how valuable it can be to remove the instruments between verse and the beginning of the chorus.

I share three examples where this can work.

I’d love to know your ideas on this. Which other songs could benefit from the “lifting off” treatment?

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

Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 142: “Awesome Apollos”, Part 4, “Heroic Humility”

“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

“explained” – ektitheœmi – to place outside, put forth; to expose an infant; to set forth, declare, explain,

“adequately” – akriboœs – accurately, diligently, circumspectly, strictly; precisely, distinctly,

Barriers:

  • learned
  • thorough knowledge of the Scriptures
  • He had been instructed in the way of the Lord
  • taught about Jesus accurately

“knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” (1 Corinthians 8:1 NIV11)

  1. His humility led him to listen
  2. His humility led him to listen to ‘lesser’ people
  3. His humility led him to change his opinion, and teaching

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

“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

“My Tilley hat and the promises of God”, Quiet time coaching, Episode 73

My frayed, expensive Tilley hat was replaced, much to my surprise and delight. Let me share with you what I learned from 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.

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 141: “Awesome Apollos”, Part 3, “Feed the fervour”

“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

zeo – to boil, to be hot, to be fervent, ardent, zealous
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11 NIV11)

parresiazomai – to speak plainly, freely, boldly, and confidently, Acts 13:46; 14:3
“Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46 NIV11)
“So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.” (Acts 14:3 NIV11)

eutonos – intensely, vehemently, strenuously,
“The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him.” (Luke 23:10 NIV11)

  1. His passion took him into hostile places – synagogues; “vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate” (Acts 18:28 NIV11)
  2. His passion helped to win the day – needed vigour to endure tough situations
  3. His passion was characteristic of the most effective church planters and speakers of the early Christian movement

Don’t bore your hearers!

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

“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


The Sunday Sample 67: “Faith Journey”, Worship Team Devotional on Acts 9

  • ““Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.” (Acts 9:5 NIV11)
  • “get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”    The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground,” (Acts 9:6–8 NIV11)
  • “In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”” (Acts 9:12 NIV11)
  • “He got up and was baptised,” (Acts 9:18 NIV11)
  • Saul was on a faith journey
  • His faith grew as he took action on what God revealed
  • It it led him to enjoying his relationship with God
  • He finally understood his purpose and mission

Part of our role as those leading worship is helping people who come today to take their next step of faith in their faith journey. We are hoping they will decide to follow God’s prompting. How exciting to think that as we speak, pray, sing and maybe somebody here who is hearing God’s voice, being stirred in the spirit and deciding to step out in faith!

Let’s pray……

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