“Why we should always be flexible with our song choices”

The Sunday Sample Episode 55

Last week in my interview with Mwamba Bennett she mentioned an occasion when they changed a song during their church service.  As it happened, this coming Sunday gave me reason to do the same thing.

TJ was preaching on the opening verses of Isaiah chapter 6:
“I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.” (Isaiah 6:1–4 NIV11)
While he was speaking, the words of the song, “I see the LORD” came to mind:

I see the Lord
Seated on the throne exalted
And the train of His robe
Fills the temple with glory
And the whole earth is filled
And the whole earth is filled
And the whole earth is filled
With His gloryChorus
Holy holy holy holy
Holy is the Lord
Holy holy holy holy
Holy is the Lord of lord

It seemed right to me that we sing that song after the sermon instead of the one we had prepared.  In the attached recordings I share how we did that and why.

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

“The Kingdom” Class 2

Lesson for the Thames Valley churches of Christ

“The kingdom of heaven is like….” (Matt 13.24; 31, 33, 44, 45, 45, 47, 18.23; 20.1; 22.2)

“The community or people ruled by God and with whom he dwells, to some extent reality now but to be fully consummated in the future”

Kingdom Class 2 Handout

The Kingdom Class 2 Slides

1. “Your kingdom come”

  1. Present with Jesus
    1. “..if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matthew 12:28 NIV11)
    2. “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20)
    3. “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.” (Matthew 21:31 NIV11)
    4. Date:
  2. Coming soon
    1. “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (Matthew 16:28 NIV11)
    2. ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.” (Luke 11:2 NIV11)
    3. Date:
  3. Coming in the future
    1. ““Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of  the world.” (Matthew 25:34)
    2. “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.” (Luke 13:28)
    3. Date:

2. The character of the kingdom

  • Question: “What does this parable tell you about the character of the kingdom? It’s values, it’s nature, it’s priorities?”
        • Parables: Matthew 13:24–30; 31–32; 33; 44; 45–46; 47–50; 18:23–35; 22:1–14; 24:51–25:13; 14–30; :31–46; Luke 18:15–17

Response

Thank you for watching this video. You can find more episodes on the YouTube site.

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. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org

Thanks again for watching. Have a super day.

God bless,

Malcolm

“The Mwamba Bennett interview”

The Sunday Sample, Episode 54

Welcome to my interview with worship leader Mwamba Bennett. She is part of the worship team in the Birmingham church of Christ. We discuss the strengths of the team, her own personal motivations in worship and much more.

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.

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

“How to have a harvest of joy”, Acts 8.1-8

A sermon for the Thames Valley churches of Christ

“How to have a harvest of joy”

“On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.

Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralysed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:1–8 NIV11)

“God places the best things in life on the other side of terror”

Question: What examples of courage do you see in this passage?

  • Joy’s significance
    • “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10 NIV1)
    • “So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” (Matthew 28:8 NIV11)
  • God is joyful; Jesus is full of joy; the Holy Spirit provides joy…
    • “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” (Luke 10:21 NIV11)
    • “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” (Romans 14:17 NIV11)
    • “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” (Galatians 5:22 NIV11)
    • “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thess 1:6)
    • Therefore makes sense to pursue joy. How?

Questions

  • Where does courage comes from? Matthew 28.20.
  • What would living faithfully courageously look like in your life?
  • Where do you need more joy?

Three steps to faith-fuelled courage and joyful living:

  • Jesus
  • Open
  • Yes
  • People filled with joy attract others
  • A church filled with joy attracts others

“God places the best things in life on the other side of terror”

Here’s the PDF of the handout: Acts8.1-8 Handout TV

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

“Yertle the Turtle and King Jesus”

Sermon for the Thames Valley churches of Christ

What do you think it would be like to be king or queen?

Questions
What was the King Turtle’s problem?
What did he get wrong?
What did he forget? How did the others feel?
Was Jesus a king?
What kind of king was he?
What was he like as a king?

What did Jesus say about being “in charge”?

“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,” (Matthew 20:26 NIV11)

How did Jesus become a king?

“They twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.” (Matthew 27:29 NIV11)

We love Jesus because he is a king who died so we could live.
We follow him because he is a king who serves us.
His example inspires us to serve one another, to die to ourselves for the sake of others.

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 me your questions or suggestions.

Thanks again for watching. Have a super day.

God bless,

Malcolm

“Don’t get tired of reminders”

The Sunday Sample: Episode 51

Do you realise the importance of your role in reminding other people of God’s attributes and what he has done?

We mine a couple of pithy sayings from Erickson’s book, “Participating in worship” and reflect on our opportunity to remind people of vital truths on which they can base their faith.

Thank you for listening to and watching this recording. You can find more Sunday Samples here and on the YouTube 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.

“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Ps 100:2

God bless,

Malcolm

“The power of a well-placed poem”

The Sunday Sample: Episode 50

Do you use poems in your corporate worship settings?

I bring you the results of a poetic experiment from a recent Sunday service in the Thames Valley churches of Christ.

Thank you for listening to and watching this recording. You can find more Sunday Samples here and on the YouTube playlist.

Here’s the text of the poem I quote:

Lord, I come to you.

Let my heart be changed, renewed,

Flowing from the grace, That I’ve found in You.

And, Lord, I’ve come to know The weaknesses I see in me

Will be stripped away By the power of your love.

Hold me close, Let your love surround me.

Bring me near, draw me to your side;

And, as I wait, I’ll rise up like the eagle,

and I will soar with you.

Your spirit leads me on by the power of your love.

Lord, unveil my eyes,

Let me see you face to face: the knowledge of your love as you live in me.

Lord, renew my mind as your will unfolds in my life,

in living every day in the power of your love.

Hold me close, let your love surround me.

Bring me near, draw me to your side; and, as I wait,

I’ll rise up like the eagle, and I will soar with you.

Your spirit leads me on by the power of your love.

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.

“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Ps 100:2

God bless,

Malcolm

“Pay Attention!”, Acts 7

Thames Valley churches of Christ

When we pay attention we notice what God is doing. When we don’t pay attention we miss out. We explore the lessons on paying attention from Acts chapter 7.

 

Slides can be accessed here: Acts7 Slides.

Context:

  • Charge One: Stephen is anti-temple
  • Charge Two: Stephen is anti-law
  • Summary: Jesus wants to destroy the temple and the law

Summary:

  • You seek to preserve a law you have not obeyed and protect a temple in which God does not dwell
  • You have made an idol of the very law which forbids idols.
  • You killed the people God sent to help you – including the most recent one
  • Your pride has blinded you and deafened you to what God did and is doing
  • You don’t keep the law and you dishonour the temple by making it an idol

How to notice: Three ‘A’s

1. Agony
2. Anxiety
3. Anger

Mistakes to avoid:

1: Don’t reject God’s messenger
2: Don’t restrict God influence
3: Don’t resist God’s calling

How to respond:

  • Open heart, mind
  • Listen to truth
  • Act in faith

Don’t miss out on the adventure!

People who pay attention live with faith, hope, zeal, wake up eager, pray with expectation

If you don’t pay attention you’ll pay the price. If you pay attention Jesus will stand up for you! Click To Tweet

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

“Making the most of the Psalms”

The Sunday Sample, Episode 49

Do you use the Psalms in your corporate worship settings?

I bring you a quote from Tom Wright from his book on Psalms, “Finding God in the Psalms: Sing, pray, live”:

“By all means write new songs. Each generation must do that. But to neglect the church’s original hymnbook is, to put it bluntly, crazy.”

Thank you for listening to and watching this recording. You can find more Sunday Samples here and on the YouTube 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: www.malcolmcox.org.

“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Ps 100:2

God bless,

Malcolm

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

“The benefits of discussing your sermon with other people in advance”

Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 122

Do you discuss your sermon with people in advance? At what stage do you draw other people in? I had two experiences of discussing sermons this week and I found it enriching and helpful.

Thank you for watching 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.

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

God bless,

Malcolm