Bible Study: Galatians chapter 2

Getting Started with Galatians 2 Begin with prayer: Ask God to make your heart pure, soft, and undivided. Confess your sins so you can receive his mercy and grace. Humble yourself so you can hear his voice. Release your worries so you can rest in his presence. First read: read without pausing, to get an overall sense of the chapter. …

Who is Jesus?

He is God The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. Matthew 26:63-64 He became a person The Word [Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us. John 1:14 He taught with authority …

Three principles from Jesus for every mission

Jesus said: These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust …

Bible Study: Galatians chapter 1

Getting Started with Galatians 1 Begin with prayer: Ask God to make your heart pure, soft, and undivided. Confess your sins so you can receive his mercy and grace. Humble yourself so you can hear his voice. Release your worries so you can rest in his presence. First read: read without pausing, to get an overall sense of the chapter. …

Surviving the Sting of Rejection [updated]

No one likes rejection. It’s sting is so painful because it’s personal. Get a black eye from an injustice and it’s because the world isn’t fair….rage against the world! Get knocked down from a rejection and it’s because I’m not good enough….you can try to rage against the world, but you always end up attacking yourself. How do you respond when …

Bible Study: Psalm 23

One of our small groups recently used the Psalms Bible study (download here for free) and decided to also study Psalm 23. I wrote the following to help guide their personal reflection and group discussion.   Psalm 23 The twenty-third Psalm is a classic! The imagery is simple, yet powerful and profound. It is easy to read for the first …

Elements of Effective Evaluation

It’s hard to look back and learn from the past, especially when we’re looking forward to the next thing. Here are a few habits that I believe are essential for an effective debrief: HONESTY: Evaluation isn’t helpful if it’s not true. It’s great to be an optimist, but not at the expense of facing the hard truths. Actually, that’s not …

SERMON: how to go deeper with your words

Most of the time, we talk to make conversation. Instead, what if we talked to make a difference? This sermon highlights what the Bible says about going deeper with our words. DOWNLOAD FILES (PDF and Word files with notes, blanks, teaching notes)

Three Warnings From Jesus

Jesus taught the crowd: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1) A little yeast, when worked through the entire dough, radically transforms the bread. The yeast of the Pharisees was hypocrisy. Some of the things they said weren’t true, they lacked a consistency believers ought to have. Presumably they had a “Do …

His Name is Jesus

TEACHING NOTES (PDF) OUTLINE (PDF) My wife and I have had five children, all boys. Before each one was born, we had lengthy discussions about their name. For every child, I made an argument to name him MAGNUS. It’s unique. It’s Latin for magnificent. His nickname could be Gnus (pronounced, Guh-nus) and everything would be awesome. Needless to say, I …

How to find Significance This Season

The Christmas season is in full gear! The decorations are out, houses lit up, eggs are being nogged, and the fruitcakes are in the mail. For me, over the years, I’ve discovered that I can get so busy WITH Christmas that I loose sight of the reason FOR Christmas. I have to be intentional with slowing down to make sure …

three teachings: pain, prayer, conflict resolution

Everyone on staff had a vote to choose the meeting’s topic.  You can download the notes to all three options below. CS Lewis On Prayer (PDF-for phone, tablet, or printing) (.zip file for editing)   Conflict Resolution (PDF-for phone, tablet, or printing) (.zip file for editing)   The Problem of Pain (PDF-for phone, tablet, or printing) (.zip file for editing) …

A short biography of David

I’m preaching on David in a couple weeks so I put together a short biography to give our people an overview of David’s life. How could this be better, more useful tool? Post a comment below or email me at matt@mcgill.email a-short-biography-of-david

A great question about interpreting the Bible

A friend wrote a fantastic question on a Facebook post, what follows is my response: THE SCRIPTURE: The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:7-8) THE QUESTION: What does the psalmist mean when they say all harm? At surface level, …

Baptism Class Notes [updated]

Just finished the first draft of Baptism Class Notes, what’s missing? baptism-class-notes-draft-ver-2 (PDF) baptism-class-notes-draft (PDF)

How do you remember what’s important?

This post isn’t about time management! “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15) Practically speaking, what could it look like to stand firm and hold fast to the things God has taught you? My nature is to be impulsive–this …

Three roadblocks to hearing God Speak, a reflection from Psalm 19

Relationships suffer when there is a breakdown in communication. If you feel far from God, when was the last time you heard him speak? Maybe you need to push through one of the following roadblocks that keep a person from hearing God speak: Roadblock #1: Lack of attention to God’s Work The Psalmist begins with a grand picture: “The heavens …

The Psalms: a personal Bible Study

It’s finally finished: Click here to download: PSALMS-personal Bible Study (PDF) If you want an additional lesson on Psalm 23, you can get that here: http://hokma.com/2017/01/bible-study-psalm-23/

Living Well In the Wake of Loss

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about loss and grief. I’ve also spent a lot of time in the Psalms. What follows are some of the salient points from my personal journey as I attempt to live well in the wake of loss: Express it. When one of his friends died, Jesus wept. As …