Developing your Text

I’m doing the “30 day challenge” through Logos. I’m not going to say much for the videos, except to say they’re mostly oriented towards learning Logos. The teacher appears to have a slight speech impediment, so congrats to going ahead anyway with public speaking. (I’m being charitable, and not making assumptions…)

They do however have some good and valid tips for pastors on your sermons. It’s mostly for Bible Study, but as a Pastor, you need to develop your text. YOU might understand it personally. I’ve chosen a text, written a 20 mnute study on it, keeping it brief, and as I preached it, saw the puzzled looks. Stop, abandon your outline, explain it, and hurriedly try to develop your main point.

The 30 day challenge forces you to read Matthew 4:1-11. For a month.

I’m not a big fan of dwelling on a text at all for such a lengthy period of time. I think that a Pastor should be reading the Bible through 3 times a year, and then going to his preaching schedule and reaing that as well. That’s me personally. Reach your congregation with the Bible.

You all are kind of a substitute congregation for now, so I’m tormenting you all with my Bible teaching! Ha!

Matthew 4:1-11 is the Temptation of Jesus Christ. That’s one of those texts you read it, say, “Huh…” and go on to the nice meat stuff, the “repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” stuff. Ironically, it’s the King of Heaven preaching that message! (Point one in your sermon outline on Matthew 4:12!!!)

The Logos 30 day challenge wants you to read it every day. Okay. Set a reading plan to read those 11 verses every day for 4 days. That’s your sermon writing schedule. Day 5, you’re writing. Deadline.

If you haven’t already done highlights in your text yet, marked it up, that should be on your first or second readthrough. I do it on my first, as it slows my reading waaay down! I retain a lot that way. Don’t worry about if you like it marked up or not – Logos has visual filters that let you remove obtrusive highlights, like annoying inductive markings. Don’t want to see them? Uncheck them. Want them back now? Check the box.



So, I opened Wordsearch, Logos, and Quickverse this morning. I set up a study desktop on Quickverse. It crashed. I did it again. It crashed again. I did it a third time. Finally, I closed every window in Quickverse, and manually (and tediously) set up a study desktop.

I moved to Matthew 4:1, and began reading it. Yesterday I’d already read the Faithlife Study Bible (it’s really more a Bible handbook), full of unbelieving and “Scholarly” notes. Despite that, there was a couple of “huh!” moments! The order of the temptations follows the temptations of Israel in the Desert. To me, most commentaries also fall into the same categories. Ful of unbelieving and “Scholarly” notes. and a few “huh” moments.

Now I read through a lot of the commentaries in Quickverse. This was a $800 package back in 2010, before Quickverse went broke the following year and sold out to Wordsearch. it has a lot of stuff for pastors. Lots of Bible handbooks, study bibles, and commentaries. The Sermon Illustrations had me in a rage last year going through them, writing some pretty entertaining rants. My first step, as I read things, was to highlight information that presented something I could use for my sermon.

There I learned that Temptation in Greek is πειρασθῆναι, from πειράζω Peirazo, to test, experiment, test. Satan apparently was going to test the Lord.


Should be bringing up your first Why question. The 30 day reading plan from Logos shows you how to make your own inductive markings, something I’d already done. And I guess Logos took a look at it, and proceeded to add a couple of mine to the already existing Inductive Highlighting. Flattering, but annoying, as now I had to go and remove “Devils” and “Repent” from my old one. And all the inductive markings I’d done need to be redone for those concepts.

Why does Satan think he has the right to test the Lord?

Why does the Lord put up with it?

The next thing I learned is that the temptation or testing was something of a “let’s see how you’re going to answer this.” “If thou be the son of God….”

Look, Satan had no doubt that Jesus Christ was the son of God. He knew. He’d known Jesus Christ since Satan’s creation. Sorry, Mormons, but – they’re not brothers. Satan is a created being. Jesus Christ is not.

It may be that Satan was trying to see to what extent the Lord was limiting himself, and how much the flesh would affect him. “Stones” plural “Be made bread” singular. Doesn’t mean anything other than what you get from it in English.

The Lord answered him, “Man does not live by bread alone…”

Man. It’s going to be that way. The Lord is going to meet the challenge over the next 3 years as a man.

“But by every word that proceeedeth from the mouth of God.”

The Lord is going to meet this challenge as a man instead of as God – by citing the authority of God the Father at every turn. And since the Lord is THE WORD, He is reminding Satan that He is coming on the same authority from God.

This might be a great time to look up Satan in your Bible dictionaries.

Satan is the accuser, or in this case the tempter. Jewish literature he’s seen as the prosecuting angel. This is an error, as clearly there is an adversarial role in Job, and Zechariah.

The Lord does not address him by name until the final temptation.

Other names of Satan include:

  • the evil one (Matt 5:37)
  • dragon (Rev 12:3)
  • serpent (2 Cor 11:3)
  • tempter (Matt 4:3)
  • Belial (2 Cor 6:15)
  • ruler/prince of this age (John 12:31; Eph 2:2)

Justin W. Bass, “Devil,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

Now, read your commentaries. highlight only things you feel important in Quickverse. In Logos or Wordsearch, simply select the text you think important to your sermon, and add it to a clipping (Logos) or a notestack (Wordsearch). Both features are the same, just different names.

Tomorrow, we’re going to look at collecting scriptures, and the use of the TSK for that.


Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???