QTVOTD: A Journey Into Luke…

1 SINCE [as is well known] many have undertaken to put in order and draw up a [thorough] narrative of the surely established deeds which have been accomplished and fulfilled in and among us,
2 Exactly as they were handed down to us by those who from the [official] beginning [of Jesus’ ministry] were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word [that is, ofthe doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God],
3 It seemed good and desirable to me, [and so I have determined] also afterhaving searched out diligently and followed all things closely and traced accurately the course from the highest to the minutest detail from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
4 [My purpose is] that you may know the full truth and understand with certainty and security against error the accounts (histories) and doctrines of the faith of which you have been informed and in which you have been orally instructed. Luke 1:1-4

Today I begin a journey into Luke. Luke, Acts, and Ephesians are the only books of the New Testament of which I have yet to do a deep study on. So I am very excited about Luke which has the most complete/thorough recount of the Birth of Jesus, life, death, and resurrection of the Gospels.

I feel a little embarrassed that I did not know that the bool of Luke was written at about AD 60 and to a person named Theophilus. Although there were other accounts of the gospel, Luke wanted to write and ‘orderly’ account. Very likely Luke was a converted Gentile from Antioch in Syria, who joined Paul at Troas on his second missionary journey. The language and structure of Luke and Acts (which Luke also wrote) reflect a man of high literary ability, excellent education, and a Greek background and perspective.

Here in this opening we see Luke’s acknowledgement of ‘many who have undertaken’ the drawing up of a narrative of the life of Christ but also his desire to write an account after much study, tracing, and following of courses to specific detail for this orderly account for Theophilus (name means “Lover of God”). Luke’s purpose is to document so that Theophilus will know the full truth with certainty against error. I am so looking forward to this study as I imagine I will have a hard time stopping my reading and capturing my thoughts succinctly. <smiley face>

QTVOTD: Those We Minister to Are the Focus…

7 But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. 2 Corinthians 13:7-9 [ESV]

I am coming up on the final verses of 2 Corinthians. This last chapter is a testament to Paul’s character and dedication to building up his gospel converts in Corinth.

Paul is saying here that his prayer is that the Corinthians would not fail to hold the faith and a fall back into immorality; and that his reasoning is not that he would have met the test, he wants them to avoid wrongdoing, not because his own reputation would suffer, but simply because he wants them to be found doing what is right.

In verse 8 the truth is best understood here as the gospel, and what Paul asserts is that he could never act in a way that is contrary to the gospel or its implications. Then in verse 9 he says that he is prepared, even glad, to be weak if that means strength for his converts. During his ministry, Paul had discovered that very often weakness in himself was the concomitant of power at work in others, a fact which rested upon God’s decision to use the weak things of this world to achieve his purposes. The sort of strength Paul looked for in his converts was the strength of commitment to the gospel and the outworking of that commitment in moral renewal in their lives.

I see this as the pastor/shepherding model that Paul is for us. His focus is his fellow followers of Jesus Christ and his exhortation and correcting of them (even discipling) if needed.

QTVOTD: We Must Test Ourselves…

5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. 2 Corinthians 13:5-6 [ESV]

I love this call by Paul for the Corinthians to examine and test themselves. Why? To see if they are in the faith. Here at the end of his letter he gets right down to it. He has spent a ton of time reminding them about what he those that were with him, taught them over the 2 other times he visited. The truth of the Gospel and conforming of their lives to it.

So, what an awesome instruction to us -> to examine and test ourselves. When the examination is finished the test results in a realization that Jesus Christ is me or that He isn’t. One way to test ourselves is to check for evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in our life: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). We might consider making this our prayer as David did: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23–24).

QTVOTD: A Never-Ending Conviction…

1 THIS IS the third time that I am coming to you. By the testimony of two or three witnesses must any charge and every accusing statement be sustained and confirmed.
2 I have already warned those who sinned formerly and all the rest also, and I warn them now again while I am absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come back, I will not spare [them],
3 Since you desire and seek [perceptible] proof of the Christ Who speaks in and through me. [For He] is not weak and feeble in dealing with you, but is a mighty power within you; 2 Corinthians 13:1-3 [AMP]

Here in this final chapter of 2nd Corinthians, Paul is making is known that he plans to *not* hold back in discipline of the few he had warned on his second visit. This consistent revisiting of the church in Corinth and dealing with their struggles of the flesh is interesting. The influence of the false teachers must have been strong, and it is those leaders who he is targeting for discipline.

In verse 3 Paul is telling them that when he comes back they will see the power of Christ not necessarily in Christ’s treatment of them but in the mighty power of Christ “within” them. The genuinely converted Christian feels the power of God within them when the Lord takes the new creature and shines a light on the despicableness of the old creature. It is this recognition in the believer that drives him/her to the cross again for forgiveness through brokenness over their sin.


A faith that is not convicting me is likely not saving me. This is a very humbling and sobering way of looking at God’s work in my life to conform me more into the image of Jesus. This conforming never ends in my life here on earth. I should be suspect of the effectiveness of my ministry if I am not convicted of my sin all the more as I move forward in my walk with God. I must consistently be enabling God’s searchlight on my soul that I am taking every earthly moment to grow IN Him.

QTVOTD: A Church Directly Admonished…

19 Have you been supposing [all this time] that we have been defending ourselves and apologizing to you? [It is] in the sight and the [very] presence of God [and as one] in Christ (the Messiah) that we have been speaking, dearly beloved, and all in order to build you up [spiritually].
20 For I am fearful that somehow or other I may come and find you not as I desire to find you, and that you may find me too not as you want to find me—that perhaps there may be factions (quarreling), jealousy, temper (wrath, intrigues, rivalry, divided loyalties), selfishness, whispering, gossip, arrogance (self-assertion), and disorder among you.
21 [I am fearful] that when I come again, my God may humiliate and humble me in your regard, and that I may have to sorrow over many of those who sinned before and have not repented of the impurity, sexual vice, and sensuality which they formerly practiced. 2 Corinthians 12:19-21 [AMP]

During my reading this morning and finishing chapter 12 of 2 Corinthians, I was internalizing this whole chapter being on Paul standing up for himself to the Corinthians and even being frustrated that he must do so. Reminder: What had been happening was that opponents to Paul’s ministry had come up within the Corinthian church and they were finding whatever they could to tear Paul down in the eyes of the rest of the church. They were questioning his motives, his lack of coming to them, and even his desire to not be a burden financially to them. So, this whole chapter Paul is regrettably boasting about his commissioning as an apostle and they should know his credentials speak for his heart and desire to build up the Corinthian church and not tear it down.

Here in these last 2 verses, Paul talks about his fear of coming to Corinth and finding that the church has backslidden into the sin they walked away from when he first came to start the church. In fact, Paul suggests that this degradation of one of his beloved church plants may be a situation God may use to humble Paul.


There are times where admonishment of fellow believers is needed and a deliberate questioning of motives and behavior is warranted for a church off the rails. In this case it was a church that Paul had been a part of planting but I am wondering what there is to learn here about admonishing churches who are deliberately going about teaching that is outside of God’s word. What you don’t see Paul doing is going out and speaking against the Corinthian church and its leadership in the outside world and community. It is directed right at the church and to those who are factious, jealous, gossipy, arrogant, and going about to create disorder.

QTVOTD: A Reminder of Weakness Being Your Strength…

7 And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. 8 Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; 9 but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 [RSV]

This morning I finished Chapter 11 with the final wrap up of Paul’s continued warning of the Corinthian Church that they should beware of these false leaders who are only seeking to lord their control over them.

In chapter 12 Paul begins to talk about visions and revelations that have been given to him by the Lord. He starts with a recollection of a vision that he was taken up into the ‘third heaven’ and that things spoken to him there could not be uttered. He tells of this vision in the third person but it is clear through more complete reading that this experience was indeed Paul himself.

Then Paul moves to my focus of this chapter which is the thorn in Paul’s flesh he has been given by the Lord to keep him from ‘becoming too elated’. This elation and boastfulness could come from the pride in him being the one chosen by God to see these revelations. Paul says that he prayed three times for God to take away this ‘thorn’ but God’s response what that His grace is sufficient and God’s power is made perfect in weakness. Paul then finishes up with how this is ‘enough’ for him. Knowing that in his weakness God will perfect His strength, that is all Paul needs.


For a long time I thought that this was just a wonderful passage by Paul to help us understand how we should see our weaknesses as a fertile place for God to grow his strength in us…but today I take away more. Today I recollect several times that I have been ‘Filled’ with the Spirit. These are times where the Lord bathed me in his Holy Spirit and my inner being was given a closeness with God that is hard to describe…but these did not last but for a few days or weeks. I believe that this removal I experienced is what Paul is alluding too as a way of God keeping us from becoming elated and remembering that it is in our weakness that God becomes strong. It is when He brings us through trial and tribulation that we see how faithful and powerful and wonderful He is.

QTVOTD: Beware of False Teachers…

12 And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11:12-15 [RSV]

Chapter 11 is Paul’s assertion that there are false teachers among the Corinthians draws him to lean on his credentials as an apostle of Christ. Paul even talks about how he did not ask for anything (support for his ministry) while he was with them; that he was supported by the Macedonian church. That is what he is saying here; that he will continue to not be a burden on the Corinthians so that these false teachers cannot claim to be operating with a need of support like Paul and his followers.

The real freakiness here is Paul needing to spend so much time in this chapter describing how cunning and believable these false teachers can be. When I think about all of the churches who have compromised the word of God to fit their purposes and today’s social culture alignment, is really scary and sad. There are a nontrivial number of born-again Christians who are attending these churches. This deceit and disguising of supposed ministers in our day are the exact false teachers Paul was warning the Corinthians about. I find myself having a renewed chastening of my heart around God’s TRUTH in His word as a way to gird up the foundation that allows me to see these false servants of righteousness for who they are.

QTVOTD: Do Not Boast in Yourself…

17 However, let him who boasts and glories boast and glory in the Lord.
18 For [it is] not [the man] who praises and commends himself who is approved and accepted, but [it is the person] whom the Lord accredits and commends. 2 Corinthians 10:17-18 [AMP]

As I was reading and finishing chapter 10 tonight, it dawned on me that the world says the exact opposite of what Paul teaches. The world would say that you should take personal credit for who you are and what you do. That who you are is all about what you make of yourself and what you want others to think of you. The world tells you that everyone should revolve around your wants and desires.

Paul’s message is very different -> if you are going to boast and give glory, boast in and give glory to the Lord. Paul even goes further in verse 18 to make his point. Just because you approve of yourself does not mean you are or will be accepted. It is who the Lord accredits and commends that will be approved and accepted in the only ways that matter.


The moment I find myself taking credit for something, I need to stop and redirect that boasting and credit to the Lord Whose opinion is the only one that matters. My plight in life needs to be to do everything for the glory of God alone.

QTVOTD: Bring the Walls Down and Lead the Captives Away…

2 Corinthians 10:5 [AMP]
[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),

Been on this passage (first 10 verses of chapter 10) for several days now because the Lord is revealing new takeaways. The part here and the verse before is the strongholds and ‘lofty things’ that Paul sets out to bring down with spiritual weaponry. These defensive positions he is talking about are the arguments that challenge the Truth of God and His word. The imagery here is that after these strongholds and ramparts are brought down, he leads the thoughts and purposes behind those arguments away as captives into the ‘Obedience of Christ’.

In order to fight with this spiritual weaponry, I must know how to wield it and I do that by KNOWING God’s word to destroy these arguments above and then the gospel as a way to lead the thoughts and purposes into the obedience of Jesus.

QTVOTD: Not of Flesh and Blood…

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 [ESV]

These two verses are some of the most powerful verses in the bible for Jesus following Christians. The things that immediately come to mind are the social and culture issues that plaque our world today. There is no way to fight these things with human weapons, this is a battlefield over hearts and minds.

I think we too often believe that getting involved in political action, protesting, or standing on the steps of state houses that will garner change in these areas but I think more and more these wars need to be fought on our knees through prayer over our local, state, and federal leaders. We also should be praying for heart change and courage for our school boards and city councils.


The weapons for spiritual warfare are the gospel and the sword of the spirit (God’s Word). In other words, God is the power to destroy strongholds. How can I even begin to believe that I can have an impact in the movements to save my church and children from the onslaught of this world if I don’t fully consume, study, and internalize the TRUTH of God’s Word. And then engage that knowledge through prayer and witnessing to make more and better disciples? I know the Lord is working; I must ask how I am making myself available to Lord for the work of the Kingdom and am I making the most of every opportunity He lays in front of me?