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October 26, 2021 2:00 am
On this broadcast, Skip shares about his Bible study habits, his ongoing work with Samaritan's Purse, and plans for the future.
This teaching is from the series Topical Teachings.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Connect with Skip studio as we continue were skewed by some what to do when your Bible reading get stale study in writing. It's his perspective on the prophetic calendar.
There's just too many things going on around here are things that we are seeing what they should make the book of Revelation plausibly fulfill about so I think that we are watching an old now. Let's do it Skip I took in studio for conversation with Chip Lesko on vision is the end of this talk when skillful tell us all about his Daniel moment when he share the gospel with loyalty Saudi Arabian palace. If you have left out 3600 or more messages taught by you. You got a lot of hot air no posted online. You've talked to the Bible. Many times we are still continuing to do it.
I am so I think I've gone to the Bible about four or five times. Although I taught through it verse by verse, verse by verse I did it once in California, some books of the Bible have gotten more attention just by the nature of their their content, their importance to the church. Certainly the New Testament over and above the Old Testament, but I do believe Christian should know their Old Testament well and it's to discredit honestly to church history that many churches have shied away from it. So I think we should teach all of it.
That is a remarkable amount of Bible survey under your belt, but I know you still finding fresh manna in your reading because it reflects in your you teaching which is strong in your and your bet best days get but what would you say to someone listing rhino bogged down. They read the Bible.
Everything I've read John before.
How would you encourage them to like get that fire lit again okay to question. First off I would say tried and another translation that you have been reading it. I do this I read so many different translations and I love it. I know what it says I know what the word say I can read the Hebrew and the Greek, but I love reading it like in the new living translation. I love reading the message version just because it they try to capture and they do capture a different nuance of the word or the intent of the author, so I would say try different translations go through books so you you hear them differently or not anticipating what it's saying never to try a plan like the universe and plans. There are numerous their free get on a plan go through it that way. Also, if you get bogged down just in Bible reading. Get a great devotional in every good Bible teacher in the world has devotions to the Bible and do it that way.
I've written one. That's a daily devotional and then change it up.
So instead of just reading a book of the Bible slow it down and go deeper in some cases, but if your usage is going deeper than go shower and go longer like I did in 90 days. I went shower and but I would longer so I got it all. So there's day I II have a book called profitable Bible study.
It's 80 years old Wilbur Smith I think wrote it, but it tells you how to study every book of the Bible every chapter of the Bible every paragraph of the Bible.
Every sentence I'm teaching down the words so there's a number of ways to look at. I would just change the style the approach let's take our audience into your study, skip, and I know you're highly disciplined in how you approach her with assume you're starting a new series, on Monday morning with the go to guys you look to first for insight and commentary. Yeah, I guess it depends Chip on which book of the Scriptures that there's a couple of books that I use that are general commentaries that just kinda give you the overall pitch of the chapter, tone, background history, without going into the weeds. I like McDonald's commentary on the Scripture. I forget exactly what it's called. I love the wallboard and suck the Bible knowledge commentary to two volumes. One is the Old Testament.
The other is the New Testament is a Dallas theological seminary that that there you have a one or two volume commentary that just kinda gives you a basic structure of it. I like to start their first of all I don't start with the commenter. I just start with the Scripture and I are right down impressions I write down structure. I write down verbs and nouns and see how it's sort of the emphasis in and I start outlining the thought process to see what it's connected to. So I just make general observations before I even get into a commentary. The commentary then gives me a little bit of nuanced direction of where to proceed. I know you're highly studied skip, you have gone deep in the weeds as you as you call it, you have multiple degrees and yet I know you're a fan of the concept that our friend Steve Mays had of putting the cookies on the bottom shelf for the people. Yes, so I I think a couple of things always want to be able to to keep in mind my audience so I realize in any audience, I'm speaking to people who are seasoned believers as well as brand-new believers to challenge, but we must speak to all people in the audience are just one notch, as the other not just telling the Greek and Hebrew and and give them deep theological concept, but give them deep theological concepts in a easy way to understand, explain, use illustrations use several illustrations do not belabor the point. So they get so they understand but I do believe in taking people through an education and challenging them and making them grow, telling them things they don't know and and taking them deeper. This regular study. Theoretically, here you have a rich and very varied Bible collection of books, but things have changed digitally. How how do you treat that as far as getting books digitally on Kindle versus getting the hard copy in your hand. Well I they are digital. Lagos has great program several people have programs platforms that they have a number of these books available research tools, research methods, outlining methods, etc. even down to the language of the original language easy to access. I use it I like it but out, but all I have so many books in my library that art in those platforms and their out-of-print or their classics but they're knocking to be included. There so I use both and I will II love a hard copy but I looked and smelled the paper I like to feel the page.
I like to write notes in the margin of the commentary viewing and pulled any book out to find underlines notes that I've collected over the years so I don't like friends to me. I will my elaborate on how how have you been I haven't seen you in a long time to pull it off the shelf and look at it again so you can't do that digitally or you can't as readily do. Additionally, so I think I like real books that we heard it said that their leaders are leaders very concerned on your part that that the new generation being so socially media adapt is going to miss that depth of read as you say, reading the tactile book itself, I think so.
I I yes and it's because digitally usually interested that the the trend today is to give information in snippets. If you look at this articles news.
You can go to USA Today or you can go to the Atlantic magazine. I like to read like the Atlantic magazine articles. It's not a conservative publication, but they go into depth in the article or cycle listening to BBC News are going to go into depth when they cover a an issue and and so I I like that I think we live in the age of the tweet and I think that we need to eat, whether it's news or Bible stuff go a little bit deeper and really really understand the what, what's going on. If you're an accomplished author with a catalog of books you've written over the years of writing for my viewpoint can be a torturous pain pump project tells about your writing habits. Well first of all, you have to have the idea. You have to have some kind of passion you want to write about something not just you have to write something you you want to want to write something so there's there's it's it's, you know, writing is like speaking, there's two ways to get into the pulpit one because you have to say something to because you have something to say and writing is like that you know you want to have something to write about. So you have to have an idea and then you then you put your ideas into kind of a purpose statement which kind of accomplish with those ideas and then what I do is I outline those ideas of how would the book be divided what you know in my covering enough in my covering too much and is so all I'll outline it and then I'll put the outline in chapter form, then I do the research and II put it in. I get it from a lot of different sources usually end then once I kinda have all of that. Then I I go to my assistant and I make sure that she schedules time for me. That is blocked off only to write and nothing else. I get no tax. I get no emails on occurs knocking on all go somewhere my office one hour at home and I'll just do the work.
I know that authors like Stephen King as a habit.
He writes 1000 words a day every day. Ernest Hemingway wrote from 6 AM to 10 AM and then went off and did whatever you hung out with this category is fishing boat yes but the just of that kind of a similar a discipline for the first books I did I would II started by every Monday would be a day of writing and I would collect ideas during the week then because I wasn't just writing I'm writing and doing a sermon for Sunday morning and at that time Sunday night and at that time Thursday night so three different studies is so hard right at the same time so I would take one day a week I would go away to a local city about an hour away get a little room and just couldn't commit to do just hashing it out for like 8 to 12 hours.
Your recent book. The biography of God the best of bold work Skip that they come to be. I wanted to write a book challenging the thinking of unbelievers and believers because of my journey I grew up in a home Christian home a Catholic home I grew believing in God but that belief system got challenged pretty early on disk is a public education and in the world and so I went from believing God to wondering if God existed to coming to true faith in Jesus Christ and and I relied on at that time when I was of a new believer apologetics. I needed to have evidence for my faith and so I wanted to write a book that was for the skeptic dish to talk about just the God issue, the God idea. How do we know are there isn't any things around us to give us evidence that God exists.
So the skeptic and then the person who's beyond that, who's a seeker like me. I think God exists.
But I do know where you find them and then I wanted to write to the sink so the skeptic, the seeker and the same is with the book I have, that those three in mind when I wrote it so I took up I begin with just sort of the idea of how do we know God exists, go through all of the evidentiary principles all the way to a sure a light short biography of the of the attributes of God and then I close it off with how how can we be a friend to this God and we talked about her relationship with God we trust that phrase around quite glibly. How do you relate how do you have a personal relationship with somebody you never see or who never audibly speaks to you that's very different kind of relationship and you and I have anybody else as a human level, so we talked about a personal relationship, but we just sort of toss it out without attaching real value to it and understanding to it, and I wanted to do that in this book. We've covered the Genesis of your journey from Southern California your salvation through Billy Graham.
Your decision for you Lenny to leave the ocean and come to the high desert and now we've seen the growth of this church over over the years. I wonder what you come in the early morning you walk around this campus by yourself and you see the significant work, God is done what what are your thoughts well I've done it so long and and so I've had different thoughts.
Yes I pinch myself. It's amazing, but it at the same time. It's such an enjoyable thing for me. I love being on campus.
I love talking to people.
I love hearing their ideas and I am a collaborator so I love hearing the ideas and creativity of my staff and just getting behind their jobs because you know it's cliché, but it does take teamwork to make the dream work in a real way. The team that we have assembled the Lord is assembled here is a powerful potent competent creative group of people and its synergistic II get inspire being around them hearing their conversations chip here accomplish in and of yourself and all that you've done so for you to be a part of this team is an honor and I feel that way about everybody who works one of the things I've observed of the decade. Skip that is frankly impressed me about you and your shepherding your best fitting you teach Wednesday night you teach for services over in a normal time I was on a weekend and yet after those teachings when I'm doing I might be tempted to scurry up to the green room instead of in a relaxed you are out in front talking to people week after week service after service, praying is not easy as draining after you, then 40 minutes in the pulpit, yet it is raining at the same time it is invigorating for me is inspiring for me in this way I don't get feedback when I speak I might get an amen here and there somebody nodding their habit. It's nice afterwards to go up to people and hear their response to it. It helps me know if I'm really connecting Skip a beat and refer effective the speak clear you are standing by the back door getting the great great message. Great sermon pastor you're interacting at that depth and at length with people yet so it's not the typical I leave at the last song and stand there and shake hands and I I'm out in the courtyard in the foyer. Walking up to people talking to people and often times it is draining because people will talk to you and the just emus are pouring out their heart. What makes it difficult is other people see me and it's almost like they don't see that I'm talking to another human being and their pouring out their heart to me. They just interrupt and just start talking and you make it two or three people doing that and that's worth differently if sick, excuse me, I'd love to talk to you, but let me just finish this conversation abroad with so not not only hear the church, I get that in the community because it's a intercept that large of community so but I love I do love meeting people and hearing kind of their story.
But what wouldn't you say to a young pastor or pastor of any age or stage that the key shepherding strategy right.
You're not just the speaker you're not just a preacher you are a pastor if you're a pastor than shepherd them pastor get into their lives.
Figure out ways to do that but your blue jeans on and kept pestering the green room know you can skip.
You came here as you mentioned, and run one radio station in a.m. daytime or today were on hundreds your nationwide TV.
The social media is blowing up frankly and how does that strike you.
I I don't know how it I hear it and it's it's just a nut unit.
If nothing changes for me. I mean, and in that so it's like when when they say while we have 80 200,000 people a week tuning in to two-year weekend message to these different media outlets. Wow, that's amazing, but I don't see that I just hear that number I'm I'm really just seeing the same people that I'm speaking to, and so that's really what I'm concentrated on Iacono country what's in front of me, and grateful for the spillover well. My observation is that your your style hasn't changed from speaking in that one station when you're speaking mission. Frankly, worldwide what happens in the pulpit is really the same. Now I hope so you you've hurt you would know you've you out you had listen to me for a long time is been an honor for Skip year I would consider you an expert in Bible prophecy is the beginning of the shift gears here.
Where do you think were at on the Bible timeline. I think were at the end I think we are in the last days. Now I do have to qualify that because technically the last days began when Jesus came to the earth 2000 years ago began the last days how do we know that because this the Bible says so Peter gets up on Pentecost quotes Joel who says this is a film of the prophecy in the last days over my spare so Peter when he preached that sermon believed he was in the last days number two. The writer of Hebrews said God, who had different times and in different ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by his son. So we have been in the last days for 2000 years having qualify that. However, I think were in the end of the end. There's just too many things going on around there are things that we are seeing in terms of worldwide communication that make the book of Revelation plausibly fulfilled about to be fulfilled. So I think that we are were watching the end unfold in our generation. You've had a remarkable opportunity in the past several years. Skip to be a part of the land slide changes in the Middle East. You've been a part of what happened with the Abraham court that was little little insight into that yes all of let's start with the Abraham court to be on the White House lawn. When you have the leaders of Israel and the United Arab Emirates who came on later on, but the a few Arab nations signing on to be at peace with Israel sadly went almost unnoticed by the elite media but it is monumental. We haven't seen that kind of peace deal for decades.
So it was great to be a part is good to be invited to that it was actually great. I got invited to the State Department was Sec. Pompeo was over the State Department. I got invited to a small dinner at the blue 10 of us run a table before they even talked publicly about the Abraham accords just getting our insight as Christian leaders evangelical leaders on what it should look like, what should what should our administration, our country have in terms of a policy so to be consulted on a national policy with regards to the Middle East. Are you kidding I mean who gets at that what what an invitation. I was I was pretty excited to be a part of that. It was great to be a part of a evangelical delegation with our friend Joel Rosenberg in the Middle East and some of these countries, including Saudi Arabia to talk to the leaders of the country and and share the gospel. What you I know are in it in the palaces with a jewel with the Prime Minister's and the princes that I love the story you told about what he had a hand pulled the pin on a hand grenade if it skip, but explained the gospel to their way. It is very possible that the first time the Gospels ever coherently presented in in that palace probably you probably that had not ever happen for at least 300 years that's that's that's fair so yet to be first will to be invited by the head of Saudi Arabia Mohammed and Salma to come as evangelicals and ask questions and talk about that was unheard of toped you know. Kudos to him for doing that and then for doing it again, inviting us a year later to do it again and relate retain the relationship build on the relationship show you around the country. But that was exciting when Joel kinda teed the ball up for me to drive.
He said, your highness, you probably don't hear the term evangelical Christian bandied about much in this palace. I'm guessing that you guys are use that term much.
Maybe some of your people don't even know what the term means. So I have a friend, a pastor from New Mexico who who who is a Christian leader and I we would it be okay if you just explained everybody what an evangelical Christian is and what he believes in and so he said please do it so at at his invitation, I got to tell the crown prince about God sending his only son into this world to die on a cross for our sins are were all separated from God by sin and only Jesus can forgive that sin. And you know the power of the blood of Christ and the resurrection. Whoever believes in winter.
I get to share that and it was like a Daniel moment like Daniel before the king before Nebuchadnezzar and being able to to input into his life. It was incredibly I was. It was humbling.
It's been about 15 years strips as we did with Joel.
The epicenter of documentary, and many of those themes you spoke about have exactly transpired right exactly and you know think about that. Think about what happened has happened in the world in the Middle East since September 11, 2001, think about Saudi Arabia producing these people to bomb the World Trade Center and now Saudi Arabia arresting radicals, putting a hold on radicals doing their best to overturn radical Islam in the world but certainly in their country and to have a voice of toleration and peace with Israel, even though it had not formally signed agreement were headed in that direction. Other countries have different world then what you and I remember when years. That is in the conversation, which is most as we continue to visually connect with listeners to this program to thank you for your support in the past few years. This teaching ministry is to do more with verse by verse Bible to invite you to help us do that during vision.
Please consider a one-time growth is easy to do: 1-800-922-1880, or go online to connectwithskip.com you to give this special resource package for here are the details we like to send you a signed copy of Scripture latest book, the biography of God will also receive a hardcover copy of Joel Rosenberg's excellent new book enemies and allies Skip plays a part in the story of seismic changes in the Middle East. Your copy of both books with your gift of $50 or more. Connect with Skip to support the growth of these Bible teachers. If you been impacted by Scripps messages is your vote for growth. Either call 1-800-922-1888 go on to connectwithskip.com and give your tax-deductible gift today. Don't miss the next program is Skip talks about the lightning rod of politics is Skip presentation of connection communication ever-changing time