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Lesson Four: Full-length

Into the Desert

Laurie Aker

NOTE: FOR A PDF COPY OF THIS LESSON'S DISCUSSION GUIDE PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE -DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR GROUP OR INDIVIDUAL USE LESSON SUMMARY: Immediately after Jesus’ baptism the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness. There He was tempted by the enemy. He tried to entice Jesus to serve Himself and not His Father. Jesus took His stand, held firm in the truth, rejected lies, and refuted the devil with the written Word of God. Satan knows us. He knows our weaknesses and strengths. He is working to distract, discourage, and destroy us. He is trying to keep us from a more intimate relationship with Christ. But we have the same weapons Jesus used! When used by faith, they are as powerful in our hands as they were for Jesus. Ultimately, God is our defense, but we must fight. He does expect us to use the instruction, the illustrations, and the weapons He has given us. We must know our weaknesses and be honest about them. For those in Christ, we have access to His infinite power. We have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, Christ in us! DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR GROUP OR INDIVIDUAL USE Opening Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for this time you have provided for us to come together to hear from you and have fellowship in your Word and to learn and apply your Word to our hearts. We need you, Lord. We need your grace all the time. We praise you for your goodness and your love and mercy. Please open our hearts to you and to one another and lead our discussion. Help us not to fear, but to put all of our hope in Christ. Help us to remember there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. May you be glorified in all our thoughts and words and deeds. In Jesus’ name, Amen. I. LECTURE Will someone share how the Lord used the lecture to speak to your heart? Did anyone have any questions or concerns about the lecture? If you ever have a question or something is unclear, please let us know. We want to serve you in any way we can! II. QUESTIONS FROM THE HOMEWORK Go through the homework, occasionally calling on women. Read scriptures aloud. After asking a question, remember to allow a brief period of quiet “wait-time” to give women a chance to think before answering. After pausing, if no one shares, go ahead with your answer, rephrase the question, and/or move on. DAY ONE- Devotion: Into the Desert 1. What lies of the enemy do you give into? Whose voice do you listen to? 2. Satan knows our weaknesses. It is important therefore for us to know our own weaknesses in order to fight temptation. Will someone share an area of weakness they recognize? DAY TWO: 3. Please read Matthew 4:1-4. After reading Jesus’ responses to Satan’s temptations, how did they apply to your heart? 4. What did God want to prove through allowing Christ to be tempted? 5. According to the verses in Question #3, why might God allow trials and allow Satan to test you? DAY THREE- 6. Read Matthew 4:5-7. Do you want God’s glory, His way, in His time, or do you want your glory, your way, in your time? 7. How long was Jesus tempted? What were the circumstances? 8. When are the times you are most vulnerable to giving into temptation? In what 3 main areas do you have the most difficulty resisting temptation? DAY FOUR- 9. Please read Matthew 4:8-11. What has the Lord showed you about who you are worshipping? What, if anything, is taking your heart away from the Lord? 10. What did you learn about the enemy on this day? 11. Which name of God spoke to your heart the most? DAY FIVE- 12. From Deuteronomy 20:1-4, what does Moses instruct the people of Israel to do? 13. How will remembering who we are in Christ help you the next time you are under spiritual attack? 14. Would someone share one of the sins you are struggling with and the scripture you found to combat it? III. PLEASE FILL OUT YOUR HOMEWORK ACCOUNTABILITY CARDS IV PLEASE RECITE YOUR SCRIPTURE MEMORY VERSES TOGETHER V. TAKING THE TRUTH TO HEART TIME We will now focus on taking God’s truth to our hearts and bringing it to life. James 5:16a states; “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” And 1 Peter 2:24 says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” Please turn to your Taking the Truth to Heart Review page. We will each have 3 minutes so that every woman will have a chance to share. Please record one another’s confessions on the Taking the Truth to Heart Guide on the following page so you can pray for one another throughout the week. Leaders please set the example by going first. VI. PLEASE CLOSE IN PRAYER

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PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING: Sample lessons and audio/video files (below) are accessible for each study for those who would like to preview a study. Our audio/video resources are meant to be used in conjunction with the study workbooks for a full mentoring and discipleship experience. Due to this, most of our workbooks are password protected; passwords are located in the corresponding workbooks––If you do not have a workbook containing the passwords please contact us at info@thistlebend.org If you do not have a workbook and would like to purchase one today––select the tab "Purchase This Study Today" listed on the previous page. More information about JESUS, I NEED YOU: This introductory-level discipleship study will challenge women to really know Jesus and look to Him in ways they may never have before. Throughout this study, the teachings of Jesus will be unfolded, and participants will be encouraged to put aside the demands of their present-day world and sit at Jesus’ feet so they might truly hear His message. As they learn to listen attentively, their hearts will be pierced by the voice of Jesus in God’s Word. They will come to know His heart and know that they can ask Him for the grace they need to obey Him fully. Be sure to order the companion study, Jesus, I Want to Love You, after completing this study. -Focus Scripture: Matthew 1-5 (with a focus on the Beatitudes) -Length: Eleven weeks -Introductory Level (30-45 min. daily) -Written by Laurie Aker

Purchase This Study Today

Digital Copy and Hard Copy Available

This introductory-level discipleship study will challenge women to really know Jesus and look to Him in ways they may never have before. Throughout this study, the teachings of Jesus will be unfolded, and participants will be encouraged to put aside the demands of their present-day world and sit at Jesus’ feet so they might truly hear His message. As they learn to listen attentively, their hearts will be pierced by the voice of Jesus in God’s Word. They will come to know His heart and know that they can ask Him for the grace they need to obey Him fully. Be sure to order the companion study, Jesus, I Want to Love You, after completing this study.

Supplementary Study Materials

Memory Verses, Syllabus, and Commentary

MEMORY PASSAGE: Matthew 5: 3-17 ESV Lesson 1: vv. 3-4 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Lesson 2: vv. 5-6 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Lesson 3: v. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Lesson 4: vv. 8-9 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Lesson 5: v. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Lesson 6: vv. 11-12 Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you Lesson 7: v. 13 You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. Lesson 8: vv. 14-15 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Lesson 9: v. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Lesson 10: Review lessons 1-9