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Jesus, I Need You 2022 and 2018

Matthew 1-5

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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 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

Taking the Truth to Heart

TAKING THE TRUTH TO HEART INSTRUCTIONS Follow these instructions daily and weekly (they are in your workbook as well) and use the Take a Note feature that is available for each lesson. Record your answers within Take a Note and then access them whenever you need a reminder throughout the week. You will need to create an account (like you might for Facebook or Instagram) to use this feature if you haven't already done so. DAILY: 1. Choose one Scripture from the day to apply to your heart. 2. Write it out and take it with you throughout the day to meditate upon. WEEKLY: 1. TAKING THE TRUTH TO HEART: Write one Scripture from the week that the Lord is using to renew your mind and transform your heart. (Rom. 12:2) How is God using this Scripture to teach, instruct, reprove, correct, or train you? (2 Tim. 3:16-17) 2. PUTTING THE FLESH TO DEATH: What sin (wrong thinking or ungodly thought, belief, attitude, action, or inaction) is being addressed by the Scripture you wrote? Confess this in writing. Also include an example of where you saw the evidence of this sin in your life this week. Ask for the Lord’s forgiveness and receive His mercy and grace. (1 John 1:9-10) What do you now need to “put off” from your old self (Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:5-9) or adjust in your thinking, beliefs, attitude, or behavior to submit to God and apply His truth to your mind and heart? 3. BRINGING THE TRUTH TO LIFE: Walking forward in repentance and faith by God’s grace, what will you “put on” (Eph. 4:23- 24; Col. 3:10, 12, 14)? How are you going to do this? Be specific in your plan of action and be encouraged by what the Lord is going to do. Remember God’s love in the gospel, that you have died and Christ now lives in you. Walk in love. Take God’s Word to heart. Submit to it. Humbly live it out.

2018 Introduction

Laurie Aker

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. You can also view the information below. Purchase the workbook, ebook, and other resources at www.thistlebend.org 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.

2018 Lesson One

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 Ours is a predominantly me-centered world, which is what hinders a real, tangible, intimate relationship with our Immanuel. We are all so full of ourselves, but we need to be filled with Him. We are never going to deeply know Jesus and experience our oneness with Him until we begin to grasp how much our old ways of living are not His way. It is only when we comprehend our need to leave our ways behind and seek Him and His kingdom that we will be able to fully know Him as our Immanuel. Yet we continue to look like the world around us, the culture we live in. Many have an outward appearance of godliness, but are completely missing the love and holiness of Christ. Only He can move the mountains in our hearts and minds. At our salvation the Lord created a new heart in us, and now He is reviving His Spirit within us. We need Jesus! He alone is our great reward! 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 question, and/or move on. DAY ONE 1. Will someone vulnerably share the list of things you crave more than the Lord? What is keeping you from putting your relationship with Christ first or from fully surrendering everything to the Lord? DAY TWO 2. Please read Isaiah 1:2-4. What things of the world do you long for? Where or when do you doubt God’s ways? 3. From reading Isaiah chapter 1, how does God describe Israel and their behavior? What is their heart condition? What does He ask them to do? How does He encourage them in verses 18-20? 4. What areas of darkness, hard-heartedness, callousness, or impurity did the Lord reveal to you? Please remember there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ! DAY THREE 5. What does God do in response to Isaiah’s confession and repentance? This is what you underlined in the passage from Isaiah 6:6-13. 6. What is Isaiah’s response? What is your response? Will anyone share what they confessed to the Lord? DAY FOUR 7. Please read Isaiah 10:33-34. What do you need to do to spur on your growth? 8. What do you fear when you think of the Lord pruning you? 9. What did you learn about the Lord’s loving kindness expressed through His warnings in Isaiah 30:1-17 and Isaiah 31? 10. What did you learn from reading God’s encouragement in Isaiah 30:18-22? How are you going to apply this to your life today? DAY FIVE 11. What did you learn about Jesus from the Old or New Testament passages you read? 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

2018 Lesson Two

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 One: Jesus, I Need You LESSON SUMMARY An intimate relationship with the Lord begins when we trust in Jesus and deepens as we ‘lie down in green pastures,’ when we slow down and take time to be with the Lord in His Word and truly submit to Him. It develops when we stop and make time to listen to God and the truth of His Word and respond to it rather than to all the things in the world calling our names. John the Baptist came to the people of God. He pleaded with them to listen, to turn their hearts from their own ways toward God. Our call is the same. God is calling us to turn from self-absorption, self-sufficiency, and self-righteousness and no matter where we are, to lay everything at His feet. God wants Jesus to be not just a priority but to be THE priority in our lives. He wants Him to be our first love. Let’s ask Him to prepare the way deeper into our hearts. Let’s ask Him to make this more than just a bible study. Let’s believe God, prove His Word, and see Him move mountains before us! 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 question, and/or move on. DAY ONE 1. Do you want to get yourself out of the way to have more of Christ? How are you going to do this? 2. What we believe directly impacts how we approach the details, decisions, and demands of life. Have you established a daily quiet time with the Lord? If not, what is getting in the way? DAY TWO 3. Please read Matthew 3:1-3. Are you listening to the Lord in His Word? Do you have ears to hear? What, if anything, are you putting above God and His Word? 4. What was John’s message to unbelievers in Matthew 3:1-12? How can this message speak to us as Christians as well? 5. What do you think you can or should do to prepare your heart to make ready the way of the Lord? DAY THREE 6. Read Luke 3:4-6. Do you think our hearts are different than those of the people in the days of John the Baptist? How are they similar? If we are in Christ, how can our hearts be hardened by unconfessed sin? 7. What would the Lord say to you if you asked Him, “If theses things are true, Lord, what shall I do?” If you are to turn toward God and love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, what would you need to get rid of in order to truly “clean house” and prepare the way of the Lord? DAY FOUR 8. Read John 1:1-8. What did you learn about the light, darkness, and the Word after reading John 1:1-28? 9. What is the importance of listening intently to the Word and meditating on it in your daily life? Describe how you listen and then bear light from taking in what you hear. 10. What do the people around you see in you? What do they hear from you? What did the Lord reveal to you as you asked Him to penetrate any darkness in your heart with His light? DAY FIVE 11. What similarities do you see between God’s people in the time of Malachi and us today? How have you honored people more than God? 12. Will someone share something they learned about whose voice was being listened to in Question #2? 13. What life changing results are you experiencing from your relationship with Christ? 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

2018 Lesson Three

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 Three: Journey to the Jordan LESSON SUMMARY In order to follow Christ we must be willing to leave. To be more like Jesus, we need to leave our extra baggage behind-all we think we need, our ways of doing things, the familiar and safe, what we desire to do. Sometimes, if we are slow to follow, reluctant to surrender, or unwilling to submit, a few small steps can take a lifetime. Yet when we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and submit to Him in every way, we enter into the precious, magnificent inner chambers of the kingdom of God, where nothing in this world can ever compare. So let’s journey to the Jordan as the people did in response to John the Baptist’s call for them to repent of their sins…and find Jesus there. 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- 1. Are you ready for a journey—to seek and discover what the Lord has said in His Word, to understand His heart, and to know Him better than ever before? What excites you about this journey? 2. Would someone vulnerably share what you confessed to the Lord that you don’t want to leave in order to follow Him? DAY TWO- 3. Please read Mark 1:4-5. What does Isaiah the prophet say about John? Why was John in the wilderness? Why do you think the Father was “well pleased” with His Son? 4. What family traditions or beliefs might you have to leave; what items on your schedule or to-do list might you have to ignore; or what things might you have to let get disorganized in order to establish God’s order and obey the call to follow Jesus? DAY THREE- 5. Read Matthew 3:13-15. Does anyone have a question about baptism? Please feel free to contact your small group leader if you have any questions or concerns. 6. If you are a believer and have been baptized, are you living as though you have died and now live for Christ alone? Did you ask anyone you know to be honest with you about whether or not they see you living a life fully abandoned to Christ and His Word? 7. What are your thoughts and feelings toward your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? Who is He to you? DAY FOUR- 8. Read Acts 2:38. Are you living a life of continual repentance? In what areas do you need to repent? DAY FIVE- 9. In the Titus passage, what does Paul tell Titus to tell his flock? What does this passage say about who we once were? And what did Jesus do for us? 10. What does Jesus say it means to follow? 11. What do you think the steps would be to follow Christ on the path of righteousness, to live according to the kingdom of God? 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

2018 Lesson Four

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

2018 Lesson Five

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: The Light came to shine light in the darkness. The way came to lead the lost. The truth was sent to confront the lie. The life was sent not only to overcome death but to die to conquer it. However, our eyes see so dimly that we are unable to see the light for who He is. We need the Lord to touch our hearts and give us a new desire to walk in the light He shines on our path. When we ask, He will answer. He will open our eyes, and He will give us light to see. As we respond to that light, He will give us more light. The Light of life will dawn anew in our hearts and we will be filled to overflowing with the light of life himself 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 question, and/or move on. DAY ONE Devotion: The Light Dawns 1. How do we come to the point, as an old hymn says, where the “things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace?” What is our role? What is our responsibility? DAY TWO 2. Please read Matthew 4:12-16. What do you fear? What do you need to do to overcome the darkness? 3. What do you believe Jesus is asking you to lay down? 4. Where does your life seem most out of control, out of balance, or out of sync? DAY THREE 5. What are your regular, customary spiritual disciplines? If you do not have any, what is the first thing you want to get into place? 6. What was Christ sent to do according to Luke 4:18-19? 7. What goes through your heart and mind as you read Luke 4:23-26? 8. What kind of attitudes do you encounter at church? Have you been measured by some human standard? Do you measure others by the same? 9. How do you respond to the sermon preached on Sunday morning? What do you do with it? DAY FOUR 10. From reading Luke 5:4-11, what did Jesus ask Simon Peter to do? What was Peter’s response to Jesus? 11. Would someone share their thoughts and observations from reading Revelation 4:8-11 12. Would someone share their thoughts and feelings when you were instructed to imagine yourself in Peter’s shoes? 13. Will someone share a time when you saw God so clearly that it caused you to worship? DAY FIVE 14. What have you witnessed Jesus doing in the lives of those around you, even in the past few weeks? 15. What do you think true faith is? What does it look like? When do you find it most difficult to walk by faith? 16. Are you living as though you were saved from eternal destruction by your Lord? What do you need to do to more brightly shine the light of Christ in your world? 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

2018 Lesson Six

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: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus, as both God and man, sets forth the foundational truths and principles of kingdom living. It was intended to turn our world upside down. The standard is so lofty it appears unattainable and many have written it off as just an ideal. Yet Jesus offers Himself as the door into this new kingdom and the way to live this truth and this life. Yet our flesh resists. All of us will fall short of this mark. It is a standard He knows none of us are able to keep. So He kept it for us perfectly and then went to the cross to die for our violations of His standard. When we trust in Jesus and are saved, He also gives us His power to be able to live out the standard. When one life is radically changed because of Jesus Christ and His Word – there is revival! May we live out His words in His power and may there be revival in our hearts and homes! 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 question, and/or move on. DAY ONE- Devotion: On the Mount 1. What spoke to your heart the most from reading the Devotion? DAY TWO 2. Read Luke 6:17-20. Who was there? Who would truly hear His words? How would they respond? 3. Would someone choose one of the beatitudes to share and the definition they wrote? DAY THREE 4. Have you had anyone cast insults at you or spurn your name as evil for the sake of the name of Christ? What was it like? What do you feel now? If you haven’t been persecuted for the name of Christ, what comes to your mind when you think about it happening to you? 5. Will someone vulnerably share where you struggle with one of the topics from the Sermon on the Mount? 6. Read John 9:39-41. In your own words, what was Jesus saying? DAY FOUR 7. Would someone please share the short prayer they wrote from the Morning Quiet Moment? 8. Again will somebody vulnerably share where you struggle with one of the topics from the Sermon on the Mount? 9. As you have listened to Jesus, what areas in your heart has He addressed? Remember there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!! DAY FIVE 10. How do we respond to those who are our enemies? What do you feel like doing or tend to do? What does Jesus say we are to do? 11. Which command or standard was the most surprising or shocking to you? What was surprising? 12. As you read the last few verses of Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain, what does He emphasize? What is He driving home? 13. Where are you doing the most new construction? Your home on the earth (or sand) or your home on the rock? What additions or updates have you added recently? 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

2018 Lesson Seven

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: Oh the blessedness of those whose hearts are acutely aware that they have nothing and are nothing apart from Christ. Oh the blessedness of those whose hearts are broken and crushed and who see clearly that it was their sin that put their Savior on the tree. In this life there are two paths: a wide and easy path that leads to destruction or the path that Jesus offers that is narrow and difficult and leads to eternal life. The narrow path requires giving up everything we have. It requires admitting we have nothing to bring. The narrow path is the path to true blessedness. Blessed are those who are willing to leave and follow Christ, believing and trusting Him to give them everything they need. 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 question, and/or move on. DAY ONE 1. What or who is your hope placed in? Is it placed in Christ alone or your job, children, husband, marriage, house, or standing in the community? 2. Are you poor in spirit? Are you willing to be poor? Are you willing to leave in order to follow? If the answer is “no,” what is holding you back? DAY TWO 3. Please read Matthew 5:1-3 NIV. Describe what your day might look like if you got up tomorrow and began your day truly living and following the principle of being in the world, but not of it? DAY THREE 4. Read Luke 6:20. What strikes you about this verse? 5. After reading John 12:1-8, what do you think Mary’s actions communicated about her heart? What does she convey about poverty and riches and blessing in her actions? 6. What do you have to offer to Christ? What has He offered you? DAY FOUR 7. Do you believe the forgiveness and grace offered to you in Christ is real or do you still feel unforgiven? 8. What do you need? Do you need His comfort? Do you need His blessing? Or do you really need to have Him break your heart over your sin? DAY FIVE 9. In Numbers 12:1-13, what did Miriam and Aaron do? 10. What are the definitions of meek, humble, and gentle? 11. Are you meek? Are you humble? 12. How do you respond when someone continues to do the wrong thing, has completely failed you, or speaks against you or your character? 13. How can we be more like Jesus in the meekness He displays? 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

2018 Lesson Eight

Laurie Aker

LESSON SUMMARY We too, like Noah, Moses, David, and Daniel, can accomplish great and unimaginable feats as we follow God by faith, trusting in His wisdom and power. By hungering and thirsting after righteousness, we will grow into mighty warriors and witness the giants of fear, worry, and anger fall as we wield the word of truth. When we see and come to know Jesus, we see our poverty, our need, and our weakness. That is the beginning of an entirely new life with Christ! By faith we are then trained, equipped, and made more like Christ as we walk down the corridor of the Beatitudes. We will discover that by coming up under their instruction, we will be transformed. 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 question, and/or move on. DAY ONE 1. Where would a woman get what she needs to live the life described in the first paragraph of the Day One devotion? How do we follow the path of the Beatitudes? DAY TWO 2. What do you hunger and thirst after? Do you believe the Lord can cause you to hunger and thirst after Him more than anything in this world? 3. From reading Psalm 119 and Psalm 19:7-14, what did you note about the psalmist’s thought life and focus? DAY THREE 4. What does God do when you make the same mistake over and over again? What does His word say? What is your response when your child does the same thing wrong for the umpteenth time? 5. What do you think it means to be merciful? Will someone share what it was like when somebody showed you mercy? 6. How do the Beatitudes relate? What observations did you make? 7. What is mercy? Have you experienced God’s mercy? What does mercy look like when you are interacting with others? DAY FOUR 8. What do you think it means to have a pure heart? 9. What does Psalm 24 say about the one who may ascend the hill of the Lord? What is provided if we have a pure heart? What is the way to a pure heart? 10. Read James 1:6-8 and James 4:8.  What is holding you back? 11. What did you learn about holiness and purity from reading the scriptures in the Going Deeper section? DAY FIVE 12. What is Jesus saying about peacemakers in Matthew 5:9? Why do you think He says that those who are peacemakers shall be called the sons of God? 13. Do you consider yourself a peacemaker? What did you learn from asking a friend or family member? 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

2018 Lesson Nine

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 Nine: Blessed are the Persecuted LESSON SUMMARY We are blessed when we are persecuted for reflecting Christ’s righteousness or speaking the truth in love or exalting His name or proclaiming the gospel. You are blessed when you suffer because you are faithful to Jesus and to the gospel. We can rejoice because we are being given the honor and privilege of suffering for Christ our Savior and His gospel. However, if we are not being persecuted, we may be laying down the gospel instead of laying down our lives for the gospel. The enemy is always trying to take us down. We can and must walk forward in Christ, in confidence, by faith, in grace to be who we already are in Him. 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 question, and/or move on. DAY ONE- Devotion: Blessed Are the Persecuted 1. What is true biblical persecution? DAY TWO: 2. Read Matthew 5:10-12. Who does Jesus say is blessed? What does Jesus mention as persecution? Will someone share a time you have been persecuted or witnessed persecution through name calling or slander or malicious deeds? 3. Do you serve Jesus as your Master? What are you going to do with the life you have been given? 4. What does picking up your cross and following Jesus mean to you? Are you doing it? 5. What are some of your fears, distractions, or priorities that are keeping you from sharing the gospel? DAY THREE 6. What is the opposite of living for Jesus’ sake? What does it look like? 7. When do you bow to self? When do you see “self” take center stage? 8. What would you say is your primary goal? Each week? Each day? DAY FOUR: 9. What were the two different responses from Luke 13:10-17? 10. When you are in a position to let your light shine, what responses have you experienced? 11. Would someone share what they wrote as their commitment to the Lord and statement of faith? 12. What were your observations and thoughts after reading Luke 16:14-15? And John 8:31-59? DAY FIVE: 13. What will you do in the face of opposition? 14. What were the instructions Paul gave to Timothy? 15. What are three things that Jesus is praying for you that you find encouraging? 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

2018 Lesson Ten

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 Ten: A City on a Hill LESSON SUMMARY Christ in us is the saving beacon of hope in the midst of the dark, dangerous, and stormy sea. Jesus tells us that we are to be vessels of His light in the darkness, a tender guiding hand to the lost, a vision of hope for the broken, a call of repentance to the rebellious, a message of truth in a world clamoring for personal attention. We can’t just be rule followers, church goers, or do-gooders…we need to “be Jesus.” We must vulnerably lay our lives down, as He laid His life down, so the light of life would rise up within us. We learn the gait, technique, and nature of the authentic gospel walk as we humbly travel down the path of the Beatitudes, clinging to Christ and His grace. Our ability to live out the Word is not merely about what we know, but who we know. It is absolutely about a love relationship with the one who loved us first; the one who loved us so deeply and dearly that He was willing to take upon himself the wrath of God the Father; the one who died in our place; our Savior, our beloved, our betrothed. 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 how to 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.