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Jesus, I Need You

Matthew 1-5

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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

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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

Taking the Truth to Heart

Please Review Instructions

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.

Introduction: Full-length

to Jesus, I Need You • 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.

Introduction: Segment A

Introduction: Segment B

Lesson One: Full-length

Jesus, I Need You • 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

Lesson One: Segment A

Note: If you are using an Android device and experience audio playback difficulties, be sure to select the device's default internet feature or visit thistlebend.org. 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 Purchase the workbook, ebook, and other resources at www.thistlebend.org

Lesson Two: Full-length

A Voice in the Wilderness • 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

Lesson Two: Segment A

Lesson Three: Full-length

Journey to the Jordan • 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

Lesson Three: Segment A

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

Lesson Four: Segment A

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