Welcome To The Learner I

    

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12 Chapters  The Learner I  (12 Week Course)

   Chapter One                        Becoming A Disciple  

   Chapter Two                        What is Man?  

   Chapter Three                     Man: From Fall Unto Faith!  

   Chapter Four                       These Three Are One!  

   Chapter Five                        Light Vs. Darkness!  

   Chapter Six                          Who Is Man With Christ?  

   Chapter Seven                    Prayer And Confession  

   Chapter Eight                      Forgiveness  

   Chapter Nine                       How To Handle Hard Times  

   Chapter Ten                        God And Deliverance  

   Chapter Eleven                   Faith In Action  

   Chapter Twelve                   Workers Needed  

 Plus Memory Verses at the end of each Chapter!

Sample Of Chapter

How to Handle Hard Times

 

Chapter Nine

How To Handle Hard Times in Love

Primary Message: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Mathew 5

 

Worldview: Kindness is weakness and to deal with hard times you must be tough and deal with things by force.

 

Evangelistic Emphasis: Our affliction is light and not lasting. It will lead us unto a better and more glorious future. “How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” 2Corinthians 8:2

 

Often after we have done a good thing for God or for others we are surprised to find out that it is misunderstood, not appreciated, or used against us because others become jealous. Jesus did many miracles and was told to leave, was spoken harshly about afterwards, was accused of having a demon and so on. Should we be so surprised if after doing something good for God we get attacked? No, but we need to understand how to deal with these hard times should they come. This chapter is about how to deal with hard times even after doing good things! The word teaches us to overcome evil with good Lets' take a look at this.

 

1 Samuel 17:40-58

40. “And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

41. And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David, and the man that bare the shield went before him.

42. And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of fair countenance.

43. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a Dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

44. And the Philistine said unto David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.

45. Then said David unto the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

46. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

47. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hands.

48. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

49. And David put his hand into his bag, and took thence a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slung it, and smote the

Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.

50. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a

stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.

51. Therefore David ran and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

52. And the men of Israel and of Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines, until thou come the valley, and to the gates of Ekron.  And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.

53. And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents.

54. And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armor in his tent.

55. And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O King, I cannot tell.

56. And the King said, inquire thou whose son the stripling is.

57. And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine,

Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of

the Philistine in his hand.

58. And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.” 

 

After reading these verses what questions do you have?

Answer the following questions:

How many times have you done a good thing for someone and only trouble came because of it?

How did you deal with it?

 

David has long been known as a man after God’s own heart, here we find him to be just a boy, but when you look into his background you find that he was a shepherd boy that spent days in the pastures tending to his flock and talking with God. His wisdom and strength came only from the Lord and not from the conventional or traditional wisdom of his day. He chose not to fight using sword and spear; he left his armor behind, and went forth into battle in the name of the Lord. What an awesome faith he had in God! And because of his faith and his obedience to God, God gave him the victory. It was to the delight of the Lord to see his will be done! Often we are called into battle in our lives and are tested in our decision to trust God or to do things man’s ways. When we are, it is upon us to stand firm in the strength of the Lord and to believe in the words of Christ that he will never leave us nor forsake us. So step out! And Step into Christ glory! David is now the hero because he stepped out in faith trusting God and thereby won the victory for God’s people.

 

1 Samuel 18:6-16

6. “And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out from all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with Tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music.

7. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

8. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, they have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to

me they ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?

9. And Saul eyed David from that day forward.

10. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times:and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.

11. And Saul cast the Javelin; for he said, I will smite even to

the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.

12. And Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul.

13. Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.

14. And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him.

15. Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.

16. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.” 

 

After David does well he becomes a target of danger. The bull’s eye was now placed directly upon David’s back because King Saul was threatened by David’s popularity and jealous of his fame. God had left Saul and was with David, and King Saul opened the door for an evil spirit to enter into his heart. In fact God himself allowed this spirit to take over Saul’s heart. In the book of Galatians chapter five, we read of the fruits of the flesh vs. the fruits of the spirit. Saul was guilty of allowing his flesh response to take over and it exposed his jealousy, and Jealousy we find, is one example of the fruit of the flesh!

 

After reading these verses what questions do you have?

Answer the following questions:

What would you do if you were David?

Has anyone ever been jealous of you? What did you do?

What should our reaction to hard times be?

 

The role that faith plays:

Mathew 8:19-27

19. “And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

20. And Jesus saith unto him, the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

21. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

22. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

23. And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.

24. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.

25. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

26. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

27. But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”

 

 The Military teaches “The Three M’s” My Mission, My Men, and Myself in that order. It would seem that Jesus is teaching a set of priorities to his disciples also. In life we must abide by certain priorities lest we are confused as to what things are important and in what order of importance we should follow. To understand this order we must first understand why Jesus came. This is found in Luke 19:10 where Jesus states, “I have come to seek and to save the lost. This is the statement that sets priority. The mission is to seek and to save first. The fact that Jesus is forewarning the scribe that to follow him means to have no place to live and no place to rest is an awakening to us.

 

To follow Jesus will require us to deny ourselves the luxuries of the world in order to prepare for the life to come, the eternal life with Jesus our Lord. There are priorities, which often will require that we place our loved ones in the number two slot and ourselves in the number three, behind the mission of seeking and (Jesus saves) saving.

 

After reading these verses what questions do you have?

Answer the following questions:

Will hard times come when we follow Jesus?

What did the disciples have to little of?

To whom did the disciples call out?

 

Mark 11:20-26

20. “And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

21. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.

22. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

23. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

24. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

25. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

26. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

 

Isn’t it amazing that despite the miracle on the boat where Jesus caused the winds to obey him and brought calm to the sea, the disciples soon after forgot all about it at the withering of the fig tree? This is exactly what we do. We forget the miracles that Jesus has done in our lives and for some reason expect some different experience to happen. With excitement Peter called this to remembrance as though the rebuking of the winds and the calming of the sea was just an accident and this type of miracle to happen again was amazing. Jesus said “O ye of little faith” at the rebuking of the winds and here he simply says “Have faith in God” The reinforcing of what they needed more of is the answer to all of our issues, Faith, faith, and more faith. This is more than a common theme throughout the many miracles of Jesus’ ministry it is a fact of daily life. Have faith in God today, everyday and always forevermore! This is how to deal with hard times.

 

After reading these verses what questions do you have?

Answer the following questions:

What do you have to do when you pray before you can receive?

Why is faith so important in times of difficulty?

 

Mathew 5:38-48

38. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

39. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

40. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

41. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

42. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.

44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them

which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the

 good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

 

 Have faith you say! I have faith another says, but all of us must realize that faith worketh by love. How shall we who walk in faith show others our faith if we are in the business of retaliation? Remember, mission first then others and then ourselves. If we are seeking to strike back for an offense committed unto us then where is our love and what then of our faith? Jesus not only tells us that to follow him we may not have a place to rest our head, but he also tells us that we must deny ourselves and walk in love.

 

After reading these verses what questions do you have?

Answer the following questions:

In times past how did people treat their enemies?

When Jesus came what did he teach about enemies?

 

Love and faith go hand in hand and compassion rather than revenge is how we ought to treat others when it comes to those that despitefully use us. We must remember Jesus on the cross and what he said; “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

 

Romans 12:17-21

17. “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will

repay, saith the Lord.

20. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his

head.

21. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” 

 

Here is where faith comes in, to activate our faith in God we are put to the test; we must overcome evil with good! This is an action not merely an ignoring of the situation. Our faith in God requires us to lay every issue at his feet and understand who he is. He is Almighty God who says “Vengeance is mine I will repay” Lay it at his feet and walk away from the offense and go and love the offender! Wow, now that is a test of faith in God!

 

God will not give us more than we can handle and therefore desires to defend us and to vindicate us. When he says “All things work to the good to those that love Jesus” he is assuring us that he is in charge and on top of the situation. He also tells us “If God is for us who can be against us?” God is for us but we cannot forget that he is there and take matters into our own hands. When times get tough lay them at his feet asking God to work on your behalf. Trust God to do what he says!

 

DO NOT TAKE MATTERS INTO YOUR OWN HANDS AND RETALIATE!

 

After reading these verses what questions do you have?

Answer the following questions:

Why is it important to be honest to all people?

What should you do for your enemies?

 

Yes, we are all going to have hard times, we will be persecuted, we will suffer at the hands of evil people, but there is a way to handle this. Take a look at the message below titled “Pressing Forward” this will give us some very important instructions on how to endure hard times.

 

PRESSING FORWARD

"Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

 

Joseph is made a slave

Moses is chased in the desert

Sampson was captured by the Philistines

David was pursued by Saul

Eli's sons were put to death

Solomon turned from God

Elijah was chased by Jezebel

Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den

Shadrack, Mishack, and Abednego was thrown into a

fiery furnace

Jesus was hunted by Herod

Steven was stoned to death

John the Baptist was beheaded

John the revelator was sent to the Island of Patmos

 

On and on, the gospel continues, it has pressed on despite adversity. Tonight there may be some sitting among us that are going through hard times. You may be asking, how can I continue having all this trouble slowing me down almost to a stopping point? How can I keep going?

 

2Kings 20:1-11

"In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said,

 

This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover." Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, " Remember, O Lord how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him.” Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, " This is

what the Lord, the God of your father David says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hands of the King of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David. Then Isaiah said, "Prepare a Poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered. Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, "What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the Lord on the third day from now?"

Isaiah answered, "This is the Lord's sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps or shall it go back ten steps?” “It's a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps." said Hezekiah. "Rather have it go back ten steps." Then the prophet Isaiah called upon the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down the stairway of Ahaz.

 

Here we find Hezekiah coming to his end, he does not want to die, but he has been told his time was up. He was told to get his house in order because he was going to die. Now notice what Hezekiah does!

Hezekiah turned and prayed to God saying remember Lord how I have walked before you faithfully, (not perfect but faithful) and with whole hearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes. Hezekiah doesn't want to die; he wants to keep going so he cries out to God. God hears him and adds years to his life. So how do we press on? We cry out to God! Some of us just need to cry out to God, we are often too busy looking for a way out ourselves and stay stuck. Until we cry out we will stay this way.


 

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you

great and mighty things that you do not know."Jeremiah 33:3

 

Because Hezekiah called to the Lord he is given more time, 15 years. The first thing to do when we desire to press on is call on God! Our life is but a shadow!

 

1Chronicles 29:15 "We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are but a shadow, without hope."

 

Job 8:9 "for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow."

 

As we continue to read Hezekiah asks for a sign that he will live. Isaiah asks him, "should the shadow go forward ten steps or shall it go back ten steps?"

 

Shall we press on? In this story, where was the shadow going?

It was on course for death, Hezekiah says: it is easy for the shadow to go forward. Folks it is easy to quit!

Hezekiah's story tells us it is an easy thing to go forward to the grave, but a hard thing to stay and keep pressing forward. The shadow of Hezekiah that is on the stairway of Ahaz is on the way to death and Hezekiah elects to have it go ten steps back.

 

In Philippians 1:21 Paul says. "For me to live is Christ but to die is gain."

We must accept the fact that to live is to live as Christ lived and that may require suffering as he suffered for our sakes! It is easy to quit! Thank God Jesus was not a quitter!

 

Hebrews 12:1-4 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin."

 

Friends Jesus didn't quit. He pressed on! Are you suffering?

Are you having a hard time understanding why?

 

Turn with me to Isaiah 55:6-11

 

"Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man

his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goes forth out from my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it."

 

Who can understand God? Who can understand why? Even Jesus struggled (Mathew 2 7:46) and David too!

(Psalm 22:1) We are not above them! They suffered and so must we! So what do we do?

 

Philippians 1:12-14 & 19-21

"But I would that ye should understand brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; and many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear." "For I know that this shall turn to my salvation, through your prayer, and the supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ. According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death " "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

 

Friends we must trust that all things work together for the good to them that love Christ, we may not understand it all right now but it is for our good, we must trust that! No one knows all of God's ways, but all works to the good! Romans 8:28-31.

Knowing all of these things, we can take comfort in God.

 

Genesis 28:15

"And behold I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places where you go, and will bring you again unto this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of."

 

Psalm 106:1

"Praise ye the Lord, O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: his mercy endures forever." God will see us through when we decide to press forward! 

 

With every head bowed and every eye closed, if you are in need of a special touch from the Lord, may be you would like to receive him as your Lord and savior today, maybe you’re struggling and need a little extra strength to press on, or maybe you feel the Lord calling you to get closer to him. If any of these describe where you are at today then please let us pray for

you, come to the front and we will pray for your need and our God which supplies all our needs according to his riches in glory, he will provide what you need as you believe on him for it. Come and receive, this is what Jesus always says with open arms and an outstretched hand willing to provide for you as you are. 

 

Pressing Forward!!

Memory Verses:

Mathew 6:12 “Forgive us our…”

Mathew 18:22 “Jesus said unto them, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but …”

2Corinthians 2:8 “Wherefore I beseech you that you confirm…”

1John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with him, …”

 

Chapter Ten                        God And Deliverance