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Today we want to give you a little glimpse into the Activated 12 Foundation Stones course. We’ll go over what the course contains, as well as show you how you can benefit from these classes.
This course is not about making you or your life perfect! It is about making your life happier and fuller. It is about finding answers to your questions, and it is about how to help those in your sphere of influence also experience these positive changes.
The classes in this course are like foundation stones. Each foundation stone describes an area of faith or practical knowledge that you can build the house of your life upon. Each foundation stone deals with you primarily, for if you can change yourself, then you can bring changes to others. Yet this is not just about your own faith and yourself. Remember always that these foundation stones are to help you build a life that reaches out to others.
Are you ready to take a peek at these 12 Foundation Stones? You don’t have to understand or remember everything we talk about today, as you’ll learn about each one as we proceed through the course. If anything seems a bit mysterious now, don’t worry about it! Things will become clearer as we progress through the classes.
Class 1 – The Word of God (Becoming a Person of Faith)
If you want to become a person of faith, someone who has a solid relationship with God, then you’ll need to know what to read in the Bible, how to get the most from the time you have for reading, and how to develop good study habits. You need to have regular spiritual feeding, just like you regularly eat physical food. We will be devoting several classes to this important subject.
If you don’t already have a Bible, please obtain one, as it is the main “textbook” for our course and we’ll be helping you get to know it better.
Class 2 – The Holy Spirit (The Wonderful Gift of the Holy Spirit!)
Do you want the same power that transformed a motley band of fishermen, tax collectors, and others in the far away dusty land of Palestine into fiery men and women of faith who changed the world? Do you want to know how that same power can work in your life too? God’s got a lot in store for you! In our classes on the Holy Spirit, we’ll learn more about what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit and how to experience the gifts and blessings that are promised!
Class 3 – Prayer (Effective Prayer)
In the two-part classes on prayer, we’ll be exploring how to communicate with Jesus, how to pray effectively, and how to receive answers to prayer. The key to remember is that prayer works! When we pray, things will happen and things will be different. God will answer prayer. He says,
Jeremiah 33:3—Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
God answers prayer! You’d be surprised how much God depends on your prayers—how concerned you are and how interested you are. He wants you to show concern and pray about things, and be specific about them. If you really believe, every prayer is heard and answered. But if you don’t pray it is not done! A lot depends on you!
Jeremiah 29:13—And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
In our meetings on this subject we’ll be looking at how to get closer to God through our prayers, how to
please Him by thanking Him and having an attitude of praise, and how to receive answers to prayer. Something that
most of us need once in awhile is healing, and we will also look at how to receive healing in answer to prayer.
Class 4 – Hearing from Heaven (Hearing from God)
Prayer is not just a one-way conversation, a monologue of us talking to Him, but the Lord delights in talking with us.
When we hear from the Lord in this way, we receive messages through what is called the gift of prophecy. This is a special gift that was promised to abound in the Last Days:
Acts 2:17–18—And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. (18) And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.
God has always spoken to His children. He didn’t stop speaking after the Bible was compiled. In the almost twenty centuries since the books of the New Testament were put together, He has continued to speak to His children, to His followers, to those who had the faith to listen. He has inspired His people with instructions, with doctrinal revelations, with poetry, with music, with literature. He has spoken personally to multitudes and He is still speaking today. In fact, He is speaking even more today, because we need to hear from Him. We need His guidance to keep us safely in a world that keeps turning further away from God.
If you’re having a particularly difficult problem, wouldn’t you like God to talk to you and offer specific answers? If you’re faced with an important decision, wouldn’t you like to get the Lord’s advice?
Class 5 – The Golden Rule (Getting Along with Others)
There is a lot in the Bible about human relationships and about having love for others. The whole purpose for living is to love God and others. That’s the most important thing! You may have a lot of gifts and talents, but if you don’t have love it’s not worth much! And this is not talking about love for your work or for material possessions. It’s talking about love for the Lord and others. If you love God you’ll love others too, because loving others is one way you show love for the Lord. Jesus said to His disciples:
John 15:12—“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
What is love? Love is not hurting, love is going out of your way to make others happy, and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Matthew 7:12—Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
If you show a real love for people, you won’t have a hard time winning friends. Love begets love! What is the greatest commandment?—To love God! What is the next greatest?—To love thy neighbor as thyself!
Matthew 22:37–39—Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (38) This is the first and great commandment.(39) And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”
Probably most of us realize this already and we know we should be loving and kind to others. The difficulty, though, often comes in putting it into action! How do we get along with people who irritate or hurt us; how do we reach out and help others? Loving others is oftentimes easier said than done, so in our classes on this subject we’ll be looking at some practical ways of getting along with people and living according to the loving principles Jesus mentions in these verses.
Class 6 – Bible Knowledge (Bible Knowledge)
We’ve already talked about how our life of faith is based upon God’s Word. Our hopes for the future, our expectation that God will answer prayer, are all based on His promises in the Bible. The Bible tells us who we are, where we have been, and where we are going. It even tells us how we should get there! Throughout these classes we often read portions of the Bible, but it is important for you to also take time to read the Bible yourself. So we’ll be looking at how the Bible was put together and where to find what you need. We’ll also be looking at some of the prophecies in the Bible that have already been fulfilled, which are amazing faith-builders!
For instance, did you know that there are dozens of predictions about Jesus in the Old Testament made hundreds of years before His birth, that He specifically and precisely fulfilled in His lifetime, including His being born in Bethlehem, His ministry in Galilee, His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the exact year of His crucifixion, the manner of His execution, His resurrection, and many more!
Halfway-Through Self-Assessment Quiz
Class 7 – Bible Prophecy (The Endtime)
The Bible tells us that Jesus will return to set up His reign on Earth. No more cruel wars, oppression, and the rule of the greedy and powerful, but a rule of love where God’s plans will be fulfilled. According to some Bible scholars, there are 1,845 references to Jesus’ Second Coming in the Old Testament and 318 references in the New Testament. We refer to the period before His return as the Endtime—which does not mean the End of Time, but the end of the present era, after which Jesus will return to set up His kingdom on Earth.
Along with many other Christians today, we believe that we are now living in the Endtime because of the way the signs of the times, events and conditions that were predicted as precursors to the Endtime are being fulfilled. In our classes on this subject, we will look at some of the main signs as they are described in the Bible, and then we’ll look at how these are being fulfilled in our present day. We will try to give you enough information so that you will be able to discern the signs of the times yourself, as you observe what is happening around you.
Class 8 – The Greatest Love (Saved Forever—Spending eternity with the loving Creator)
“How do you know you’re saved?” “Is your salvation permanent?” “If you do something really bad, will you lose your salvation?”
In our classes on salvation we are going to look at the answers to these questions by carefully examining what the Bible says. Jesus loves you very much and will never let you down. You didn’t earn your salvation in the first place, so you can never lose it by what you do or do not do. We are saved by grace—a free gift of God’s love—and not by our works. The reason we can be so sure of this is because it is clearly explained in the Bible.
We’ll also be studying how to have to a closer relationship with the Lord so that you can confidently rely on Him, trust in Him, and rest peacefully in His loving arms. He never fails and will always be there for you!
Class 9 – Heaven (Our Destination: Heaven!)
We have an amazing future in store for us! Heaven is a great place to be and a great place to look forward to! The difficulties of life will seem like they lasted only a moment, in comparison to the wonderful life we will have in Heaven:
Romans 8:18—For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
When you think about our glorious future in Heaven, it helps you bear some of the things you have to go through now. It pays to think about Heaven and talk about Heaven and try to visualize Heaven. That’s what we’ll be doing in several classes, to help you visualize what you have to look forward to!
Class 10 – Witnessing (Sharing Our Faith)
When you get to know the Lord and experience His love, His care, His joy, then it is only natural you will want to share this with others.
As a comparison, we could say it’s like possessing a cure for cancer. If we had a cure for cancer and didn’t tell anyone, we would be terribly selfish! Well, we have a cure for more serious and far-reaching diseases than cancer! We have the cure for unhappiness, for loneliness, for rejection, for depression, for fear, for eternal death— illnesses that afflict billions of people, a far greater number than cancer has ever touched, or will ever touch. And if we didn’t share this cure with people, we would be failing God, failing others, and failing ourselves.
The job that God has given to each of His children is to give His Word and His love to others, to preach the Gospel, to “witness.” Jesus told His disciples:
Mark 16:15—Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.
One of the most exciting things about having Jesus in your heart is sharing the good news of salvation with other people. You will be giving them something that will last forever!
We have a responsibility to tell others about salvation, but sometimes we are hindered by not knowing how to do it. Maybe we don’t know how to answer people’s questions, maybe we find ourselves drawn into arguments, or maybe we simply have a hard time getting started because we’re shy. In our classes on this topic we’ll be studying practical advice on these and other issues. We’ll find out how to lead someone to the point of praying to receive Jesus as his or her Savior, how to answer typical questions, and generally how to be an effective witness.
Class 11 – Overcoming Problems (Got Problems? God’s Got Solutions!)
We all pass through difficult moments—times of loneliness, sickness, disappointment, accidents, loss, failure, marital difficulties, financial hardship, discouragement, etc., etc.
A lot of people seem to think that as soon as they receive Jesus they’ll be completely happy, all their problems will be solved and they’ll never have any more, and things will go smoothly. But receiving the Lord into your life doesn’t mean that you’ll never have any more troubles. Troubles, difficulties, challenges, and problems are common to all. What makes the difference is that Jesus will help you through your problems and hard times.
In our series of classes on this subject we are not going to offer you any easy answers. There will be no wave of a magical wand that will solve all of your present difficulties and prevent any other problems ever coming upon you again! What we will pass on to you are “Three Steps to Victory.” We’ll study how you should respond to the problems that come your way, whatever type of problems they are, and how you can find the solutions.—Because God does have a solution to every problem!
Class 12 – Going Gods Way (God’s Ways)
As we journey down the road of life we are faced with a multitude of choices, both small and big: what to eat for breakfast; which newspaper to read, if any; what clothes to wear; what television programs to watch; what type of job or career to pursue; how much time to spend with family; where to do grocery shopping; what to buy; when to visit friends; whether to accept the invitation to that party or not; what books to read; what to do this weekend; whether to witness to this neighbor or not?—And on it goes, choices and more choices.
As believers we should be seeking to follow in the steps of Jesus. Perhaps you wonder how to apply His teachings to your everyday life, and that’s what we’ll be studying.
In these two classes, we’ll be looking at how to find God’s will; and how to tailor our lives and make our choices according to His Word and what He knows is best. That way we’ll be happier, we’ll be pleasing Him, helping others, and finding greater personal fulfillment. And for those who want to do more for the Lord, we’ll be giving you ideas of how to go further.
Completing the Course / Examine Yourself (Conclusion of the Course)
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