Using Empowered with Older Teens: A Study Resource

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It’s been so fun to hear about different small groups going through Empowered this summer! I’m excited to hear the ways God is using these stories to encourage girls.

Today I want to share this amazing resource my friend Michelle Lieb has put together for a group of older teen girls she’s mentoring. While Empowered was written toward an audience of middle grade readers (8-14), Michelle wanted to introduce her senior high girls to these stories as well. So, she’s written a study guide to help the girls connect these stories to Scripture and go deeper in their learning of God and His power in their lives.

Michelle is graciously allowing me to share these study guides with my friends here on the blog! Below you’ll find Week 1, which is a deeper look at the first chapter about Esther Ahn Kim.

(If you’re interested in receiving the other weeks of the study, just shoot me an email at catherinestrodeparks(at)gmail(dot)com.)

Week One: True Strength (Esther Ahn Kim)

Day One and Two: Read Pages 1-15.

Read Page 16 and answer in your journal…you can use short phrases…you don’t have to write it all out…we will be discussing this in small group.

*Go Deeper: Read the Book “If I Perish,” Esther Ahn Kim’s autobiography.

Days Three and Four: Read Joshua Chapter One and answer:

Who was Joshua? (verse 1)

Do you think he felt intimidated taking the role previously filled by Moses? (verse 2)

What did God promise Joshua? (verses 3-5)

What things did God ask of Joshua? (verses 6-9) List them.

Read Deuteronomy 31:7-8. Moses spoke these words to Joshua in front of the people of Israel prior to Moses’ death. Do you think Joshua hearing this message from the Lord to him more than once helped prepare him for what was ahead? Has there ever been a time when you heard God repeat His Word to you more than once to prepare your heart?

In verses 1:10-15, does Joshua sound confident in God’s authority in his life?

In verses 16-18, how did the people respond to Joshua?

Read Deuteronomy 31:1-6. How did God lovingly prepare the people for this time?

Read the following verses and write out at least one of them, then read it several times: Colossians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 16:13

How can we also experience the strength and victory that Esther Ahn Kim and Joshua experienced? How has Esther Ahn Kim’s story affected you?

*Go Deeper: Highlight anything in the following quotes that speak to your heart. These are words written by people. They are not the living, breathing Word of God, so dig deeper still and see if you can locate Scripture that confirms inspired it and then focus more on the Scripture than the quote. Remember in doing this that the apostle Paul commended the Berean people for doing just that in Acts 17:11 “The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”

“The victory and possession of the land which follows is a direct result of the Word of God and of man, in this case Joshua, hearing and responding to His Word. This should illustrate for us that there is absolutely no victory or chance for us to experience the blessings of our new life in Christ apart from the Word of God. Whenever any believer begins to turn away from the Word through indifference or apathy for whatever reason, he is turning away from the Lord and into defeat.” - J. Hampton Keathley

“Any work of God that isn’t built on the Word of God will never prosper. Moses’ success as the leader of Israel came from his faith in and obedience to God’s Word (Deut. 4:10). Joshua’s success in conquering the enemy in Canaan was based on his devotion to the Word of God (Josh. 1:8). When we obey God’s Word, we can expect ‘great reward' (Ps. 19:11). If we want to know the power of God, we must also know the Word of God (Matt. 22:29)… God’s heroes spend time fellowshipping with God and meditating on His Word (Josh. 1:8; Ps. 1:1–3). They can face any enemy because they know and trust the promises of God. The idea is that the law of God (the Word of God) so saturates a person, that it exerts a controlling influence on one's thoughts and one's actions.” - Warren Wiersbe

“To be sure, meditation requires the personal investment of some time and mental energy. However, even as God feeds the birds, He doesn't throw the food into their nests. The birds are still required to go forth and bring in the food God provides. In the same way, the Bible is like a table filled with food necessary for daily living (Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4). And God invites all to "Come and eat!" But too often believers fail to heed His gracious invitation. Instead, we depend on substitutes (devotionals, Christian music, fellowship groups, etc. And yet we still wonder why our faith is feeble (Ro 10:17)! - From Precept Austin

“If you know how to worry, then you know how to meditate. Worry is when you take a negative idea and continue to think on it over and over, and it will usually start to affect you negatively. When you take a Truth from Scripture and think on it over and over, we call that meditation. There is nothing mystical or magical about meditation. Meditation just means you focus your attention over and over on the Word of God. When one continually mutters God’s Word to himself, he is constantly thinking about it.” - From Precept Austin

“The godly man's delight is the the law of the Lord. He is not under the law as a curse and condemnation, but he is in it, and he delights to be in it as his rule of life; he delights, moreover, to meditate in it, to read it by day and think upon it by night. He takes a text and carries it with him all day long; and in the night-watches, when sleep forsakes his eyelids, he muses upon the Word of God. In the day of his prosperity he sings psalms out of the Word of God, and in the night of his affliction he comforts himself with promises out of the same book. The law of the Lord is the daily bread of the true believer. And yet, in David’s day, how small was the volume of inspiration, for they had scarcely anything save the first five books of Moses! How much more, then, should we prize the whole written Word which it is our privilege to have in all our houses! But, alas, what ill-treatment is given to this…! We are not all Berean searchers of the Scriptures. How few among us can lay claim to the benediction of the text! Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity, because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you—Is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God’s Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand—your best companion and hourly guide? If not, this blessing does not belong to you.” - C H Spurgeon

"Most of us read the Bible casually and carelessly. We read the Word of God and it has no effect on us. That’s why the Word of God has become so insipid in our lives; it has no power over us. The greatest thing we can do in reading God’s Word is to understand that the Lord has given the book to us as our marching orders. We are to read it, study it, and then do it. Our prayer before reading the Bible should be, ‘Lord, show me in Your Word today what You want me to do! Show me the things in my life that are not in conformity with Your will, for I commit myself as I open this book that whatever You say to me here, I’ll do it.’ With Jesus with us we can go anywhere—into Canaan with its walled cities and giants everywhere, and into the days of the year ahead, where every day poses a mystery and a challenge. We all will face giants in our futures, but know this: If He is with us, we are sufficient to win in the power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." - David Jeremiah from the book, Sanctuary

“The believer’s mind should become like a “spiritual computer.” It should be so saturated with Scripture that when he faces a decision or a temptation, he automatically remembers the Scriptures that relate to that particular situation. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to bring God’s Word to our minds when we need it. (Jn 14:26) But the Spirit of God cannot remind you of something that you have not learned! You must first let him teach you the Word. You must memorize the Scripture that he opens up to you. Then the Spirit of God will be able to remind you of what you have learned, and you can use that truth to battle Satan. Please keep in mind that Satan knows the Bible far better than we do! And he is able to quote it!” - Warren Wiersbe from The Strategy of Satan : How to Detect and Defeat Him

Days Five and Six: Read Joshua Chapter Two and answer:

Who was Rahab? (verse 1)

What did she do when Joshua’s spies entered the city of Jericho? (verses 2-7)

What incredibly brave thing did she ask for in verses 8-13?

How did the spies respond? (verse 14)

The rest of the chapter outlines their plan as well as their report back to Joshua. Read what happens in Joshua 6:22-25.

Rahab’s act of faith and strength in a time where she could have been easily executed for helping Joshua’s men was so dear to God that her story was told throughout the rest of history. In fact, in chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews, she is included in what many have called the “Faith Hall of Fame.” She is named along with the likes of Abraham, Jacob, Moses and others. Read Hebrews 11:31-40. In versus 39-40, we see that these ordinary, yet faith-filled people did what they did before Jesus had even come, trusting that God would send Him one day as promised. How does this passage apply to you? How does it affect you?

Day Seven: Meditate on Scripture from the week.

Go Deeper: If you want to dig deeper, write and/or memorize one or some of the verses from this week that God used to speak to your soul. Read them in their full context as well by reading the whole chapter in the book of the Bible they came from.