Twelve Women of the Bible Study Guide: Life-Changing Stories for Women Today


In this 12-session small group Bible study, Twelve Women of the Bible, Lysa Ter Kuerst, Elisa Morgan, Jeanne Stevens and other leaders look at the spiritual lessons learned from twelve biblical women and what they mean for your life today.

You’ll learn about the triumphs and failures of Mary Magdalene, Rebekah, Hannah, and nine other women, ...

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Twelve Women of the Bible Study Guide: Life-Changing Stories for Women Today

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In this 12-session small group Bible study, Twelve Women of the Bible, Lysa Ter Kuerst, Elisa Morgan, Jeanne Stevens and other leaders look at the spiritual lessons learned from twelve biblical women and what they mean for your life today.

You’ll learn about the triumphs and failures of Mary Magdalene, Rebekah, Hannah, and nine other women, studying their lives and learning how to:
- Apply biblical lessons to their own modern-day struggles
- Live through their failures as well as successes
- Draw near to God in a world filled with trials
- Find lasting contentment
- Overcome rejection and insecurity and much more

Each of the 12 sessions focuses on one biblical character (Rebekah, Abigail, Hannah, Gomer, Leah, Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, Martha, The Woman at the Well, Mary the mother of Jesus, and The Syrophoenecian Woman).

You’ll also discover lessons from each of these women that will help you persevere through the circumstances you are facing today.

This Participant Guide features discussion questions, background information on each character, space to write down thoughts, a helpful Leader’s Guide, and much more (155 pages, sold separately). It is designed for use with the Twelve Women of the Bible DVD.

Sessions include:
1. Eve: Finding Lasting Contentment in the Truth (Lysa Ter Keurst)
2. Rebekah: Breaking Free of Feminine Stereotypes (Jonalyn Fincher)
3. Leah: Overcoming Rejection and Insecurity (Naomi Zacharias)
4. Hannah: Surrendering in Waiting (Amena Brown)
5. Abigail: Dealing with Confrontation in Relationships
6. Gomer: Learning to Accept Unconditional Love (Jeanne Stevens)
7. Mary, Mother of Jesus: Moving from Comfort to Courage (Jeanne Stevens)
8. Mary Magdalene: Transforming from Outcast to Follower (Jonalyn Fincher)
9. Mary of Bethany: Putting Our Faith into Action (Elisa Morgan)
10. Martha: Finding Our Identity in Jesus (Amena Brown)
11. The Woman at the Well: Turning Our Messes into Messages (Lysa Ter Kuerst)
12. The Syrophoenician Woman: Approaching God with Persistency and Boldness (Naomi Zacharias)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310691617
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 8/7/2012
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 137,095
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Lysa Ter Keurst is the New York Times bestselling author of Made to Crave and Unglued. She isn't shy about admitting what a mess she can be. But she's been learning God's lessons and sharing them on her blog (www.Lysa Ter and in her books. Lysa is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and writes from her sticky farm table in North Carolina where she lives with her husband, Art, five kids, three dogs, and mouse that refuses to leave her kitchen.

Elisa Morgan is President Emerita of MOPS International, Inc., based in Denver, Colorado. She is the author, editor, or coauthor of numerous books, including Twinkle, Naked Fruit; Mom, You Make a Difference! Mom’s Devotional Bible; What Every Mom Needs; What Every Child Needs; and Real Moms. Elisa has two children, and a grandchild, and lives with her husband, Evan, in Centennial , Colorado.

As a poet, speaker, journalist, and event host Amena Brown’s words excite, ignite and inspire. Whether in front of audiences as intimate as 50 or as sprawling as 20,000, she has something to say that matters.
The author of a chapbook and two spoken word CDs, Amena has performed and spoken at events across the nation such as The Right Now Conference, Creativity World Forum, Rock the Desert, Catalyst Conference, Chick-fil-A Leadercast, Atlantis Music Conference, and the 2008 National Poetry Slam Competition. She hosts a regular open mic in Atlanta every fifth Thursday at Urban Grind Coffee as well as hosting other poetry and music events.

Jonalyn Grace Fincher offers a distinctive voice as a female apologist. Holding a master's degree in philosophy of religion and ethics from Talbot School of Theology, as well as double bachelor's degrees in English and history from the University of Virginia, she is one half of Soulation (, a husband/wife apologetics team. For the last three years Jonalyn has been lecturing, speaking and writing on how women are distinctly and fully made in God’s image. Her work has appeared in Radiant, Fullfill and Un Christian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity. She regularly updates her blog ( sharing her insights about womanhood and the soul. Jonalyn and Dale love to take walks with their three Welsh Corgis in their new hometown of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Jeanne Stevens serves as one of the lead pastors at Soul City Church in Chicago, IL ( Before starting Soul City Church Jeanne has been blessed to work with 2 amazing churches. Jeanne was on staff at Willow Creek Community Church from 1995 to 2005 where she served as a Student Ministry Pastor. She was also in leadership at North Point Community Church in Atlanta, GA from 2006 ­ 2009. Jeanne has been privileged to be able to write, consult, and train ministry leaders throughout the country. Jeanne is an engaging communicator and leader that is committed to helping people live and lead from their soul. Jeanne is the author of Soul School and the soon to be released book, What lies beneath.
Jeanne's greatest joy is her marriage and mothering - she has been married to Jarrett for 14 years, they have a 4-year-old son named Elijah William and a 2 year-old daughter named Genevieve Grace "Gigi².

Naomi Zacharias graduated from Wheaton College. After working in sales for Coca-Cola, she joined RZIM and launched Wellspring International, an initiative devoted to providing financial grants to international efforts working with at-risk women and children. Naomi has spent time in red-light districts in The Netherlands, India, and Thailand; foster homes for children affected by HIV/AIDS throughout Asia; hospitals providing surgical treatment for women who have been victims of violence in the Congo; women’s prisons in South Africa; displacement camps in Indonesia, Uganda and Pakistan; areas of the Middle East offering aid to Iraqi refugees; and areas of Southeast Asia devastated by the tsunami of 2004. Naomi recently met and married her husband, Drew, in Florence, Italy.They currently live in Oxford, England.

Sherry Harney ( has served as a children’s ministry director and a women’s ministry director, and is the author of more than sixty small-group Bible studies. One of her greatest passions is investing in the next generation of women in the church.

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Read an Excerpt

Twelve Women of the Bible Participant's Guide

By Lysa TerKeurst Elisa Morgan Amena Brown Jonalyn Fincher Jeanne Stevens Naomi Zacharias Sherry Harney


Copyright © 2012 Lysa TerKeurst and Elisa Morgan, Amena Brown, Jonalyn Fincher, Jeanne Stevens, Naomi Zacharias with Sherry Harney
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-69161-7

Chapter One



Key scriptures: Genesis 1:31; 2:15–25; 3:1–7; and Matthew 4:1–11

Lysa TerKeurst


Eve's life began as a study in perfection. She had the dream and then some! Perfect surroundings. Perfect relationships. Perfect provision. And Eve experienced perfect communion with the living God. What more could anyone long for?

Eve's life was a series of "firsts" in the history of the world. She was the first woman, the first wife, the first mother, the first (and only) sinless woman, and the first to be tempted by Satan. Sadly, Eve was the first (along with her husband Adam) to fall into sin and see the cataclysmic consequences of disobedience to God.

Her very name meant, "mother of all who have life," but her story was a tapestry woven with joy and pain, celebration and sorrow, life and death. Eve feasted on the glory of intimacy with God beyond what any other woman would know on the earth. But she also felt her teeth put on edge by the bitter poison of sin and rebellion.

Never has another woman lived with such highs and lows. From the sinless paradise of Eden to the barrenness of exile outside of the garden, angels posted to make sure she and her husband would never return and eat from the tree of life. From perfect communion with Adam and God to the naked shame of being caught in sin. From peaceful relationships to the unspeakable pain that came as she stood over the grave of a son who had been murdered by his own brother. Eve knew the whole spectrum of human emotion.

Eve was swept into the spiritual drama that would unfold through the whole story of the human family and the Word of God. She was molded and shaped by the very hands of God and had no earthly parents. She faced the tempter and heard his sinister voice entice her to rebel against God. She heard the prophetic word that one day Satan would be crushed by her ancestor:

"I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

Genesis 3:15

Eve saw the cost of sin but heard the message of hope in a coming Savior, one who would be her descendant. His name would be Jesus!


The more things change, the more they stay the same!

Just think about it. Every mother from the dawn of time has had to teach her children to say two simple words, "Thank you." If every mom had a dollar for every time they said to a son or daughter, "What do you say?" every mom would be a millionaire! Some things never change.

Every Christian woman, from the first century on, has longed to have a little more time to pray, read the Word, and sit at the feet of Jesus. But our lives get so busy and cluttered it can be difficult. Some things are just part of our lot as human beings. The more things change, the more they really do stay the same.

That is what we will learn in today's session about Eve. She was tempted and enticed by the enemy, just as we all are. Satan's tactics were calculated, strategic, and effective. When we watch Eve's drama unfold, we see that the same tactics the devil used against her were used against Jesus when he walked on this earth. With this in mind, we should expect the enemy to use similar wiles and schemes against us. Because, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

As you enter into this session, open your ears and heart. Prepare yourself to learn about the tactics of the enemy and ask God to prepare you to fight back. The same deceiving schemer that slithered up to Eve in the garden and Jesus in the desert is still looking to entice people to follow his lies and turn from the ways of Jesus. In this small group gathering you will be fortified to identify his tactics and fight back. This is extremely important and practical stuff that the devil does not want you to hear. But God has brought you to this moment because he has a message just for you.

Talk About It

Briefly respond as a group to one of the following questions.

Tell a brief story about a "first" in your life:

* First date

* First meal you cooked

* First time driving

* Any first ...

Sometimes in life we have high hopes and big expectations, but things just don't turn out the way we had imagined and dreamed. Tell about one such time in your life.

Video Teaching Notes

The temptation to focus on the one thing we don't have

Three ways Eve was tempted and consumed:

Physical pleasure

Material possessions

Desire for significance

How Satan tempts women today

Danger sign: when we want the things of this world more than the will of God

The temptation of Jesus

Jesus' solution: "It is written"

Back up and look up: worshiping only God

Philippians 4:6–7

"The Lord is near!"

Small Group Study and Video Discussion

1. Read: Genesis 1:31 and 2:15–25. Lysa points out that Adam and Eve had perfect surroundings, perfect relationships, and perfect provision—all of their needs met by God's loving care. Yet they still wanted more. They gave into temptation and fed the desire for what they did not have ... or need! How do you see this in our world and culture today? How do you decide the difference between your wants and needs?

2. For Adam and Eve, the one thing they were not supposed to fixate on and desire was a specific tree in the garden. What are some things that people can be lured to focus on in our world that are not healthy or meant to be the center of our attention and lives?

3. Read: Genesis 3:1–7. What specific tactics did Satan use to lure Eve into sin and how does he use these same strategies today?

4. Read: 1 John 2:15–17. John addresses the same three temptation points that Satan used against Eve: the cravings of sinful man (physical pleasure), the lust of his eyes (materialism), and the boasting of what we have and do (significance). In the video, Lysa reminds us of the danger of holding out the cup of our heart and letting it be filled with things that do not honor God or fully satisfy our desires. Which of these three areas of temptation is the enemy's greatest lure against you and how do you seek to fight against it?

5. Read: Matthew 4:1–11. How did Jesus respond when the enemy tried to tempt him and what do you learn from Jesus' response?

6. Lysa uses a line, "Back up and look up." What is she encouraging us to do when we are faced by the sinister temptation of the enemy? How can we do this?

7. As you back up and look up in the midst of one of the areas of temptation you are struggling with at this time in life, what Bible passage(s) could fortify and strengthen you?

In what ways might you keep this passage and biblical truth in the forefront of your mind, and how can your group members keep you accountable to back up and look up as you face this temptation?

8. What hope do you receive when you remind yourself that "the Lord is near"?

When you feel like the cup of your heart is empty, how do you go about filling it up?

Group Prayer Direction

* Thank God for his Word and the power it brings to our lives. Thank Jesus for his example of battling the enemy with the words of Scripture. Thank the Holy Spirit for the times he brings the truth of Scripture to your mind when the enemy is near.

* Ask God to help you fall in love with his Word and feed on it daily so you are fortified and equipped for the attacks Satan will bring against you.

* Surrender the areas of your life where you are facing temptation.

* One sign that temptation is coming is when we start focusing on what we don't have. One remedy to this problem is to celebrate the good things we do have. Take time to thank God for the good gifts he has given you.

* Ask God to help you to, "Be anxious about nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6). Pray that his peace will cover your life, fill your heart, and guide your days.

Journal Between Sessions

What are some of the daily miracles you might miss if you let yourself focus too much on what you don't have? Give thanks to God for your daily miracles as you list them.

_______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________


Excerpted from Twelve Women of the Bible Participant's Guide by Lysa TerKeurst Elisa Morgan Amena Brown Jonalyn Fincher Jeanne Stevens Naomi Zacharias Sherry Harney Copyright © 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst and Elisa Morgan, Amena Brown, Jonalyn Fincher, Jeanne Stevens, Naomi Zacharias with Sherry Harney. Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Let's Get Real....................7
About the Video Teachers and Writer....................9
SESSION 1 Eve: Finding Lasting Contentment in the Truth Lysa TerKeurst....................13
SESSION 2 Rebekah: Breaking Free of Feminine Stereotypes Jonalyn Fincher....................25
SESSION 3 Leah: Overcoming Rejection and Insecurity Naomi Zacharias....................37
SESSION 4 Hannah: Surrendering in Waiting Amena Brown....................49
SESSION 5 Abigail: Dealing with Confrontation in Relationships Elisa Morgan....................61
SESSION 6 Gomer: Learning to Accept Unconditional Love Jeanne Stevens....................73
SESSION 7 Mary, Mother of Jesus: Moving from Comfort to Courage Jeanne Stevens....................85
SESSION 8 Mary Magdalene: Transforming from Outcast to Follower Jonalyn Fincher....................97
SESSION 9 Mary of Bethany: Putting Our Faith into Action Elisa Morgan....................107
SESSION 10 Martha: Finding Our Identity in Jesus Amena Brown....................119
SESSION 11 The Woman at the Well: Turning Our Messes into Messages Lysa TerKeurst....................131
SESSION 12 The Syrophoenician Woman: Approaching God with Persistency and Boldness Naomi Zacharias....................143
Small Group Leader Helps....................155
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2013

    Twelve Women of the Bible

    This was an amazing study!

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