Today is Friday, December 22, 2017. For me, the few days leading up to Christmas are the craziest. This year, my goal is to prepare my heart and mind for Christmas before it’s here; to focus on the gift of Christ’s birth so that on Monday night I don’t find that I’ve missed Him in the midst of all the presents, running around and family dynamics. Please pray for me! I’ll be praying the same for you. - Scott
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
- How can you point others to Him in the days leading up to Christmas?
- What does a Christ-centered Christmas look like for you and for those around you?
Take some time to thank and praise God for who He is; to pray for those with whom you are walking and for the needs you or those in your group may be facing; pray for the Spirit to open your heart and eyes as you read this inspired passage.
DISCOVER [Isaiah 11:1-10]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn?
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD- 3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. 6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. 7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8The infant will play near the cobra's den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper's nest. 9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. 10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.
- Why is Jesse mentioned? Who is he and why does the stump come from him?
- It says that the Spirit will rest on the shoot in several ways. Which do you resonate with most?
- Why are judgement and justice mentioned in this passage?
- Why does the author, who was inspired by God, play on this idea of predator and prey; strong and weak; dangerous and vulnerable?
- Christ is portrayed as a banner for all the peoples and nations. We rarely rally or stand before a banner these days, but what would this image have meant to the people of Israel and, in that light, how can it encourage us today?
+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience? (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
- If it’s not here yet, how does/could this coming peace impact us today? How have we not been resting in the image of verse 10? How can those around you help?
+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them? Is there anything DH can do to help?
- Is God providing you with an opportunity to impact someone for His glory this Christmas season?