Today is Friday, December 29, 2017. A friend of mine posted a photo of a branch coming out of a dead stump this week, and the image impacted me powerfully, and then I read the passage for today and it captures Isaiah’s powerful prophecy perfectly. The peace (and peace-bringer) that Isaiah describes here is nothing short of miraculous, just like this little flowering branch out of a dead stump. May we see Jesus as our hope for lasting peace that brings goodness and righteousness to earth. -Monica

CONNECT
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Have you ever thought you were in a situation where there was no way for reconciliation and peace?
_ Do peace and hope go together?

PRAY
Thank God for His Spirit who He has given us who opens our eyes to His truth and for His Word. Thank Him that Jesus is our Prince of Peace and came to open a way up to true and lasting peace. Pray that God’s peace would come on earth as it is in heaven and invade our lives.

DISCOVER  [Isaiah 11:1-10]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn?
(Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,

   and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,

   the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,

   the Spirit of counsel and might,

   the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,

   or decide disputes by what his ears hear,

4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,

   and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;

and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,

   and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,

   and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,

   and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,

and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;

   and a little child shall lead them.

7 The cow and the bear shall graze;

   their young shall lie down together;

   and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,

   and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.

9 They shall not hurt or destroy

   in all my holy mountain;

for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord

   as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.
 

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_ In vs.1-4, 10  Who is the stump and who is the branch?
_ In vs. 1-5 what attributes and characteristics will this branch have?
_ In vs. 6-9 what dangerous opposites will get along? How will this be possible?
_ What is the impact of the “knowledge of the Lord” in vs 9?
_ In vs. 10 what do you think the root of Jesse stands as a signal of?
_ What does this passage teach us about Jesus?, Power?, His Spirit?, Our calling as believers?

+ 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)
_ Do you need to remember these attributes of the promised Messiah in your life?
_ Are you seeking righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord?
_ Is there some way you need to make a change (either in your life or in the way you interact with others) because of this truth?

+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?
_ Is there someone you can show God’s peace to?