Focus Verse: He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (3)
Everytime I read this passage, I’m about ready to jump up and give a round of applause. I can’t wait for this awesome day to arrive! Millions of people past and millions of people present have wished for world peace (including me) and one day our wish for peace will come true. Since the beginning of time, humans have been in a constant conflict. We have struggled and fought endlessly against each other, against nature, against our environments, against God, against the supernatural, against machines and finally against ourselves. Always, we seek peace and always peace has found a way to evade us. But when Jesus returns, all our world will have peace.
Focus Verse: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (2)
This passage predicts the coming of the Messiah. God chose Bethlehem – the smallest clan of Judah – to bring forth Israel’s promised Ruler, Jesus the Christ. He is from old and from ancient times because Christ did not just come into existence around 1 BC or in 4 BC. Jesus existed before the beginning of time.
Focus Verse: As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?” “Do you speak Greek?” he replied. (37)
Paul remained calm, cool and collected amid chaos. He maintained a respectful attitude toward the soldiers who had come to arrest him. Despite hostility, uproar and violence from a riotous crowd, he was at peace because he knew that God was with him and his trust was in Him.