SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- This chapter opens with a message to the people of Cush (Ethiopia), a powerful nation.
- God calls all people to pay attention and be alert for signals he is at work in the world.
- There will be judgement on God's people who have fallen away from him. This is compared to the pruning of a harvest, a tearing away and removing of branches and the dead being left behind for the animals.
- The powerful nation of Ethiopia will bring gifts to the Lord of Armies (God).
- God uses all people all over the world for his purposes.
- No matter where we are in the world, we are never to far from God's notice, God's love, or his activity in our lives.
- Later in the Bible, Jesus uses the harvest analogy in Matthew 9:37-38 and Luke 10:2 when he says to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, to send out workers into his harvest field." In other words, there are a lot of people who need to hear about Jesus, but few who are truly committed to telling others about him.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- It can be easy to overlook God's activity in our daily lives. What are some ways you can pay closer attention to God's work in your life today? Maybe driving around the city noticing all the beautiful mountains around us. Maybe it's noticing a specific person God has put into your life to draw you closer to him, or lift you up when you are feeling down or alone.
- We want to be like the workers in the harvest Jesus talks about, not the pruned dead branches left behind in the field. What are some ways you can be an active participant instead of a "dead branch"? Maybe try connecting to others here at Verve. Maybe come a few minutes early to church and stay a few minutes later and get to know someone new. Maybe it's reaching out and being a friend to someone at work, or being the person who greets co-workers with a "good morning" and a smile.