Monday, August 30, 2010

Acts 11:19-30

In today’s reading I like the reference to prophets. “During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)” (verses 27 & 28).

Prophets were not limited to Old Testament times. God appointed, and still appoints, certain people to be prophets to the church. Paul ranked “prophets” second only to apostles in his list of those gifted by the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 12:28). Peter had quoted the prophet Joel in his sermon at Pentecost: “Your sons and daughters will prophesy” (Acts 2:17). Prophets had special gifts in ministering God’s messages to his people.

The gift of prophecy, however, shows itself in different forms. At times, prophets would foretell the future (as Agabus did here), but the gift of prophecy was also valued for its role in exhorting, encouraging, and strengthening God’s people. God spoke through prophets, inspiring them with specific messages for particular times and places.

Have you every had someone say the right thing at the right time? During my life I have experienced many people who have encouraged, helped, and strengthened me. I did not know it at the time, but these people had the gift of prophecy. The message these people give can be invaluable. When you are in a tough spot, or feel you are at the end of your rope, the message given by a prophet can give you such hope and strength.

God in his infinite wisdom has provided this gift, and many spiritual gifts, to us humans. Perhaps you have this gift.

Wishing you much success in your walk with Christ,

No comments: