God's Holy Fire: 'Foretold by the Spirit'

Friday, June 7, 2024

Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
— Acts 11:27-30 ESV

Key Thought

Troubles were coming, yet the message Agabus delivered "by the Spirit" wasn't primarily about the coming troubles. As the last part of today's passage shows, his message was a call for the brothers and sisters in Jesus' family to help those in need. When you hear people claiming to speak today by the power of the Spirit — especially when they claim to be a prophetic voice, ask yourself: "Are their words to alarm and condemn or to strengthen and encourage us to service?" The work of the Spirit in God's prophets has a clear focus: Spirit-inspired prophets speak "to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort" (1 Corinthians 14:3). So test those who claim to be prophets (1 John 4:1), and see if they fit the Spirit's description of their role.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, we want to be your righteous people, your children who reflect both your character and your compassion. So I ask that you help us hear the voices empowered by your Holy Spirit and also help us recognize those voices that simply shout criticisms without bringing your comfort. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.


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Illustration of Acts 11:27-30 ESV —  And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

About This Devotional

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.