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.
Comment: ‘Prophet’ is a word with many shades of meaning. My dictionary says ‘one who utters divinely inspired revelations‘. This means, of course, that those who proclaim the God who has revealed Himself and other things recorded in the Bible are prophets. In this meaning faithful preachers are prophets. In another sense it is often used for one who foretells a future event. And here Agabus is a prophet in that sense – he foretells a coming famine. The passage also states that the famine occurred. The lesson for me today is not basically about prophecy but about willingness to be involved in events of real need. And the phrase that hits home to me is ‘every one (gave) according to his ability’. One wasn’t asked to give beyond his/her ability. They all got involved! This sounds ideal to me.
Prayer: When I am given gifts, help me to be thankful but also please help me to be a willing giver, O Lord.