Sunday, April 15, 2012

Acts 11:27-30

Summary retelling of Acts 11:27-30

There were a few prophets who come to Antioch having come from Jerusalem.  One of these prophets was a man named Agabus, who comes into the fellowship of the Christians and proclaims that there will be a famine in Jerusalem (which does happen while Claudius is emperor of Rome).  The Christians in Antioch decide that they need to prepare to do something about this.  So they began to prepare a “love offering” and send it with Barnabas and Saul.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Prophets.  Prophets are not people who can tell the future, prophets are people of God who speak the word of God to their contemporaries.  The prophets can read the signs.  Historically speaking, Jerusalem is getting far more rebellious at this time.  It makes sense that if Jerusalem grows in rebellion that they will receive less supplies and aid from the government.  The prophets can read the warning signs and begin to speak out about the “danger that lay upon the path that the people are treading.”  It is not so much that the prophets are speaking the future as much as they are warning the people of the potential consequences that the future may hold.  These prophets are not future-tellers and much as they are consequence-tellers.

How does this understanding help us to learn to value the true “prophets” that are in our midst?

Second Thought:
The Christians in Antioch listen.  Then they plan.  Then they put the plan into action.  It’s plain and simple, really.  Discern, think, plan, act.  Follow God’s leading.  Respond to the situations that God places in your path.  It’s not really that complex.

Why do we tend to make following God more complex than it should be?

Third Thought:
The Christians in Antioch give of themselves.  They sacrifice of themselves for the benefit of people that they have never met.  It really is a beautiful thing to read about – even though it seems to get such little attention.

What makes sacrificial giving beautiful?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 12:1-5
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