Today’s Readings: 2 Kings 18:13-19:37, Acts 21:1-17, Psalm 149:1-9, Proverbs 18:8
For the month of June, I focused on patterns that God desires (believe in Him, obey His commands, follow Him) and patterns that God despises (reject Him, disobey his commands, worship other gods). These patterns were clear in the lives of the kings of ancient Israel and Judah and the results were those that God promised through His prophets.
This month, I plan to focus on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is an interesting transition, because I notice that the first gift that is mentioned in Acts 21 is the gift of prophecy. Philip the Evangelist (one of the seven deacons appointed by the apostles earlier in Acts) had four unmarried daughters with the gift of prophecy. What does that mean? There is no further discussion of how they demonstrated that gift.
In the next verse, a man named Agabus is mentioned.
10 Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea. 11 He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” 12 When we heard this, we and the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.
In his case, he exercised the gift of prophecy by predicting and demonstrating (with Paul’s own belt) that Paul would be imprisoned in Jerusalem. Is prophecy always about prediction? We will watch (and other gifts of the Holy Spirit) this as we move through the month of July.