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November 27 – On despising prophecy

“Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good” – 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21

Scripture reading: Psalm 27:1-14

The Holy Spirit had blessed the early New Testament church with certain “special gifts” or “charismata”. Among these gifts were: the ability to perform miracles of healing, speaking in tongues and prophesying. The church, in its infancy, had no complete Bible, nor did it have libraries stocked with volumes of Christian literature and reference material. They were surrounded by hostility to the gospel and in that condition, because of their lack of resources, the Holy Spirit endowed the church with these “special” gifts until the time would come when they were no longer needed. Among those gifts was that of “prophesying”.

The type of prophesying Paul refers to here in text was not so much that of foretelling the future as the Old Testament prophets had done, but Paul is speaking of the special gifts given to some to explain and apply the word of God to the congregation. It was a gift given to some, for the edification and instruction of the entire congregation.

Although this gift of prophecy was one of the greatest gifts to the church, ranking even greater than “tongue speaking”, yet it seems that such instruction was held in low esteem by certain members. It has always been so, even yet today. Whenever and wherever God plants wheat, Satan sows his tares.

How is it now with us today? Preaching is the God ordained means of creating and strengthening faith, yet, often so many pews are left vacant, especially during the second service. How about you? Do you long for the expounding of the Word every week again?

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Lord to create in your heart a hunger and thirsting for the Word of God. Thank Him for faithful preaching and preachers the world over.

Rev. Mark Zylstra is an emeritus minister of the United Reformed Churches in North America. He and his wife Corrie, live in Smithville ON and their home church is Wellandport, ON URC. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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