Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 21, 2019

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 11:27-30.

“Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.  One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world.  And this took place in the reign of Claudius.  And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.  And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.”  Acts 11:27-30.

—————–

Certainly, it was good that the disciples sent a contribution for the famine relief of the brethren living in Judea.

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”  Galatians 6:9-10.

“27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.
28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,”
When you have it with you.”  Proverbs 3:27-28.

“Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”  1 Timothy 6:17-19.

“If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother;  but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.  …  You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings.  For the poor will never cease to be in the land;  therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’”  Deuteronomy 15:7-8 and 10.

As much as Scripture commands us to do these things, as much as we know in our heart that they are good things that we should do, and as much as we also know that we will be blessed by doing these good things, we still will not do these good things as we should because of our flesh.

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;  for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:  immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Galatians 5:17-21.

But, there is hope!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23.

And so, we turn back to the main Scripture for today for help, and we notice that it was “by the Spirit” that Agabus prophesied prophesied of the famine, and we realize that as the Spirit caused Agabus to prophesy, the Spirit caused the disciples to send a contribution for the famine relief of the brethren living in Judea.

When confronted with the needs of others, we too can turn to the Spirit and ask for help to do what we should in response.

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”  Galatians 5:25.


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