Daily Word

Spirit of generosity | Acts 11:27-30

27 During this time some prophets traveled from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up in one of the meetings and predicted by the Spirit that a great famine was coming upon the entire Roman world. (This was fulfilled during the reign of Claudius.) 29 So the believers in Antioch decided to send relief to the brothers and sisters[h] in Judea, everyone giving as much as they could. 30 This they did, entrusting their gifts to Barnabas and Saul to take to the elders of the church in Jerusalem.

Acts 11:27-30 (NLT) 中文

Barbabas & Saul ministry cont.

Due to persecution, some new believers headed out of Jerusalem to nearby areas like Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch. They preached the gospel to the Jews. Some went to Antioch and preached to gentiles and many were being saved. The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to check if it was legit. He rejoiced then went and got Saul from Tarsus to help for a year. Now they continue their ministry together.

Prophets in the New Testament

If you know the Bible, you know the Old Testament is full of prophets who proclaimed the Word of God and others who spoke of future events. A number of books are even mostly prophecy (Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.). The NT is also loaded with prophecy. Jesus himself prophesied much – about His death and end times. Revelations is mostly about the end times. “Professor and theologian J. Barton Payne lists 1,817 prophecies in the Bible.” (gotquestions.org) That is about 25% of the Bible; and at least ½ have already been fulfilled! Paul also lists the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:10 and Romans 12:6). 

Prophecy of famine

So here we have a few folks identified as prophets (having the gift of prophecy). They come down from Jerusalem and one, Agabus, “foretold by the Spirit” (ESV) that a famine was coming. “We know from other sources that Claudius’s principate was marked by a succession of bad harvests and consequent scarcity in various parts of the empire – in Rome, Greece, and Egypt as well as in Judaea.” (Bruce quoted by enduringword.com)

Spirit of generosity

As the Spirit was speaking through Agabus about the coming famine, the new believers of Antioch responded with a spirit of giving. What this demonstrates to me is the unity of Spirit in purpose and ministry. Remember in Acts 4:32-35 how the believers sacrificially gave so that no one in the church had need. This same spirit of generosity is at work here in this growing new Antioch church. And when they gave, they also gave sacrificially. They entrusted the funds to Barnabas and Saul to take them to the church leaders in Jerusalem.


  • Do you believe you have the gift of prophecy? It’s a wonderful gift, designed, as all gifts, to build up the body of Christ. Make sure you use it and, when you do, use it under the direction of the Spirit. It is, of course, the Spirit’s gift that He gives as He desires and directs.
  • Believe it or not, generous giving is also a gift (Romans 12:8). We should follow the example of the early church and give generously. But also give willingly. Paul exhorts us in 2 Corinthians 9:7 to, “Let each man give according as he has determined in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Donation basket with money. Image from www.blueridgenow.com *

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