7/29 1 Corinthians 14:1

1 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

Love will remain when the gifts are no longer needed. That is why it should be our pursuit. To pursue agape love is to pursue God. This is not to say that the gifts of the Spirit are not helpful. We should desire one additional one above all others-that is the gift to prophesy.

To prophesy is to speak forth the Word of God at His leading. It is to apply the truth of God to a particular group of people or to an individual at the time the person needs to hear it. A quick scan of the words of the prophets and you will see that very little of their message was of future events. Predicting the future is often the only definition we give to prophecy. While it is at times a function of that gift, the biblical emphasis of the gift is on delivering God's message to those who need to hear it.

Prophecy can warn or comfort, convict or encourage. The prophets in our Bible were anointed to speak and record the very words of God to particular people. In this passage from Corinthians, Paul tells us that the gift in the era after Jesus' earthly ministry is to strengthen, encourage, and comfort (1 Corinthians 14:3). It is often expressed in the preaching portion of a worship service or in the call to worship. While teaching and preaching are gifts, to teach or preach a message that God has given the speaker for that assembly of believers at that particular time is to prophesy. Because others as well as the speaker have the gift, they can judge whether or not the message is specifically for them (1 Corinthians 14:29). We may jot down a note to remember what was said, but we don't add it to Scripture. It usually is a Scripture from the recorded words of those who held the office of prophet in our Bible.

Consider: Let us come to worship the Lord with the expectation of hearing something specifically for us. We should always be listening for the Lord to speak to us in our spirit or through a brother or sister in the Lord. How many times have we heard a prophetic word for us and not realized God was speaking to us?