Yesterday my friend taught me something. Steve Fitch brought the word in our church and taught on a neglected passage. 1 Thessalonians 5:20 "Do not treat prophecies with contempt".
The opposite of "contempt" is "respect". So we are to respect prophecies...but what is prophecy?
It is certainly not predominately the doom and gloom of the Old Testament. The New Testament definition is revealed in 1 Corinthians 14:3 "But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort."
Plus it goes on to let us know that all new testament believers CAN prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:31 "For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged."
So what's that mean for me? When a brother or sister in Christ have a word of blessing, or encouragement, or strengthening, or comfort...I need to respect it, really receive it, and then live by the truth of it. If their words are in line with THE WORD then they may be speaking God's word to us and to pooh-pooh that, or discount that, or despise that... is to miss out on what God has for me.
PLUS I need to GIVE prophecies - Words of encouragement, instruction, promise, strength from God's heart, in line with God's Word, to God's people to meet their need of the moment.
Prophecy in the New Testament is much more "FORTH telling" than "Fore-Telling"...speaking forth the truth of God in a particular moment, to a unique situation, to a individual person.
May we all be "prophets" to strengthen one another...especially during these tough times!