Acts 11:27-30 :
Now in these days, prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up, and indicated by the Spirit that there should be a great famine all over the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius. As any of the disciples had plenty, each determined to send relief to the brothers who lived in Judea; which they also did, sending it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
One thing that this passage shows us is that there are bad times that can come upon the whole world at once. There are many indications that the time that we live in is just one of those times. Here we have a clear indication from a prophet of that a food shortage was going to happen across the whole world. God warned his children and as a result, they made plans to send money to those who were being persecuted, imprisoned and kicked out of their homes.
This brings up a very important issue. There are times when the world faces potential problems and shortages and those of us who have plenty are tempted to withhold our blessings and keep them all to ourselves. This is clearly not a biblical thing to do, as we read here. We should be careful to make sure that we have what we need for our families and then we should seek out those in need and do what we can do to help them. We shouldn’t live extravagantly, using up our own resources on ourselves when we know that we have persecuted brothers and sisters who face troubles worse than ours.
I have been told that in our current times of trouble, many have stopped giving to missionaries. I understand that this could be caused by Christians in debt which is another important problem that must be faced. If a person has debt they shouldn’t be paying for others. They should first take care of their own responsibilities because when you are in debt, you are likely to become one of the “needy” if you don’t deal with it first. I’m talking about the Christians who have “plenty” (without debt). I understand that this may be a very few Christians right now, but I believe that we should be doing what we can to help the persecuted “brothers” with our “plenty” when we have a clear indication from God that bad times are upon us. What a blessing it is for a Christian brother to give to another in their time of need and what a blessing it is to have a God who provides for our needs.