Have you ever been surprised by what a verse you’ve always known means more when you see it in the light of another verse.
We all know 1Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” We know about our responsibility to comfort each other, to edify each other.
Today when I read this verse, I heard it in the context of 1Corinthians 14:5: “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.”
There it is again: comfort each other, edify each other. And here, Paul describes this as the purpose of the prophetic gifts.
Two verses earlier, he commanded us, “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” Again a command, this time to pursue prophetic gifts. One translation says, “covet to prophesy.”
Wait, what? You don’t mean to say that every one of us can prophesy, do you? That I can prophesy?
Yeah, I do. [cf 1Co 14:31] You can prophesy. You can comfort folks, edify [instruct or improve] them, exhort [encourage] them. In fact, that’s both part of your destiny and part of your instructions from God.