Loving Father, I thank You today for my new life in Christ and for the love that gave it.
Read Acts 8:9-25
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“If you live your everyday life in the power of faith … you may begin to see wonderful things” (David Jeremiah).
What happens when your hard-won audience melts away in front of you? It takes a big person not to feel bitter. A rival attraction was drawing Simon’s crowd. Yet, open to learn and, perhaps, profit, Simon went to see who these newcomers were. He was impressed and saw things completely out of his experience. Moreover, Philip was not even an apostle! Imagine then Simon’s interest when the top brass arrived in person. They did not disappoint, and Simon was deeply moved by what he saw.
However, whether his conversion was real or skin-deep, enough of his old entrepreneurial nature remained within him. If he could bottle what they had, namely the Holy Spirit, he could use it to fund a new ministry. He is neither the first nor the last to want to profit from his faith. Jesus’ warning stands true that “You cannot serve both God and money” (Matt. 6:24). Peter exposes the heart disease he suffers from, which, if not dealt with, will prove terminal. He calls on him to change his attitude and his approach. The story leaves us with a seemingly penitent and prayerful Simon, but it may not be the last time he had to fight that particular battle.
Meanwhile, the work in Samaria went on. Representing the apostles, Peter and John authenticated the work there. Word and deed worked in harmony, and joy was the result. The kingdom of God was clearly seen and the response was evident in signs and miracles, in requests for baptism, prayer, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter and John preached and taught. In the heady days of revival, it is vital that a firm grounding of faith is laid. For Samaria, persecution was no doubt on the way and great courage would be needed.
We must continually search our motives as well as our actions, so that we do not contaminate the good God is doing. Take a moment for a heart examination.
Lord, I praise You for the strengths I have. May they be submitted to Your purposes and used for Your glory.
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