Power in Perspective
Sovereign, Loving Lord, I thank You that this complex, confusing and chaotic world is in Your powerful, good hands.
Read ACTS 8:4-25
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.
“…whoever want to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be your slave” (Matt. 20:26). It’s still a challenge, isn’t it?
Simon the sorcerer was a big man around town. People paid him a lot of attention and deference, and probably money, considering how easily he offered money to get what he wanted. Simon operated in a context where true faith in God had merged with the superstitions and apostasy of surrounding nations. People in Samaria even attributed his amazing magic to the power of God.
Then the word of God came to town. When Philip brought the Good News of Jesus and his Kingdom, great joy came as people believed and were healed and released from evil powers. Simon, too, believed and was baptized. The signs and wonders captivated him and he observed happenings that astonished even him. Being at the center of the action possibly energized him rather than threatened his previous career.
Then Peter and John arrived, representing the apostolic headquarters in Jerusalem, and released the Holy Spirit to the new believers. This sparked a covetous idea in Simon’s mind. If only he also could put his hands on people and see God’s Holy Spirit coming upon them! He craved this enough to offer to pay for the power (“Simony” means trade in sacred things). His request made it clear that he had misunderstood the message: spiritual wholeness was a gift from God, not a power to be bought for personal advantage. He needed to go back to the basics of repentance and forgiveness to be part of God’s work of reconciliation and empowerment. The last we hear of Simon is his second request, eerily reminiscent of the fear of Joseph’s brothers that their sinful behavior would be their undoing (Gen. 50:15-21). Unlike them, legend indicates Simon probably chose to ignore the power of forgiveness.
What’s the practical significance of God’s power in your life? How is it evident?
Father, forgive me that sometimes I seek to manipulate You. I confess my hunger for recognition. Forgive my selfish, sinful heart.
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