ACTS of the Apostles

Thursday, May 12

ACTS of the Apostles

Learning How to be Daring and Dynamic

Read Acts 8:9-25

Focus Verses: Acts 8:18-19

Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

As the early church grew rapidly, with thousands of believers being added at time, Peter and the other apostles found themselves having to correct some new believers who were a little mixed up. One of these people was Simon. Simon was actually a sorcerer, claiming that he had spiritual powers. When he saw the TRUE miracles that Peter and the apostles were doing in Jesus’ name, he couldn’t stay away. He wanted that same power, so he joined the crowds and listened intently to see how he could get that power. But God surprised him. Although he was listening for selfish reasons, he came to believe in Jesus and was baptized along with the other new believers.

Nevertheless, like all new Christians, although the heart belongs to Jesus, the rest of the self still needs to commit fully to Him. This was true of Simon. When he saw the apostles laying hands on believers for them to receive the Holy Spirit, he wanted to be able to do that, too. He saw it as a way to become a celebrity with his followers.

But when Simon offered to pay for this ability, Peter was furious. He let him know that God’s gifts could not be bought with money and that Simon’s heart was not right before God. He told Simon to repent and pray that God would have mercy on him and forgive him for even thinking such a thing. Realizing the truth for the first time, Simon humbly repented.

Isn’t it easy for us to look at Simon and assume that we would never be like him? In reality, we are probably more like Simon than we would like to admit. How often do we Christians act selfishly or arrogantly? We make tons of mistakes throughout our walk, but amazingly, God does not hold them against us. He knows that, just as children grow, we need to grow in our faith and in our relationship with Him. How many times do our children fall off their bikes before they can ride confidently? We bandage their scraped elbows and coax them to get back on the bike again. God does that with us. He never runs out of patience. Little by little we do mature in the faith.

Paul urges us to discover our spiritual gifts and learn how to use them for the good of the body of Christ: Then we will no longer be infants…blown here and there by every wind of teaching Instead, …we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15). I don’t know about you, Sisters…but that is certainly how I want to grow.

Thank you, God, that You promised to freely give the Holy Spirit to everyone who asks. Thank you that when we are baptized into the Holy Spirit, you bless us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that we can each contribute to the body of Christ and help the church complete its mission . We are so grateful that You never run out of patience with us no matter how often we mess up. Thank you that You use the circumstances in our lives to help us mature into You. In Jesus’ Name and for the Father’s glory, Amen.