A gift that’s not for sale!
Scripture reading for May 15th: Acts 8
After the stoning of the deacon, Stephen, a great persecution broke out of believers in Jesus by the Jews. Philip, another of the deacons (Acts 6:5), went to Samaria and preached the Word of Christ there. The Lord worked through him to heal the sick and deliver the demon-possessed.
Among those who heard Philip was a man named Simon, who was a sorcerer. He had super-natural powers from the devil to perform magic, was full of pride and loved attention. Many of his followers heard Philip and believed the Gospel and were saved. Luke records that, “Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and wonders he saw.” (Acts 6:13)
Sometime later, word reached the apostles that the Samaritans had received the Gospel through Philip. They sent Peter and John to check it out. “When they arrived, they prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit, because the holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, they had simply been baptized into the Name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 6:15-17)
When Simon saw that the gift of the Holy Spirit was transferred by the laying on of the apostle’s hands, he offered them money to obtain this ability! “Peter answered, “may your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord.” (Acts 6:20-22) Simon evidently saw the results of the baptism in the Holy Spirit–speaking in tongues and prophesy! He was motivated by selfish motives, not a desire to minister! How is your heart towards the Lord?