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Daily Devotional: Monday 16th March

by William Moody

Acts 8:18–25

18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in the gall1 of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” 24 And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

25 Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.

Footnotes

[1] 8:23 That is, a bitter fluid secreted by the liver; bile

(ESV)

Simon wants to be able to give the Holy Spirit to people through the laying on of hands and offers money to be able to do this (v18-19). From Simon’s actions there entered into the church in the middle ages the term ‘Simony’, which was the practice of buying church offices and roles.

The church is not to be a place where we serve or act for personal gain or advancement. We must always enter church with a servant spirit, serving Christ and His people. Examine your heart before God to test your motives.

Peter’s response could not be stronger (v20). The idea of purchasing God’s gifts sadly is still prevalent today, people think by their deeds and duties earning their way into God’s good book and even into heaven.

When people are like Simon, thinking they can purchase God’s blessing, their hearts are not right with God (v21) and they need to repent to avoid judgement (v22-23). Simon seeks the help of the apostles’ prayer to be rescued from the danger he was in (v24).

We must constantly remember that God’s salvation and blessing come to people entirely through grace alone. Praise God that this is so and be watchful that you never slip back into a mentality of earning God’s favour.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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