Wednesday, July 6 – Acts 8:14-19
Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they would receive the Holy Spirit. (For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Throughout Scripture, we see that God is not primarily interested in a person’s outward appearance but their having a sincere heart. At first glance, Simon’s words sound noble. He wanted to be like the apostles. However, some of his actions revealed his selfish intentions. First, he wanted to pay to receive the gift of God, as if it was a possession to attain. Second, he wanted the power of the Holy Spirit for what he could do with it instead of from a desire to know God more deeply.
So many of us are like Simon—we love our relationship with God, but we would love to also stand out from the crowd with special abilities or resources. If we are not careful, our relationship with God can become centered on what we get from God instead of growing deeper in a relationship with Him. Having the Holy Spirit in us is not a way to build a name for ourselves but to spread the name of Christ. We cannot fake humility and gratitude to God; He knows our hearts and motivations. He knows if we are trying to glorify Him or make a name for ourselves. People naturally desire admiration and power, but when we are transformed by the Holy Spirit, we are to point to God’s praiseworthiness and power alone.
- When was a time you wanted something from God more than you wanted to grow in your relationship with Him?
- Why is our motivation more important than our words?
- Pray and ask God to show you the motives of your heart. Repent for where you have been looking out for yourself instead of trying to grow in relationship with Him.