MUSING – April 27 2018
WHAT IS IT ABOUT “IT’S A GIFT” THAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND?
“Peter and John went to Samaria and prayed that the Samaritans would receive the Holy Spirit. (Before this the Holy Spirit had not come to any of the Samaritans. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit. Simon saw that the Spirit was given to the Samaritans when the apostles placed their hands on them. So he offered Peter and John money and said, “Give me this power so that anyone I place my hands on will receive the Holy Spirit.” Peter told Simon, “May your money be destroyed with you because you thought you could buy God’s gift.”
Why were Peter and John so upset with Simon’s offer to give money to them?
At least once a year every pastor in the world preaches on giving. As I’m writing this our church in Texas is starting a Capitol Campaign to raise money so that the church’s debt can be lessened. Churches, businesses, families and individuals need money – that is a fact of life.
But does God needed money? Of course not! To think that the Creator of everything, the Owner of everything, needs our money, it’s to think Him too small.
However, God allows us to demonstrate our love and obedience through our giving.* In this way we become a partner in His ministries to the world.
I’ll repeat the question I asked before: Why were Peter and John so upset with Simon’s offer to give money to them? Read the rest of Acts 8 and you’ll see that until he became a Christian, he had been an amazing magician who claimed great power. Simon now saw real power and wanted it for himself. Simon was trying to buy something that is given for free.**
Well, if not our money, or our sacrifice, what does God really want from us? “To do what is right, to love mercy, and to live humbly with your God.”***
All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams