Scripture: When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might 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. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 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. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” Acts 8:14-23 NIV
Observation: The gift of salvation is priceless. It’s a sin to attempt to purchase God’s Gifts with money. Money and actions can’t cover up what is in our heart.
Application: Giving to receive is never a good idea. It’s so self-centered whether it’s buying things to impress others or giving of your time and energy. Giving and servanthood inspired by the Lord come with a warranty that says “expect nothing yet receive eternity because I love you!” Salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit come paid for by the blood shed on the cross. To receive it you must admit your sin, ask forgiveness from the one true God and acknowledge Jesus as the son of that God who died for you. Jesus suffered for you and that suffering is so valuable we have nothing materialistic that compares. We have one gift for him and that’s our heart. The giving of it puts a smile on the Lord’s face. When we give of our talents, time and of our love to others with no strings that gives our Lord glory!
Prayer: Lord, help me to use my talents to glorify you. After all they are gifts that you have given me. Let me never take your love for granted. Lord, I never want to forget the life I came from before I knew you and the miracle of the new life I have built upon your word! Help me share your love with those around me. If given the oppprtunity, use me to further your kingdom. Your humble servant. Amen