Topic: God’s Power Not For Sale
[DCLM Daily Manna 15 September 2019 Daily Devotional by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi]
Text: Acts 8:9-25 (KJV)
9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
Key Verse: “But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (Acts 8:20).
It is a common scene in many religious assemblies to solicit for sponsorship of projects. Cash donations and offering collections from people who are hosting funeral ceremonies, birthdays, child christening and church inaugurations irrespective of the religious status and convictions of the celebrants and guests have become common place. Many of the unsuspecting and unknowledgeable communicants implicitly believe that the more they are able to contribute or gather for the church, the greater the favour they would receive from God. What a misconception!
Our study is based on a narrative on one Simon the sorcerer in Samaria. Simon became one of the converts in the revival initiated by Philip. He however was impressed by the miracles that he saw. Awe-stricken, he offered money to receive the power of the Holy Ghost baptism. Peter’s sharp rebuke is instructive to everyone today who thinks their monetary or material offerings can appease God and buy their way through to any of His gifts which are given only by grace.
Genuine salvation is by grace. All other gifts of God are by grace. Spending for God and the church’s projects is not expected to substitute our submission to His instructions nor a means of ensuring a space in heaven. Giving material gifts in the church from a heart that is not genuinely born again is like saving money in a bank in which we have no bank account. What a wasted exercise!
Money cannot buy God’s gift; half-conversion is as bad as no conversion; covetousness is dangerous, deceptive and damning. However, genuine Spiritual gifts are still available free of charge to those who can consecrate themselves to the Lord.
Thought For The Day: Giving money to the church is not an alternative to consecration for God’s gifts.
The Bible In One Year: Psalm 139–150