Receiving the Holy Spirit
Scripture reading for April 25th: 1st Samuel 9-10, Acts 8
Acts 8: 14-17 “Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for He had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”
The world, and some in the church, often think that the things of God can be earned through good works or bought by money. Simon the former sorcerer, appeared to be converted, but still had a love for money and control. His heart was not right with God and as a result, he offered money to be able to lay hands on people to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The unspoken evidence was most likely speaking in other tongues. Peter immediately rebuked him for this display of flesh and wickedness and called him to repentance and God’s grace for forgiveness. Money is worthless in purchasing anything from God or His people!
Acts 8:18-23 “Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing grace, even towards those like Simon who appear to be in the church but have not repented of wickedness. Help me as a servant to be alert for those who have wrong hearts and to gently call them to repentance and life. Give discernment to Your church to guard against such attacks on Your salvation by grace through faith.
1st Samuel 10:6 “Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy and be turned into another man.”