Wednesday, August 20, 2014

When a Heart Isn't Right

Thursday, August 21, 2014
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power.  “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!”  But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought!  You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God.  Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord.  Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.”  “Pray to the Lord for me,” Simon exclaimed, “that these terrible things you’ve said won’t happen to me!”  Acts 8:18-24 (NLT)
What was Simon’s motive in wanting the power to bestow the gift of the Holy Spirit?  Who knows; only God can look into a person’s heart, right?

But Peter, empowered by God to see beyond the words of Simon’s mouth, understood his heart to be lacking.  Peter rebuked the pretender and encouraged Simon to repent of his wicked intention. 

The captivity of Simon’s sin was founded in jealousy.  Perhaps that helps us understand Simon.  He had seen something spectacular – the “magical power” of the apostles laying hands on people, with spontaneous results manifesting the power of heaven – this was happening and Simon wanted in on it!  He wanted to run with the big dogs!

Peter’s original name (before Jesus “re-named” him) was also Simon.  He was Peter who was a Simon.  But, here we have a Simon who wants to be Peter.  Maybe Peter saw clearly into Simon’s heart because he’d been there before.

Have you ever been caught-up short by your jealous ambition?

Preacher – ever wanted to see the crowds gather like they do for the big church on the other side of town?

Singer – ever want the kind of response you see on American Idol?

Prayer warrior – ever want to be recognized for starting that move of the Spirit?

Giver – ever lay that check in the offering plate face-side up so others in the pew can see just how much you mean to the church’s financial health?

During my Dad’s recent visit with us we were having a discussion about issues similar to Simon’s problem.  As I began to speak a word into the conversation I realized I was talking about myself.  The very point I was going to make was my problem too.  I was convicted deeply and had to “run to the altar of repentance” with that one in a hurry. 

For You, Today
It’s too easy to look at others’ sins and cluck our tongues, shake our heads in disapproval.  It’s the old problem of hunting for specks in someone else’s eye, while neglecting the tree in our own.

Take a moment to repent and be cleansed.

Today deserves a heart that’s right; your Savior deserves a clean vessel; YOU!

No comments:

Post a Comment