This devotional is based on Acts 8 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
"Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money." Acts 8: 18
We should never lose sight of the fact that the devil is the enemy of Christ, and it is his sole purpose to thwart the success of the work of the Kingdom. Hence, whereas he uses brute force to get his way in some instances, in other instances he strategically uses the subtlety of deception to blind others to the truth. But even as Saul was rescued from the cruel clutches of the crooked one, so can we today.
Paul Approving Stephen's Death
Can there be a greater horror than to be so deceived that you can actually be doing God's will in consenting unto someone's death? How many have been driven away from the Kingdom by our self-righteous contempt of those who can't successfully hide their flaws of character, though earnestly seeking God? How easy to sit on a church board and "assassinate" in the name of protecting the image of the church.
Simon Wanting to Purchase Divine Power
Is it any different how that as it is in politics that the rich really rule, that the influence of money seems to steer the stern of the Church? Oh that we would know that the Gospel can no more be sold, as it cannot be bought.
The Holy Spirit, Simon, and the Ethiopian Eunuch
Would being led by the Spirit make us any less: reliant on "Simon's" money; dependent on our cultivated powers of persuasion; urged by the promise of monetary incentives for meeting baptismal targets; jolted into action out of the guilt of our denounced inactivity? Oh that we'd have a Spirit-led ministry We should know that every seeming success in the Gospel isn't necessarily from God. Remember the serpent in the Garden of Eden, Satan can impart special powers of that "rival" the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit.
Father, thank You for Your grace so freely extended to us. Thank You for the available Holy Spirit to guide us in ministry. Even now, we would be endowed with power from on high alone we pray in Jesus' name, amen.
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