Not For Sale

Posted: November 7, 2019 in Meditations

The Bible tells a fascinating story about a man named Simon in Acts 8. He lived in Samaria, a city 118 miles north of Jerusalem. The whole region knew who Simon was, rich and poor alike. He claimed to be the spokesman for God. His magic, whatever it was, amazed all who witnessed it and many followed him.

Philip the Evangelist came up from Jerusalem to preach Christ in Samaria. Revival broke out, miracles of healing and deliverance marked the evangelistic gatherings. Throngs of men and women surrendered their lives to follow Christ; joyous converts were baptized. Simon the Magician believed and was baptized, completely dumbfounded by the inexplicable miracles he witnessed.

When word of the great revival reached Jerusalem, the church sent Peter and John to Samaria. The two leaders prayed over each convert laying hands on them. One by one, each new Christ follower received the Holy Spirit. Simon wanted that power for himself and offered to buy it from Peter and John. Peter rebuked Simon, “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no share in this ministry because your heart is not right with God.” Acts 8:20,21  Peter then identifies the root and totality of Simon’s sin, “I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” Acts 8:23

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We do not possess God; God possesses us. The Great God, Infinite Goodness, the Holy Spirit: God and his kingdom is not for sale, never has been, never will be. We don’t manipulate God, we do not barter with God. In fact, the Christ follower capitulates, he surrenders everything he is and ever hopes to be to our Great God. Every sin, every wound, every secret gets laid bare before God. In our brokenness, we die to ourselves that God might grant resurrection, a new life, a new hope, a new purpose driven destiny. The Apostle Paul says, “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15 We live for Christ alone.

Peter confronts Simon for his own good. Without death, there is no new life. “Simon, you are full of bitterness, hurts that now strangle your spirit. Look around you. Simon, do you want their joy? Surrender. You are chained to your sin. You, my friend, are a dead man walking. Repent, give it up while you still can. Christ is your only hope.” Simon can’t do it, he won’t do it. “Pray to the Lord for me.” Acts 8:24  The only individual that can pray the prayer of surrender is you. Nobody can surrender for you, nobody can arrange salvation for you. God is not for sale.

 

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