Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, January 14, 2016
The apostles were full of power following the day of Pentecost. As never before, they healed, cast out devils, and imparted the Holy Ghost to people. While Jesus was still with them, they performed some of the same works, but somehow it was different this time. The early rain imparted to them power never before seen. This, along with the multitudes being baptized, day-by-day, was a partial fulfillment of what Jesus foretold when He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12).
There was a man named Simon, the sorcerer, who bewitched the people during the time when, through the apostles, the greatest works of God were manifest. Many of the people believed the gospel, and were released from his spells. Eventually, he, along with them, was baptized. When Simon saw that the Holy Ghost was being imparted to others, a desire for notability overcame him. “And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:18-19). What made him think he could purchase the power of God to be used as he saw fit? “But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” (Acts 8:20-22).
Many today still look to be associated with Jesus because they believe it will make them famous. On a regular basis, on television and in our churches, we see some religious preachers and singers who focus on filthy lucre. It is a temptation for many of us who lead the flock of God to lose perspective and become proud and self-seeking. How can we be insulated against such a loss of focus? When we seek the Lord’s face diligently and spend much time with Him, we begin to realize that we are but dust. In His presence, we see ourselves, as we really are, poor, miserable, and detestable. Thank God, He does not leave us that way. As He lifts us up by His perfect righteousness, we begin to lose the desire for the accolades of men.
Today’s Scripture Focus:
“Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.” (Acts 8:21).
Today’s Marching Orders:
Let us, daily, bow down before the Lord our maker, and the Meek and Lowly One will lift us up.