Posts Tagged ‘Simon’

Acts 8:18-19
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

Poor Simon… he just didn’t get it. Here he had been following Philip and the other new Samaritan believers around and he was happy as a clam. That is, until Peter and John show up and take the next step… praying for the Holy Spirit to come upon those new believers.

Something dramatic must have happened. We are not told what. It could have been the speaking in other tongues as with the disciples, it could have been tongues of fire or wind or just an outpouring of great power. We will never know. But we do know that Simon the former sorcerer was impressed and all his old habits and desires and power came into play. Everything in him was saying, “gotta have it.”

He did not realize that this laying on of hands was a gift. It was a gift that came with devotion. It was a gift that only the Giver could choose to give or not give. And so, Simon made a mistake and lusted for it.

I have made Simon’s mistake. I have coveted the giftings of others. I have wished for the ministries of others. I have dreamed of God using me as a healer or a prophet. I have inwardly negotiated for more power.

God forgive me.

The old ways die hard. One of my besetting sins is a desire for fame. Generally, I have that well covered by grace. But there are days when it slips out like a little demon and sits on my shoulder spouting long monologues about recognition, notoriety, success and fans! Like the love of money, fame corrupts the soul.

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

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Acts 8:9-10a, 13a
Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great … Simon himself believed and was baptized [by Philip].

I believe there is power and magic outside the faithful in God, otherwise, why would it be included in scripture so casually? Simon did not just practice “magic tricks” but true sorcery. And yet, this very man, Simon, who already had a great following and could manipulate his environment with personal power, recognized truth in Philip’s message. He recognized power greater than his own.

I think Simon also recognized intent.

The apostles, now leaders in espousing the story of the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah, had one goal: tell … and show… the power of Jesus. They lived Jesus through their love and actions.

Actions that manifest from trust are easy to do. And confidence in those actions comes from security in the knowledge of the source of power. (…Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” Luke 8:46)

Simon had one up on me. Simon knew that miracles could happen every day. Simon knew the world around him was malleable. Simon knew people could be healed, situations transformed, and power tapped. Simon knew all of these things … he knew without doubt.

But still, after 30 years of faith, my doubt corrodes my courage.

It all goes back to intent. Why are we counted among the faithful to labor on His behalf?

Back then, everyone knew there was to be a savior … a messiah. The apostles’ primary message addressed it: the Messiah has come. The kingdom of God has touched the human race through this savior. We can be different.

But does our culture wait for a savior? No. If anything, we are waiting for a judge.

The message of Christ is not just about “eternal salvation.” It’s about change… changing ourselves… changing our world. Touching, healing, loving, speaking, and believing in the power of the Messiah, in the kingdom of God within and without.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” [John 14:12]

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