Monday 4 July, 2016

Acts 8:14-25

14 The apostles in Jerusalem heard that people in Samaria had accepted God’s word. So they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived there, they prayed for the new believers. They prayed that they would receive the Holy Spirit. 16 The Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them. And they received the Holy Spirit. 18 Simon watched as the apostles placed their hands on them. He saw that the Spirit was given to them. So he offered money to Peter and John. 19 He said, “Give me this power too. Then everyone I place my hands on will receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 Peter answered, “May your money be destroyed with you! Do you think you can buy God’s gift with money? 21 You have no part or share in this holy work. Your heart is not right with God. 22 Turn away from this evil sin of yours. Pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 I see that you are very bitter. You are a prisoner of sin.” 24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me. Pray that nothing you have said will happen to me.” 25 Peter and John continued to preach the word of the Lord and tell people about Jesus. Then they returned to Jerusalem. On the way they preached the good news in many villages in Samaria.

Simon has been used to being revered because of the appearance of holiness that his tricks gave. Now here is something much better, but it’s someone else doing this one. He’s jealous. He wants this one too, and he’s willing to pay for it.

Jealousy is such a nasty, sneaky, divisive, destructive thing.

It can so easily arouse thoughts like “Wouldn’t it be nice to able to do that too” or “Wouldn’t it be nice to be seen as a spiritual person” or “I should be the one doing that. I could do it better. That bit’s not very good at all.”

That sort of jealous thinking is wrong on so many levels. Jealousy leads to trying to take and possess what God gives freely. Jealousy leads to being critical and judgemental. Jealousy leads to pride.

Maybe God will use me … once I’ve got my focus fully on Him … once my passion is to hear Him and to know Him … once my heart is for all to be touched by Him and to be transformed by it … once I love to encourage more than to be encouraged, to build up others more than to be built up … once I’m not the focus. Or maybe God has another role for me and I should just enjoy the blessing I’m receiving.

Father, I give you my heart. My desire is for my heart to be aligned with yours. Protect me from the jealousy that would rob me of that.

Written by David Cornell

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