Saturday 22 February, 2020

Acts 8:14-25

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply 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 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” 24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.” 25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.

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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