SIMON THE SORCERER
A certain man in the city of Samaria named Simon practiced magic and sorcery. Many Samaritans were amazed by his magic and claimed that he had the power of God. As Philip continued to preach the gospel in the city, many people responded to the gospel's message and began to believe in Jesus. Simon, the sorcerer, saw God's miraculous work through Philip and wanted to have them. So he pretended to believe in the gospel and was water baptized in the name of Jesus. Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that many Samaritans were believing in Jesus, they sent Peter and John to pray for them and received the Holy Spirit. As Peter and John prayed and laid hands on the people, Simon, the sorcerer, saw the manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the people. He tried to have the same power to give the Holy Spirit to others and offered the disciples money to give him the power to do so.
But Peter told him, "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 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. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin." Simon, the sorcerer, then asked Peter to pray for him that the judgment of God would not fall on him. Simon learned an important lesson that no one can buy the power of God. We must understand that God's power can only work in us when we completely surrender our life to God.
Some people may use their good works to get the power of God in their lives. There was a crime boss that wanted God's protection, so he offered to build a church building and give food to the poor, hoping that God would grant his request without repenting from his criminal activities. God knows our hearts, and He sees the motive of our hearts. God wants us to genuinely believe in Jesus by surrendering our lives to Him; this is the only way we can receive the power of God in our life.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully and meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speaks to you). How do I receive the power of God in my life? Have I surrendered my life to Jesus? What does it mean to believe and surrender my life to Jesus?
Father in Heaven, thank you for teaching me today that the only way your power can work in my life is by believing and surrendering my life to my Lord Jesus. Please continue to examine my heart, and if there is anything that is not right, please change my heart so that your power can work in and through me so that you may be glorified in my life. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.