"In Peter and John's Footsteps"
Today's reading: Acts 8:18-27 (New International Version) 18When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money 19and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."
20Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin."
24Then Simon answered, "Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me."
25When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.
Simon must be a bitter man. Something or some situation in his life inflicted him with evil spirits of jealousy and cold heartedness. He is wanting it all and is willing to offer money for whatever it takes to be in power. Some people just don’t get it, and that is truly sad.
I love watching “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” and tonight’s episode was especially meaningful as the home was built for a local family here in southwest Missouri. The family on the receiving end of the gift was in need and I admire that builder and all of those people that put in their time, goods and equipment for free for this deserving family they had never met. They get it!
Peter told Simon that he needed to pray for forgiveness for money can not buy God’s work. He still hadn’t faced the fact that the Lord was graciously giving the Holy Spirit to those that became believers with sincere hearts. Each one of us is given the opportunity to share God’s love and how He has blessed us. Giving of our time and energy and resources does make a difference. The disciples were making a difference by continuing Jesus’ ministry through the power of the Holy Spirit.
You and I can begin to breakdown cycles, the cycles of poverty, hunger, inadequate housing, and families with no electricity or water. The United Nations has chosen this Monday, October 5th to be World Habitat Day - a day to stand up and let it be known that affordable, adequate housing should be a priority everywhere. By writing about this in today’s devotional is to raise awareness about this global problem. It is my first step in making sure that everyone in my realm of influence knows there is a way to assist and see that everyone everywhere has a safe and decent place to call home.
John and Peter kept preaching the gospel message because the Lord sent them; where ever the Lord sends you to assist others, go, take the step to share your heart and your time, God will bless your endeavors however large or small they may seem to be. Most of us will not be able to build a home for someone in 7 days for free and pay off mortgages and give full college scholarships, but we can give where the Lord wants us to. Blessings to you as you continue in Peter and John’s footsteps in sharing the gospel to many.
Aldersgate UMC, Nixa, Mo.
If you desire more information about Habitat for Humanity check out their website: http://www.habitat.org/