SUNDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER, 2019
GOD’S POWER NOT FOR SALE
TEXT: ACTS 8:9-25
KEY VERSE: “But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (ACTS 8:20).
It is a common scene in many religious assemblies to solicit for sponsorship of projects. Cash donations and offering collections from people who are hosting funeral ceremonies, birthdays, child christening and church inaugurations irrespective of the religious status and convictions of the celebrants and guests have become common place. Many of the unsuspecting and unknowledgeable communicants implicitly believe that the more they are able to contribute or gather for the church, the greater the favour they would receive from God. What a misconception!
Our study is based on a narrative on one Simon the sorcerer in Samaria. Simon became one of the converts in the revival initiated by Philip. He however was impressed by the miracles that he saw. Awe-stricken, he offered money to receive the power of the Holy Ghost baptism. Peter’s sharp rebuke is instructive to everyone today who thinks their monetary or material offerings can appease God and buy their way through to any of His gifts which are given only by grace.
Genuine salvation is by grace. All other gifts of God are by grace. Spending for God and the church’s projects is not expected to substitute our submission to His instructions nor a means of ensuring a space in heaven. Giving material gifts in the church from a heart that is not genuinely born again is like saving money in a bank in which we have no bank account. What a wasted exercise!
Money cannot buy God’s gift; half-conversion is as bad as no conversion; covetousness is dangerous, deceptive and damning. However, genuine Spiritual gifts are still available free of charge to those who can consecrate themselves to the Lord.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Giving money to the church is not an alternative to consecration for God’s gifts.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: PSALM 139–150