Unstoppable! 'The Gift that Cannot Be Bought' — Acts 8:18-21

Thursday, April 28, 2022

When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. "Let me have this power, too," he exclaimed, "so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!"

But Peter replied, "May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God's gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God."

— Acts 8:18-21 NLT

Key Thought

We are as shocked at Simon's request to buy the power to give the gift of the Spirit as Peter was. Jesus pours out the Spirit; God — as Father, Son, and Spirit — determines what spiritual gift each of us receives.* No human has the power to decide to whom the Spirit is given; only the Father and Son do. For us to think we can buy, use, or manipulate the power of the Spirit for our notoriety, control, or greed is horrifically offensive to God! The Spirit is Christ Jesus' gift to us at conversions (Tutus 3:3-7).

* The New Testament teaches that God — as Father and Son and Holy Spirit — decides which gifts we will receive (Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 18, 28; Ephesians 4:7, 11-13). However, "pouring out the Holy Spirit" or "baptizing in the Holy Spirit" is something that Jesus does (Luke 3:15-16; Acts 2:33; Titus 3:5-6).

Today's Prayer

O Father, thank you for the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. Forgive me for not appreciating the gifts, presence, power, and divine fellowship you have given me through the Holy Spirit. I thank you, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 2:14-18, 32-36
  • Titus 3:3-7

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 8:18-21 NLT — When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. "Let me have this power, too," he exclaimed, "so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!"

But Peter replied, "May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God's gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God."

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.