“Peter answered: ‘May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!'” (Acts 8:20)
It seems that anything of value has a price. We live in a world where money has power and influence. In fact, this concept is so firmly entrenched that if you receive a free gift, you can feel uncomfortable. The question “What’s the catch?” or “How am I now obligated to you?” might swirl around in our minds or pits of our stomachs.
This is not exactly a new concept; it’s existed for millennia! So, Simon perhaps thought that his request was reasonable … at first!
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:18,19).
Peter’s response was both direct and penetrating. This gift was not something that could be bought!
God levels the playing field. From the poorest of the poor, right through to the richest of the rich, God’s gift is not something that can be purchased by any human monetary system. Our greatest need, a restored relationship with God, has been paid for with the precious blood of Jesus, available for all, free of charge.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is also given freely. God’s desire is for us to flourish in our relationship with him and share his love with others, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Money, in this case, has no power or influence. God’s great love for people, on the other hand …
Dear God, I can’t earn or repay you for your freely given gifts. Thank you for your love. Thank you for Jesus’ sacrifice. Thank you for the Holy Spirit. I receive your gifts with thanks and gratitude. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.