Don’t know if you’ve ever heard this statement when you’ve tried to pay for something… “Your money is no good here!” Usually the statement is used to emphasize that what you’re trying to pay for is a gift and payment will not be accepted to obtain it. In fact, in some cases, to even try to purchase the item or service would be considered an affront – offensive to the giver!
This morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” I read story in the Bible that emphasized that truth about receiving the empowerment of the Holy Spirit…
“Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for He [the Holy Spirit] had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit! Now when Simon [who had formerly been a sorcerer] saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ But Peter said to him, ‘May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you… Simon responded, ‘Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me!’” (Acts 8:14–22 ESV)
We live in a culture that seems to think that if you have enough money you can buy almost anything… possessions, honor, power, and influence. Well the truth of the matter is, there are some things money just cannot buy!
You cannot purchase or earn salvation and God’s forgiveness! The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans 6:23) “For by grace you have been saved through faith. This is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
And you cannot buy the divine empowerment of the Holy Spirit either! In fact, even to think so is offensive to God… just ask Simon! For those who are the redeemed children of God, it is a “grace gift” (a “charismata”) freely given to those who ask, believe and receive it! (Check out Luke 11:10-13; Galatians 3:2-5; and Acts 2:1-4, 32-33, and 37-39.) To be sure there are evidences, manifestations, and “fruit” of His presence, but the presence and power of the Holy Spirit is provided to God’s children as a “gift” received by responsive faith!
That’s why “marketing” the power the Holy Spirit provides for personal advancement and gain is so offensive! The Biblical principle is “You received without paying for it, give without pay!” (Matthew 10:8).
So today, I’m just incredibly grateful – grateful for salvation, and grateful for the Holy Spirit’s empowerment! I didn’t deserve either one, but God has freely provided these wonderful gifts! With God’s help and leadership, I intend to be a faithful steward of His blessing; first of all for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom, and secondly for the blessing and benefit of others!