Preparing My Heart
God makes His power available to His people. Before Simon knew that, he wanted to get it for himself by his own means. In so doing, he exposed the error of his heart and opened himself to strong rebuke. But I still admire something in Simon.
I admire his desire to be a channel of God’s power. Though I have that calling and birthright in Christ, I rarely think of it. I so infrequently wish to have it and use it to the glory of God. So…what will I do about that?
Making the Bible Personal
How do I avoid being misled?
What do I believe about “the things concerning the kingdom of God”?
What is the right response to another’s gifts and success which I don’t have?
How do I correct the new Christian without discouraging him?
Would I accept a rebuke such as Simon got?
Do I have any role in sharpening my own spiritual discernment?
Reviewing Basic Truths
Faith in Jesus is a prerequisite for baptism.
Maturity in the faith is not a prerequisite for baptism
We receive God’s gifts by faith.
By grace, we grow into a godly value system.
Applying God’s Word to Me
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Excerpt: Bewitched by Power
Simon had bewitched the people of Samaria. Because of his sorceries and powers, he had led the people to believe he was “the great power of God.” Then came Philip with the Gospel. The message of Christ and His kingdom liberated many Samaritans…including Simon himself!
Simon was accustomed to wielding power. Though he had been redeemed by Jesus and baptized, he continued to be intrigued and impressed by manifestations of power through others. He wondered at the miracles and signs he saw Philip performing. Then he witnessed the giving of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands by the Apostles. He wanted that power!
It seems to me that Simon was bewitched by power. That unhealthy fascination led him astray to such an extent that Peter rebuked him with “thy heart is not right with God.” (Who knows, Peter might have added something from his own experience — Luke 10:20.)
Could such happen also to me? Do I entertain any cravings and nourish any fascinations that could likewise bewitch me and lead me astray? After all, I am no less human than Simon. Besides, we live in times of great peril and mounting deception. But we can survive! We can prosper and thrive! We can be more than conquerors!
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).
“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:17,18).
“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
This concludes my comments based on the passage for the International Bible Lesson. To read my comments on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications, click here: Choosing Men to Serve the Church.