Lesson Of The Day:
Being worse than me doesn’t make them more of a sinner than I am.
today i will be covering my devotion on Acts chapter 8
Verses 1, 3-4
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria…
But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.
i have heard many encouraging stories of churches and christians seeing revival and how they grew in number and spirit like crazy.
but its amazing how much a church can grow because of persecution.
so much of the stories i’ve heard are about how the christians are persecuted.
and these occurrences makes the church grow stronger instead of weaker.
this is a great example of how the church becomes more proactive when being persecuted.
it’s like the church needs persecution to be the catalyst to make change happen.
i hope that doesnt need to happen in Malaysia.
Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.
sometimes the best proof of Christ is the most simple:
so many of my friends who love God the most have the same trait.
they bring joy into their friends’ lives.
people just feel happy and like to have them around.
and it’s consistent.
from the most melancholic, shy, and meek, to the most brave, loud and friendly,
if they love God, they bring joy around with them.
maybe we should assess ourselves as individuals.
are we bringing joy to people around us?
as a church, are we bringing joy to our city?
or even better, as verse 8 states, GREAT JOY.
a Great God should bring Great Joy right?
and He does it through those who have Him in their hearts, right?
9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”
Here are random thoughts i had while reading this:
(in no particular order)
This simon is so demanding.
no wonder the game is called “Simon Says”
this man is very career minded.
he wants to better himself in the sorcery and “amazing” (or showing off to) people.
which is totally not God’s heart.
which made me think, did simon really receive the Holy Spirit?
Good news: the gift of God is free!
“captive to sin”
reminds me of how dangerous it is to be playing with magic, spirits, and mediums.
Random Funny Since It’s Christmas Season
on the serious side,
i had great christmas gifts.
thank You God for answering prayers!