DayBreaks for 4/06/18: Unclear on the Concept
From the DayBreaks archive, 1998:
This emergency room story was interesting: “A 28-year old male was brought into the ER after an attempted suicide. The man had swallowed several nitroglycerin pills and a fifth of vodka. When asked about the bruises about his head and chest he said that they were from him ramming himself into the wall in an attempt to make the nitroglycerin explode.”
Galen’s Thoughts: My first reaction to the story: duh! Acts chapter 8 tells us about Simon the magician. Simon had made a living by practicing magical arts before the gospel came to his town. Many in his city heard the gospel and believed, including Simon. But when he saw what happened when the apostles laid their hands on people, he saw an opportunity and went for it. He did what many do: he tried to bribe God (through the apostles). Here’s the outcome from Acts 8:18-22: 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.” Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.”
Have you ever tried to “bribe” God? “Lord, if you’ll just get me out of this financial mess, I’ll tithe the rest of my life.” “Lord, if you’ll heal my child of this disease, I’ll go to church every Sunday till I die.” “Lord, if you’ll just give me through this battle alive, I’ll stop drinking and serve you the rest of my life.” I’m ashamed to admit that I have tried to bribe Him. The only problem is: God cannot be bribed – least of all by humans.
Both the man in the ER and Simon the magician were unclear on the concept. Simon was not interested in bringing the Spirit to others but rather to gain the power and prestige of being able to do so for his own selfish motives. Selfish motives are forever the bane of preachers and teachers. We must remember that we cannot at the same time show how clever we are and how wonderful Christ is. Christ must have the preeminence.
Secondly, Simon forgot that not all gifts can be bought with money. I may look at a birthday gift for my wife or children and buy it with money, but character cannot be bought. Certain gifts are dependent on character. It is impossible to bring the Spirit to others unless you first have the Spirit yourself.
Are you clear on the concept that in all things Christ must be first and you must be last? Be sure that in all things He is first in your life and that you put Him front and center so He (rather than you) is glorified!
PRAYER: Jesus, give us hearts that are content to yield all glory to you and to seek none for ourselves! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.