Sunday, June 09, 2013

What Money Cannot Buy

What Money Cannot Buy

Acts 8:18-24
And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.  Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity." Then Simon answered and said,” Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me." 

The Problem

The world today has one basic problem. It was the same problem in the time of Christ and the Apostles. The Pharisees and Sadducees had seen Matthew the tax collector and described him as a sinner for he was rich by a foul means. Jesus answered them;Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” We are all sick and the sickness is the same but it manifests itself in various forms. His may be stealing or working for the enemy, yours may be ignorance, hatred, pride, greed or even outright rejection of God. This sickness is sin, For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is none good; no not one!

Simon’s sin (sickness) has the symptom of Bribery. But Simon Peter’s sharp rebuke: "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!”  made him realize that money cannot buy all things.  With man you may succeed with bribery or what today in Nigeria is called “Naira power” but not with God. What is the symptom of your own illness? Perhaps it is your Church attendance; perhaps you think you can buy God over with your good works. It never will work! With God a gift is a gift and no payment directly or indirectly is involved. “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

The fear of money being to you all things is what Peter told Simon “Your money perish with you!” Your money cannot help you and you cannot help your money; when it is time to perish both of you will perish together. So is everything you do without Christ. They are ephemeral.

What has then led man to depend so much on money? Peter gives us the answer “your heart is not right with God”. What a sad truth! Many people do not want to hear it for the devil has blinded their eyes and deceived them into false security in things that cannot offer security. Our prayer is that your heart will today be right with God.

The Solution

The solution is in one word- Repent! Repent means agree with God. God says you are a sinner and you say no I am not a sinner. You repent when you agree with God. It is only then that you will surrender yourself to Him; break down all your defenses and accept His gift to you. In every heart is buried wickedness. It led to the destruction of the world in the days of Noah for the Bible says in Genesis 6:5-7:  “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." It will lead to the destruction of this world all over again this time with fire. 

Pray that the Lord may forgive you. You need to do like Simon did in verse 24, "Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me." He realized his sins and wickedness. He realized that money and all that he had depended on could not help him. He saw that God in His love forgives all who repent and gives them a gift which money cannot buy – eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Will you do this today? Christ is waiting to receive you and forgive your sins, if you are willing to repent. 

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