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Simon the Wizard

My Devotion: Acts 8:4-25.  God Bless you ~ Zoey

Ancient Sorcerers

 

 

Simon the Wizard

8:4 Forced to leave home base, the followers of Jesus all became missionaries. Wherever they were scattered, they preached the Message about Jesus. Going down to a Samaritan city, Philip proclaimed the Message of the Messiah. When the people heard what he had to say and saw the miracles, the clear signs of God’s action, they hung on his every word. Many who could neither stand nor walk were healed that day. The evil spirits protested loudly as they were sent on their way. And what joy in the city!

9-11 Previous to Philip’s arrival, a certain Simon had practiced magic in the city, posing as a famous man and dazzling all the Samaritans with his wizardry. He had them all, from little children to old men, eating out of his hand. They all thought he had supernatural powers, and called him “the Great Wizard.” He had been around a long time and everyone was more or less in awe of him.

Prayer:

Father God you are immutable. You are faithful and true, mighty and sure.  Impostors – like Simon the Sorcerer, may come and go.  But you, our Father, will watch over your Living Word; it will do your good pleasure and it will not return void.  For in your wisdom, sent the Apostle Philip to remind the Samaritans not to listen to Simon the magician, as we read in this passage.

 

12-13 But when Philip came to town announcing the news of God’s kingdom and proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ, they forgot Simon and were baptized, becoming believers right and left! Even Simon himself believed and was baptized. From that moment he was like Philip’s shadow, so fascinated with all the God-signs and miracles that he wouldn’t leave Philip’s side.

Prayer:

I thank you for those presently, who are going out into all the world preaching the Message of the Messiah.  Yes, this same present evil seen in the world today is no different as was in this passage telling of Simon the Magician. This man had believed and been baptized hoping to gain the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. Foolishly thinking he could be “like” Philip and then once again, manipulate the people in Samaria to believe that he was greater than the Apostles sent by your Son, Jesus the Risen Savior of the world.

 

14-17 When the apostles in Jerusalem received the report that Samaria had accepted God’s Message, they sent Peter and John down to pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit. Up to this point they had only been baptized in the name of the Master Jesus; the Holy Spirit hadn’t yet fallen on them. Then the apostles laid their hands on them and they did receive the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:

Father God, your timing is perfect.  The Holy Spirit had not fallen upon the people until the apostles Peter and John had arrived from Jerusalem.  You were faithful to Philip, so that he would have the support of Peter and John.  Samaria was and still is so very dear to your heart, Lord.

 

18-19 When Simon saw that the apostles by merely laying on hands conferred the Spirit, he pulled out his money, excited, and said, “Sell me your secret! Show me how you did that! How much do you want? Name your price!”

20-23 Peter said, “To hell with your money! And you along with it. Why, that’s unthinkable—trying to buy God’s gift! You’ll never be part of what God is doing by striking bargains and offering bribes. Change your ways—and now! Ask the Master to forgive you for trying to use God to make money. I can see this is an old habit with you; you reek with money-lust.”

 

Prayer:

Father God, the price that your Son paid on the Cross as our Messiah is not measured in silver or gold. It is not a commodity to be sold or bought. It is an eternal gift – freely given and it is forever only yours to give.  Here we read in your Word that Simon’s deceptive manipulation was for monetary gain and power. Praise you, God, for you are NOT for sale! Nor is Your Holy Spirit deceived.  Help us to have the same bold conviction as the Apostle Peter did to rebuke those who have ill intentions and holding hidden selfish agendas.  Give us the wisdom, the transparency and unity in the Holy Spirit to walk out our salvation before you, Lord.  Amen.

 

24 “Oh!” said Simon, “pray for me! Pray to the Master that nothing like that will ever happen to me!”

25 And with that, the apostles were on their way, continuing to witness and spread the Message of God’s salvation, preaching in every Samaritan town they passed through on their return to Jerusalem.

[The Message translation]

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Acquiring His Providence ~ Scripture & Music Devotion

My Devotion:  Acquiring His Providence

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus,Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

Praise to God for a Living Hope

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

Be Holy

13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a]

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially,live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

  Heal our Land

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.[b] 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,

“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25     but the word of the Lord endures forever.”[c]

And this is the word that was preached to you.

 

My Devotion:  1 Peter 1New International Version (NIV)

God Bless You Abundantly and with His Peace…Go, Go, Go! ~Zoey

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Happy Father’s Day

Devotion from Courage and Confidence by Walter Moore

Only two letters, but the hardest word of all!

…be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods,

nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Daniel 3:18)

Edward W. Bok reminisced: “I remember when as a boy I asked my father once which , to his mind, was the hardest word in the English language.  Without a moment’s hesitation he answered, “No!” “No?” I echoed in surprised. “Exactly,” he answered, “not in spelling, as I suppose you mean. But you will find as you go along that it is the hardest word in the English language”  I did.  And difficult to say it was at time, as my father had predicted.”

Give us wisdom and courage, O God, always to say “No” to every tempting evil, however winsome, and “Yes” to Thee, however great the cost. Amen.

 

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In Christ Alone…

This is dedicated to our dear brother Pastor Rob Barkman who has entered the Gates of Glory on May 3, 2017.

Father God,

It takes but a glance of your majesty that surrounds us and we are quickly reminded of what a Sovereign God you are.  Let me be found in the Love of Christ; as these beautiful lyrics proclaim, no guilt in life and no fear in death.  Jesus does command our destiny.  Because of your Great Love…we can stand in Christ Alone until He comes or call us home. Let the heavens sing to Christ Alone. Amen.