Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 3, 2019

“the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 8:9-24.

“Now there was a man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great;  and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, “This man is what is called the Great Power of God.”  And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts.  But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.  Even Simon himself believed;  and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed.

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.  For He had not yet fallen upon any of them;  they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.  Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”  But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!  You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.  Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.  For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.”  But Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”  Acts 8:9-24.

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Simon astonished people of Samaria with his magic, “claiming to be someone great”.  “and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, “This man is what is called the Great Power of God.”  Verse 10.

And yet, when Simon was rebuked by Peter and commanded to pray for himself, he appeared humble and weak by his answer.  “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”  Verse 24.

Today’s Scripture humbles man and shows that true power comes from God.

We are reminded of the Scripture two verses earlier in this chapter.  “For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice;  and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed.”  Acts 8:7.

And in today’s Scripture, we read about God giving the Holy Spirit and humbling Simon to the extent that Simon did not even want to pray for himself.

“Shout joyfully to God, all the earth;
2 Sing the glory of His name;
Make His praise glorious.
3 Say to God, “How awesome are Your works!
Because of the greatness of Your power Your enemies will give feigned obedience to You.”  Psalm 66:1-3.

“3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
6 Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness.
7 They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.”  Psalm 145:3-7.

“‘Ah Lord God!  Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm!  Nothing is too difficult for You,”  Jeremiah 32:17.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;”  2 Corinthians 4:7.

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.  …”  Ephesians 1:18-19.


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