Peter said to him, “May your silver perish
with you, because you thought you could
obtain God’s gift with money. You have no
part or share in this for your heart is not
right before God.”
–Acts 8:20-21

Acts 8:1-25

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The gap between our belief and our life is the growing edge of our discipleship.

In Acts 8:1-25 we meet Simon, a magician who has astonished and amazed the people of Samaria for quite some time (verses 9,11).

When Phillip comes to Samaria preaching the good news of Jesus, healing those who are sick and casting out demons of those who are possessed, Simon is the one who is astonished and becomes a believer (verse 13).

When Peter and John come to Samaria and, through the laying on of their hands, impart the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Samaritan believers Simon offers them money so that he too can impart the Spirit.

Even though he believes in Jesus his heart has not yet been transformed.

Peter rebukes him saying, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money. You have no part or share in this for your heart is not right before God. Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are still in the gall of bitterness and chains of wickedness” (verses 20-23).

Simon, hearing his rebuke, implores Peter to pray for him so that his heart may be right before God (verse 24).

Christian discipleship is the lifelong process of our hearts being set free from everything that is not right before God.

Through the work and perfect timing of the Holy Spirit we become aware of some aspect of our life that is out of alignment with God’s will. Sometimes this happens all at once and other times it dawns upon us slowly.

Either way, becoming aware of a growing edge is a gift of grace that helps us more and more fully become the person God wants us to be: a person in whose life others see the character and compassion of Christ.

Today, pray Psalm 139:23-24 asking God to reveal any part of your heart the Spirit wants to reshape so that it is more like Christ.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.