Acts is such a wonderful book. It gives us so many examples of how a church should run and how we should live. Today's reading is no exception.
Have you heard of the word simony? Do you know its definition? Well today's reading is from where this word comes. Merriam-Webster defines simony as, "the buying or selling of a church office or ecclesiastical preferment." In today's reading a man named Simon tries to buy the ability to launch the Holy Spirit in people - "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." (verse 19).
Of course Peter rebukes Simon and tells him, "You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness..." (verses 21, 22). Peter makes two major points in his comments to Simon. First a person's heart has to be right with God. In other words, as we live our lives, our motives need to be pure and of the utmost honor. God calls us to do things for the good of others, to serve others, and not to do things in hopes of an earthly reward. If our motive is to get praise or some other reward for our self, then our heart may not be right with God.
Second, we must repent of our sins. Remember to repent is not just to say we are sorry, but we must truly live a changed life. It is easy to say we are sorry and not do anything to change our life. But if we are truly sorry, so sorry we do not want to do it again, we will change our life so we do not repeat the sin. Again, this is what God calls us to do.
Remember that no amount of money can buy salvation, forgiveness, or God's power. However, we all can gain them by having a servant's heart, repenting of our sins, and belief in Christ as our Savior.