Mission Statement

In classical sacrifices, the people get the good bits, and the gods get the refuse, the bits that would get thrown out otherwise.

Not our God. Leviticus (particularly Leviticus 3) describes the sacrifices that our LORD demanded from His people of Israel. God gets the kidneys, the tail, and all the fat. He gets the prime steak, He gets the best.

Today we do not literally give sacrifices of animals. For us the ultimate sacrifice has been made through our Lord, Christ Jesus. But should always be our ambition to do the same thing - to offer God the best of what we have, to offer Him the fat, and not the smoke and bones.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Simon the Sorceror

I'm reading the book of Acts at the moment, and in chapter 8 (Acts 8:9-25) there is a character named Simon the Sorceror. He's usually held up as a hugely evil person, someone who tries to buy the Holy Spirit.

But he's not. Simon once had been a sorceror; he had had all the people of Samaria impressed with his powers. But he has turned away from his past sins and has become a Christian. He's even been baptized, which was not exactly the safest thing to do. He's probably given up a fair amount to become a Christian.

And yet his past holds him back. He sees the power of the Holy Spirit and he wants it. And he wants to be able to give it to others. He wants it so much he offers what he can in return for it. He offers money.

Think about it. Money is probably Simon's only material sercurity. Most early Christians gave up family and friends and worldly position - and given Simon's past life there is little doubt in my mined that he had to give up many of his. He's part of a religious group that will see you killed by several different people. He's given up his livlihood (sorcery). Money is all that Simon is likely to have. And he wants to give it up for the Holy Spirit.

Simon is heartily rebuked for this. Peter says, "You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin."

Simon is not completely hardened; he asks Peter to pray that none of this will happen to him.

Two thoughts:
1. How many others today have had more than slightly shady pasts that hinder their walks with God? I know my past gets in the way if I let it.

2. How many Christians try to 'buy' things from God - His Holy Spirit, His favour, even His grace - with things that are precious to them... revealing hearts that are not right before the LORD; hearts that value both what they are offering and what they hope to receive more than they do the sacrifice of Christ.

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