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June 2| ACTS 8:9-25


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION


Hocus Pocus or Reality

by Judy Webb


Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. (Acts 8:20-21)


It is fun to watch a magician perform tricks that are amazing and astounding. We walk away from the show asking ourselves just how did he do that? We noticed nothing out of place that might suggest it was fake, or a scheme of some sort. It entertained completely us and fooled into thinking the magician has some sort of special power. What do we do with this type of prestidigitation? The performance of such an enchanter provides purely for entertainment. He or she does not think they are performing miracles; they know it is all about trickery and deception. Their goal is to take our focus off the actions and let the imagination take over.

When reading the scripture today, I felt a need to examine my heart. Is my faith like a magic act? Do I put on a good show or am I sincere? I must constantly check myself and stay on top of my intentions; making sure I am acting with pure love and humility not trickery and deceit. There are times I am convinced I am something special. When in fact I am just the opposite. My heart is too often ‘me’ focused.

When Simon told Peter he would pay for the gifts Peter experienced, Peter recognized that Simon's heart was not right with God, his motives were for self-advancement and not the spreading of the Gospel. "When Simon saw the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:18-19). I wonder if I fill my heart with a desire to point to Jesus or to point to me. Do you ever ask yourself if your motives are pure? As a sorcerer, Simon used magic to draw crowds to him and when he saw the deeds Phillip was performing, Simon thought it too was magic. What Simon did not realize is that the source of his power was Satan, and the source of Phillip's and Peter's power was God. Where does your power come from? Do you rely on your own strength or are you plugged into God and His Word?


PRAYER PRACTICE

Jesus, it can be so easy to be deceived by the things of this world. Give is open eyes and pure hearts to recognize truth. Come, Holy Spirit and fill us with your wisdom. Amen.


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