now when simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “give me this power also, so that anyone 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! [acts 8:18-20]


what do you want?

do you want:









obedient children

your own glory?


in our cultural christianity, we are often told that if we come to Jesus, then our life will get better, and it will, but just not in the ways we think–simon was faced with an existential threat–and he saw an opportunity to purchase what he wanted with money– if he only had what the apostles had, he could continue to impress, amaze and astound. his renown would increase–for his own glory.


peter rightly rebukes him in this moment: God’s gift of the Holy Spirit is freely given, it cannot be bought, and only results in the praise of his own glorious name:


“come, everyone who thirsts,

    come to the waters;

and he who has no money,

    come, buy and eat!

come, buy wine and milk

    without money and without price.

why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,

    and delight yourselves in rich food.

 [isaiah 55:1-2]


take some time today to read isaiah 55–is this the promise that you want? is God’s glory and renown what you hunger and thirst and yearn for?–do you want all of the things that the world promises, but cannot deliver on, or do you want to be in the presence of the living God? only Jesus Christ can satisfy the longing of your soul!


~ ce