Read: Acts 8:4–25

Simon [the magician] . . . offered them money, saying, “Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:18–19

Simon was a local magician in Samaria. He was popular, he was important, and he had wealth. When Philip came to town preaching about Jesus, casting out demons and healing the sick, Simon was shown for the pretender he was. Simon saw real power and he bowed to it, being baptized in the name of Jesus and following Philip wherever he went.

However, once Simon saw how Peter and John conferred the power of the Holy Spirit upon people, he wanted that power for himself, and he was more than willing to pay for it. Not only was his request refused but he also was told his life would be cursed if he did not repent of his evil intentions. Simon shows us that bad intentions can corrupt even the most holy of powers.

Is there a power or ability you desire with less than faithful intentions?

Lord, my motives are rarely better than Simons. The ambition within me is far less than pure. Without You to redirect my course—without You to rebuke me at times—I would be lost. I pray that You forgive me my failings and instruct me on the way of righteousness. In Jesusname, I pray. AMEN.