“But Peter said to him, ‘May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!’” (Acts 8:20)
God offers us eternal life, justification, righteousness and His Holy Spirit, all for free. In order to receive these gifts, we must just accept them as gifts from the Lord. But some people don’t like that idea. They prefer to earn their own salvation rather than being ‘in debt’ with God. They don’t want to acknowledge that they need help from the Lord God. Some consider themselves righteous and blameless. Jesus warns us not to be like that. We can’t gain eternal life, justification and righteousness on our own terms. If we decline these gifts from God, we’ll perish.
Other people are like Simon, about whom we read in Acts 8. He wanted to buy the power to give the Holy Spirit to other people, as if this was a magic trick. But God’s gifts are not for sale. The general gifts of salvation are freely available to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. Other spiritual gifts “He distributes … to each one, just as He determines” (1 Corinthians 12:11). We can’t force God to give or withhold certain gifts. Our task is to “eagerly desire the greater gifts” and to ask for them with a thankful and humble heart.
Which gifts are you especially thankful for? What are you currently praying for?