Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”Acts 8:17-19 NKJV
Simon the sorcerer was quite a character. He was well known for practicing the “dark” arts, a magician. When he heard Philip preach and saw the miracles that were done, he became a believer. He was baptized and followed Philip. (8:13) Unfortunately, like most of us, he still had some of his old ideas and practices close to the surface. When Peter and John came and laid hands on believers to receive the Holy Spirit, Simon was so moved by the results that he offered money in exchange for receiving the power to impart the Holy Spirit to others.
Two things stand out to me in this story. First, if someone from a non-Christian background comes to our service today, will they see anything that stirs them enough to be willing to pay to get it? If not, why not? Second, in our day, in our church, every single believer has this “power.” You and I can lay hands on people and God will fill them with the Spirit. Have you done it lately? Have you told anyone about it? If not, why not? It’s truly a precious gift. The world around us is looking for reality, not religious ritual. We are the people of the Spirit. What we have is real. It’s powerful. It’s important. Today, let’s act like it.