Apostle Grace Lubega
Acts 8:18-21 (KJV); And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
In my journey of salvation, I have seen ministries compromised by men with the spirit of Simon the Sorcerer. His fundamental error was in the fact that he attempted to buy the gift of God with money.
In the Church of Christ today, this has been done in subtle ways. One of these ways is in how men and women of God trade in honour.
I have known men whose moral failings were indulged by ministers of the gospel simply because those men contributed large sums of money to the Church’s building project. A man or woman of God may turn a deaf ear to the indiscretions of brother X because he gives the highest amount of tithe. Even if the brother is morally upright, his financial contributions are not what should qualify him as an elder in the ministry.
Honour is a gift from God. When we exalt men and women in ministry for the simple reason that they contributed to our coffers, we run the risk of allowing them to purchase with money, the gift of God.
Peter strongly admonishes Simon the Sorcerer and tells him, “thy heart is not right in the sight of God.” While it is godly to allow people to give to the cause of the gospel, a minister of the gospel must be conscious of the heart of that giver because if he is not, he will blemish the integrity of the ministry in the eyes of God.
This understanding of hearts will give you the wisdom to reject ‘the gift of the Syrian’ like Elisha did to Naaman.
FURTHER STUDY: 2 Kings 5:16, Genesis 14:22-23
GOLDEN NUGGET: Honour is a gift from God. When we exalt men and women in ministry for the simple reason that they contributed to our coffers, we run the risk of allowing them to purchase with money, the gift of God.
PRAYER: Loving Father, I thank You for this Word. You have instructed us through Your Word that in all things, the ministry must be blameless. I live in the fulness of this wisdom. I know how to weigh the hearts of men, to understand what must be received and what must be rejected. In this knowledge, I am preserved in ministry. In Jesus’ name, Amen.