Welcome Home – 40 Day Fast #24

The Primacy of the Heart

Matt Destry – Communications Pastor

Scripture

Acts 8:21

“You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.”

Insight

To build any kind of structure that lasts, we must begin with a sure and firm foundation. You cannot build even something as small as a sandcastle without first inspecting what you will build upon. Some things need structural integrity more than others, but when it comes to our lives before God, the foundation is the most crucial part.

The Bible speaks over and over again about the importance of our heart. That is because it is the most central, deepest place from where our beliefs, thoughts and actions flow. If your heart is bad, the fruit will be bad. If your heart is good, then good things will flow. God said concerning David, “Man looks at outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.”

Simon the Magician is enjoying having Philip in town. Simon, a local (minor) celebrity who has ‘wowed’ people with his tricks was so impressed by the display of power coming from Philip, and then later, Peter, that he offered money to ‘buy’ the ability to impart Holy Spirit to people! The first thing it tells us is that receiving the gift of the Holy Sprit is often a visible thing! Simon the magician observed what happened to people as the Holy Spirit came upon them, and it trumped the experience people had of his magic.

Also, it tells us that experiences of God and the holiness it brings is a gift to be received, not a prize to be won, or a product to be bought. It is the extravagant gift of God, poured out on those who ask and believe. There is nothing mercenary or even commercial about it. We simply ask God, and receive what He has for us.

Peter was firm with the local magic man: “you have no share in this, because your heart is not right.” How is your heart? Do you want to experience God’s power for personal holiness, or for pride? Do you want to know God’s heart, or just receive his blessings? Your heart is the foundation of all life and ministry. Take some time today to get your heart right before God, and you will get all the other (secondary) things added to you as well, in time.