Day 11 - Concord Student Journey


Read Acts 8:1-25

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.
Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”
25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.

As a teenager, it can be challenging to navigate the complexities of faith while also trying to fit in with our peers. In Acts chapter 8 verses 1-25, we see a powerful example of how God works in the lives of those who are open to His truth, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

In this passage, we read about Philip, who was one of the seven deacons appointed by the apostles to serve the needs of the church. Philip was preaching the gospel in Samaria, where he performed many miraculous signs and saw many people come to faith in Jesus Christ. Among those who believed was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic and had a large following. Simon was amazed by the power of God that he saw through Philip, and he too became a believer.

However, not everyone in Samaria was receptive to the message of Christ. The passage tells us that there was a man named Simon the Sorcerer, who had been practicing magic in the area for some time. Simon was impressed by the signs and wonders that Philip was performing and wanted to learn how to do them himself. He offered Philip money in exchange for this knowledge, but Philip rebuked him and told him that he could not buy the gift of the Holy Spirit.

As teenagers, we are often faced with similar temptations to compromise our faith for the sake of fitting in with others. We may be pressured by our friends to engage in behaviors or activities that go against our beliefs, or we may feel like we have to pretend to be someone we're not in order to be accepted. However, just like Philip, we must stand firm in our convictions and refuse to compromise our faith for anyone or anything.

So how can we apply this passage to our lives as teenage students? Here are two reflection questions to consider:

  1. In what areas of your life do you feel pressure to compromise your faith or values in order to fit in with others? How can you stay true to your convictions and stand firm in your faith, even when it's difficult or unpopular?

  2. How can you use your unique gifts and talents to serve God and make a difference in the world around you, just as Philip did through his preaching and miracles? What steps can you take to develop and use these gifts for God's glory, rather than for your own personal gain or recognition?


Popular posts from this blog

The NYC Trading Post