Tuesday 6 November, 2012

Acts 5:1-11

5 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” 9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of those who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

This is not an easy passage of scripture to deal with. A husband and wife sell a piece of property and lie about how much of it they are giving to the church. The result is that they both end up dying for their sin.

They were not required to give all of the money to the church. Peter makes that clear in this passage when he asks Ananias the questions about the money. So the sin we read about here is not a lack of generosity. The sin here is hypocrisy. Pretending to be something that they were not. Pretending to give everything to God, when in reality they were holding back. Understandably, the fear of God fell on the people after they saw this.

Over and over again in scripture we see that God judges hypocrites quite severely. Jesus is much, much harder on the Pharisees and their hypocrisy than He is on the people who knew and recognized that they are sinners.

So, I need to search my heart for any traces of hypocrisy and pride. Where am I trying to make myself look good in the eyes of people where my private reality does not match up? God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Lord, show me any hypocrisy in my life. Help me to me honest before You and others bupropion from turkey about my weaknesses and failings. Thank you that I don’t have to pretend to be anything that I am not – You have promised to give grace to me when I am humble.

Written by Shelley Witt

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