Devotion from Acts 4:32-5:11

The story of Ananias and Saphira is a shocking story of how God deals with sins in New Testament. In the past, during Old Testament time, God often dealt with sins harshly. The New Testament was supposed to be about love and forgiveness – at least that’s how people often distinguish the two testaments. But here, God dealt with these 2 people as swiftly as he dealt with the rebels in Moses’ camp. So why is that? Is it because they are too stingy? Is it really about the money?

In Acts 4:32, we learned that all believers were of one heart and mind and sharing everything they had so that nobody lack of anything. People were sharing their possessions voluntarily including selling their lands because they felt what they owned was not their own. As a result, there was no poverty among them (v.34).

In the midst of this one heart and one mind setting, we have this guy Ananias and his wife Saphira. They have sold their property, brought part of the money, and yet both the husband and the wife agreed to lie and claimed that they had given  was full amount of the sales. In the midst of unity and generosity, there was this dishonesty and greed.

The sin Ananias and Saphira committed was not stinginess or holding back part of the money. Read the passage again: No one asked them to give! It was always their choice whether or not to sell the land and how much to give. They could just keep the money and everything would be just fine. Their sin was testifying falsely to God and God’s people, saying that they had given the whole amount but were holding back some for themselves.They were trying to make themselves appear more generous than they really were. They wanted to look good without paying the price.

God’s judgment on Ananias and Saphira produced shock and fear among the believers, making them realize how seriously God regards sin in the church. God’s judgment was harsh because dishonesty, greed, and covetousness can be destructive in a church. They prevent the Holy Spirit from working effectively among the believers. Every type of  lying is bad. But when we make a fake promise to try to deceive God and His people about the state of our relationship with Him, trying to make ourselves more mature than we truly are, then we will destroy our testimony on behalf of Christ.

Check your heart today. Why are you doing what you are doing now? Is it really for God, or is it all just for a show to impress the people around you? Remember, God sees your heart.  So always check your motive in doing everything. Make sure that you’re not only doing what you think is the right thing. Do the right thing for the right reason.