Last time we talked about the story of Ananias and Sapphira…
- You can’t lie to God. You can fool yourself. You can deceive the people around you. But too many of us miss the omniscient part of God’s nature.
- God versus our spouse, God wins every time. I felt a little bad for Sapphira, it seemed like all she was doing was going along with her husband. But the disciples did give her an opportunity to come clean and she blew it. Following God’s will and doing what’s right is an individual choice. In the end it may put you at odds with members of your household…even your spouse.“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14: 26 – 27).
- There are consequences of deliberate sinning. Ouch. Sometimes we do things out of habit or that we don’t put much thought into and when we look back later we realize it was the wrong thing to do. Other times, we know that what we are doing is wrong and we don’t care. It feels good, it tastes good, we like it, want it, need it, enjoy it…..whatever. These choices have a price tag. Thanks to God’s grace rarely is a person immediately struck dead for purposefully sinning, but that doesn’t mean we’ll escape judgment forever.
- Be genuine in you motives. If you read Acts 4 there is this big love-fest going on. Everyone is selling their property, making offerings to the church, living together as one big happy family. I can’t help but wonder if Ananias and Sapphira saw that and wanted to be a part of it. Did they get caught up in the moment? Were they worried about looking good in front of their family friends? They had the ability to do whatever they wanted with the money they got from their land. They were not under any obligation to donate it all. Why was it important for them to have other people think they gave all the proceeds to the church?
- The cover-up is always the bigger crime. I’m always slightly amused when I hear about political scandals in the news. The acts are always the same, either some sexual indiscretion or misappropriation of funds (sometimes called stealing depending on how creatively it was done). What varies is the great length these politicians go through to cover up the acts. It’s like they learned nothing from the gangsters of the early 1900. Al Capone was not initially arrested for smuggling booze, prostitution or murder. His initial arrest was for tax evasion; trying to hide the money he made from booze, prostitution and murder. Ananias and Sapphira probably would have been a lot better off if they had just been honest from the start.