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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Men in the Bible: Ananias

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 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. 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? 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." When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?" "Yes," she said, "that is the price." Peter said to her, "How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also." 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. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
Acts 5:1-11

What can we learn from this story?

  • The holiness that Christ looks for in his church
Christ was punishing Ananias, yes, but he also giving the rest of the church a warning. He was giving us a warning. And that warning is that we should not try to deceive our all-knowing God. 
  • The reality of Satan's power
As Christian, life is constantly a battle.

Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit

Satan wants us to believe his lies. That how he starts. Once we believe his lies, the next step is fill up our heart. Then, there's no room for God. And when there's no room for God, God can't use you. This is what happened Ananias. First, keeping a little bit of money was just a thought, but it grew. Sin always grows, like a weed, it's always there. But as the gardener, it's our job to keep the weeds from taking over our heart.
  • A divided service is impossible
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Mathew 6:24

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Men of the Bible: Some Lesser-Known Characters

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