Psalm for the Day

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ananias and Sapphira Lying Part IV

Ananias and Sapphira - Lying - Part IV

Acts 5:11 "And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many heard these things."

Did you notice what the Bible says about how people reacted to the death of Ananias and Sapphira?  The punishment of this dishonest couple made people take note of it and they were filled with fear.

Did the severe punishment of this couple hamper the work of the church?  No!  Acts 5:14 states, "And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women."

Maybe man should stop fearing man and start fearing God!  We are here to please God and bring Him Glory, not man nor our egos.  The way the Lord dealt with Ananias and Sapphira could be called the first recorded case of church discipline recorded in the Bible.  It may not have been met with the approval of every member of the church, but it was the right thing to do, just as the Lord expects the church today to deal appropriately with those that continue to walk in a disorderly manner.

6 "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us."  (II Thessalonians 3:6)
 
14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer."  (II Thessalonians 3:14-15)

One of the great dangers to our spiritual existence is a failure to fear God!  It has become very easy, almost routine, to adopt a casual attitude toward God that has no element of "fear and trembling".  The world compels us to fall in line with the culture around us; to develop a lazy, ritualistic approach to religion, not take spiritual things seriously and to dismiss the possibility of suffering consequences from our sin.

If the story of Ananias and Sapphira does not strengthen my reverance for God, I have missed the point.  The courage to pursue God cannot be effectively applied in the absence of this fear.  Our hearts should be so trained that we are able to consistently say "teach me Your way O Lord; make my heart to fear Your Name." (Psalm 86:11)

It is a serious thing to lie to God.  It should strike us with deep fear to even consider any plan that would offend God in any way.

God still hates a lying tongue and His standard for telling the truth is still very high:  "Therefore, each of you must put away lying and speak truthfully to his neighbor (Prov. 6:17; Eph. 4:25). 

The lie Ananias and Sapphira told cost them their lives if we lie, it will cost us our souls (Rev. 21:8).

6 "The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." (James 3:6 NIV)
 

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