But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified.
Acts of the Apostles 5:1-5 NLT
God doesn’t like lying!
In the birth of the Church, a husband and wife decided to deceive the leadership and make everyone think they had given the total amount they received from the sale of a piece of land. Perhaps, they had seen the recognition that Joseph, who was nicknamed Barnabas, received when he gave generous gifts to help the needy.
But God spoke to Peter through the Spirit and revealed the lie they were telling. It was a clear use of the gift of discernment. Peter let Ananias know he was not lying to them but God. The selling of the land and giving of the land was between him and God. He was not forced to give it all away. It was an issue of the deceit of his heart.
God judged both Ananias and his wife with instant death. God will not be played. God will not allow someone to be a hypocrite. They may temporarily get by with the deception, but there will be a price to pay.
Having a holy fear of God is a positive thing. I think in our modern culture, we tend to take God too lightly. Some consider God as an insurance policy for death or when bad things happen. Others view God as a “good luck” charm. Others tend to treat God as a slot machine in the sky that pays out what we want if we pull long enough on the handle with good deeds or certain prayers.
God is a holy God. God expects us to be holy. Not perfect—but honest even about our imperfections.
Father God, I want You to be in charge of my life. I want to live in honesty before You and others. Holy Spirit, please empower me to live honestly before God.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.