Haven’t you ever wanted to see it happen…a liar’s pants actually catch fire in front of all he/she lied to so that the real Truth could be established? Ah, but that doesn’t actually happen…at least literally. Liar’s, deceivers, manipulators, those who want to look good in front of others will always be found out eventually. Why? God is still in control. Those who deceive others will pay the consequences of their sin. We all do. We all sin in some way, we must repent, pay the consequences of that sin. We cannot and must not rationalize sin. Deal with it and move on. Don’t mess with God! Wait ’til you read this next passage…!
Acts 5, The Message
Ananias and Sapphira
5 1-2 But a man named Ananias—his wife, Sapphira, conniving in this with him—sold a piece of land, secretly kept part of the price for himself, and then brought the rest to the apostles and made an offering of it.
3-4 Peter said, “Ananias, how did Satan get you to lie to the Holy Spirit and secretly keep back part of the price of the field? Before you sold it, it was all yours, and after you sold it, the money was yours to do with as you wished. So what got into you to pull a trick like this? You didn’t lie to men but to God.”
5-6 Ananias, when he heard those words, fell down dead. That put the fear of God into everyone who heard of it. The younger men went right to work and wrapped him up, then carried him out and buried him.
7-8 Not more than three hours later, his wife, knowing nothing of what had happened, came in. Peter said, “Tell me, were you given this price for your field?”
“Yes,” she said, “that price.”
9-10 Peter responded, “What’s going on here that you connived to conspire against the Spirit of the Master? The men who buried your husband are at the door, and you’re next.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than she also fell down, dead. When the young men returned they found her body. They carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
11 By this time the whole church and, in fact, everyone who heard of these things had a healthy respect for God. They knew God was not to be trifled with.
What do we learn?
So….not all the people in the new church of God were ethical, willing to share all with each other. God demands respect. He hates lies. His church (the congregation, not the building) is healthier for having this great respect for the One who loves us most. Jesus, the cornerstone, mixed with sinners, liars, cheaters, and party people who drank too much, but he did not lie, cheat, or sin in any way. He came to seek and to save lost people. Yes, God loves and accepts us, but does not approve of our sin.
Pride ends in more than a fall here, it ended with death…forever.
Reflection and Contemplation: Do I lie to God (and myself) about my behavior? Do I rationalize this or that “smallish” sin because “others do it in the church so it must be okay”? Am I listening to God’s Holy Spirit and yielding to His guidance or going my own way thinking God won’t care about “this one”?
Dear Heavenly Father, I do have a very healthy respect for You. I love You with all our heart, mind and soul. Root out anything offensive to YOU and help me see it for what it really is…sin. Forgive us for those things that break Your heart. Deal with us…gently. Help us to focus on You, Your will and purpose.
Continue to lead and guide us for You know us best.
In Jesus Name, Amen