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Acts Reading Plan | Week 4 | Day 5
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Pause for a moment. Breathe in, and now breathe out slowly. Read that again. The Holy One is ready to meet with you. You might physically bow before Him and ask Him to give you wisdom and understanding.
Bible Reading: Acts 5:1-11
Read these verses three times slowly.
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.
Reflection & Questions
Yesterday, we read of how much the church was looking out for each other. And it could be seen as idealistic, except that in today’s reading, we see even in the early church, there were people amongst the followers who were just looking out for themselves.
Annias and Sapphira didn’t sin in holding back some of their possessions – it was in lying that they were giving everything. Peter tells Annias and Sapphira, “you have lied to the Holy Spirit” and “how could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord”. Peter makes it clear that sin is sin against God. The death of Annias and Sapphira is very dramatic, but it shows us that God is not messing around. Right from the beginning of the church, God is making clear He is in charge and He is not going to tolerate sin. There is wisdom in the “great fear” that seized the church. This is not a game. God will not be played. He is gracious, but He is also very serious about His church. We do well to step back and consider where we might be compromising in our walk and ask God to forgive us.
- Have you allowed compromise into your walk with Jesus? Maybe in gossip, jealousy, lust, lying, failure to follow through on what you told Him you would do?
Talk to God in response to the reading today. Confess your sins and ask for His forgiveness. Recommit to following Him with all your heart.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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