Luke has been describing the amazing acts of sacrifice that are happening in the Jerusalem church, including Barnabas selling a field and giving the money to the apostles for distribution to needy Christians there. Yet that same spirit takes a darker turn. “But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet”(Acts 5:1-2). Presumably they see the positive response that Barnabas and others have received and want the same applause.
At first glance everything seems above board, but Peter knows that there is more to the story. “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God”(Acts 5:3-4). A careful reading of Peter’s rebuke shows that the problem is not failing to give all of the money, but pretending that they have given it all. Before and after the sale, the money is at their discretion. Yet Ananias has allowed Satan to fill his heart—with a desire for glory, a love of money, a lack of faith, and a willingness to play fast and loose with the truth.
Such actions originate in the mind. Satan has filled his heart. He has “contrived this deed in (his) heart.” As we watch others, think about what we want, and consider what we can get away with, we lay the groundwork for the righteousness or sin we practice. If we allow Satan to fill our hearts, it is only a matter of time before our actions reveal it.
------------- One Thing to Think About: What kinds of thoughts do I spend most of my time thinking?
One Thing to Pray For: A clean heart that is transformed by the renewing of my mind
This message was sent to: from
Fairview Park church of Christ, 11820 Fairview Road, Little Rock, AR 72212
If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter click to unsubscribe. Modify your Subscription