Acts 5:1-16

Have you ever trusted someone - let them become part of your most intimate friendship circle, only to find that they have betrayed that trust? Have you ever looked up to someone, admired the way they live their lives, the image they present to the world, only to find that they aren't really what you thought they were - they had clay feet? It hurts, and like conflict, it’s something all of us have experienced in our life together.

It is part of human nature that people will never live up to the high expectations we have of them. We hope for the heights of human potential, but so often we are disappointed. And so we come to Ananias, and Sapphira, who sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. At first glance, you might think, "well, what's wrong with that, they still brought something to be distributed?" The problem is the heart within. For Peter, and the rest of the apostles, it isn't the issue of what they brought. Peter says they were always free to do with their property what they wished. "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal?" It was a heart filled with deception, to cheat God, and his people; to lie, yet still get the glory. The word translated kept back means to misappropriate. It wasn't a pledge to the apostles, but something personal between them and God. They entered into a deception of their brothers and sisters in Christ, as well. They were people who were looked up to as honourable and worthy examples to follow.

The seriousness of this issue, was their sin in believing that they could lie to God, and the people of God, and get away with it. Our God is a God of infinite grace and mercy. Part of that grace is his characteristic of integrity and Justice, and honour. We can always rely on him, because we know he is true to his character. The Lordship of Christ carries for us a commitment to be people of integrity in our dealings with God and with people. So, in the light of this, is there some area in your life where Christ, as Lord, is challenging some area of hypocrisy in thoughts, words or in actions, and what is he prompting you to do to refocus on him as Lord over all?

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