Friday, July 8, 2011

Sharing the Truth

Scripture--Acts 4-Acts 6

Observation—I love the part where the disciples create important positions for people to help others.  That what we in the church call “lay” ministry was really important.  It was important that everyone helped, so more could get done.  Everyone did what they were good at, and huge things got done for God!

But the story that really got to me was the story of Ananias and Sapphira.  It was important that the disciples shared everything in common.  They pooled their resources and 4:34 says, “there were no needy persons among them”!  This is what many missionaries do—sell what they have to go into the mission field.  My mother’s side came from Germany as a communal society—where everything was shared in common.  They kept that going until my grandparents were small children!  (for more information see  I’ve always been fascinated with the idea that to be faithful witnesses we had to share everything we had.

But, in what they did, there was Ananias and Sapphira—and they lied and cheated about what they did.  As they were found having cheated, they died.  BOTH OF THEM!  I can’t say I understand this passage.  Does anyone have any idea about it?  It doesn’t seem to fit!

Application—I think we could all do a better job about being generous.  We live in a country that has so much.  80% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 a week, and we spend that much each day or more!  I’m not sure that it would work for us to hold EVERYTHING in common—but could we give more.  Probably.  Could we tell the truth more often—definitely!  Could we be honest with God, ourselves, and each other?  Let us take from this story the need to be honest and generous!

Prayer—O God of Truth!  Search us and find in us your truth.  Search our hearts and show us where we can change, grow, and renew.  Make in us new people, more generous, more honest, more loving.  May we be more like you!  Amen

Pastor Emily 


Mary said...

Maybe the worst sin of Ananias and Sapphira was that they acted like they were giving their all, but they weren't and when asked about it they lied. If they didn't feel like they could give all they had, they did not have to. So,why did they act like they had? The punishment was severe. I bet the rest of the community was very honest after that!

Lindsay said...

One part that stuck out to me was how the disciples were so fearless... they told the leaders, "we are going to follow God's orders, not your." I'm not sure I am so brave, but I pray that if I ever need to be, the Holy Spirit will guide my words!!!

Carol Flores said...

I agree with you Lindsay...I am not sure I would have so boldly said "We ought to obey God rather than men". I also am unsure that I would feel like rejoicing about being counted worthy to suffer shame for Jesus' name (5:41). That was a WOW moment for me. This reading made me take a good look inward and say the prayer from 4:29 "Grant to your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word." Thank you God for giving us great examples of boldness and reminding us (5:38-39) that if a plan is of God, it cannot be overthrown!!