With Sapphira’s full knowledge, Ananias kept back part of the proceeds. (Acts 5:2)
It’s a striking story. All he did was hold back a little. All she did was to remain silent. All they did was to try to deceive their brothers and sisters—and the Holy Spirit. So, for his own great glory and the good of those who trusted him, God the Spirit had to slay them. Of course, we’d never do what Ananias and Sapphira did, would we?
Don’t we all, in fact, transgress in the same way all the time?! We hold back on God. He wants it all, after all!—all our heart, all our soul, all our allegiance, all our confidence, all our time, all our talents, and yes, every penny of our money. Sure, he wants us in church and paying attention an hour a week. But God also wants us serving him (even if it’s sleeping or recreating) the other 167 hours per week, as well. Yes, the Lord wants a generous offering every week, cheerfully given too. But he also wants us serving him with all our finances—whether it’s paying necessary bills and avoiding unnecessary debt, or whether it’s a matter of giving gifts to others, or even enjoying an occasional celebration of God’s gifts to us. After all, we can buy tickets to a show or purchase supper at a restaurant with joy in our hearts toward Jesus. Still, any expenditure is unlikely to outweigh our offering.
It all means we’ve fallen short. But we haven’t fallen dead, as Ananias and Sapphira did. That’s because Jesus fell dead for our transgressions, and the Holy Spirit has graciously won our hearts to believe that. We live – praise God! – through Christ. And now we live for Christ.
St. Mark's Ev. Lutheran Church + 615 Jones St. + Watertown, WI 53094
Phone 920-262-8500 + Fax (920) 262-8508