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May 15, 2017, 8:28 AM

Uh Oh.


I had a disturbing thought this morning whilst chewing on the Ananias and Sapphira story in Acts 5. We spent some time with them in the Adult Class, but the revelation I had today overshadows any thought I've had about them yet. I've tried to explain their story in a way that makes sense, justifying Peter's death sentence on them. Usually I link their behavior to the Pharisees (external holiness that hides internal sinfulness). 

However.... (and that is a BIG however) today's thought hurts a little more than calling them Pharisees.  You see, Ananias and Sapphira are us. 

Let that sink in.  They. Are. Us. 

How many times have we sung "I Surrender All" and then withheld something? How many times have we declared "My heart, my mind, my body. I give to you, Take Control."  And then use our heart, mind, and bodies for worldly pursuits??!! We make the same statements as Ananias and Sapphira: "We've given all we have." But then we withhold portions for ourselves, just like them. 

Here's the rub: The Apostles weren't asking for every penny they had. In fact, Peter allowed for them to keep whatever they wanted to keep, and give what they felt they needed to give. It was the deception of sacrifice that hurt them. This speaks to the heartbreaking moments God experienced throughout Israel's past. They offered sacrifices and praised God, but their hearts were far from him. Jesus speaks these very words as well about the religious and pious claims of his time. 

Peter wasnt fooled.  God will not be fooled.  We're the only ones who think we're getting away with it. 

Hosea 6: 4- 6  4“O Israel and Judah, what should I do with you?” asks the Lord. “For your love vanishes like the morning mist and disappears like dew in the sunlight. 5I sent my prophets to cut you to pieces— to slaughter you with my words, with judgments as inescapable as light. 6I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.


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