God Knows…When I Want to Get Ahead – Part 3
Peter and John got ahead in life by trusting in the Power of Jesus’ name.
Now here’s an example of how NOT to get ahead: A husband and wife named Ananias and Sapphira joined the group of Believers. Guided by the Holy Spirit, they unselfishly decided to sell some property and promised to give the money from the sale to the church. Some of the new church members were being cut off by family and friends and needed food and shelter. They money would help.
Later on, when they thought about it some more, Ananias and Sapphira changed their minds. They decided to keep some of the money for themselves. They were sure that no one would know the difference! They could gain some profit, and others would still be impressed with their generosity.
When Ananias brought his incomplete gift for the church, Peter asked him, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?” He reminded Ananias that nobody had forced him to promise the money. But Ananias had tried to fool the disciples cheat God. When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. Some younger men wrapped his body in cloth and carried him out for burial.
About three hours later, Sapphira came in. She hadn’t heard what had happened to her husband yet. Peter gave her a chance to tell the truth, to confess the fraud against God. “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much,” he said to her.
“Yes,” she answered, “for so much” (Acts 5:8).
Then Peter asked, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately Sapphira fell down and died. She was buried beside her husband.
This story wasn’t put in the Bible to scare us. But it does illustrate the direction that selfishness leads. Lying and cheating might seem to help out in emergencies, but the relief is only temporary. A car that doesn’t stick to the rules is disqualified from an auto race; so anyone who can’t be trusted will end up being disqualified from the race of eternal life.
Let’s pray for power to be honest, to keep our promises, and to share with others the good things God gives us.
Where to find the story: Acts 2-5
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