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Daily Devotional Acts 5:1–11

Many these days have been wondering if we’re too casual or “flip” with God. We livestream church for our convenience. We check our phones during the worship service. We wear very informal clothing and judge a church by the quality of its snacks and coffee. God is our “good buddy.”

How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord?

ACTS 5:9

The story of Ananias and Sapphira gives us fair warning of what can happen when we lack the fear of the Lord. We’re including this negative example to underline the seriousness of the issues involved. Taking the fear of the Lord lightly is not a chuckle-worthy mistake but rather a fatal error in our relationship with God.

Ananias and Sapphira did not have the fear the Lord. Their gift to the church from their land sale was not an act of worship. Rather, they put on a show to be admired for their “generosity” and to earn status in the eyes of others. Apparently, they viewed “church” as just another social ladder to climb. In pride, both told a premeditated lie (vv. 3–4, 9). They must have had a pretty low opinion of God if they thought they could fool Him in this way. Unsurprisingly, Satan was behind their actions.

Ananias and Sapphira were punished with death for their pride and lies. Among other things, they didn’t understand that “Humility is the fear of the LORD“ (Prov. 22:4). God is not to be tested or trifled with (v. 9). “Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events” (v. 11). As God’s name had been dishonored by the couple’s actions, so their deaths brought Him glory. The church and a watching world learned a memorable lesson: Everyone was reminded of God’s greatness and power and that He absolutely must be approached with awe and reverence.

Go Deeper

What are your motivations for giving or for doing good deeds? Are there deeper layers that need exposing? If applicable, ask the Spirit to help you confess any sins in this area.

Pray with Us:

Sin is powerful and destructive. As we read of Ananias and Sapphira, we are reminded of the dangers of pride and lack of the fear of the Lord. God, search our hearts and keep us humble! Reveal to us any hidden sin we should confess.

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