1Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet. 3Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." 5When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. 7About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?" "Yes," she said, "that is the price." 9Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also." 10At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
- The sin that Ananias and Sapphira committed wasn’t that they’ve kept some money for themselves. After all, the sale of the property and the amount to donate were their decisions. They sinned in deceiving God and His people. They were severely punished for deception for greed will corrupt the church and the work of the Holy Spirit. It seems Ananias and Sapphira were bound by their desire for approval or acclaim. They couldn’t give freely and honestly as led by the Holy Spirit, but rather needed to use their giving to increase their reputation. God could not allow such motives to pollute the powerful work of his Spirit in this first body of Christians.
- Satan will use your weaknesses to come into your heart and influence your decisions. In what ways should you be alert in guarding your actions and thoughts?
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Discuss the story: What did Ananias and Sapphira do wrong? Why did God punish Ananias and Sapphira so harshly? How did Satan cause them to sin? How would Satan cause you to sin? What should you do? End with a prayer for each family member to obey God and not Satan. Jot down the prayer for each one in your Family Devotional Journal.
Prayer & Journaling: On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today 12:14-16
14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hand comes back to him. 15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. 16 The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.