The theme for this week is inspired by the incident narrated in Acts 5. Let’s read the passage first.

Acts 5: 1 – 10, “[1] Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. [2] With 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. [3] Then 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? [4] Didn’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 just to human beings but to God.” [5] When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. [6] Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. [7] About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. [8] Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” [9] Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” [10] At 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.”

I often think about this incident and the keep reminding myself of how even the noblest of actions can prove to be lethal to one’s life!

Bible does not mention of any mandate that the apostles had given regarding selling all your possessions and bringing the money to them. This was a voluntary act which people did at that time. Hence if Ananias and Sapphira did not bring the whole amount but kept a portion for themselves it should not be accounted as a sin.

Probably they wanted to have the best of both the worlds, appreciation and recognition from apostles and the Church for selling off their possessions and bringing the money to be used for welfare of the poor while ensuring that they have enough to sustain themselves and hence they lied, they must have thought that the apostles would not come to know. But little did they know that the Holy Spirit knew and because the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit, hence they got to know!

But then why did they die…they died because they lied!

Jeremiah 17, 9 – 10, says, “[9] The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? [10] “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

Had they told the Apostles openly that this is not the whole amount but a portion I don’t think so they would have died. Afterall it was voluntary, and they could have given whatever they wanted.

Luke 6: 43 – 45 says, “[43] No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. [44] Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. [45] A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, Do, not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

It doesn’t matter to God how religious you may look, how beautifully you may share the word of God, how long you pray, if your heart is not right with God, He will never bless you.

We may think that we are extremely smart and can fool the Pastor and Leaders of the Church but if they are spirit led then they would see through your deceit.

We have more than ten thousand apps which we can use to ‘enhance’ our appearance on various social media platforms and our connections may be swayed with what they see since they do not know the reality. But we know our reality and probably that is why we want to hide it. But there is nothing hidden from God. He knows our innermost being.

Bible is full of examples of people whose heart God saw even when people thought little of them because of their outward appearance.

Even when Jesse thought his youngest son was not worthy of even being in the presence of Prophet Samuel, God saw his heart and knew that one day he would become King David!

Though the world knew Peter only as a fisherman, Jesus saw his heart and knew that he would one day lead the early Church in the presence of God.

When the early Church saw Saul the persecutor, God saw Paul the preacher to the gentiles.

We can go on and on but the main point which I wanted to share this week is God knows you, He knows your heart, He knows you inside out, hence stop lying to the Holy Spirit, stop trying to think that you can outsmart anyone, you cannot outsmart God.

Turn back to Him today, repent of all the lies you have told before a day comes when you die because you lied!

God Bless You!

Your Brother in Christ

Nikunj