2011-02-19 - Ananoas and Sapphira
"Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 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." Acts 5:1-2 (NIV)
In today's devotional, we look at Ananias and Sapphira, a husband and wife, who serve as examples of holding back from God. In Acts 4:36-37, we learn that Barnabas had sold a field and presented the money to the disciples. Ananias and Sapphira, following Barnabas' example, then sold some property. But they decided to keep some of the money. They brought the rest of their receipts and gave it to the disciples. They had the right to hold back part of the money, but they decided to make it look like they were turning over the entire amount.
Their desire for praise for their generosity - and their love of money - caused them to sin. They could attempt to deceive the disciples, but they couldn't fool God. When confronted by the disciples, both Ananias and Sapphira lied about the amount of money from the property sale. And both fell dead when their sin was revealed.
What can we learn from Ananias and Sapphira? We are to be honest with God and others. We shouldn't seek the praise of others for our generosity. We shouldn't hold anything back from God. And we should give him our full effort, attention, and love.