Monday, March 02, 2009

Acts 5:1-11

"Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire"

That is the title of the message I preached yesterday morning at HGBC. If you don't recognize the text, it's the story of Annanias and Sapphira and their lying to God. I want to share just a thought from yesterdays message. It is this, in the form of a question: "Why did they lie?"

The text tells us that Peter told them that they were not forced to sell what belonged to them. When they sold it, they were under no obligation to give any portion of the money they received to the church. When they gave money they were under no obligation to give it all. So, why did they lie and say they were giving it all when they were only giving some? Why, why why? Morgan's favorite word!

I believe the answer is this: they saw something that didn't belong to them that they wanted. What? They saw something they wanted, they coveted something that belonged to someone else. What did they want? They wanted the praise/attention being given to those who were giving "something" to the church. They wanted it for themselves. But what they couldn't see was the heart of those who had given already.

Take Barnabas for example. Barnabas wasn't his real name, it was his "after Christ" name. It was the name given to him by the disciples, not by his Momma. She had named him Joses/Joseph. Something changed with this man, after he met Jesus, that they gave him a new name. They called him Barnabas which means "Son of Encouragement." His heart was different. He sold some land, gave the money to the church, and he gave the GLORY to God. That's what A and S couldn't see. Barnabas was a reflector/deflector of God's glory. He wouldn't accept for himself what belonged to God.

A and S saw the recognition given to Barnabas and they wanted some of that for themselves. They came up with a plan, and set it into motion. They thought they could deceive the church, they thought they could deceive others, but they deceived themselves. God would not allow them to take what belonged to him. I Corinthians 10:31 says, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

It's God's glory; the glory belongs to him not you and me. When we are praised or honored or recognized we should divert that attention to the only one who is worthy, namely the Lord Jesus. We should never do anything for our own recognition, we are servants and slaves of Jesus. A and S lost sight of that and it cost them their lives. Scripture tells us they "breathed their last." Severe consequences for severe sin. God help us to resist!

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