Lord God, You have given me so very much. I thank You for Your generous, loving care each day.
Read ACTS 5:1-11
 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.  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?  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 to men but to God.”  When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.  Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.  About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.  Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”  Peter 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.”  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.  Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was Ananias and Sapphira’s big mistake?
Is it just me, or do you feel a bit of sympathy for Ananias and Sapphira… not to mention their bereaved families? What they did was so nearly right. After all they did sell their property—or at least some of it. And I’m sure they had the very best reasons for holding back part of the money. Perhaps they felt it was responsible to keep something aside for their children. The disciples’ experiment in communal living was untested. A few months later they found themselves badly short of cash (11:29). So maybe it was Ananias and Sapphira who were being sensible. Surely they didn’t deserve to die?
All Christians are called to follow Jesus without limits. What poor Ananias and Sapphira discovered is that trying to be a 50 per cent or even a 99 per cent follower of Jesus is a deadly compromise. That’s what Jesus meant by his extraordinary instruction at the heart of the Sermon on the Mount, “Be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (see Matt. 5:48). Be wholehearted; single minded; 100 per cent. Anything less is fooling yourself—or lying to God.
What might God be asking you to do or let go of in order to follow him more closely? Ask him to help you do it.
Lord, help me to be 100 per cent for You always. It’s often hard, but I do want to do it.
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