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13714 Lookout Rd

San Antonio, TX 78233

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Daily Bible Reading (Thursday, May 10th)

6

Acts 5 (ESV)

Ananias and Sapphira

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you[a] sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

Many Signs and Wonders Done

12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. 13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16 The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

The Apostles Arrested and Freed

17 But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy 18 they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” 21 And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.

Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.22 But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 23 “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. 25 And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” 26 Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us.”29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, 40 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 5:8 The Greek for you is plural here

6 Comments

Peter is proclaiming to the council that the man they just put to death is still alive. Although this seems like it would be a terrifying thing for the council to hear, the message Peter is proclaiming is that He was raised and exalted to grant repentance and forgiveness of sins to the people who killed Him! Somehow, their response to this amazing display of love is that they are outraged and want to kill them. Lord, thank You for giving us this message of Life to proclaim to others, please help us to have soft hearts in awe of your love for us in the gospel so that we can proclaim it with boldness.

In our world, sin is not taken seriously. We relabel it, shift the blame, take 'little sins' lightly, or just ignore it. This passage shows us how seriously God takes sin. Lying had fatal consequences for Ananias and Sapphira. Jealousy led to the corrupt actions of the Jewish leaders. Oh may we take our own sin seriously, and see it as God does.

This chapter, like the entire book of Acts, is the account of men totally committed to Jesus and the church. They rejoiced when beaten and they told those who opposed them that they must obey God rather than men. They were not afraid. They were totally committed to discipleship as illustrated by their teaching from house to house. I pray we would be a church of totally committed people. I pray I would be a person who's totally committed.

I see a pattern in that the more boldly the early church proclaimed Christ not only did they receive more opposition but they also received more converts. They were willing to suffer for Christ and considered it a joy to do so and the Lord kept using them all the more. Praying that this statement that was true of them would be true of Believers Fellowship - And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.

The first part of Peter’s answer to the council is my prayer today (v. 29). Oh Lord you alone are worthy to be praise. Through your Holy Spirit enable us to obey you and only you! I pray that any fear of man that may be in our hearts or minds would be squashed so that we could confidently live to do the work you’ve called us to. Amen!

Ananias and Sapphira lied to the elders of the church and the entire church body, and Peter told them they hadn’t lied to me, they had lied to God. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus also taught that the way you treat church members is how you are treating Him (feeding, sheltering, clothing, ministering, etc.). Father, when I see members of the church, help me to see you, and give me a heart to show love to you through meeting their needs.

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