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Friday, November 7, 2008

November 7: Acts 5

Here is what God is saying to me through this chapter:
Ananias and Sapphira? Now here's a scriptural account that has always puzzled me. While there are lots of questions raised in my mind after this reading, one thing that strikes me is that Ananias and Sapphira wanted to be recognized as being sacrificially generous, wanted to be part of the mission and the movement of the church, without actually paying the price. Their story stands in contrast to the stories of others in the early church who did pay the price--for example, those believers who shared all their possessions, and the apostles who were arrested and imprisoned yet still continued to speak boldly about Christ. Oddly enough, Ananias and Sapphira tried what they thought was a less difficult way, and ended up losing their lives. God is saying to me, there is no shortcut. To follow Christ, I must follow Him in the way of sacrifice, not with a half-hearted commitment, but with my all.

Here is what I will do today because of what God is saying to me:
I think the issue of needy, hungry people around the world demands my sacrificial commitment, not my half-hearted commitment. I can no longer pretend that giving out of my abundance makes me a generous person. While I have plenty and others starve, I should not be content. That is a shortcut I can no longer afford to try to take if I am to be part of God's mission. Today, I am going to examine how I spend my money and reconsider the amount of my contribution to the Dollar Per Day Drive at SWC. I am going to pray that God would continue to challenge me in this area and make me a truly generous person.
(Posted by Lynda Keefer, Prayer & Care Pastor)


Anonymous said...

Verse 29 states, "We must obey God rather than men!"

It is so easy to live for ourselves or how others want us to live, thinking God doesn't notice. Our free will can get us into a lot of trouble. God is quite clear how he wants us to live if you read His word. I must stop kidding myself. Like Ananias and Sapphira, God knows us and our motives.

I have become much more generous. I pray that this is for God, not myself. I am also praying that God will improve me and use me, so I can be totally committed to helping those in need wholeheartedly!

Matthew 25:40 (NIV) …'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Lenny Luchetti said...

Lynda, thank you for these profound thoughts. Ananias and Sapphira were taking commitment short-cuts...but there are none. While there is a cost when we commit fully to God, there is another kind of cost to half-hearted commitment- we die just like Ananias and Sapphira. We may not physically die, but half-hearted, compromised commitment to Christ and His purposes usually leads people to die a slow spiritual death. Thanks for giving us something to think about and perhaps we can increase our giving toward the Dollar A Day Drive for the needy.

Anonymous said...

Each day I pray that others may be shown selfless love by those who strive for self-control.
Each day I pray for myself to continue to learn how to use self-control and to give with selfless love, as Jesus did ---all as taught by joyfully receiving his word and living in Him.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing (Gal. 2:19,20 NIV)

Anonymous said...

I too would like God to challenge me to give more towards the dollar per day challenge.When you see people who are so much less fortunate than you , its hard not to want to do something to help them. Like Jesus I came to serve not to be served, If that means also to give of my possessions and money than that's what I want to do.