Dead Men’s Bones
Pretending – Part 3
Scripture Reading: Acts 5:1-11
Key Verse: Acts 5:2
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.
The shocking part of Ananias’ story, if we are honest, is how God dealt with his pretending. When the Spirit of God in the Apostle Peter recognized Ananias’ lying, Ananias fell to the ground dead. Sapphira, his wife, who lied for her husband three hours later, met the same fate: death. This story is one of many that, first of all, tell us that God worked in different ways than He chooses to work in our day. (This is seen in the many miracles in the book of Acts that we don’t see in our day.) Some people blame our lack of faith for these differences. I’m convinced that we have the privilege of having Bibles available to everyone. This first generation of Spirit-filled believers had Old Testament scriptures to read; and these were not available to individuals. God supported His beginning church like we would have to support a sapling before it takes root and grows into a large tree.
A second lesson to be taken from this story is that a “death” does occur when we start pretending; it is the death of our authentic self. We lose who we really are—who we were made to be—when we live a life of pretending. The authentic life in Christ, with all of our shortcomings, is a freedom that we don’t want to miss.
Father, help me to be courageous when I’m tempted to cover up my failures and limitations. I want to live free of pretending! In Jesus’ name, amen.