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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Acts, Chapter 5, verse 5
When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last, and great fear came upon all who heard of it.

Piety, Generosity and Holiness cannot be pretended. Ananias’s story is a lesson in honesty. You cannot fool God, who knows your heart and mind.

The problem with pretending[1]

True leaders give of themselves liberally. Being a liberal does not make one generous. Nor does pretending to be; thus comes the sad story of Ananias and Sapphira.

In the early church in Jerusalem a group of believers were so filled with the Holy Spirit that they were of one heart and one mind. So knit together were the hearts of the people that they held all their possessions loosely and willingly shared them with one another, not because they were coerced but because they loved one another. Those who sold land and houses gave of their profits to the apostles, who distributed the gifts to those in need. Ananias and his wife, Sapphira also had sold a field. Part of the profit from their sale was kept back by the couple, and only laid a part of the money was laid at the apostles’ feet. Ananias made a pretense of having given all the proceeds. Peter, who was filled with the power of the Spirit knew instantly that Ananias was lying—not just to him but to God—and exposed his hypocrisy then and there. Ananias fell down and died. When Sapphira showed up, she, too, lied to Peter and to God, saying that they had donated the entire proceeds of the sale of the land to the church. When her lie had been exposed, she also fell down and died at Peter’s feet. This was the sin of hypocrisy. It can be easy today to gloss over the holiness of God, to forget that He is righteous and pure and that He hates sin wholeheartedly.[2]

Here God removed a spiritual cancer from the church by taking their lives and as Luke states in the Acts, “Fear (holy) came upon all the church.” Looking more closely at the problem we can see Ananias and Sapphira:

1.      Clung to their possessions.
2.      Agreed to lie about their giving.
3.      Pretended to be someone they were not.
4.      Thought they could get by with appearing to be generous.
5.      Felt more concerned with their image than their relationship to God.

End of Ramadan/Eid-al-Fitr[3]

What is Eid? Eid al-Fitr is an important Muslim celebration that marks the breaking of the fast at the end of Ramadan.
Family and friends gather to eat and pray together during the festival that lasts up to three days in many Muslim countries.
Mubarak Eid, or Blessed Eid, is a common greeting used during Eid al-Fitr. 

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