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When Fear Falls
"Then Peter said to her, 'Why is it that you have agreed together
to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who
have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out
as well.'  And she fell immediately at his feet, and breathed her last;
and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out
and buried her beside her husband.  And great fear came upon the whole
church, and upon all who heard of these things." (Acts 5:9-11 NASB)
Ananias and Sapphira sold some property and gave some of the proceeds
of the sale to the church while claiming to give the whole thing.
As a result of their deception, they dropped dead on the spot. To
say the least, this is a disturbing story.
What was such a big deal about this couple's sin that it cost
them their life? Isn't pretending to be better than you really are
a harmless sin, you know, like lying about your weight on your driver's
license? Not according to the scripture, Peter declared, "You
have not lied to men, but to God."
Ultimately, we live our lives before an audience of one it is
what He thinks that counts the most. Ananias and Sapphira were so
busy trying to impress their fellow church members that they trampled on
what was holy the genuine, sincere gift of a grateful heart to a loving
God. They missed the truth that life isn't about them and their needs,
but about God and His Kingdom.
Death was a serious consequence for this couple to pay for their
deception. It may even seem unreasonable because hypocrisy is so
commonplace in the twenty-first century, but it was the exception, not
the rule in the early church.
As a result of their deaths, a great fear came upon everyone who
heard about it. Maybe because they were afraid the same thing would
happen to them. But certainly because they were reminded of God's
holiness and their need to reverence Him.
I pray that "a great fear" will fall upon us today as we reflect
upon the holiness of God.
Read the sermon
that corresponds to this devotional.