Summary: Seek to please God more than man. Seek to bless others more than self. Seek to do everything out of love more than anything else.
THE MOST PROUD THING
The President of Moody Bible Institute tells this story: A young man from school took the bus to class. It was crowded. Before the conductor came around to take the fare, he had gotten off at the school without paying.
Later on, he remembered it. And he thought, "That wasn’t right. I had my ride. I should pay the fare."
So he went down to the station. Found the conductor, and paid him the money.
The conductor said, "You’re a fool for doing this.”
The young man said, "No, I’m not. I got the ride. I should pay for it."
He said, "It’s your business to collect the money. It’s my business to hand it to you."
The conductor said, "I bet you belong to that Bible Institute."
The President of Moody commented, "I have never heard anything said about our school that made me more proud than that one thing."
One of the things that distinguish the people of God is our honesty.
• It is a reflection of the God we worshipped, and the Christ we follow.
• Jesus repeatedly says, “Truly, truly I say to you…” NIV uses “I tell you the truth…”
• He is the truth, He stands for the truth, He speaks the truth and He lived the truth.
I like the way my lecturer puts it - we are called…
• not only to proclaim the truth but live it,
• not just to declare the truth but to demonstrate it,
• not just to express it, but to exhibit it.
Peter was mad (and God was mad), not because they did not give enough.
• It is not about the gift but the giver, it is not about the money, but the heart.
• Peter, moved by the Spirit, saw the motivation of their heart.
• They schemed together to lie. Verse 2 emphasized “with his wife’s full knowledge…” – so they jointly agreed to lie to the church.
It wasn’t an offering to God, it wasn’t a giving to the church, and it wasn’t an act of love for the poor.
• They were giving for themselves. They were giving for personal glory.
• They wanted to draw attention to themselves, to seek the praise of church members, to make an impression that they are spiritual and sacrificial people.
THE KING IS NOT COMING
Francois Fenelon, an archbishop was the court preacher for King Louis XIV of France in the 17th century.
One Sunday when the king and his attendants arrived at the chapel for the regular service, no one else was there but the preacher.
King Louis demanded, “What does this mean?”
Fenelon replied, “I had published that you would not come to church today, in order that your Majesty might see who serves God in truth and who flatters the king.”
They have come to impress the King. They were driven by the wrong motives.
Self-glory was the motivation behind the gift. They wanted people to see how generous they were.
• They were probably trying to COPY Barnabas. Acts 4:36 “Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”
• Barnabas gave out of love for God and His people.
• You can’t copy this kind of thing. It has to do with the heart. One gives because he loves to, the other give because they feel they are supposed to.
It is not about the gift, it is about the giver. It is not the amount, it is the heart.
• The motivation of our heart is what the Lord looks at. He doesn’t need our money, He wants our heart.
• Mother Teresa said, “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.”
Love Him with a pure heart, and I’m sure the rest will be set right.
• Ananias and Sapphira need not have to sell their property. They need not have to give all the proceeds to the church.
• Even if they have sold it and decided to give a portion to the church, it would have been fine and pleasing to God.
• But now their pride caused them to sin, and it leads to dishonesty, hypocrisy, deception, and fraud.
The sad thing is both the husband and wife reinforces each other’s thinking.
• Both wanted to glorify themselves, instead of the Name of the Lord.
• It would have been good, if one had been truthful and corrected the other.
Sadly this incident became the first great offense of the church.
• We have been seeing the awesome presence and works of the Holy Spirit in the church (in the previous few chapters).