Summary: Barnabas is one of the best examples we have of the Christian walk, then there's Ananias/Sapphira, who testify to the desires of the world. Who will our walk be more like?
An average man, his wife, and a boat named Tinkerbelle!
(an illustration by Charles R. Swindoll in Leadership, Vol. 8, no. 4.)
READ ACTS 4:36-5:10
I. Barnabas the Encourager (4:36-37)
A. His name meant Son of Encouragement
1. His given name was Joseph (meaning Jehovah Increases)
2. He is about equipping Christians, and thus lives up to his given title, and
the one given to him by the apostles.
B. His life showed he cared about Christ and the Church.
1. He sells a lot and gives every penny to the early Church!
2. He embodies honesty and charity!
C. Mentioned often in the Book of Acts
1. 9:27, 11:22, 15:37
2. Here is a man who LOVES to step back and allow the Lord to work in Him.
3. He never looks away from a chance to help, even when others may not
think it's a good idea.
D. We need more Barnabi in the Church!
1. Encouraging the new believers
2. Developing the maturing Christians
3. Reaching out to the lost who need to know and see the love of Christ.
II. Then there was Ananias and Sapphira (5:1-10)
A. They come in and plot to take care of their needs FIRST!
1. How can we make ourselves look better?
2. What kind of mask can we wear to make us look more like what they want
us to look like?
3. How much greater would it look if we SAID we are giving our best?
B. Many folks uses this about tithing or giving money, but it is MUCH deeper!
1. These people are not just lying to the Church, they are lying to GOD!
2. They want to make a "good impression" without committing to the
3. When Peter confronts them, he calls them out on honesty, not cash!
C. It’s one thing to lie to us, but what about to God?
1. This is why Jesus warns in Matt 7:21-23 that many will not enter into the
2. Our worship life isn't about what man sees, but what God perceives!
III. What about Us???
A. Instead of questioning the Menu of the Church, we need to question the Menu at the House, at Work, with our friends!
1. What are we serving up during our walk in life?
2. Is it the same as the Menu at Church?
3. What does giving my spiritual best consist of?
a. Giving to lewd internet sites to fulfill your secret cravings?
b. Giving to wild behavior at the Country Club to make a name?
c. Giving to stabbing your neighbor in the back in order to make yourself
d. Or are we what God wants to see, lifting up both Him and His Church?
B. Is it for me to worship God, or God to worship me!?
1. Our God is a God of encouragement for those that seek His Face.
2. It is up to us to decide if we are going to be honest with Him and ourselves.
3. Barnabas appreciated everything the Lord had blessed him with, and thus,
felt the need to give his best back!
C. Barnabas continues to be seen throughout the New Testament. Ananias and Sapphira die in their place in Acts 5, and are not seen again. However, both of these characteristics still inhabit the Church today!
Giving and Living is about encouraging God! Not Discouraging Him or His Church! Are we a Barnabas, or an Ananias/Sapphira?