Summary: Being fully surrendered means we are honest with God, honest with ourselves and honest with others.
November 5 Unleash the Surrender (Acts 5:1-11)
In 2005, Grammy Winning rapper Lil Kim was arrested and sent to prison for lying about what happened in a gunfight outside a night club. She lied to protect a friend. She was fined $50k and sent to prison. Before the sentence was handed down, Lil’ Kim spoke briefly, her voice breaking. She admitted to lying to the grand jury and at her trial. “At the time I thought it was the right thing to do but I now know it was wrong,” she said.
Turn to Acts 5:1-11 Now, to be honest, I wasn’t sure I wanted to preach this text. But the Holy Spirit kept directing Pastors Marty, Scott, Jared and myself to it. If you’re not familiar with the story, you’ll see why I was hesitant when you hear it.
Let me give you the background. During Unleashed we’ve been talking about the very 1st church. One of the most striking characteristics was how how generous they were. Acts 2:44-45 (on screen) Acts 4:32-37 (on screen)
So you get the picture, right? So now let’s read the story Acts 5:1-11 (on screen)
So what’s the moral of the story? If you don’t give all you have God will strike you dead, right? No. Not even close. Here’s the teaching point for the morning: God demands that we be honest about financial matters.
This cuts at the core of most of us. Most of us have a problem with honesty. It’s a part of our fallen human nature to shade the truth. We tell white lies all the time, right? Why do we call it a white lie? We think that it doesn’t do any harm. My grandmother used to say, “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
It’s not easy to be honest. Abraham Lincoln was known for his honesty; Honest Abe they called him. I love that Geico commercial that used to run (play the commercial from the beginning and cut out the Geico part at the end; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dtp_mq2fO24)
The problem with our dishonesty is that it keeps us from being all-in in our walk with Jesus. And because Ananias and Sapphira were not honest, that kept them from being all in. It’s not what Ananias and Sapphira gave that was the problem…(build) it was what they kept back.
There is an undeniable link between telling the truth and being all-in; between honesty and surrender. Let’s talk a little bit about that.
Being fully surrendered means:
1. We are honest with God
Notice v.4 “Then Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds from the field?”
Who did they lie to? God. Who was the source of the lie? Satan. It doesn’t say that Satan filled Ananias’ heart; just that he deceived Ananias to allow him to fill his heart with lies. Jesus called Satan the Father of Lies. Just the opposite of Satan is God in whom there is no shadow or deception or anything but pure truth. He is truth personified.
And God knows truth from lies; He knows we’re going to tell a lie before we even speak it; He knows we’re going to live a lie before we even do it.
Are you being honest with God about your life? Not just being honest about your finances, but every area? We can’t keep anything from Him; He knows everything. And God knows this morning whether your fully surrendered or not. Are you all-in? And if not, why not? Are you holding back? Holding back in in your commitment to Him to love Him with all your heart, soul, might and strength? Holding back in your commitment to be a fully engaged believer here at Rush Creek? Holding back in your generosity?
Get honest with God. He knows it already. Tell Him you’re fearful of being all in. Fearful of being 100% engaged. Fearful that if you’re fully surrendered He will ask you to do something you don’t want to do, go where you don’t want to go, give what you don’t want to give.
“The only time I find my dealings with God less than clear-cut is when I’m not being honest with Him. The fuzziness is always on my side, not His.” Catherine Marshall
We are honest with ourselves
Our deceptive couple had to lie to themselves for this tragedy to take place.
They were co-conspirators.
In our personal lives, identifying the truth and accepting the truth is the first step in progress, right? If someone won’t accept the fact that they struggle with pornography, guess what, they’ll stay in their addiction, If someone won’t accept the fact that they worry, they’ll stay stuck in that bondage.