Good morning y’all. Happy Monday :). Today I’m doing a combination of chapter 5 and 6.
In chapter 5 we see the story of Ananias and Saphirra who both lied to the Holyspirit. In chapter 6 we see the first conflict arise in the church and the persecution Stephen experienced.
Be blessed 🙂
I was particularly interested in the story of Ananias and his wife Saphirra. Initially I was condemning them and thinking how can you be so stupid and do such but then I asked myself are you sure you don’t do the same?
So here are my thots on Ananias and Saphirra.
– Ananias wasn’t forced by the apostles to sell his land. He chose to do so of his own accord. Evidence of this is found in verse 4 where Peter said to him, “… you chose to sell the land by your own will, so why are you lying?”
“The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” (Acts 5:4 NLT)
Perhaps he felt pressured to sell the land because others were selling and giving off their things so that everyone could have. Verse 36-37 of chapter 4 tells of a Barnabas who sold his land…
“For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles”.
(Acts 4:36-37 NLT)
So basically he did what we call “follow follow” or following the crowd….He didn’t have any conviction to do it, but just because others were, he decided to do it. His motive wasn’t right at all.
If you don’t have conviction to do something, please don’t do it just because others are. When it becomes tough you won’t be able to see it through.
Perhaps it suddenly occurred to him the impact of selling the land (that they would miss out on it’s financial gain) and so decided that they can’t go through with giving all the proceeds.
– Sin always looks for a partner. His wife was his co-partner in the crime and they both enjoyed the consequences together. Women are we the voice of reason for our husbands or we are the ones pushing them to sin? Proverbs 14:1 comes to mind, which says, “… a wise woman builds her home and a foolish one destroy it… ” I feel Sapphira did the latter.
“A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands”. (Proverbs 14:1 NLT)
In all of this it’s easy to condemn them but I wonder how many of us are actually guilty of the same offence in some form or the other. Those times we cheat and skive off work yet we claim we worked the full hours, the change we keep when we are sent on errand and we say, “well, I’ll give a round figure: a couple of pennies or pounds won’t hurt.” God is watching us. Had Ananias known he won’t get a chance to repent, perhaps he would have thought twice about lying.
May God help us be honest in our dealings when people are watching and when they are not.
In this chapter, the church experienced their first conflict. Prior to this, Luke had been painting a picture of a perfect unified loving church. It just goes to show that conflict is inevitable no matter how close and loving a group is. The key thing is how we respond to the conflict.
Few points from the way the apostles handled the conflict.
– The apostles didn’t ignore the issue by saying it’s irrelevant …blah blah. No, they paid attention and acknowledged there was an issue on ground that needed to be resolved. It might have not been important to them but they realised it was important to their members. A good leader will listen to his/her followers; take on board their concerns and look for ways to resolve them effectively so peace and unity can continue to reign.
– They didn’t try to resolve and do everything on their own. A good leader knows how to delegate to others. For the apostles they had other things to do but that didn’t stop them from delegating and assigning all the other tasks to their members. There are some leaders who want to do it all and in the process they struggle and eventually burn out. The apostles understood there was no way they could focus on preaching the word and prayer while also trying to make sure all the widows and children are dealt with accordingly so they delegated.
– Note they didn’t impose on the people the 7 delegates. They asked the people to select them. They empowered their followers by giving them the criteria for the people that can do the job and then asked them to find the people.
– The apostles emphasised the reason they couldn’t take on this role themselves. It wasn’t because they were lazy or felt too proud to be involved with food distribution to widows rather it was so they could focus on the word and prayer. This was their first assignment. They couldn’t afford to be distracted from doing what God has commissioned them to do. Some leaders avoid responsibility because they feel they are too big to do such. They are full of themselves whereas Jesus taught us the opposite. He said we should be servants . A good leader will not have an issue serving his or her followers.
I pray God gives us a servant’s heart; and the wisdom to know when to delegate and when to take on responsibility. I also pray that we will not get distracted from our calling but we would remain focused on that which we have been called to do, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Thanks for joining today. Pls feel free to share your thoughts on the chapter.
I’m blogging through the book of Acts a chapter a day with Good morning girls. Check us out at http://www.goodmorninggirls.org
***With God all things are possible***