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Daily Devotions – God Know the Secrets of our Hearts

 

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com

 

Acts 5:1-16 (ESV)
Ananias and Sapphira
5 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge, he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. 7 After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you[a] sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

Many Signs and Wonders Done
12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. 13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16 The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

 

When have you tried to fool God? What happened?

 

Holy God, you know my heart and motives. I cannot withhold anything from Your Spirit. Ananias and Sapphira tried just that. They witnessed Barnabas getting recognition, attention, and praise for selling his house and giving it to the apostles. They considered how marvelous it would be to be thought of like that by their friends. So they decided to sell their piece of property and do the same thing. But their motive was not honorable, and their hearts were focused on themselves so they lied to you and to all the people. In many ways, the same thing is happening all over society today. It may not be as tangible but it is just as damaging and grieves Your Holy Spirit. People posture by what they say, what they wear, where they show up, who they support, and brag about what they donate in order to be popular, trendy, and recognized. They show off what they feel is virtuous but in reality, they don’t really care and their motives are selfish and ruthless. What is even worse is when they trash other people for what they are actually doing themselves. They purposely hurt others, call them terrible names, and bring others down to try and lift themselves up. Only You know the secrets of our hearts and I need to trust that Your judgments are fair and just and leave the judging to you. Lord, let my words and actions be consistent with my love for You. Help me to focus less on me and more on You. You have given me all things. Guide me to be a responsible steward, being generous, and to use my possessions to serve others and share Your love. Help me to encourage and edify others and not bring them down to make myself look better. Lord, fill the church with Your Holy Spirit. Bring unity and acceptance in the fellowship of believers by paying the price of commitment and loyalty to You and Your church. May the church be known for its bold proclamation, unity, generosity, power, and grace by actions that are consistent with Your Word.  Amen