Deceit and Denial-One for You, Two for Us!

“Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself… How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” Acts 5:3,4c; “And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this?”
Acts 5: 9-10 NLT

Little white lies—they’re harmless, right? They weren’t for the couple in today’s Dose verses. But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest.” (Acts 5: 1-2) They were together in this deceit! Peter confronted Ananias first. Ananias fell down dead! Not long afterward, Peter spoke with Sapphira and when she told the same lie as her husband, he confronted her too. Then, she fell dead!

Ananias and Sapphira gave into the temptation to cheat and lie about some property they sold. But why were they struck dead over this? Peter said they had conspired to test the Holy Spirit and lied to God through their actions. This was not a money issue; it was a heart issue. Ananias and Sapphira didn’t have to sell their property—they chose to. Then, instead of being honest about wanting to give some of the proceeds to the church while they kept the rest, they decided that it’d look better if they’d given it all. So, they lied and said they did. They were concerned less about honest motives and more about impressing the people of their church. As a result, they showed no reverence for God, the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in their church body, or responsibility to their fellow body of Believers.

Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t simply discipline us with immediate death because of our deceit and denial? He gives grace. But, are we reverencing Him with honest motives and a pure heart? If we’re dealing regularly in deceit and denial, we’re not doing things from godly motives with a heart that truly desires to honor God; we’re keeping up false outward appearances in order to impress others. We fool ourselves, hinder our relationships with Christ and fellow Believers, and ruin our witness to others. Little white lies–not harmless at all!

Are there areas of your life where you’re lying to the Holy Spirit today? Choose to honestly and humbly admit this sin. Then, ask God to help you overcome it. He will!

By grace through faith,


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