Daily Devotional: Day 78
“But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God” (Acts 5:3-4, RSV).
In the days after Pentecost some of the early Christians sold their property and brought the proceeds to the Apostles, to support the care of Christians in need. A man named Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, also sold their property with the intention of supporting the work of charity in the Church. However, after selling the property, they conspired to keep back part of the proceeds. Today’s Bible passage tells us that they came to Peter pretending that they had brought everything from the proceeds. But the Holy Spirit exposed their deception and Peter sharply rebuked Ananias for it. Let’s break down what this incident means for us today.
First, Satan is a liar and the father of lies (See John 8:44), so when you tell a lie or deceive people, you’re essentially making satan your ally. Lying isn’t just wrong; it’s dangerous. As God’s child, truth should be your trademark. Don’t side with the devil by speaking lies or deceiving people. Every lie you tell has consequences, and sooner or later it’s going to hurt you. Therefore, discipline yourself to be honest always. Second, lying to the Church of God or the Church’s representatives is something God doesn’t take lightly. The Holy Spirit dwells in the house of God, so when you lie to the Church you’re basically lying to the Holy Spirit. Ananias and his wife found out the hard way.
Likewise, when you lie to a fellow believer in whom dwells the Holy Spirit, again you’re lying to the Holy Spirit. You may not fall dead as Ananias and his wife did, but you won’t get away with it forever. Remember what Jesus said, “I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37, emphasis mine). You’re a child of God. Consequently, deceiving people is against everything you represent. If you’ve done any of these things, repent and clothe yourself with the truth and honesty of Christ.
By the grace of God, I’ve been born again into the Truth of God. Lying is not my calling. Truth is my trademark and honesty is my lifestyle. By the power of the Holy Spirit in me, I can walk in truth always. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
For further study: Acts 5:1-11