Devotion Over Deceit

Peyton Johnston

April 15th, 2018

Acts 5:1-11

Barnabas witnessed a powerful revelation and mighty revival. He was so moved by the works of the Lord that he took all the profits from the sale of his property and laid it at the feet of the apostles. After seeing his inspiring act, Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, wanted to give a sacrificial gift, too… Kind of.

The couple did sell a personal possession and give the proceeds to the apostles. But in an effort to win the admiration and gratitude of their peers, they took what should have been a good deed and turned it into a hypocritical sham. They made it seem that they were being as selfless as Barnabas and giving everything earned. Yet in reality, they only gave a portion and kept the rest of the gain for themselves.

Their sin was not that they withheld, but that they tried to deceive. Their offering was one made from a spirit of pride, not from a humble heart. Their pretense backfired and not only cost them their reputation, but ultimately their life. What they didn’t realize is that any form of deceit is an affront against God Himself. They were so busy being concerned with impressing others that they neglected to catch the vision of God that the apostles were trying to share.

Do you have the heart of Barnabas or the attitude of Ananias? Are you just putting on a show to make it seem like you’re totally devoted, but are really only giving part of your life to God? Are you offering your time, money, and talents to God just so that you can boast about it to your friends on social media? Or can you be content with making unseen sacrifices that are just between you and the Lord? Make sure you’re seeking the approval of God more than you’re seeking the recognition of others. Don’t ever let yourself value temporary praise so much that you choose deceit over devotion. And don’t get so caught up in building yourself up that you forget that we truly live to build His Kingdom up.

Pray: ​“God, I pray that I never let pride overtake my intentions in ministry. Help me to always be genuine. Give me a humble heart. I want to live an honorable life that glorifies You, not myself. I want to surrender all I have to You for no other reason than because You are worthy of more than everything I have to give.”