Weekly Rewind (Week 9)
We were honored to have Pastor Derek Berry from Tabernacle Baptist Church visiting with us. He preached from the book of Acts, chapter 4 verse 36 through chapter 5 verse 11. There we are introduced to three very different people.
Barnabas, whose name translates to Son of Encouragement, loved the Lord so much that he sold a field and laid the money at the apostles’ feet. Barnabas was a giver. Ananias and his wife Sapphira observed the gift of Barnabas. They followed suit and decided to give money to the apostles from the sale of a field. Unlike Barnabas, however, Ananias and Sapphira were keepers. Their stories demonstrate the importance of giving with our whole heart, not holding anything back. They also demonstrate the seriousness of being honest with God when it comes to giving. Ultimately, Ananias and Sapphira were hush-mouthed keepers who wanted everyone to think they were wholehearted givers.
Don’t misunderstand the message. It is NOT a sin to sell a field and keep the money for yourself! It is NOT a sin to sell a field, give some to the church and keep some for yourself! It IS a sin to conspire with your wife to give under false pretenses, and to publicly declare in church that you gave everything you had, knowing it is a lie, in order to gain the praise of men. The true message of this passage: Examine yourself. Make sure that your motives are pure. Be honest before God, whether in giving or in any other area of your life. He already knows your heart. He is the one who gave it you!
Ananias and Sapphira didn’t know the secret to Christ-honoring giving.
Matthew 6:1-4 says, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Are you a giver or are you a keeper?
As you reflect on that question, take a minute to reflect on the words of the great hymn Jesus Paid It All.
"Jesus paid it all.
All to him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain.
He washed it white as snow."
Aren’t we eternally grateful the title of the hymn is not, “Jesus Paid Some”?