Weekly Rewind (Week 10)
Continuing our study of Acts this week, Pastor Dallas brought us back to the story of Ananias and Sapphira. When this couple decided to sell their land and give (a portion of) the proceeds from the sale to the Apostles, they were doing so from a self-serving motivation, to appear as if they were making a great sacrifice, when in fact they were still enriching themselves. While most of us will never find ourselves in the exact same situation as this couple, the story still applies to our everyday actions and affirms two points Pastor Dallas made from these verses: Their “personal Holiness gave way to prideful pursuits”, and “Good actions do not absolve us from bad intentions.”
When our pursuits in life are to fulfill our pride, or to increase our wealth and influence, it does not matter how good our resulting actions are, in the end we will end up with the same fate as Ananias and Sapphira, whether it be emotionally, spiritually, or even physically.
The second part of the sermon began with chapter 12 which says, “Many signs and wonders were being done among the people through the hands of the apostles…”. This brought up the imagery of how we see hands displayed when God is working through someone; the hands are always open to give God’s blessings, or to receive his spirit in worship. However, when a fist is closed it is impossible to give or receive anything, and therefore any actions we make with our hands or hearts closed is a prideful pursuit.
Never will you see God’s power flowing through a clinched fist. His power flows through open hands.
We need to ensure our actions come from our desire for personal holiness, and that our hands remain open in every situation we find ourselves in. Sometimes our open hands may act as God’s conduit, like for the Apostles, and sometimes it may allow for us to receive from God just what we need in that moment that we would have missed out on if our hands and hearts were closed.