This is our final day for this week to read from the Modern English Version. We will use a different translation starting tomorrow. Today we are back in the Church Stream in the book of Acts. We left off last week with Peter’s sermon after Pentecost and the believers living together in community. The excitement is picking up in the stream – it’s almost like white-water rafting today!
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Holy Spirit, we thank you for coming not only to comfort us but to lead us in every possible way. We are amazed at the work accomplished with Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate. A life with you is not dull and boring. We thank you for transforming lives. We are in awe of the story of Ananias and Sapphira. You know our secrets and you cannot be deceived. Amen.
In the first part of our story today, Peter and John are going to pray. A man was waiting at the gate. Don’t you love how the gate is called Beautiful? I wonder what it looked like. He waited there every day. He didn’t even know another kind of life. He must have made enough from begging to get by because he was brought to the same place every day for 40 something years. Every day was the same year after year. And then one day something was different. It probably started like every other day – he went about his normal routine got dropped off at the temple. And it’s possible that Peter and John had seen him before, but this day was different for them too. They had received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and they really saw this man who was lame and his plight. With all boldness Peter commands him to rise up and walk and he did. He didn’t have money to give to him but he gave him the ability to go out and work. That’s the difference between welfare and farewell. We desire for our fellow man to farewell.
So again a crowd assembles because it’s pretty amazing to see a man who’s been lame and now he’s walking and Peter again gives an impromptu sermon. And watch the number of Believers continue to grow and the number of men grew to about 5,000. Evidently the leaders of the day were afraid of losing control because when they saw the power of Christ working through these men and seeing so many people believe they took action. The leaders but Peter and John in jail. They were soon released and Peter again with boldness declares the power of Jesus and gives another sermon — short but very pointed and very effective. But it appears to have fallen on deaf ears. So the Sanhedrin releases them and commands them not to speak Jesus’ name. But how could they not speak about Jesus? He was not only their friend but He was the Messiah who had performed miracles namely rising from the dead.
Finally we arrive at a story that made puzzle some people and that is of Ananias and Sapphira. Why would Ananias and Sapphira have to die for lying? Surely most people have lied at least once in their life. I have lied. And I knew it was wrong and I’ve repented of lying. But I think if you are saying that you’ve never lied in your life, well, maybe that’s a lie! Remember Aiken from earlier this week? He had hidden some of the treasures that they had gotten out of Jericho. And when the Israelites went up against Ai they were defeated initially because Aiken lied. So how did he lie? He lied by omission as did Ananias and Sapphira. Aiken’s lie wasn’t a spoken line but it was a hidden lie. He had hidden treasure he wants isn’t supposed to have and that affected all of Israel. Similarly Ananias and Sapphira’s lie of omission affected the apostolic church and God called them out.
And that brings us to the thread for this week – lies and corruption.
In Genesis, the corruption of mankind Before the Flood incites to God to wipe them out.
In Joshua, Aiken and his family are stoned and killed for lying.
Bildad suspects Job of lying about his righteousness.
Isaiah cries out to the Lord about his unclean lips.
And Daniel – Nebuchadnezzar suspect that his wise men will speak lying words to interpret his dream.
In Matthew, the Devil tempt Jesus with lies and –
Finally we read the lies of Ananias and Sapphira.
Lies bring death to relationship and this certainly applies to our relationship with God. I know that I need to take time with God to confess my sins of commission, the things that I do, and the sins of omission, the things that I don’t do, and I hope that you take time to talk to Him too.
7streamsmethod.com is the home port for this podcast. You can connect to The Seven Streams also on IPDB and iTunes. On a positive note, we’ve been reading about healing for the past couple of days and we have a resource that covers the healings of the Old Testament and New Testament. It’s a book that my husband wrote called Healing Power Voice Activated. He was fascinated with the healings in the Bible and he wrote about them. So his book is available at livingstonespublications.com. Tomorrow we return to the World Stream in Genesis and utilize a different translation. Know that you are loved by our Gracious Father. Until then I’m first mate Serena sailing with you down The Seven Streams.