I'm in my home office this morning studying to teach my class tomorrow morning. The lesson, from Acts 5:1-11, is titled, "How Then Shall We Live." The Scripture tells the story of Ananias and Sapphira and how greed and deception cost them everything. How then shall we live when our culture tells us to have more, get more, be comfortable, it's all about us, truth is not absolute...
At our women's conference in India last week we had testimonies by some local pastors' wives. One told of being beaten, another of having all the Bibles in the congregation burned, one of being forced to leave her home. How then shall we live when following is not comfortable, when it is costly?
The last day we were there we had the privilege of watching as over 25 men were baptized. The question asked of them was something like this: if you are called to be martyred are you ready? A pastor from our country stood nearby and wondered out loud what the response would be if we asked that question of those we baptize at home. Are you ready? Enthusiastically, they all responded in the affirmative. Following the men, 26 children were also baptized. It was beautiful. I hope to never forget their young faces or those of the people that gathered around to watch that day.
How then shall we live in integrity before God. Acts 5:2 records that Ananias "kept back part of the proceeds." My commentary gave this meaning for the Greek word nospizo that is in the text, "to put aside for oneself." This note follows: "This couple wanted acclaim without sacrifice and comfort without commitment." It wasn't the keeping of the money that was wrong but the lie, the lack of integrity. What are we keeping back, holding onto so tightly that we are unwilling to let go at any cost? Would we truly be ready to let go, give it up if called to do so?
Though our cultures are vastly different the expectations of our Savior are the same. acclaim, comfort vs. sacrifice, commitment
How then shall we live.
Serving the King,