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 Post Post subject: Devotions - Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:38 pm 
Catspaw knows all

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Reading: Proverbs 27, Proverbs 28, Proverbs 29; Acts 5:1-21

Good morning Church,

Our society is getting closer to George Orwell’s depiction of a fictional future in his novel, "Nineteen Eighty-Four". It would appear that more and more agencies are trusting the effectiveness of CCTV technology. There are statistics that state how often we are caught on camera in a day. It is a lot. We are on camera at the bank, on the highways, in the subway system, in almost every store you enter, on private property, in parking lots, and, in some cities, on the public sidewalks. Most of the time we are not even aware the we are on camera. If you do something you should not do you will most likely be taped doing it. However, there is still one place that no man can entire and that is another man’s heart. There are still crimes that take place in the heart that no one is aware of. Well, not exactly no one.

In this morning’s reading we discover a very odd incident with Ananias and Sapphira that raises a lot of questions. Why did they die? Was it simply from fear of being found out or was it a rare occurrence of God’s immediate judgement? I am not entirely sure but I do know that it draws our attention to a problem that has plagued believers throughout the centuries. It is the problem when we stop doing things for God and start doing them for man.

We have made leadership quite the industry these days. Whole companies and ministry exist to help men and women become dynamic leaders. We love dynamic leaders. We love to place ourselves under a person who can move us and stir us to be better people. Often we select the church we will attend according to the pastor. Churches will rise and fall on the skills of the leadership team. The problem with this is that the anointing gets lost in the skills and the focus gets changed from God to the leader.

The change is subtle at first but it soon becomes evident. We hear a wife say to her husband, “What would the pastor say if he knew what you were doing?” The focus starts to slip and we start becoming more concerned with what people would say than what God will do. We fear disappointing people instead of disappointing God. God really does become a second thought. He has become less real than the man who is teaching about him or the people who are worshipping him.

Ananias and Sapphira had it all wrong. They were caught up in the excitement of the early days. They wanted to make an impression. They thought it was more about the people they were with than it was about the God they worshipped. Yet Jesus warned us all the time to stop being concerned about the things the “pagans” chase after and seek the things of the Kingdom. What does our reputation among men matter when it is our God who we will answer to?

This is again a problem of perspective. Perspective makes all the difference in our walk with Jesus Christ. The only perspective that will see us through is the perspective of Jesus which develops in us the attitude of a sacrificial servant who is not interested in pleasing man but whole-heartedly seeks the approval of God. Jesus has put in place a system of servant-leaders who are not to exert control over us like a Moses type but instead who serve us in the development of our ability to serve. Peter did not condemn Ananias and Sapphira; their actions condemned them. Peter spoke as a prophet that day, revealing the heart and explaining the actions of God.

It is so much easier for us to relate to and put ourselves under a Moses-type leader but that is not the will of Jesus Christ. There is only one head of the body and we all answer to him. There is only one Lord and we all answer to him. There is only one King and we all answer to him. He has warned us that the things done in secret will be announced from the roof tops. That is something to think about the next time you are tempted when no one is watching. Forget about the fear of surveillance cameras, we should all have a natural and healthy fear of our all-knowing God.

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