Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Who is that looking over my shoulder as I fill out my 1040 tax form?

Sunday 1-29-17, Modesto, California
Today we read Exod 23 – 24, Psalm 14 and Acts 5
S = Scripture  O = Observation  A = Application  P = Prayer  SOAP for the soul.

S. Acts 5:4-11 “You weren't lying to us but to God." As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. Then some young men wrapped him in a sheet and took him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, "Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?" "Yes," she replied, "that was the price." And Peter said, "How could the two of you even think of doing a thing like this — conspiring together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Just outside that door are the young men who buried your husband, and they will carry you out, too." Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear gripped the entire church and all others who heard what had happened. NLT

O. In another situation years later when a lad drifted off asleep in a window and fell three stories to the ground, Paul ran down the stairs to pray for him and the dead boy revived. I notice in the above event, no one tried to revive Ananias or Sapphira.

A. We sometimes think, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a church like the early Church?” Well, how many of us would survive the test? We might be calling 911 in every service!  I suppose Pastor Peter would have received any size offering, small or large. It was the deceitful attempt, lying to make themselves look good and generous before their peers, that disturbed the Holy Spirit. I get the idea that God doesn’t like fakes.

P. Lord, we often plead for You to send Your Holy Spirit to charge the atmosphere in every service, but we’d prefer He doesn’t kill all the hypocrites. Who would be left to play the instruments? and to whom would the preacher preach? Or in some cases… would there be any preacher left? Oh, but it is no joke. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is hidden from Your eyes… even the 1040 tax form we are filling out. Lord, please use your gentle love, mercy and grace to keep us true as genuine Christians before You and before our non-Christian acquaintances. Amen. 


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