Showing posts with label Sin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sin. Show all posts

Monday

Because of a Lie - 31 Days in Acts



Day 9 of our 31 Days in Acts brings us to ch. 5 v. 1-11

Another very well-known passage about the Apostles.

I think most people would say it is well-known about Ananias & Sapphira but here I would like to look at the role of the Apostles and the work of the Holy Spirit through them.








In the end of ch. 4 in verse 36 you can read about a man who sold some land and gave the money to the Apostles for the use of the believers

36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, 37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

and in the start of ch. 5 we have another story about people selling something and giving the money to the Apostles.
But here in contrast to the end of ch 4 we have a completely different outcome.

A husband and wife bring money to the Apostles.  We are not told that this couple were ordered to sell anything and give all of their money to the Apostles, we are simply told that they did sell a possession as did others which is obvious from the end of ch. 4.

At first Ananias & Sapphira may appear to have done the same thing as Joses until we see the story in detail.

Ananias comes to the Apostles and gives them some of the money v. 1-2

Peter does not ask him him why he has not brought all of the money.
Instead he asks him why he has lied to God v. 3-4

The important part being that he lied.

Here we see the Gift of Knowledge in Peter through the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is God and cannot look on sin.   Habakkuk 1 v 13

The death of Ananias is the consequence of his sin.
Not a decision made and carried out by the Apostles but by God. v5-6

Then we have the words of his wife proving they had decided to lie and because she had been in on this agreement to lie to the Apostles she too suffered the same consequences.  v 7-10









3 Things to Note:


  • The couple lie to the Apostles 
  • The Holy Spirit brings the truth through Peter
  • God punishes the couple


First there is a lie but God always knows the truth because God is truth

 John 17 v 3
"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."


Then there are the words brought by the Holy Spirit but spoken out by Peter & these are the truth because God's word is truth 

John 17 v 17
"Your word is truth." 


Then there are the consequences of the sin of untruth.





The role of Apostle was very important here
 
not to accept the money and deal with that 
but to know the truth through God's Holy Spirit 
and be a spokesperson for God.



Sin, Truth & Consequences








You can find the other blog posts in this series at











Sunday

Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 32


In this series I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on  it.



Today I'm looking at Psalm 32








I'm looking at this Psalm in 6 parts:



V. 1-2
Here we are told who the "blessed" are





V. 3-4
Here we see the condition we have due to the guilt of sin


V. 5
Here we see how to deal with sin


V. 6-7
Here we see the only one we can turn to


V. 8-9
Here we learn how God will look after us & guide us when we turn to Him


V. 10-11
Here we have the great example to end with







The Godly Man.
Basically those who are blessed are those who no longer are condemned by sin.
It refers to openly sinning and also sinning in your heart or spirit.



The Ungodly Man.
Before we renounce our sin our condition is dead to spiritual things.
So we need to know how to deal with our sin.
We need to be responsive and willing to turn from our sin and not be stubborn like a mule.



Is our sin covered in the right way?



God.
We need to know that God is the only one to turn to when we are ready to repent & renounce our sin.
Then we can be like the Psalmist who ends with a note of Praise and thankfulness.









The one things we must not overlook is dealing properly with our sin.

Changing our life from 
ungodly 
to 
Godly.

Only Jesus is the one who can take our sin and give us His righteousness.












Wednesday

The Alligator in the Ditch - A Dose of Encouragement


You know when you are going somewhere different and you really know nothing about the place.

Then suddenly shortly before you travel you see a programme on television, or you read something in a book, or a friend says "did you know..." or you see something on the internet and it's about the place you are going to travel to.




Well that is what happened to me when I knew that I would be flying from Northern Ireland to the US to meet up with my husband after a work conference he was at in Hilton Head.

Way back nearly 30 years ago.

I was to meet Fred in Jacksonville, Florida and we were going to visit a few places in that well-known state.

Now getting to meet Fred was not the straightforward task it should have been but that might be written about another time.

Even our first night in Florida was not at all what we expected so that might be in another story too.

But for this blog post I'm thinking about the alligator.





So back to what I was saying previously.
Shortly before the trip I saw a programme on the television about alligators in Florida and thought I would watch a little bit of it because we were going to Florida and we were going to go to the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine.

This programme was not about alligators that are kept on farms or even in the swamps, instead this was about the fact that alligators can be found in other strange (for wild animal sightings) places like back gardens and roadside ditches.

Fred had not seen this so when we set off in the hire car the day after we arrived in Jacksonville I started to tell him all about it and I said we needed to watch out for these large drainage ditches at the side of the road and we might see an alligator.

Well one of the first places we visited was that Alligator Farm in St. Augustine and that was nearly too close to alligators for me and I really did not like the thought of being near one when I did not have a large, strong fence between us.



Well a live one that is because I do love the sculpted alligators in the Musical Animal Fountain in Tervuren.

Having spent almost a week in Florida I was still always keeping an eye on these ditches as we drove along but never really expected to see anything.  Then as we were driving towards the Kennedy Space Centre we saw a car stopped at the side of the road and two people out standing with a camera pointed towards a ditch.


Well we slowed down to see and

YES!  An alligator was in the ditch!

We pulled over for a minute had a quick look and then drove off again wondering why that couple were standing there with a camera.

The simple answer is - they wanted to take a picture of the alligator at the side of the road but obviously they had never seen the programme I had seen because if they had they would have known how fast an alligator can move and if that alligator darted towards them suddenly they may not make it back to the car in time.

Now I was thinking that even if I had not seen that programme I still would have had enough respect for the animal (insert - enough fear!) not to get so close and certainly not to stand focusing to get a good picture.



 Well except if it was a baby alligator being held by a keeper at the farm.

But I certainly would have no intention of putting myself in the position where I might have been chased or attacked by an alligator because I could not have wrestled one and overcome it.




As Christians we should know to treat sin in the same way as we should treat an alligator:

stay away from it.

Let's treat sin like we would treat an alligator!

Even if we have not been specifically told exactly how quickly sin can grab a hold of us and conquer us, regardless of how long or strongly we may try to wrestle with it; we should by instinct know that it is wrong to stop and have a look at the sin or spend a little time trying to capture what that sin is really like.  

We should curb our curiosity.

Sin is our enemy, sin is something that Jesus has died to release us from and we must not be tempted to even have a look toward it because we don't want to be back in the grasp we have been freed from.

It is our choice.


Is there an Alligator lurking in the Ditch?

We can remember and be encouraged that even though we cannot overcome sin by ourselves; 

we can do so with God's help.

We need to hold unto the fact that Jesus set us free from that grip sin had of us and He wants to help us stay free.

Jesus says He will be with us forever and while He is with us He is going to help us against sin.





Let's allow Christ to help us, to give us His strength to turn away from sin as soon as we recognize it.

So just as we were sensible enough to stay in the car when we were near that alligator we all know that we can stay in the safety of Jesus when we see that sin lurking nearby.