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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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THE CURSE OF PRIDE

Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 4:36-37 ESV)

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 5:1-2 ESV)

Samuel A CainI am sure that Barnabas was praised for giving money to the apostles for the poor. Ananias and Sapphira must have envied him very much. Perhaps they made a vow to the apostles promising to give the same. They sold the piece of property and kept some of the money. They agreed, however, to tell the apostles they were giving all the money they had received for the sale.

Keep in mind that Ananias and Sapphira were not required to sell the property or give the money to the apostles for the poor. Yet, their desire for undeserved admiration led them to lie to their friends, the apostles, and – most importantly – they attempted to lie to God. They were seeking to glorify themselves – not God. Therefore, because of pride’s evil curse their motivation was all wrong. Do not touch or defile God’s glory.

ARE YOU TRYING TO MANIPULATE GOD?

Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. (Acts 8:18-21 ESV)

Samuel A CainSimon desired the ability to lay hands on people so they would receive the Holy Spirit. However, he tried to buy the gift of God with silver from men who had received it by grace. Peter then told Simon that his heart was not right with God. Simon was a master manipulator who tried to manipulate God with a bribe to His servants. His effort failed because God cannot be manipulated. Continue reading

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