Today our family worshiped at our home church, Spring Creek Assembly of God. Pastor Ron spoke on Acts 5:1-11, the story of Ananias and Sapphira and how they lied to the church and God which caused their demise. The whole message was about the heart issue that Ananias and Sapphira had. When we read this story a fear grips our hearts about having the integrity to do what is right in the eyes of God, to be honest and sincere, and to keep God’s church pure. This morning, God reminded me of an illustration, but first read what pastor talked about then it will make sence.
Here are some of my notes from Pastor Ron’s message. You’ll have to head over to the Spring Creek Assembly website to hear the full sermon. It was really good.
Ananias and Sapphira saw what Barnabas did in Acts 4:36 & 37. Barnabas sold a plot of land he owned and gave all the money to the apostles. Ananias and Sapphira wanted to make themselves seem that generous, but in their hearts they were greedy. They sold a plot of land, kept some of the money for them selves, and told the apostles that the offering they gave was the full amount that they sold the land for. The issue is not that they kept the money, but that they lied about what they were giving. They were not honest and sincere about what they were doing. If they would have said this offering is a portion of what we sold our land for, Im pretty sure nothing would have happened to them. But they ended up lying, and died on the spot because of it.
The death of Ananias and Sapphira wasn’t because God is cruel or merciless. Their death happened to protect the integrity of the Church. God also used that as an illustration that “If we aren’t honest and come clean with God, we will die.” We have to make the decision to give God our heart or not. Giving God our heart means we invite Jesus to become part of our lives and live in our hearts. 1 John 5:12 says “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.” God comes to us with an open heart, and expects us to come to him the same way. The whole book of Acts shows us God’s Grace at work in the lives of people who have submitted their whole heart to Him.
The story of Ananias and Sapphira is the grace of God’s correction, purity, honesty, sincerity, and integrity for the church.God wants us to come to Him, trust in Him, & obey Him. We can’t do that without giving Him our entire heart. In fact, the Church its self is about having a whole hearted relationship with Jesus. We should be loving God, trusting God, and obeying God with our whole heart. When that day comes, and we stand before God, there will be a judgement about our lives, and God will do what is just. During the message to the Church in Thyatira it is talked about what will happen after the judgement. Revelation 2:23 says “Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.” God already knows what is in all of our hearts and minds. Its through our hearts that God wants to connect with us on an intimate relational level.
Check out this illustration that God reminded me of while Pastor Ron was speaking, and then pastor came in with the supporting verses.
The human heart was created with four (4) chambers. When some people ask God into their heart they only let God into just one (1) of those chambers, and give the other three (3) chambers to the world, other people, jobs, hobbies, selfish desires, or anything else. But God wants to be the Lord, God, and Savior of our whole hearts, not just a small chamber. Without a true whole hearted relationship with God, we truly don’t turn our whole lives over to Him. God is working with each one of us to gain our entire hearts, not just a small chamber. We are the only ones who can truly decide if we are going to let God have our whole hearts or not. God doesn’t just want the part of our heart that makes us honor Him with our words, He also wants the part of our hearts that honors him with our actions. Its only when we honor God with our words and actions that we do the will of God.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.“
Mark 7:6 “But He said to them, Excellently and truly [[a]so that there will be no room for blame] did Isaiah prophesy of you, the pretenders and hypocrites, as it stands written: These people [constantly] honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far distant from Me.”
Isaiah 29:13 “And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips but remove their hearts and minds far from Me, and their fear and reverence for Me are a commandment of men that is learned by repetition [without any thought as to the meaning],”
Jeremiah 29:13 “Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.“
Matthew 22:37 “And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).”
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”
With all that being said, the question is: Have you invited God into just one (1) chamber of your heart, or have you invited Him to be the Lord, God, and King of your whole heart?