This Sunday, Pastor Chris preached a powerful message on deception. In our text, Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit, held onto what was rightfully the Lord’s, and suffered the consequences of their hypocrisy and greed. Chris shared how greediness reveals what is truly in our hearts and where we’re finding our self-worth and identity. If we desire to live in the fear of the Lord, we must also choose to live with a thankful and generous spirit.
Proverbs 12:22 (ESV)
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
1 Peter 3:10 (ESV)
10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;
“When regard for truth has been broken down or even slightly weakened, all things will remain doubtful.”
Acts 5:1–2 (ESV)
1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 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.
- Greed is “the selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power or food.”
- Greed is always self-centered and never satisfied.
6 Things on Greed:
- Greed is Stealing – To “keep back” what is rightfully the Lord’s.
Proverbs 1:19 (ESV)
19 Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.
Acts 5:3 (ESV)
3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart…
- Greed is Demonic – The motivation and desire of greed lead to death and destruction.
1 Timothy 6:10 (ESV)
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Acts 5:3 (ESV)
3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit
- Lying Rooted in Greed
Proverbs 15:27 (NLT)
27 Greed brings grief to the whole family, but those who hate bribes will live.
Acts 5:4 (ESV)
4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.”
- Greed Reveals the Heart
“The human heart is an idol factory.” John Calvin
Acts 20:35 (ESV)
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Luke 12:15 (ESV)
15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Acts 5:5-9 (ESV)
5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. 7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”
- Greed is Contagious
Ephesians 4:19 (ESV)
19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
Acts 5:10–11 (ESV)
10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.
- Greed Kills
What is the cure for greed? – Generosity and thankfulness.
1 Timothy 6:16–17 (ESV)
16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. 17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
- What are some potential roots that can produce a deceptive heart?
- Pastor Chris said, “your spending reveals what’s inside your heart.” Do you agree? Why do you think this is the case?
- Pastor Chris shared how money can be the means by which we worship our idols. Share an example of this with the group.
- How does greed callous our hearts toward the things of God?
- What is the antidote to greediness?
- Ask yourself honestly this week: are you under the power of greed?
- Take personal inventory: what is easy for you to spend money on?
- Pastor Chris said, “whatever you put your worth in will demand your worship.” Ask yourself honestly this week: what are you finding your self-worth in? Is it anything other than Jesus?