Drop Dead Gorgeous

We’ve all done it. We’ve stretched the truth to appear more dramatic. We’ve fabricated a story to cover exactly what happened. We’ve told a white lie in order to not offend someone. But the Bible employs different words for those actions: deception, falsehood, unwholesome talk, and finally, lying lips.

Let’s move to a narrative in Scripture where our heroine possibly thinks,

It’s just a little lie, a little deception, and we’ll keep some of the money for ourselves.

Her name, Sapphira, means sapphire—a beautiful and precious gemstone—Sapir is the Hebrew word from which it originates. Perhaps her eyes were even a lustrous blue, but the jewel was flawed. God struck down Sapphira with a premature death, and we remember Sapphira for her sin rather than her beauty.

Acts chapter 5, verses 1-11 relays the story of Sapphira, along with her husband Ananias, and their deception in the early church of Jerusalem. Desiring the flattering praise of men, they conspired to sell some property, keep a portion of the money for themselves, yet present before the church the lower sum of money pretending it was the complete amount they received from the sale and not just a portion. When confronted with their deception, the Lord first put an end to Ananias’ life. Later, even after Peter the Apostle offered her an out, Sapphira chose to continue the lie. Then God struck her down.

Whoa! You are most likely thinking that’s a terrible and harsh reaction from God. Why would He kill them? They were certainly entitled to keep some of the money from the sale, but they fabricated a story saying what they “put at the apostles’ feet” was the complete, whole amount of money. The integrity of the early church was at stake and God was not going to tolerate lying. Just as lying has led to the downfall of many Christian leaders today, the early church had too much at stake for this type of sin to take root. It could have choked out the work God was going to do with and in the first believers adversely influencing the future of the church and the spread of Christianity.

What does this historical account mean for us today? You and I can ask ourselves these questions:

  • What am I holding back? Have I fully surrendered my heart?
  • Do I have a desire to be noticed? Am I seeking the applause of man rather than heaven?
  • Am I allowing social media to tempt me to flaunt my good deeds? Am I seeking to “one-up” everyone else?
  • Am I stretching the truth? Am I even telling downright lies?
  • And finally, are these actions blocking or even stopping the work God wants to do in and through me? What effect does this have on His church?

Father God, Please forgive me of the sin of deception which has crept into my life. Please cleanse my heart of this evil and create a new heart. Please restore me to a life of integrity so your will and purposes can be accomplished in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Proverbs 11:3 (NIV): “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”

Proverbs 12:22 (NIV): “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.”

John 8:44 (NIV): “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

© 2018 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

 

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Am I Trading Heavenly Treasures for Earthly Ones?

cutlery-22483_640I sighed as I went through a relative’s old silver. Looking at the many different pieces, I saw the special and varied memories tied up into each individual item. Stories could be told of the dinner parties, women’s luncheons, and other different events in which they played a role. What types of guests had this silver served? What tales did they overhear? The pieces display beautiful craftsmanship and contain a rich history, but I contemplated the truth that when our lives are over, these things remain behind.

Donna Tartt, in her novel The Goldfinch, aptly states, “. . . well, he was a person like us, he got attached to objects, they had personalities and souls to him . . . .” Scripture cautions us, however, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21, NIV)

As women who love the Lord, God calls us to carefully balance worldly goods and His riches. We appreciate the beauty and comfort our earthly treasures bring us, but we know they cannot possess us. Rather, Christ and His abundance should consume us. What are Christ’s treasures? The multitude of His treasures include a spirit of kindness, humility, goodness, love, fortitude, honesty—attributes which are important building blocks in a Christian’s life and witness. These are as gold, silver, and gemstones; moth and rust will not destroy them.

For the majority of us, a continual struggle plays out to ensure the things of this earth do not dominate us. In my own life, it has helped me to tastefully furnish my home, but not clutter it with objects, to give away clothing when I purchase new apparel, and to set spending limits when it comes to gift giving or major purchases. Often, I take cash to the store and when none remains, it’s time to stop shopping. It’s that simple. Be creative and ask God to search your heart concerning this, and trust the Holy Spirit to convict you and lead you in the direction He desires for your life. Relax, and enjoy what God has allowed you to possess, but continue to ask for His guidance to keep your heart free from encumbrances and to lay up your treasures in heaven.

Father God, help me to have a thankful spirit for all you have provided and to be content. I ask you to search my heart and show me where I’m trusting in things of this earth rather than in your riches. Help me to follow your way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Luke 12:34 (NIV): “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Proverbs 10:2 (NIV): “Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death.”

1 Timothy 6:10 (NIV): “In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

© 2016 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

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