“Is that your final answer?” the host asks. Joe’s hands are sweating, his heart is racing, his brain is firing on all cylinders and mathematical formulas are being worked out in his brain. These seem to be the longest 30 seconds of his life. The spouse is sitting in the audience drying her sweaty palms and biting her nails. Joe can go home with what he has so far or risk losing everything to gain everything. “D…final answer.” The drum roll sounds…his breathing intensifies…wrong answer. Another failed attempt.
In this chapter, a couple decides to take a gamble, except it’s not millions that are at stake. No, millions could not even begin to approach what this couple is about to lose. It’s immeasurable.
“But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest.”
“Yes, that’s the full amount” Sapphira replies. “Is that your final answer?” “Yes.” *thump* In three hours two people have lost their lives. What’s the big deal? Eternity, that’s the big deal. Eternity with Jesus. By pretending that they had given all, Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit, and as a result lost eternity. They chose to take a gamble that did not pay off. They believed they could give some of themselves without committing their all and still make the cut. Outwardly, they had given everything–and the community of believers may have benefitted much from their contribution, but their generous act was mingled with hypocrisy and deception. Sin is sin. The unashamed display of sin makes you no less a hypocrite than he who hides his sin under a cloak of self-righteousness. A man who steals from a bank without a mask receives the same punishment as one who hides his identity with a ski mask. They’re both stealing.
The same question is asked of us. “Is that all?” “Have you given Me everything or are you still holding onto something?”
Is that your final answer?
As I write this devotional, I myself am persuaded that I have been holding back. I am stealing from Him who gave up everything for me. Today, if you find yourself in a similar situation, I pray that you are reminded of the overwhelming promise written in the letters of John, “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” Let this be an opportunity to recommit your entire life to Him again. Give everything to Jesus today!
In Christ Alone,
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.