2. Ananias and Sapphira were two members of the first church in Jerusalem who met an untimely death. Their story is often used as an example of why we shouldn’t lie, but it can also be viewed as a story about money and giving. In their story in Acts 4:32-5:11, what can we learn about God’s view of money and how we handle it?
Acts 4:32-5:11 – 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
5 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”
“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”
9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”
10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
3. Because of the recent fire in North County San Diego and the widespread evacuation notices that resulted from it, many of us were given the opportunity to re-evaluate our earthly possessions and the role they play in our lives. Too often we fall into the trap of thinking life is all about what we have. How could the following passages help us keep our earthly possessions in proper perspective?
1 Timothy 6:6-10 – 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 – 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 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.
Those who are rich (which is all of us in comparison to the rest of the world) need to treat money in a way that honors God.
What is most challenging for you about balancing the storing up of treasures in heaven with the pursuit and enjoyment of material possessions?
TAKING IT HOME
1. Larry talked about the steps to financial obedience being from nothing to something, from something to systematic, from systematic to tithing, from tithing to sacrifice. Looking at these steps, are there any changes you would like to make in your financial obedience?
2. Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what’s most important for you to remember?
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU FOLLOW THE FIRST-FRUIT PRINCIPLE:
Giving Off The Top - Ways to Give at North Coast Church
- Text to Tithe / Give
Text “give” to (760) 891-5577 to get a link to give via your phone.
- Mobile App
Download the North Coast Church App - iphone / Android
- Online & Automatic Withdrawal
Go to northcoastchurch.com/give. No registration or account needed. One-time or repeat giving.
FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY
Need resources to better manage your money? Watch for classes coming this summer and fall. This 9-week DVD-series will be facilitated by financial coaches as you learn techniques for squashing debt and living within your budget.
OTHER ONLINE FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Dave Ramsey – daveramsey.com/category/tools/
We believe spiritual growth flows out of two basic commitments:
A commitment to God and the Bible.
A commitment to significant Christian relationships.
To help develop these significant relationships, we have created “Growth Groups.”
It is our goal to have every member of our church involved in either a Growth Group or another similar small group experience. While most groups are sermon-based, some are special interest groups focusing on topics such as parenting, marriage recovery and Christian basics for new believers.
These home Bible study groups require a ten-week commitment, and are comprised of 10-16 people. They meet weekly to share, to study God’s Word and to support one another spiritually. Most of the groups study a sermon-based curriculum.
The groups meet for three 10-week sessions from late September through June, taking a break during the summer months. Throughout the 25 year history of having Growth Groups here at North Coast, 80% of our weekend adult attendance have been in Growth Groups.
If you have any questions about joining a Growth Group or would like more information, please contact the Growth Group office at (760) 724-6700 x291 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.