Something happened yesterday (3/4/14) and the entire site went down and I have to start it over. All past posts, sermons and media are gone. It will take a few days to get things back in order. Thanks for your patience…Pastor Stevens
Are you uncertain about some things? Are you walking on eggshells and Jell-O theologically? Don’t do it! Get a bulldog grip on the truth and stand by it. Learn to feed your faith and starve your doubts.
If you don’t come to church, read your Bible, and pray, then you have no shield of faith. Sometimes college students go off and let some ungodly, unbelieving man make fun of their faith. And they fall apart like a house of cards. That’s because they don’t have a strong, rock-ribbed faith in God. Feed your faith. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God,” and it will be like a shield to you to protect you from all the fiery darts of the wicked. It gives the believer certainty. – LWF
“For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”1
“But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city ”2
How tightly are you holding on to this world? Are you busy putting down roots into this society? Do you find more and more happiness and contentment as you meld more and more with the world around you?
Abraham was a tent dweller, all of his life. He moved from place to place, never really putting down permanent roots. Why? His focus: “…he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” He knew the folly of holding tightly to what he could see and touch. As the father of faith, he trusted in the promises and assurances of his unseen God. So he did not put down roots into this world system, he knew the best was yet to come.
Now, are you like Abraham? Are you a city dweller or a tent dweller? Are you laying up treasures on earth or in heaven? Where is your focus? Do you live by faith like Abraham did? How would your life change if, like Abraham, you by faith “…looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God?”
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”1
Motives, why you do what you do. Even what is done for God. Even what is done in the church. Even what is done as a servant of God. Ananias and his wife gave the church a gift. Nothing wrong with that (the church can always use more funds). They also kept back part of their profits from the sale. Nothing wrong with that. So why did Peter condemn them and God kill them?
The answer is simple: their motive was wrong. They wanted to show how spiritual they were by their sacrificial giving to the church, by implying they gave all when in truth they only gave some.
Notice verse three. “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?”2 Did they lie to the believers in the local church? Yes. But Peter says this deception before the church was actually a sin against the Holy Spirit. Also, he said what they did was influenced by the Devil. So they died.
I don’t know the motivation for what people do what they do in the church and in their daily lives (I only know my own motives and sometimes I wonder about that). But God does know. Suppose God started doing to us what happened to Ananias and Sapphira, how many of us would be alive? But God is God of grace and compassion. So if we do what we do from wrong motives, He gives us this challenge and a subsequent promise:
“If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.”3“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”4
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”1
What is your most treasured possession? What do you have that you are most proud about? Is there something about yourself that you boast about (maybe not verbally, but with your attitude)?
The psalmist wrote, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses.” “Trust” is not in the Hebrew. It is supplied by the KJV translators to smooth out the translation. The NASB uses the word “boast.” This apparently is based upon the word “remember,” which the NASB translates “boast.” The word “remember” means to proclaim, tell or assert.
There are those who boast of their chariots and horses. The image refers to military might or power. These boasters rely upon and boast of themselves and their toys to conquer the world.
In stark contrast the psalmist declares, “But we will boast about the name of the Lord our God.” Name has reference to character. The foundation and superstructure of the life of a child of God exists as a result of the nature of God. He who is loving, holy, just, compassionate, all powerful, all knowing and patient.
As you face your today, where should you place your confidence? In yourself? In your toys? In your money? Or in the Lord, your God?
- Psalm 20:7 [↩]