Seek the Kingdom
Christ is Risen!
When we think of our resources and income, we think about investing for the future. We think about vacations in the Alps. We think about leaving a legacy for our children. It is well known that most Americans live ‘paycheck to paycheck’ thinking only about getting through today. The two concepts, focusing on the future vs. today are not compatible. The same is true when it comes to our spiritual resources.
In those days, a man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Hark, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.Acts 5.1-11
Ananias and Sapphira were conflicted with the idea of how to use their resources. They chose to ‘ride the fence’ and kept some for themselves and gave some to the work of the Church. Instead of thinking about their future with God, they were focused on their future with themselves. It didn’t end well for them.
God has given us His entire creation at our disposal. We “have dominion” over His creation. We covered that part during our Daily Lenten Journey. God gave us His creation SO THAT we could find Him. That means everything we have, from the clothes on our backs to the roof over our head, and the money in our bank accounts, has only one purpose.
If God gave us His creation to find Him, then our resources already belong to Him. That means everything we posses has only one purpose, to serve God’s purpose. The story of Ananias and Sapphira isn’t about how much money they gave to the Church. It is about their inability to see their resources as already having a purpose, God’s purpose.
The fact that they lied to cover up their intentions only served to worsen the situation. If they had confessed, they could have repented, but their greed got the best of them. What’s the lesson here? When we consider our resources, we must consider the work of the Church. We must use our resources for God’s purpose over our own purpose.
That doesn’t mean going hungry or naked. “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6.32-33) When you seek the Kingdom, things ‘just seem’ to work out.