Bringing a part

Now a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. He kept back part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge, and brought a partof it and placed it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to deceive the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds of the land?” Acts 5:1-3

Many people wonder what the Holy Spirit has to do with their offerings. Let’s see.

The book of Acts describes the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the early Christians. First of all, when the Lord Jesus commanded the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit from above, it’s important to understand that it was a sacrifice for that group of people to assemble in the Cenacle that day.

Of all the cities of Israel, Jerusalem was the most dangerous for the disciples in the days following the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. Both Roman soldiers and Jewish leaders were hunting for Jesus’ disciples, intent on eradicating the “sect of the Nazarene” once and for all. But it was precisely in Jerusalem that Jesus commanded the disciples to remain. In other words, they were risking their lives.

On the Day of Pentecost, which was the Feast of the First Fruits, the Holy Spirit came down upon them. Of the 365 days in the year when the Spirit could have come down, He came right at the time people were bringing their first fruits to God. A coincidence? Not at all. The message is clear: the Holy Spirit only comes upon those who place God first in their lives.

But one of the most striking facts that illustrates the relationship between an offering (symbol of the surrendered life of a giver) and the Holy Spirit occurs in chapter 5. It is worth reading all the way to verse 11.

Because of greed and an attachment to money, Ananias and Sapphira kept back part of the proceeds of their property and took “a part” to give as an offering to the apostles. The result was disastrous. Instead of being filled with the Holy Spirit, Satan filled their hearts. They lied to the Holy Spirit. They lost their lives, property, money, and worst of all — their salvation.

Many do not receive the Holy Spirit because they only give a part of their lives to Him. And this is reflected in their offerings on the altar.

Ananias and Sapphira were told that they did not need to do that. It would have been better not to promise anything. What they did can be compared to getting married to someone, making vows of love, and then being unfaithful. It would be better not even to get married.

God did not give “part” of Himself for us. Don’t think that you will receive His Spirit if you only give “part” of yourself to Him.

Bishop Edir Macedo