THIS WEEK'S LESSON
ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA
BIBLE PASSAGE: Acts 4–5
STORY POINT: Ananias and Sapphira lied about their gift to the church.
KEY PASSAGE: Romans 12:5
BIG PICTURE QUESTION: What is the church? The church is all Christians everywhere, who gather together in their communities to worship and serve God.
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Overview For Parents:
Something amazing was happening among believers in the early church. Not only was the Holy Spirit changing people’s hearts to believe in Jesus, He was empowering them to live differently. We see the evidence of God’s grace among the believers in Acts 4:32-35. The believers shared everything they had. If one person had a need, someone else gladly gave what he had to meet that need. As a result, “there was not a needy person among them” (Acts 4:34).
Joseph (also known as Barnabas) was one of the disciples living in this way. He sold a field and gave the money to the apostles. But trouble arose when Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold some land. Perhaps they wanted to appear as generous as Barnabas without feeling the full cost of such generosity. They secretly kept back some of the money, and Ananias brought the rest to Peter.
When Peter confronted Ananias, he didn’t tell him he was wrong to only bring part of the money. In fact, Peter said Ananias could have been honest about how the money was divided. Ananias and Sapphira’s sin was in pretending to be generous when they were actually greedy. They had tried to deceive the apostles, but Peter pointed out that they were guilty of trying to deceive God. Ananias dropped dead, and a few hours later his wife did too.
As you teach this story to your kids, avoid using Ananias and Sapphira as a warning to be generous or die. As sinners, we struggle with the temptation of greed. Point kids to Jesus, who forgives our greed and changes us through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit changes our hearts to want to share with those in need because Jesus generously gave all He had so we can share in His riches and have forgiveness and eternal life.
Our Motives Matter
When we do things for the Lord, it's not enough to just do them; our hearts need to have the right motive. A motive is a reason for doing something. So, our reason needs to be right, not just for selfish reasons like making ourselves look good. Our main reasons should be to serve and glorify God, and to help others. What are some things you can do to help others at home, school, church etc? Pray and ask the Lord to help you do these things for the right reasons.
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