Posts Tagged ‘Ananias’


Acts 25:18-19
When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive.

Years after Paul was first charged by Ananias and then brought to Caesarea, his trial continues under the new leadership of Festus and now King Agrippa. This is part of a conversation Festus has with Agrippa regarding Paul and what stood out to me was Festus’ understanding of Paul’s belief in a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. It made me wonder about what the Jews and any non-believers thought about Paul’s beliefs and similarly our belief. It made me wonder why people found it so hard to believe at all?

To most people, religion is a something they do and they do it because it is taught to them, expected of them and makes them feel secure. It is something they cling to for self-comfort and therefore is about their needs being met. For Paul and believers in Jesus, it is about a relationship with God that saved us from the depths of hell. It is not an act but a realization of the truth. Today I am reminded that I need to stop judging those around me, those in authority, etc. but that I should be focussed on seeking the Lord and living a life modeled on His own and let God use our lives as a testimony of lives transformed by Him.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Acts 23:1-5
Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!” Those who were standing near Paul said, “You dare to insult God’s high priest?” Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’”

What a tense many moments that must have been for Paul and his accusers. Paul’s statement of completing God’s will did not go well with Ananias who ordered he be hit on the mouth for such an utterance. Paul reacted because he knew Ananias was making a mistake of calling on judgment without a decision being made on whether he was guilty or free because Ananias, as President of the Sanhedrin, could only pronounce judgment on the accused when proven guilty. All of this changes when someone from the crowd reminds Paul that Ananias needs to be respected and Paul corrects himself. Was Paul wrong in condemning Ananias and what is the Lord speaking to us through this?

Paul was aware that there were a few among his accusers who might be open to the gospel and instead of confusing them chose to correct himself. However, we have to note that he does not apologize to Ananias but only corrects himself for speaking against those in authority as is taught in the Bible. For a man wrongfully accused, he certainly showed grace in the midst of persecution and this is not something that comes naturally to us. I am reminded today that in this life there will be trouble because we stand up with Jesus against the forces of evil and we are to always remember that we are to be lighthouses for Christ in this dark world. We are mirrors of God’s love to those who need him and our joy is to serve God with our all.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Acts 9:17-18, 20, 33-34, 40
Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again…At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God…There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up…Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.

I apologize for often sending cryptic passages from the chapter. The intent is to give you a sense of where I am coming from but it must be difficult to decipher the “code”. As I read today’s chapter, the sense I got was that the disciples were sounding more like superheroes again and the people who were witness to these incidents might be confused whether to put their faith in the disciples or in Jesus because they were performing astounding miracles. Saul was blinded and then received sight through Ananias’ touch, Aeneas, a paralytic was able to walk again by Peter’s command and finally Tabitha who died before Peter’s arrival was brought to life by Peter’s command. Why was God working through specific people and what is he saying to us today?

I’ve often noticed ads in newspapers from people who have received blessings for prayer needs and the credit goes to St. Peter, or St. John, etc. This was also something I remember being told when I was a child and lost something, that I was to recite a prayer and I would get it back and then I was to be indebted to the saint who brought it about. Upon reading these miracles, it is easy for people to put their faith in the miracle workers instead of the one who gives them the ability, Jesus Christ. Jesus said and the disciples maintained that he is the way, the truth and the life and no one goes to the father except through him. The disciples worked through the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God and so can we. Our focus should be on Jesus alone and our faith should be in him, not in the miracles or the ones who performed it on God’s behalf. Saul was chosen by God for his glory as it says in verse 15 & 16.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Acts 5:3-5a, 9-10a
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? 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 to men but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died…Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she fell down at his feet and died.

The believers were all one in heart and mind and shared everything they had with each other. Those that had land and property sold them and brought the money to the apostles to use in the community and no one lacked anything. This is not something we can do today because we are worried how we will manage before we can worry about even our own family, forget our family in Christ. The issue highlighted in today’s passage is not just about sharing all we have with each other but about lying to the Holy Spirit. Is that an issue we face?

I have had severe difficulty dealing with lying because I lied for no reason most of my life and the Lord had to scrape it out of me in very painful ways. I am still tempted to lie about things just to sound ‘cool’ or to get away from a situation and the consequences are often dire. In the passage above, it talks about lying to the Holy Spirit and to God and this might sound alien to you but it’s really not. What Ananias and Sapphira did might have seemed like self-preservation but to the Lord, it was a break of trust. We are reminded today that we are not people of this world but God’s chosen ones and our lives are a living testimony of God`s saving grace. Therefore, we need to seek ways to glorify God and not to shame him or we will face his wrath!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share this with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.