Daily Devotional

Friday, September 9, 2016

Witholding

 “Ananias", Peter asked, "why has Satan filled your heart to lie and keep back part of the proceeds of the land?" When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died.     Acts 5:3&5

The story of Ananias and Sapphira is direct and jarring. The message is stark—people who horde goods and resources for themselves die; those who share with one another live. The consequences of greed and gluttony may not be immediate death, but there is a very real spiritual death that comes from not sharing with others. Ananias and Sapphira began to die the moment they began to commiserate about what they would withhold for themselves, and withhold from God.

Our world is imperiled not by a lack of resources but by a lack of generosity. There is a personal consequence to our lack of generosity: the spirit within us shrivels and our lives begin to shrink from the grand design God has for them. Greed brings death; generosity produces life.

What are you holding back from God?

Lord, I am not nearly as generous as I could or should be. I do not think expansively of my giving, therefore there are limits to my living. I withhold so much for myself that my spiritual growth is stunted and my faith falters. Help to unleash my generosity—and the generosity of all your people—so that everyone will have what they need. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.