What Are You Holding Back?

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   “But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it 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 for yourself 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? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.” Acts 5:1-5

     In the story above is a grave danger – and warning and message – we ALL need to hear and make any needed changes for Christ’s sake. It ALL boils down to a single four-letter word.

PART. When the new believers in Christ sold their property and gave the proceeds to the apostles so provision could be distributed to all so nobody would lack anything, Ananias and Sapphira held back PART. Not ALL. PART. Peter pointed out they had LIED to the Spirit of God after they let Satan FILL THEIR HEARTS with this lie.

What is the significance of the word PART? They gave SOME. They still were considered liars. Sinners. In their case, worthy of death. Not because they gave NONE. They gave SOME! God wanted ALL. In plain English for us today, God wants ALL of us. Heaven and forever with God are for those who repent of a sin-ridden lifestyle and LIVE FOR CHRIST. Dying to ourselves and giving ALL OF OURSELVES to Christ. Death to self. Life in Christ. Life for Christ! We who claim His promise of forgiveness and eternal life by repenting and believing in Him who died on the cross and was raised from the dead for us BELONG TO CHRIST. ALL we have and are belong to Christ. Not PART. ALL. ALL He desires for us, from us, for Him, we must obey in our love for Him. Holding none of ourselves back. Nor any of what He gives us. Does not God mercifully, patiently, lovingly, albeit firmly, sternly, and with conviction by His Spirit through His Word perfect His love and ways in us so Christ might live in and through us? Shall we not continually repent and seek to become more like Christ, to let go of clutching with our hearts and hands what we have wickedly justified as belonging to us including our very own selves and give to Him ALL who owns us and everything anyway? In love holding  NOTHING back? How wicked we are to justify we have done our “good deed” when we give PART of ourselves and PART of what we possess to God! Has Christ not given ALL to us who are sinners? Shall we not give ALL to Christ who is Lord?  Yes!

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