Bad Girls of the Bible: Sapphira

Bad Girls of the Bible | Liz Curtis Higgs

Some stories in the Bible are meant to strike fear in our hearts. This is one of them. Not because something eerie goes bump in the night, but because the Holy Ghost displays his mighty power.

You may remember when Aragorn asked Frodo, “Are you frightened?” The wee Hobbit’s answer was “Yes,” but Aragorn warned him, “Not nearly frightened enough.”

The apostle Peter had a similar conversation with a woman named Sapphira. Was she frightened enough to speak the truth? Alas, she was not.

Final resting place

Chapter 6: Generous to a Fault
Acts 5:1-11

Our story begins with a magnanimous gift and ends with a miraculous expansion.

The scary bit is in the middle, where we meet a couple who ignored God’s teaching: “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). Instead of being fearful, Ananias and Sapphira were foolhardy.

They were members of the early church, the first body of people to worship the risen Christ. “God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them” (Acts 4:33), this growing group of new believers shared all they had with one another. People who owned lands or houses sold them and gave the money to the apostles, who distributed it to “anyone who had need” (Acts 4:35).

Wow. You can imagine how grateful people were, praising generous givers like Barnabas, who sold a field “and put the money at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 4:37).

Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property too. So far, so good. Then Ananias kept part of the money for himself, “with his wife’s full knowledge” (Acts 5:2). True, this deception wasn’t her idea, but Sapphira was privy to it from the start, and willingly went along with her husband’s plan.


Danger, my dear

When Ananias stood alone before Peter, the apostle asked him, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit?” (Acts 5:3) Clearly, the evil one had “influenced” (CEB) and “tempted” (DRA) Sapphira’s husband, such that he’d “let Satan take control” (GNT).

Jesus once charged the Pharisees, “You appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (Matthew 23:28). In the same way, this man’s heart and mind were filled to the brim with the Adversary’s lies, crowding out the truth of the Holy Spirit.

How can we be sure the same thing will never happen to us? By filling our thoughts with God’s Word, so we recognize the truth when we hear it. “Listen and hear my voice” (Isaiah 28:23), the Lord says to us. “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live” (Isaiah 55:3 KJV).

Other voices may be louder, but none are more loving. Other voices are more demanding, but only One deserves our undivided attention.

Peter reminded Ananias that the land was his own to do with as he wished. Same thing with the money he earned from the sale of it. The problem wasn’t the silver that Ananias pocketed; it was the fact that he lied about having it.

Whether on the page or the computer screen, we sense the heat in Peter’s accusation: “What made you think of doing such a thing?” (Acts 5:4).

But Ananias and Sapphira didn’t think. Or reason or consider the consequences. Instead they listened to the enemy of their souls, and ignored the One who loved them, who came to earth for them, who gave his life for them.

His sacrifice

“You have not lied to men but to God” (Acts 5:4) Peter told him. How could Ananias and Sapphira do that? Because they’d ceased believing in God’s sovereignty, in God’s omnipotence, in God’s knowledge of all things.

Ananias and Sapphira thought they could get away with lying because they’d decided God wasn’t powerful enough to know the difference. Satan had convinced this couple that God couldn’t discern their thoughts, couldn’t know their motives, couldn’t discover their secrets.

Something had to be done. An example had to be made. The newborn church needed to know that the Spirit of God wields the power of life and death, and will not be tested. Not in any season and not for any reason.

We hold our breath, waiting for Ananias to fall to his knees—confessing, repenting, begging for mercy, something. He fell down, all right. “And died” (Acts 5:5). Right there. On the spot. No second chances.

Told you this was a scary story.

His neighbors and friends were frightened too. With Ananias’s dead body still lying there, “great fear seized all who heard what had happened” (Acts 5:5). Truth is, “everyone who heard about his death was terrified” (GW).

Don't look now

I believe this was exactly the reaction God wanted.

His followers had only recently been filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). These men and women needed to know what kind of supernatural power they were dealing with.

The Holy Spirit is serious business. He isn’t a messenger of God, a servant of God, a friend of God: he is God. We cannot escape his presence. We cannot keep things hidden from him. We cannot lie to him.

Though this is a unique scene in the New Testament, it serves as a reminder of Satan’s determination to mislead the flock. Paul warned the church, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked” (Galatians 6:7).

Ananias was deceived, and now he was dead, carried out and buried by a devout group of young men.

As for Sapphira, her own reckoning was drawing near.

Tick tock

About three hours later Sapphira came before Peter, “not knowing what had happened” (Acts 5:7). That’s odd. If everyone else got the news, why was Sapphira out of the loop?

I think they were all too scared to tell her. Clearly God was putting this couple to the test and their neighbors were not about to interfere.

When Peter asked Sapphira, “Is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” (Acts 5:8), her life hung in the balance. She didn’t know that. But everyone present did.

Can’t you see them, with their strained expressions? Wanting to stop her. Wanting to help her. Choose wisely, Sapphira. Speak the truth.

Now imagine the faces of your friends. Do they ever look concerned for you, fearful for you? Have they been cautioning you lately, urging you to draw you closer to God?

Hard as it is for us to confess the truth, it’s far more dangerous to spill out a lie.

“Yes,” Sapphira said, “that was all we got for the field” (Acts 5:8 ERV).


One very frustrated apostle steeled himself for what he knew was coming next.

Frustrated Peter

Sapphira was as guilty as her husband, and Peter knew it. “Why did you people plot to test the Spirit of the Lord?” (Acts 5:9 CJB).

In the first century, a wife could insist she’d merely obeyed her husband’s orders, and she would forego any punishment for his wrongdoing. But Peter held Sapphira responsible for her sin, even as God holds us responsible for ours.

No more hiding, dear sisters. Not behind our fathers, our husbands, our bosses, our friends, our foes. Men and women both sin; men and women both need a Savior.

But for Ananias, and now for Sapphira, it was too late.

“Immediately” (ASV), “all at once” (KNOX), “straightaway” (GNV), she fell down at Peter’s feet, and “breathed her last” (ESV).

The same young men who’d carried away her husband’s body now buried her beside him. A tragic story, steeped in regret. If only they’d donated all the money. If only they’d spoken the truth, instead of a lie. If only they’d asked for mercy.

But they did none of the above. Instead, they listened to the wrong voice. They exchanged the truth for a lie. If you’re thinking, “Wasn’t Ananias the true Bad Boy in this story?”, he was indeed. But Sapphira was led astray by the same evil voice. She did nothing to stop her husband. She did nothing to stop herself.

Yet, even this gruesome story has a redemptive ending.


The closing verses of Acts 5 tells us what happened after Sapphira’s downfall: “Everyone who heard of these things had a healthy respect for God” (MSG). And well they might!

Although two lives were lost, thousands were saved for eternity because of Ananias and Sapphira’s example of what not to do. The Bible tells us, “More and more men and women [woo hoo!] believed in the Lord and were added to their number” (Acts 5:14).

That woo hoo is entirely mine, of course. Still, it is exciting that women, who seldom counted in that culture, were now numbered among the “throngs of believers” (CJB).

Though Sapphira was Bad for a Moment, her first-century sisters learned an important lesson from her mistakes. So has every generation since.

Here’s a Discussion Question

What excuses do you suppose Ananias and Sapphira gave each other to justify their subterfuge? What are some practical ways you can prevent yourself from falling into an excuse-making mode when the temptation to lie strikes?

Excuses? Sadly, I’m very good at coming up with those. Here are some possibilities for A & N:
“No one else knows.”
“It’s our money, isn’t it?”
“Look how much we did give.”
“Others probably set some aside too.”
“This will be our little secret.”
“God knows we need the money.”

How can I keep from going down the same road? Call an excuse what it really is—a lie—and speak the truth to myself. Aloud, if necessary:
God knows, even if people don’t.”
“It’s all his money.”
“No one can out-give God.”
“What others give is between them and the Lord.”
“With God, there are no secrets.”
“God will provide for my needs.”

Keep bringing these to mind, Father, and a thousand more. Help me exchange Satan’s lies for your truth. Make yourself known to me, so I am ever aware of your presence. Remind me that I cannot hide, and because of your grace, I don’t need to.

Now it’s your turn

How would you answer the same two-part question: 1) What excuses do you suppose Ananias and Sapphira gave each other to justify their subterfuge? And 2) What are some practical ways you can prevent yourself from falling into an excuse-making mode when the temptation to lie strikes?

Share your thoughts under Post a Comment below. You can be sure I’ll read and be blessed by each one.

And do take a peek at Sapphira’s green-with-envy Pinterest board. It’s a gem.

Next week, we’ll get to know one of our favorite Former Bad Girls, Rahab. Oh, the stories that woman could tell! Until then, bless for you making time for God’s Word in your busy life.

Your sister, Liz

35 Responses to Bad Girls of the Bible: Sapphira

  1. Susan Stitch October 10, 2013 at 7:45 am #

    A terribly tragic, sad story. How many times do we each deserve this fate? One question this brings up for me, though, is where did the souls of Ananias and Sapphira go? They had been saved and had the Holy Spirit resident in them…did they go to Heaven? Guess this is a question that has been debated for centuries — once saved always saved?

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      A very sticky question to start the day, Susan! And a very reasonable one.

      The truth is, we have no evidence of Ananias and Sapphira having been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit to begin with—in fact, quite the opposite. Peter says that Satan filled their hearts. The Holy Spirit to whom they lied, then, would not have been residing in them, but in Peter and the apostles. If that’s the case, Ananias and Sapphira were tares among the wheat.

      Respected commentator Matthew Henry, my go-to guy, debates the question on the fate of their souls, then comes to the conclusion, “Secret things belong not to us.” God alone knows where this couple is spending eternity. Another commentator wrote, “The life of the couple is taken, but we do not know whether they rejected salvation itself. The lesson for us is simply that we should not challenge or test God.”

      So, there you are, sis. A story like this gives us the opportunity to examine our own motives, our own actions, and seek the Lord’s forgiveness. He is incredibly patient with those who are truly his!

  2. Jamie October 10, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    Liz: thank you for your amazing messages. We need to remember that deceit is just a part of lying. Omission can be as damaging to our relationship with God and others, as can be the direct act of lying. Let’s be transparent with all the details, girls. God knows them and is just waiting for us to release it all to Him. His love will cover our omissions and commissions, then our hearts will be prepared to be filled to overflowing with His joy.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      Beautifully put, Jamie.

    • Susan October 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

      Love what you said about omission . . .so often it isn’t what i say – but what i don’t say.

  3. Brenda Taylor October 10, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    I can imagine them saying something like, Who do they think they are? They can’t really expect us to turn over every penny to them. And what they don’t know won’t hurt them. (It didn’t!)

    For myself, I find that I’m asking God to put a lock on my tongue, frequently, and not just to stop me from telling a lie, but more often to help me just keep my big mouth shut!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      Me too, me too, me too.

      • Karen October 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

        Amen to that! I often wish that I could put tape over my mouth sometimes.

  4. Tracy October 10, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    The thought “we deserve this” might have entered their minds.
    One thing I am learning in my life, is that I ask God to expose anything that is not pleasing to Him. I don’t want to hide anything from Him, as if I could. I am learning humbly so much about the Sovereignty of God and in learning more and more about Him, makes me more humble because of who He is in my life. But, even more, who Jesus is to me and the Holy Spirit. I long for a mighty move of the Holy Spirit into my life and in doing so, I know that this will bring expose to my life. The Holy Spirit has to deal with things that are not pleasing to God in my life.

    I Corinthians 4:5 — Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

    I want to be cleansed with His holiness and righteousness and be adorned with the goodness of God. I pray for God to expose my heart but in doing so, it is not always easy to see or hear what He exposes because it brings forth the truth of what is hiding or who I am.

    Love your blogs and I am so blessed by them all!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      So appreciate seeing where your mind and heart are traveling, Tracy. Exposure sounds incredibly frightening, until we remember that our loving Lord will be the one who shine his light into those dark corners. So comforting.

  5. Susan Greene Ireland October 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    1. Ananias and Sapphira gave each other to justify their subterfuge? Sapphira darling you know we give so much, and this is our land, we have worked hard, let us keep a little for our old age. 2. practical ways you can prevent yourself from falling into an excuse-making mode when the temptation to lie strikes? They could have talked with Peter in private, explained their reasoning, because first it was their land, but 2nd they had already entered into a contract with the community. I have learned to say No or Yes. But how many times when we are telling a long story do we add a word , it just jumps in there, and have to immedately , say oh no, I mean ? — Satan is tricky, we have to be trickier 🙂 and not give into anything that jepordizes our place in eternity.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

      LOVE your suggested excuse of “keeping a little for our old age”! With each year I’m more aware of that “setting something aside just in case” mentality, instead of trusting God and being as generous as possible. Thanks for the reminder, Susan.

  6. Susan October 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    i think sometimes the person i lie to the most is me. sometimes the things i hide the most from are my thoughts and fears. Both affect my relationship with God. Because, honestly trust is a big issue for me. People i loved the most in this world betrayed my trust – breaking my heart and spirit in so many ways. I am thankful for His Spirit that lives within me that brings healing and the desire to try to trust. I must admit a part of me understands why Sapphira did what she did – -because sometimes it is hard to give it all to God. I think we all are guilty of withholding something from God. Although we know it is wrong, although we don’t want to, although we know we would have peace if we let it go . . .but sometimes it is so hard! God is the one i am most honest with, because He sees and knows it all anyway – sometimes i have to ask Him to help me see, help free me from my own thoughts, to give me courage and strength. to TRUST that even though things might not be how i want them to be, He is here. always. thank you for this devotion . .it has given me a lot to ponder.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

      Bless you for your honesty, Susan. I’m very sorry you’ve been betrayed and heartbroken. So thankful to know your relationship with God is strong and deep, despite those painful experiences. I hear what you’re saying about struggling to give it all to God. Many of us are right there with you Thanks for giving me the honor of encouraging you in some small way each week.

  7. Robin October 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    You certainly ask thought-provoking questions, transporting me from a more complacent just-the-facts approach that I tend to take! As I’ve been pondering these questions today, I wonder whether they considered God in their attitudes and actions. As they appeared to have thirsted for accolades and praises from the early church, they seemed to have succumbed to the pride of life that John warned of in 1 John 2:16. One approach may be to remember–who we were, what we were saved from, and and how we desire to joyfully obey our Savior and Redeemer (thinking of Ephesians 2:1-10). When realizing the temptations & sins that we are prone to, perhaps we need to meditate and hum truths recorded in songs/hymns/spiritual songs such as Amazing Grace or Wonderful Grace of Jesus (these oldies are so in-grained in my head from years of singing). This is one way to practice the excellent teaching you gave above: “How can we be sure the same thing will never happen to us? By filling our thoughts with God’s Word, so we recognize the truth when we hear it. “

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

      Humming a song of praise when we need to remind ourselves of what God has done for us is an EXCELLENT plan, Robin. I often sing when I’m alone in the car. Yes, I’ve caught people giggling at me at stop lights, but whatever! LOL

    • Tina W. October 11, 2013 at 9:55 am #

      I was thinking along the same lines as you Robin. The main sin committed here was PRIDE! This couple wanted to look good in the eyes of the congregation! How many times are we motivated by what others will think of us? Lord help me give and serve for the right reasons: obedience and love!
      Also like you Robin, I am encouraged so much by hymns and songs…it is very good advise indeed to sing those words when we are in a tough situation!

  8. cathy gross October 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Scares the be-jeebers out of me! Then I work around to remembering that I am saved by grace and forgiven and justified through Jesus. So, it’s all OK. Except for the fact that I love Him so much that I do not want to hurt Him. And lies hurt Him mightily, even subtle lies or lies of omission.
    What were they thinking? Probably the old, “nobody will know” and the need to look as good as the Joneses, if not better. It happens when we are the center of our lives instead of God living there.
    It behooves us to walk carefully, uprightly and stay focused. It would be easy to slide down the slippery road of self-deception and self-promotion. Sobering.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      Absolutely right, Cathy. Our salvation is wholly dependent on the grace of God, and not on our own actions. (Hugs sigh of relief). This was a hard story to revisit. I’m more than ready for the REDEMPTION we’ll find next week with Rahab!

  9. Sandy Keil October 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    I am amazed that this year has brought such an awareness of the Holy Spirit into my life!…Bible Studies at church and at home, and now yours! I thank God every day for my days on earth to learn more and more about Him!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

      I’m with you, Sandy: everywhere I turn of late there is something new to learn about the Spirit of the Lord. He shows up BIG TIME in The Women of Christmas. filling Elizabeth, then prompting Mary to burst into song. Wow.

  10. Tammy Ondik October 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    I am so humbled and reminded of God’s mercy on me. How many times, in my giving, have I advised “I bought this for the church or that”? God doesn’t want our excuses! Just our love and a relationship with Him. Fear God? You bet I do! He created me. As mama used to say “I brought you into this world! I can take you back out!” Well, with God, that is so much more a reality. Oh Precious Father, let me ever walk close to you! Forgive me when I stumble. And, Lord? Bless my precious friend Liz! You have endowed her with a creative way to relate your word to her fellow sisters. I am so thankful! <3

  11. Tina W. October 11, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Thanks once again Liz for sharing the truths God has put in your heart! I’m looking forward to hearing about Rahab next week!

  12. Kathy T. October 11, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Wow! How can you possibly lie and think you are getting away with it? The Holy Spirit knows everything. I get so mad at the enemy when he tricks me and i lie! Thank you Lord that you are so forgiving and help me grow and be better at telling the whole complete truth! Help me Jesus.

  13. Thelma Fraser October 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    The Christian Bible passage, about Ananias and Sapphira, which you mentioned, and which I’ve been looking at, is from Acts 4: 30 to Acts 5: 11. You said, in your reply to Susan Stitch, ‘The truth is, we have no evidence of Ananias and Sapphira having been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit to begin with, but that is not really correct, Liz. If you look at Acts 4: 31 – we are told that – (‘and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit'(Good News Bible/’Ghost'(Library Reference Bible – Oxford Universit Press), ‘and they spake the word of God with boldness’ (L.R.B. )/’and began to proclaim God’s message/with boldness.’ (G.N.B.) Please, notice the word – ‘all’. and so on to Acts 5; 11.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      I am DELIGHTED to be challenged (and so gently) by a sister who is “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV). Thanks for pointing us back to Scripture, Thelma. Well done.

      Though Ananias and Sapphira are not specifically mentioned in Acts 4:31, “all” certainly suggests they might indeed have been included in that outpouring and infilling of the Holy Spirit. However, whenever Luke refers to believers by name in the book of Acts, he introduces them by saying, “A certain disciple named…” But Acts 5:1 simply reads, “A man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira…” So this couple may (we cannot be certain) have been merely observers of this new church, rather than Spirit-filled participants.

      Clearly their motive from the start was to win the applause of men. Pride was the heart of the matter (isn’t it always?), born not of the Holy Spirit, but of the unholy spirit.

      Again, I’m drawn back to Peter’s statement about Satan filling the heart of Ananias. The same was said of Judas. He, too, appeared to be one of the Lord’s loyal disciples, but proved not to be.

      I did further research and found, as you might guess, widely differing opinions on whether or not these two were truly saved, then truly lost. One could make a case for either. Yet the evidence throughout the New Testament regarding the security of our salvation brings me back to my original conclusion: they were never part of the body of Christ.

      In light of this story, perhaps the most important question we need to ask ourselves is, where do we stand? The Bible tells us our salvation is dependent wholly on the grace of God: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

      I’ve done nothing to deserve God’s mercy, and many things worthy of his wrath. If he has chosen to forgive me, rather than punish me, all I can do is fall on my face and say “Thank you.”

      This was the hardest chapter of Bad Girls of the Bible for me to write. Even now, fourteen years later, I still struggle with the implications of this story. So, I truly appreciate the chance to dig deeper and look closer. When I get something right, praise the Lord alone. When I get something wrong, bless you for your patience!

      • Kathy T. October 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

        Oh Liz, I love your humble spirit and your intense secure knowledge of the scriptures. You are such a great teacher. Your gentle kind but direct answer is so respected. Thelma gave a challenge and you dug right towards scripture for the answer, may we all learn from your teaching. Thank you -KT

      • cathy gross October 16, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

        I once asked our pastor about an issue within the church body which troubled me. I approached him, actually I challenged him. He answered me kindly touching on every detail and ended by thanking me for coming to “reason through this together”. How precious that as Believers we can reason through things together without anger or malice. Thank you for your example ladies.

  14. Beth S. October 13, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    Definitely food for thought, Liz. I lie to myself and that is what gets me into trouble. I keep telling myself I am too busy to read my morning devotions. Oh my….too busy? I am not too busy to check my email a hundred times a day (on my phone, on my laptop, on my iPad) and I am not too busy to post on Facebook and check out my friends’ posts as well. Then I tell myself that if I just had a quiet place…..uh…stop right there. I DO have a quiet place. I have a beautiful sunroom, with a comfy wicker chair and footstool, overlooking our back yard, complete with my CD player where I can listen to my Cece Wyans CD (from the Women of Faith conference in Indianapolis in August). I can set my alarm 30 minutes earlier, grab my OJ, and mosey out to the sunroom and spend at least 45 minutes with the Lord. Why do I lie to myself so often? Don’t I realize that starting the day in quiet time and prayer will only enrich my attitude and give me the fresh perspective I need? Don’t I know that when I deny myself that time, that I am showing God that I don’t need Him? I DO need Him. When am I going to stop lying to myself and do something about it?

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 13, 2013 at 9:31 am #

      A worthy question for every one of us, Beth. The adversary excels in keeping believers “too busy” for God’s Word. What about starting with just 5 minutes a day for a week, then 10 minutes a day for week, and so on? By easing into a discipline, it soon becomes habit, and then becomes pleasure, and finally becomes the one thing you cannot live without. So appreciate your honesty here, and the food for thought YOU have provided.

      • Beth S. October 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

        Just what I needed to hear, LIz! Thank you. I have to share that my daughter and I loved your talk at the Women of Faith in Indianapolis, plus I heard you at Women’s Day Away in Wooster, Ohio last fall. I enjoy your books and have given several for gifts also. Thank you for your insight, your presentation, and your story.

        FIve minutes each day this week. I am on it!

  15. Tamara October 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    I am enjoying these Bible Study Blogs, they really have made me think and that is a good thing. I don’t know wheather A and S were saved or not but they were hanging around the church and attempting to do like the Christians. 1. They planned this out and agreed on what they would do and say. 2. They knew about God and wanted to look good in front of others but didn’t know God enough to believe him or trust him. 3. They trusted themselves and they had it all figured out. I read this story as a reminder and a wake up call that God is real, and he is very serious about his Word. It can be hard to be truthful because of fear of what others are going to think of me. Little lies, half truths, exaggerastion, omitting of things, these are very easy to do when you care about how you look to others more than you care about what God thinks. It’s hard to admit that your human and that you make mistakes. God already knows it and I find it easy to ask for forgiveness from him but I don’t want anyone else to know my short comings. Would it be worth it to look good and fall out with God, certainly not. The days are short and I want to stand unashamed at the throne and hear him say “Well done” it would be better to swollow my pride here on earth than to be lost.4. We live under Grace but I am reminded that God is very serious and every word of the Bible is true and it is not a suggestion. Thank you for this lesson.

  16. Rebecca Mahannah October 14, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    This is such a soul searching part of scripture and question. Even if they were filled with the Holy Spirit, Satan could still get to them. They would have been new members of the body of Christ and new are so vulnerable today as well as then. We who have the Holy Spirit in us are still vulnerable no matter how long we’ve been a member\Christian. They most likely were persuaded by those before them that sold their properties and gave their money to the Apostles. Maybe they calculated what was given and found that they had much more to give and that was seed Satan planted in them. They knew that the others gave all of the profits from their sales and they did not trust that God would take care of them if they gave all of their profits and so the seed gets watered and starts to grow. They reasoned with each other about keeping some money back for themselves but they didn’t want anyone else to know that they didn’t give all. Here we have a full grown tree called pride & looking good to all. The Holy Spirit also condemns our sins and so they became a warning to others looking on and us today. I need to continually pray our Lord to let me catch myself when I try to excuse myself. Thank you sister Liz for this study.

  17. Karen October 17, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    Thank you, Liz, for such wonderful studies. You have a wonderful way of bringing so many points to light that I had never seen before. After reading this story on Sapphira, I immediately felt guilty and burdened. I have made some very wrong choices while being a Christian, and this story really brought it all back to me. I had already asked Jesus to forgive me and moved on. But I still felt so guilty. I asked, “Why did you not spare Sapphira and you spared me? I’m just as guilty!” He spoke to my heart, ever so gently, “Because I knew Sapphira’s heart and I know your heart.” The things that I have done were not for the same reasons that Sapphira had. But yet, they were wrong. I am SO thankful for God’s love, mercy and grace. I think we take it for granted! At least I do! Thank you so much, Liz, for the wonderfu job you are doing. What a ministry you have! God bless you, dear sister!