God must not be deceived

You’ve come to the right place, and it’s great. We receive blessings from the Lord as we listen to His Word, are in the meeting of the saints, and in the presence of the Spirit of the living God, Who leads us on the right path to truth. When we leave here, we will bring light into this world because we have received the Word and we must pass it on. Glory to the Lord.

We have come together in His honor to bring a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to Him and also our tithes. We must bring what belongs to Him according to His commandments. Believers have received Jesus into their hearts as their Savior and decided to follow His ways and keep all the commandments. We promised God that we would receive the Word and keep the Word.

You know, when we give something, we find such benevolent words in the Scriptures like for example he who sows generously receives generously; you give and receive thirty, sixty, and a hundred times, and we are happy and sing with a happy heart, because we have faith and hope that God will reward us. God is very loving, but He is also very harsh, and He punishes for disobedience and deception. He punishes us for being often unfaithful. When we do something like this, we are not deceiving people. We may give something insincerely, but God sees that we are cheating and we will be certainly punished.

I want to remind you of a story in the book of Acts where the church received the gifts of the Holy Ghost. The people who had been given much sold their property, their land, and brought the money to the Lord. They helped people and those who had nothing.

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property.  With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 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 just to human beings but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fearseized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.  Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! 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. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. (Acts 5:1-11)

Seeing the money brought to the apostles’ feet, they also decided to sell their property, but they wanted to be honored by the people. They wanted to show people that they are good and do the same things. Both the man and the woman lied that they were selling the plot at that price. When asked, then no one forced them to lie. They could have said that we sold for that amount and kept this much for ourselves.

I believe that would have been the right thing to do. If we promise to give God a certain amount of money, we must not deceive. We should make sacrifices as we have decided in your heart to give. People must not pretend and deceive the Holy Spirit at any cost.

That is why we have sacrificial boxes here, and we thank God for what we must give Him and what we can and want to give. Let us not deceive ourselves, the Holy Spirit, or our Creator, who gives us everything.

Be blessed and honor God with our sacrifices and tithes.