Unstoppable! 'Holy Fear' — Acts 5:5-14

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

As soon as Ananias heard these words [about his lie to God], he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, "Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?"

"Yes," she replied, "that was the price."

And Peter said, "How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too."

Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.

The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon's Colonnade. But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord — crowds of both men and women.

— Acts 5:5-14 NLT

Key Thought

Reverence, awe, and holy fear toward God and holy things seem to have no part in the predominant culture's approach to God. This view wants to shape a new god, one who fits its liking and who is easy on behaviors the Bible defines as sin. In fact, this culture wants to remake God into its image and erase God's calling for his people to have righteous character as well as gracious compassion. Culture wants to call rebellious sin a mistake. Culture wants to call our sexual affairs expressions of love. But then, humans have been making excuses for their sins since the beginning. The story of Ananias and Sapphira should awaken us to a holy fear of lying, hedging, distorting, and discarding God's calling on us to be a holy people.

Today's Prayer

O God, I'm sorry. Before I feel like I can ask you to forgive our sins, I must first ask you to reawaken me from my lethargy to the consequences of those sins. Open my eyes to see that it deeply angers and saddens you when I relabel my evil behaviors as choices. Please forgive me. O Father, I want to be generous and gracious toward all people while honoring you with the character you have called me to live. So I'm asking the Holy Spirit to help me be a person who reflects your faithfulness, righteous character, and gracious compassion. I want to be holy as you are holy. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ephesians 4:17-32
  • 1 Peter 1:13-16, 2:8-12

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About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.