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READING: Acts 5-6 – Apostles Beaten & Care for Widows

Verse of the Day: “If this is of God, you will fail. You will be found fighting against God.” (Gamaliel, Acts 5:39) 

Every church has occasional internal problems. The Jerusalem church was no exception. Some, like Barnabas, were selling property to provide for others and were esteemed highly. However, one couple sold property and brought part of the money to Peter, saying this was all they received.  

Peter said, “Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit,” explaining that they did not have to sell the property, and after selling, they could have kept part. But they chose to lie to God. Ananias fell dead. He was taken out and buried.  

His wife came in about three hours later; Peter asked if they had sold the property for so much. She affirmed what Ananias said. Peter told her, “Those who buried your husband will carry you out.” Sapphira fell dead. 

Fear came on the whole church, who recognized they were forgiven of sins to walk in God’s holy ways. 

Another problem occurred with the daily distribution to the needy. Greeks complained to the Hebrews their widows were neglected. The apostles called the church together and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the Word of God to serve tables.” They suggested the church choose seven men to serve tables while the Apostles devoted themselves to preaching and prayer. The church agreed, and the seven chosen all had Greek names. 

Even “many priests became obedient to the faith.” The apostles were healing many. People brought sick folks from everywhere. “More believers were added to the Lord in great numbers.” 

This made the High Priest, who did not believe in the resurrection, jealous. They arrested all the apostles and put them in the public prison. During the night, an angel opened the door and said, “Go tell the whole message about this new life.” At daybreak, they were in the Temple teaching. 

The High Priest sent for them from prison. They opened the door, and saw no one, though the doors were locked with the guards in place. Someone said they are in the Temple teaching. The High Priest sent for them. The captain went with the Temple police and brought them peacefully. 

The High Priest said, “We ordered you not to teach in this name, but you’ve filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you’re bringing this man’s blood on us.”  

Peter and the apostles answered as before. “We must obey God rather than man. God raised Jesus, whom you killed on the tree, and exalted Him at His right hand as Savior that He might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” 

This enraged them; they wanted to kill them. But Gamaliel, a highly respected teacher, said, “Let them alone; if this is of human origin, it will fail. If it is from God, you will fail. You may be found fighting against God.” They decided to beat them and release them. 

They left, “rejoicing they were worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of His Name.” 

How would we have reacted in their place? 



Father, I wonder about Ananias and Sapphira. Why didn’t they tell Peter they couldn’t give it all, but they would give what they could. Help me to always be honest in my giving. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus. AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me) 

Father, I pray for all who may read these words, and for myself, that we may think about the wisdom of the Apostles as they proposed a division of responsibilities in the church. This is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, AMEN! 

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