“Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” Acts 5:29
“Sharing is caring”
At the end of Acts 4 we see once again the followers of Jesus sharing all that they have with one another. As we begin to read Acts 5 we get a more in-depth look as to what community looks like in every day life. A couple, Ananias & Sapphira, sold a piece of property. Together they devised a plan to give some of the money to the faith community while misleading everyone to falsely believe that the couple was giving all of the money.
This lie did not work out well for them. No spoiler alerts here. You can read for yourself what were the results of their actions.
The lesson for us to learn today is the importance of authenticity.
Ananias & Sapphira were not authentic and paid the consequences for it.
In the same chapter we read about how Peter and the Apostles were once again brought before the religious leaders (the Sanhedrin). They were told another time to stop sharing the Gospel of Jesus and healing people by His name. The religious leaders did not want the Apostles to take people away to follow Jesus. So they ordered the Apostles to stop all together.
How did the Apostles respond? With fear? With nonchalance?
The Apostles said, “We must obey God rather than human beings.” (Acts 5:29).
The faith of the Apostles was authentic. It flowed out of them in their words and with their actions. They did not put up a front to ‘show off’ in front of the public. One way you can say is their social media life matched their real life.
So here is the question before us: Are we authentic in our faiths in all aspects of our lives?
Look at your social media. Is what you post online truly represent who you are in real life? Are you trying to be one person online and a different person in real life? Ask yourself why that may be if you are different.
Or are you one way in one area of life and another in your faith journey? Is there a reason you may try to hide your faith around a certain friend group?
Being authentic in one’s faith journey is difficult at times. As we have seen so far with the Apostles they were thrown in jail for being authentic followers of Jesus. It was not a smooth road for them to travel on. There are times we will face struggles while we are authentic in our own faith journeys. If we try to deceive others the lie will be found out as it was with Ananias and Sapphira.
This week take time in your devotional time to define what being authentic in your faith journey looks like in daily life. Think about what message you want to share with the world about Jesus. Consider what actions you can do each day that help convey that message. See how your social media posts are a way to also share that message.
It is in seeing the difference in our lives that others begin to question what is the reason for the difference. #ActsofDisciples @ReSolvedFaithTweet
Authenticity is a strong way to share the Gospel message with others. It is in seeing the difference in our lives that others begin to question what is the reason for the difference. They look at our actions and our words to make sure they match up. If they do then questions are asked. If they don’t match then they do not see the importance of faith in one’s life.
So take the time to see how you can be authentic in your faith. Be assured you do not need to be perfect. Remember we live by grace, freely forgiven by God when we repent (aka admit sin, ask for forgiveness, change behavior/attitude). Being authentic is also sharing about the lows and how God carries us through them.
May you be encourage by Peter and the Apostles knowing that no obstacle or difficulty will separate you from the love of God. May you be authentic in your faith so others may ask what is different in your life.
This Week’s Challenge
How can you be authentic in your faith? Select one thing you can change to this end. Plan it into your day to make this change permanent.