Periodical Godliness is Perpetual Hypocrisy
“Periodical godliness is perpetual hypocrisy.”
As much as that quote by Charles Spurgeon stings, it spurs me to ask, “Is there anything I’m withholding from the Lord that causes my life to be one of periodic vs. perpetual godliness?”
Because here’s the thing:
God will disregard what is given if anything is secretly held back.
This is the case with Ananias & Sapphira, a Jewish couple who sells property to give the funds to the early church. While their actions look like self-surrender, they cherish quite the opposite & here’s how we know: when Ananias gives the money to Peter, he offers only a portion while claiming it was the full amount!
Immediately Peter discerns the dishonesty & asks why he’d lie to God. As soon as the man hears Peter’s words, he falls to the floor & dies.
3 hours later his wife returns not knowing what’s happened. Peter asks her if the amount they gave was the price they received, & she lies by replying yes! She too instantly falls to the floor & dies!
Verse 11 tells us that great fear gripped the entire church…and for good reason!
The word for church is ecclesia & it means, “to be called from & to”. It had nothing to do with a building & everything to do with a people called OUT of this world & TO God for His eternal purposes!
The early church’s approach to care was not a communistic share & share alike, but rather a stewardship approach where none would lack.
This couple gives with hypocritical pretense for the greed of applause. The apostles didn’t care if they kept a portion, but God did because it was held dishonestly.
We are all part of the ecclesia, called out from the world to steward our time, talent & treasures so that none will lack.
We ALL have something to give & yet our fast-paced culture makes it easy to settle as consumer Christians who go to a church building without thought that we are holding anything back.
The heart is deceitful above all
Things…I don’t want to live a life of periodic godliness, but one of perpetual surrender.
Oh Lord, the church today lacks a holy fear. May a wide reverence of You fall upon Your people so we may flee hidden hypocrisy in our hearts. Reveal any places we’ve withheld from You.
June 7th One Year Bible Readings
1 KINGS 2:1-3:2