This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Daily Devotional | Sapphira: Deadly Lies Daily Devotional | Sapphira: Deadly Lies

Daily Devotional | Sapphira: Deadly Lies


Are you a truth-teller? We all like to think of ourselves as honest, but sometimes it is difficult to speak truth to others, to ourselves, and even to God. Today’s reading provides a shocking caution against telling lies.

In Acts 4:32–36, Luke painted an idyllic picture of believers living in unity. The early church shared everything. If anyone sold property, the apostles would collect and distribute the funds to people in need. Luke provided the example of Barnabas, who sold his field and donated the proceeds (v. 36).

In Acts 5:1–11, Ananias and Sapphira wanted the same admiration Barnabas had enjoyed. They, too, sold a piece of property. However, instead of donating the entire amount, they kept part of the money for themselves. Ananias brought some of the money to the apostles. Immediately, the Holy Spirit revealed the deception to Peter who accused Ananias of allowing Satan to “fill” (“control” or “influence”) his heart (v. 3). Ananias not only lied to the apostles, he lied to God (v. 4).

Ananias’s giving was not compulsory. God hadn’t demanded it; nor had the apostles. The land had been his to do with as he pleased. So had been the money. Ananias’s sin wasn’t keeping back funds; it was faking generosity. He had lied against God. In Ananias, we see the dangerous progression of sin. Envy led to pride; pride to greed; greed to lies. Instantaneously, Ananias died. The young men removed his body and buried it.

Three hours later, Sapphira arrived, unaware of her husband’s death. Peter questioned her too. Foolishly, she lied as Ananias had done. She also died. Luke wrote that “great fear seized the whole church [ekklesia]” (v. 11). This fear was appropriate, a fear of displeasing the holy God.

>> Sapphira’s story teaches us to take sin seriously. We must always seek to be honest before God and live a life that is open and truthful. Spend some time today in confession. What do you need to bring before God today?

Pray with Us

Help us overcome our shame and frankly confess our sins. You already know what they are, and it is right for us to confess them and ask for Your forgiveness. Please forgive us and restore us to righteousness.

BY Kelli Worrall

Kelli Worrall is Professor of Communications and Chair of the Division of Music and Media Arts at Moody Bible Institute. She is the author of several books, including Pierced and Embraced: 7 Life-Changing Encounters with the Love of Christ. Kelli studied at Cedarville University (BA), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (MRE), and Roosevelt University (MFA). Kelli and her husband, Peter, are parents of two children through adoption and enjoy decorating their Craftsman house.

Find Daily Devotionals by Month