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September 6, 2021 8:00 am
Man looks on the outward appearance, but God is part of today's message from Dr. Don Wilton while we study the word together.
Remember you can leave us firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with Dr. sign up for the Encouraging Word email all online W online.org Dr. Don Wilton Bibles with me please turn to the book of acts book of acts chapter 4 now before I read this morning I want to say to you that listen, my friend, God is using you and I want to command you today to the Lord Jesus Christ and I want to express my gratitude to you. Well done. God bless you. You making a difference. Keep all keep on striving keep on pressing ahead now when we get to the book of acts this morning. I want to ask a question you know I'm full of questions.
But I made Austin's question anyway.
Have you ever been on a picnic with your family and with a group of people and everybody's having the best you having so much fun you can hardly stand yourself accepting for one person who's with. I mean everybody's having a bold viral eating up a storm playing ball running around enjoying themselves and you look ugly. On the one side and they he or she is black eye recovering from bookworm treatment. Have you ever been around the Christmas tree when everybody's opening gifts and and everybody's having a wonderful time and it's just such a happy time and you look ugly. Guerin one person is not having a good time good reason for not so good reason I want to ask a question tonight.
Are you ready for this. I want to make a statement and by so doing I want to ask a question God is moving is no question about God's moving in this church. You can feel the presence of the Lord you can see God moving Bible studies discipleship groups the youth ministries college ministries Senior adult singles education ministries preschool God's moving.
It's just incredible. What God is doing more and more people coming to love Jesus Christ.
There is ice.
In this congregation, my friend. That is precedent of God is doing something I want you to listen. Is it possible that they may be someone in this congregation who is missing this blessing. Do you think it's possible that in the midst of all of this going on. Is it possible that there is someone who is missing this place. I want to speak to you today from the word of God and I want to speak to you about a sad story.
I'm going to confess something. I think my wife would tell you this. I know the ministers would tell me this morning tell you this this morning.
I have done everything I can to preach on this passage I said now look I'm just going to leapfrog right over chapter 5 in the book of acts. I don't want to talk about Ananias and Zafar. I've said, Lord, not God's moving in our church. I don't want to talk about something so sad something so pitiful I don't talk about two people who are disobedient to the Lord talk about the consequences of basin Lord now do something for me, rescue me. Deliver me from this and God just keeps coming back in the scenes God has been saying to my heartless imposter. I know I know that I'm moving at First Baptist Church.
I know that that that that people all pleasing me today but are you trying to tell me that you know the heart of every single personally well-known Lord. I wish I did well, excuse me, preacher, not tell you that man has the capacity only to look on the outward appearance, it's only God looks upon the heart, I want to speak to you this morning about a very sad story, but that's read about it first.
I'm going to beginning chapter 4 verse 32. I believe verse 32 through 38 of chapter 4 through verse 37 talks about what is going on in this church, and in many churches to the Bible says that all believers were one in heart and mind. Folks listen to me watch me you do not get a church vote so overwhelming need to do what this church is about the group would congregation is not of one heart and mind.
You do not see 71 people come to know Christ on Tuesday nine if the church is not of one heart and mind. You do not see a congregation breakout into spontaneous applause. When people come to know Christ. If the church is not of one heart and one mind, it will not happen if we were not of one heart and one mind, it wouldn't matter if we had 100 people give their lives to Christ. This congregation will sit there looking like they recovered from bookworm treatment we would be fussing about chandeliers and colors of carpets, we would be going to business meetings and turning them into zones. People would be getting bent out of shape over the smallest thing people would be trying to establish power struggles within the congregation. The Bible yes is all believers were one in heart and mind. One claim that any of these positions was his own, but they shared everything I had. What happened with great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the main thing keeping the main thing you see that and much grace. I love this much grace was upon them all, folks you watch this you know what I pray today. I pray that the grace of God would be upon us all moms and dads oldest to youngest there were no needy persons, among them from time to time. Those who owned lands or houses sold them the money from the sales noted the apostles feet was distributed to anyone who had me Joseph or Levi from Cyprus in the apostles called Barnabas, which means son of encouragement.
Also did the same thing. He went and sold a few he only broke the money and he put it at the apostles feet and then chapter 5 in verse one begins with the word back on now suddenly is a common cause in the midst of all of this. There was a couple by the name of Ananias and Sapphire. I'm going to show you something interesting because a very sad story.
Now man named Ananias, together with his wife so far so sold a piece of property, they did what everybody else apparently was doing with these wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but the risk and put it at the apostles feet.
Evidently they went and did what everybody also done sold the property for thousand dollars.
God put in their hearts that thousand dollars was to go to the Lord's work. Ananias and Sophia got together and said, now we know we got $1000 as what we gonna do we gotta masquerade we gonna pretend that we doing what everybody else is doing. We gotta give God $500 and we gotta keep the race for us to well look what happened. Verse three then Peter said Ananias, how is that Satan has so filled your heart that you've lied to the Holy Spirit kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land did not belong to you before, it was so often it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal. What made you think of doing such a thing.
You've not lied to men but to God.
When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died in great fear seized all who heard what happened. Then the young men came, Ford wrapped up his body carried him out and buried him.
About three hours later his wife came in not knowing what it happened to her husband Peter Auster tell me is this the price you and Ananias got for the land. Yes, she said that is the price. Peter said to her, how could you agree to taste the spirit of the Lord look, the feet of the man who buried your husband are at the door.
They will carry you out also at that very moment she fell down at his feet and died in the young man came in and finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Yes, the bottom line. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. What a sad story. I want to share some things with you this morning, one that I believe that this story is about the faithfulness of many many people. Some people look at the story of Ananias Alexei oh my. Look what happened.
Ananias and Safari. I've tried to genuinely believe in my heart that this story is not about Ananias and Sapphire. This story is about the incredible faithfulness of so many of God's people. That's why read that part in context, from verse 32 of chapter 4 it's in that context, what God was saying here. God was saying what God's people are engaged in doing.
Look at the blessings look at what's going on.
Look at how God's people are serving me and then it is a good God says to me he says I want you to know foster that in the midst of all these things that it is possible that they could be someone who's missing this place and you need to pray for them. You need to love them, you need to encourage them and you need to pray that God would get a hold of their hearts before it's too late. You don't want to miss the blessing you don't want to be out on a limb. You know, I'm sure every family goes through this. I'm every family you you you plan and you go off on vacation and you spend money and you purchase this and you find that you knew all the other kinds of things and you get they and one with family members all out of whack with everything kind of site. Now get a life you what is the matter with you up. You know you look around at the blessings of God, you look around at this church, and you look around at homes and and you see what's going on.
I tell you that's what concerns me folks whenever I see big massive issues, when when I see people begin to argue in class and five confusion sometimes it's just a little thing that starts out they some some little issue of discontentment left. That's what God is doing in the overall picture. I tell you what a blessing. I'm going I'm to make a statement this morning. I like Skype. Steve just like it you know something folks I do not know of anybody in this church is out of sorts. Right now I don't know of anybody I'm not saying that to embrace anybody. What a statement for the pasta to make in the congregation that is right on 6000 people.
I do not know, and I'm in a make this announcement today on television with over 200,000 people.
I'm going to tell you that at first Baptist Church to beg God is on the move this pasta. I do not know of any individual or group of people who are out of sorts and who are upset and who are trying to do their own thing and who are motivated by power struggles and the other things I do not know that but I am going to say to you that man looks on the concrete appearance of God's you're listening to Dr. Don Wilton don't go away. He'll be back with the rest of today's message in just a moment, but if you haven't been. That's tomorrow's message here on The Encouraging Word between now and then. Let's stay connected on our website TW online.org before get away, closing thoughts, and Dr. Don Wilton, our chief encourager here on The Encouraging Word. You not love to be a part of your daily devotional love to be able to sing The Encouraging Word daily devotional thought of what God sees to each one of us through his word every day. You can become part of that and receive one your self from me just go online to TW online.org. Next, T.
W online.org and get your copy of The Encouraging Word devotion. Today we talking about a spring ritual mantra here. I want to say to you this story is about the frightfulness of many people. I wish that God could let me just stop by. I'd like to just preach about the faithfulness of God's people I'd like to just command listen.
I'm a positive person I don't like talking about negative stuff but there's a second thing about the story.
This story is about two people were not. That's what the sad story is about God for some reason singles out Ananias and Sophia in the midst of this verse 32 old believers were one in heart and mind. God is moving but Ananias and Sapphire wonder if I could just walk out the server just come down here just for little bit and woke up can find is that anybody here is that anybody in church today.
I mean, is anybody here today in God's house, who's missing ablation the anybody here today hiding is anybody here today who so deeply hurt or somebody to dive his garden ax to grind or somebody today in a in a church like this it is they excuse me as their teenager category that's running from God's mighty are about to become a senior and you just missing all the blessings you quieter comes up man you not going to go on that spring retreat, man, you gonna go on Matawan Kentucky who wants to do that now. I'll man I'll do that dragging you kicking and screaming to do anything with the church. I mean, you're here because you have to be here and you do is possible I mean is that anybody who's missing the blessing as they someone in the quiet and you saying you doing at all. People can see what you're missing the blessed I was just wondering I want to tell you something, my friend, you are precious and you are not lost in the crowd and you are not irrelevant. You are very important and we love you with all of our hearts and we we have ended up being the absolute best we can to be complete and full moon. The story is not only about the faithfulness of many people. But the story it's about two people who were not. There is 1/3 thing. The story is about the relentless activities of Satan, folks.
Let's just understand this. That's what the apostle says right there in verse three.
Then Peter said, Ananias, how is it that Satan has so hot you have lied to the police. What is God trying to say to us you're my friend, God is trying to say to us you can be a believer in the midst of an incredible congregation in the midst of uncontrolled action on the part of God's people and get site penetrate your life' into your lap, and he will grab a hold of you and he will be related and he will begin to know and he's going to want a doctor when he wants you to be said is it possible for us to have a youth ministry like this. One of these young people's lives to go down the drink.
Is it possible to grow up in a wonderful home.
The mother and father who love you, it is possible to be in a church like this and go on quiet doors and Kentucky missions and the building. The partnering to be in everything that goes on and get Satan to get hold of someone's lives and just destroyed just like that is it. Is it even conceivable that they might be a marriage that Satan is got a hold of your marriage. I don't mind telling you this because this couple is sitting there looking at me and if I went in honest information by would tell me pasta use on my but I'm not going to do that because I never do that but I speak to them off as a couple sitting there looking at me right now about six years ago. They will tell you in a heartbeat. They came to see me. They were not members of this church elsewhere in our community.
They came to see me because they knew that I knew nothing about them and so they felt, thought I would be able to help them without any kind of background.
When I came to see me. Boy was there marriage in trouble.
I mean it was over folks I work they will just have to go sign divorce papers and I looked at that couple lead I am. I told them I said folks listen, I'm not a marriage and family counselor, but I am going to tell you that Satan has got into your marriage and I am going to tell you that he is relentless and he is gonna tear you apart and I am going to tell you that I've seen enough damage done by these things to children, and to loved ones and everybody concern and I'm going to turn back to the Lord and I'm praying tonight and then you dream by Jesus Christ to intervene. You know what they did that, and to this day. These this couple are still together that you genuinely love one another and their family is just most precious.
You could ever imagine that I believe in that. I just believe in that Satan is relentless. Satan wants to get a hold about families.
He wants to get into congregation. He wants to get into our communities.
He wants to destroy he's going to do whatever he wants to do in order to bring us to our knees. He wants you and me flat on our backs. He wants us in the doctor when he wants us to begin with and he's going to tempt us. He's gonna tempt us with things to put in our bodies with drinking and alcohol and drugs and immorality in everything you could ever imagine. He is run Olympus and he's going to do what ever he can and frame listen to me just because you're in a church where God is moving doesn't mean to say you will automatically examine from what Satan intends to do with every one of us. In fact, I think you and I become prime targets. There's a full thing about the story it's about the person of the Holy Spirit story is about the person of the Holy Spirit.
Peter said to Ananias, you have implied to book you have lied to man.
You lied to God, you lied to the Holy Spirit.
Most of the time my friends in our lives we play this little game with God we pretend. In other words, that we don't like to use here but really folks with God is talking to us about his is seasonally about a couple who are playing a kind of spiritual pretense. They look the part.
Ananias and Safari even did what everybody else was doing, but in the box in the practice and outworking of that they did the very opposite. They tried to deceive man, and Peter comes up and says, hold on a minute you you're lying to the Holy Spirit, who is God.
You see this sad story is about the person of the Holy Spirit.
Number five I want to tell you the story is about the wages of sin. I don't like to preach about that folks listen to things the Bible says that. Be sure your sin will find you are.
That's a biblical guaranty absolute biblical guaranty Mizer blurb that sometimes the hard way you can masquerade and you can pull the wool over everybody's eyes and you can play a spiritual guide you can volunteer for everything including cleaning the kitchen sink. But I'll tell you if it is not pleasing to God. It is going to come to the top. At some time. The second thing is that the wages of sin is death. Bible says God will not tolerate arson. See the story is about the wages of sin. God is using Ananias and Sapphire to get our attention, and I love the way God does that in the midst of such an incredible incredible time in the lap of the New Testament church. But there is a six point and I want to close this, the story is about learning from the lessons of life is about learning from the lessons of life. Verse 11 particularly stands out great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. If I can do anything as one individual to help another individual not make the same mistakes I want and don't you do not have the slightest desire to see some families go through what I've seen other families both. I have noticed I have no desire to see anybody get unduly hooked and maimed for life to do whatever I have. Where do we draw our nourishment from the lesson of life. What is God saying here about Ananias and Sophia. What a sad story. What God is saying is this, thank you Lord for what he's doing. Never take people for granted. Don't assume that everything was just always good understand that some people are going through some very deep pain folks very deep pain is not always a bad thing. There are some very some painful things that make a lot of sense. There are some people more than they are living in the rabbit hole of life because they are so wounded and so are they missing the blessings of life. As a result, some people are living in sin. We may not know about God. Number one need to acknowledge you soon. Remember Peter Colson's and around the bush.
Simply separating from God. You need a face up, you need to confess, acknowledge you soon before the Lord. That's number one. If you don't do that you can make all the resolutions you want.
You are never going to get on board that basic. It's got to begin when the heart of God.
Number two, you need to confess that sin to the ones you love most of number three, you need to resolve the heart of God that you going to come out of that rabbit hole of sin. The good news is there's a way out that holds. I pray that you been listening to Dr. Don preach, he would now open your heart to him as he steps into the studio to just share from his heart.
Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why don't you pray this prayer with right dear God, I know that Iversen and I know that Jesus died for me today. I repainted my sin and by faith I receive you into my Jesus name, my friend. I welcome you today into the family of God. This is exciting news just gave your life to Christ praying along with Dr. Wilson you have questions. We are ready to meet you at 866-899-WORD to talk to pray to connect with free resources document that you have her phone number again is 866-899-WORD 9673 hard times gone for the day, but tomorrow Dr. Wilton talks about glorifying God that his message from the book of Jude. I hope you'll join us and invite a friend till then let's stay connected on our email@example.com that CDW online.org