Completely sold out…
We are in Acts 5, and as you all know it is the story about Ananias and Sapphira. Even though I’ve read it many times and have heard many sermons on this, as always, the reason they died made me wince ever so slightly. They did not die for telling a blatant lie, it was not as if they said they did not sell the land at all. But they died for telling a half-truth.
You know, those fibs that falls from our lips so easily, those white lies we don’t even have to think about…They died because they told one of those…..Scary, isn’t it, when you think how easily we drift from being sold out to just selling out.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
When we go back to Chapter 4 we see that the group of Christians they belonged to tried (not with great success I may add) to implement a communist/communal way of living. What stands out to me is not whether it was a good concept or not, but that they did this to be able to put all their focus on spreading the gospel and living holy lives. They were so serious about their faith and their walk with God that not even those half-truths/fibs/white lies could be tolerated amongst them.
That is being serious about your faith, that is about being sold out!
We read that they performed many signs and wonders, people got healed and people got saved, BUT no one else joined the group. And let’s face it, I would’ve been a bit scared to be part of that group too, to be honest.
Then, as we go into chapter 6, we see what flowed form being sold out to this level, here was an awesome result of their holy style of living. We read that when men had to be chosen to serve food and wait on tables one of those chosen, was Stephen. The Bible tells us that he was chosen because he was “ a man of faith and of the Holy Spirit”. I would add that he was someone who was not scared to take on a job of no importance. Many of us would shy away from doing the mundane things, the unimportant things, the things nobody notices, but not Stephen.
And God blessed him for his willingness to get stuck in and get that unimportant job done. God blessed him for being sold out, and when we next read about Stephen we read about him doing great signs and wonders. We read about him being given so much wisdom through the Spirit, that not even the learned and respected members of the Synagogue could match him. We read about him being so filled with the Spirit that they had to stone him to keep him quiet, and even in dying, he mirrored the One he was sold out to.
Being sold out, I read this, and I know I don’t have the slightest clue what it means to be REALLY “sold out”.
Please Lord, help me to sell out less, and be “sold out” more.