Today's Foundations Devotional: God hates hypocrisy

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Memory verse:

You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God,

am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to

the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy

to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

(Exodus 20:5-6)

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Yesterday we saw how God's judgment on the people of Sodom and Gomorrah serves as a pattern, an example, for all people after them. Another dramatic instance of God’s judgement is provided by the story of Ananias and Sapphira (see Acts 5:1-10). Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, were what we would call religious hypocrites. They sold a possession and brought part of the price to the apostles as an offering to the work of God. This, by itself, was to be commended. However, their sin consisted in pretending that the money which they brought represented the full price of the possession which they had sold. They did this in order to gain the praise and favour of the apostles and their fellow Christians.

However, bythesupernatural revelation oftheHoly Spirit, Peter discerned their hypocrisy and charged first Ananias and later Sapphira with lying and seeking to deceive the Holy Spirit. Such intense conviction of sin came upon them that each, in turn, fell down at Peter’s feet, dead. This judgement of God had a strong effect on the people who heard of it.

So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things (Acts 5:11).

Of course, there is no suggestion that God will always judge this kind of behaviour by professing Christians in such a swift and dramatic way. But the unchanging attitude of God toward lying and hypocrisy on the part of professing Christians is demonstrated by this incident as a warning to all succeeding generations of the Church.

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Prayer:

Father, it is shocking to see how much hypocrisy and deceit is despised

by You. Make me pure and true Lord in every way and every day of my

life. Thank You for the washing blood of Jesus over all my past sins of

deception. Whether that was against others or myself ... I want to stand

clean and holy for You. Amen.

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