Impression Management… Part 3

Posted: December 18, 2013 in Impression Management, Podcasts
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i had to do a refresher regarding Achan. After the victory of the Israelites at the battle of Jericho, Joshua ordered that all of the goods and the wealth of the city were to be devoted to the Lord.  The people could keep nothing for themselves.  The city of Jericho and its wealth was to be offered as the first fruits to the Lord.  It was as if it were the tithe offered from the land of Canaan.  In Joshua 7:1 it says, “But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan, the son of Carmi of the tribe of Judah, took some of them.  So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.”  As a result of this crime Israel was defeated in their next battle.  When the sin of Achan was later discovered he, like Ananias, was punished by being put to death.  The Lord will not be mocked.  He will not tolerate sin, even though it seems like He’s doing so today.

To say that the God of the Old Testament is a vengeful and violent God and that the God of the New Testament is a God of love and grace, would be to say that i have never read the whole book!  The God of the Bible is the God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the Sovereign One.  He is the Holy One.  Apart from his grace, i am the same as Achan at the battle of Jericho and Ananias and Sapphira in the early Christian Church.  Is it any wonder that Acts 5:11 says, “Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”

When it says, that to “fear the Lord” is a good and proper attitude, it doesn’t mean i am to be “scared” of the God and regard him as unapproachable.  To “fear the Lord” is to have the wisdom to know that He is holy and sovereign and i am not.  Holiness and sovereignty demand respect.  The Lord loves me and i can love Him because of His grace shown to me.  The Holy Spirit awakens my stubborn and sinful wills to know and experience His powerful love. It’s only because of the Holy Spirit that I can do the good God requires of me.  In Romans 2 verses 8 and 10 it says that “for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.  … but glory, honour, and peace for everyone who does good.”  There are three criteria for any work to be considered “good”.  First, it arises out of true faith; second, it conforms to God’s law, and third, it’s done for his glory.  Only under the influence of the Holy Spirit can i meet this criteria.  Where Ananias and Sapphira failed is in the third criteria.  There action was not done for the glory of God but for the glory of themselves, Impression Management.

Let me share three truths,

Truth about God – Ananias and Sapphira showed contempt for God.

Truth about ourselves – They showed themselves as being filled with vanity and ambition.

Truth about others – They showed total disregard for others by the corruption which they were bringing into the society.

Psalm 103:10 says that the Lord “does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”  That’s grace.  Grace is not something we can demand from the Lord.  It’s not something we can earn.  So why was this couple denied grace and made to pay for their sin with capital punishment?  Ultimately the answer to this question is left to the Lord himself.  However, perhaps there would be benefit from seeing this story in light of the miracles which happened in the book of Acts.

Before and after this story, Luke tells about miraculous healings which the apostles and in particular Peter, were enabled to perform. Immediately after Ananias and Sapphira’s story it says in Acts 5:15 that the apostles healed so many that people brought their sick into the streets so that “at least Peter’s shadow might fall on them” as they lay in the street.

Each day that i wake up and go about my daily routines is a gift of His grace.  It is the undeserved favor of God shown to me.  Each day a day of grace.  A day to bring glory to God and a day of asking for his Holy Spirit to guide me in all my living.  God is sovereign.  He is holy.  He fills me with His HOLY Spirit.  i in turn become an agent of his grace.

In closing… just in case i have not made clear what “Impression Management is let me summarize it. “Impression Management is defined as MANIPULATING OTHERS opinion of us?

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