Acts 5:1-11

Age range: early elementary through middle school

Materials Needed:

  • Bible
  • Pretend, fake money
  • White Index cards that have the word “sin” written in white crayon inside a red heart
  • Red markers

Ask: “In the Bible we see that God is generous. What does generous mean?” (let kids share their ideas)

Say: “The Holy Spirit leads us to be generous when realize how generous God has been to us. And that was what was happening in Acts 4:32-37. (Have kids turn to Acts 4 to follow along) It says “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.””

Say: “In Acts 4, we see that many people were being generous and sharing what God had given them. But in Acts 5 (have kids find chapter 5 in Acts), we see a story of two people who wanted to look generous but actually weren’t. In Acts 5, a couple named Ananias and Saphira decided to LIE. They wanted to look more generous than they were, so they sold something that was theirs (land) and told the disciples that they were giving all the money they made from that sale to the Church. But they didn’t. Uh Oh.”

Share an example: “It’d be like if I promised Pastor (insert your pastor’s name) that I would bring in ALL my money I made from my chores this week.” (Hold up all the fake money) “But instead I decided to pocket some of it (put some of the money in your pocket) and then told him that THIS was all the money I made this week.” (holding up what was left)

Ask: “Would I be honest if I told Pastor (insert your pastors name) one thing and did something else?” (allow children to answer)

Ask: “What would I be doing?” (let kids give answer: LYING)

Ask: “Would Pastor (insert your pastor’s name) have known if I was lying about how much money I made from my chores this week?” (let kids answer)

Ask: “But who DID know that I was lying, and that Ananias and Saphira were lying when they brough the money to the disciples?” (let kids share their ideas)

Ask: “That’s right! Can we lie to God?” (let kids answer: no)

Say: “God sees what is in our heart even when others cannot. God knows what we think. He knows how we are feeling. And His Word says in 1 Samuel 16:7 “for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God knows that sin comes out of our heart. Our actions reflect what is going on inside the heart.””

Say: “Everyone take one of these index cards and color in the heart with the provided markers. We cannot see what is going on inside our hearts, but God can.” (allow the kids to color inside the heart with the provided markers so that the word “sin” appears)

Say: “Acts 5 tells us that God knew that Ananias and Saphira were lying and the Holy Spirit told Peter. Peter asked them “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the money?” You see it wasn’t that God was upset that Ananias and Saphira weren’t being generous, the problem was that they LIED and pretended to be more generous than they actually were. Peter accused them, “Why is it that you have planned this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God! How is it that you agreed to test the Holy Spirit?” and when Ananias and Saphira heard these words, they fell down and died.”” (with older kids, you could rip the sample index heart in half)

Ask: “Does God say I HAVE to give Him all the money I earned from my chores? Did Ananias and Saphira HAVE to give all their money to the church?” (let kids share answer)

Say: “Their sneakiness, or trickiness, is seen when they try to keep some of the money and then lie about the amount given to Peter. They were trying to look generous while being greedy. Sometimes when we try to trick people, we bring others in on our “joke”. Ananias could have lied on his own. Instead, his wife was a part of the trick as well.”

Ask: “Do we die when we lie?” (let kids answer)

Say: “God says in Romans 6:23 that lying is a sin and “the wages of sin is death.” Ananias and Saphira died as an example for us. They died physically, right there at the disciples’ feet, as a warning to believers that our sin deserves death. Jesus came to save us from our sin. God is so generous with us that we have a chance to ask Jesus to forgive our sin and not die. God wants us to be honest, to not lie or trick others in our words. God can see what is in our hearts.”

Ask: “Have you ever lied or played a mean trick on someone else?” (let kids share their answers)

Prepare to pray together:

Pray: “God, thank you that in your generosity, you gave us Jesus so that we can come to Him, confess our sins, our lying, and our tricks to Him, and you promise to forgive us. Thank you that my heart can be made clean because of Jesus’ death on the cross. Forgive me for the times that I have lied or played a mean trick on others. Help me to be honest and generous. Change my heart to want to share your generosity with others. I know that you gave me Jesus so that I can generously share Him with everyone I meet. Amen.”

Download an easy-read PDF copy of this devotional here.

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