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Summary: OUR FATHER HAS A SECRET AND IT IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM!

PRAYER: IT IS OUR LITTLE SECRET

MATTHEW 6: 1-13

NOVEMBER 7, 2004

INTRODUCTION: From the final scene of "Shrek":

Fiona: "I was supposed to be beautiful"

Shrek: "But you are beautiful"

YOU SEE, FIONA HAD A LITTLE SECRET. AT NIGHT THE BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS BECAME AN ORGERESS.

Unconditional love. It’s the deepest longing of our hearts, because each of us harbors deep inside the fear that if others really knew us, that they would want nothing to do with us. We like Fiona try to hide when we should be hiding.

TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for today shares a secret with us about secrets. Jesus teaches us that some things are best kept as secrets. Our only problem is that keeping secrets takes lots of self-discipline and too often we just do not have it. Today, as we dig into this little secret, we are going to begin on a journey that I call REAL. You may have noticed REAL in our new directory, or in our newsletter, and hopefully last week in our bulletin. I really believe it is time that CHWC got real. The first letter in real is all about relationships and if you can’t keep a secret, you can’t have a very good relationship. Let’s look together and see what Jesus can teach us about relationship and secrets!

THESIS SENTENCE: OUR FATHER HAS A SECRET AND IT IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM!

I. OUR LITTLE SECRET IS OUT OF THE PUBLIC EYE V. 1&5

A. THE PUBLIC EYE IS CARELESS

B. THE PUBLIC EYE IS ABOUT MEN

C. THE PUBLIC EYE IS 15 MINUTES OF FAME/ NOT ETERNAL: NO REWARD!

ILLUSTRATION: FEAR FACTOR ET AL.

TRUTH: WE WILL NEVER IMPRESS EVERYONE!

QUESTION: WHOM DO WE WANT TO IMPRESS?

II. OUR LITTLE SECRET IS NO ACT VV. 2&5

A. NO ACT IS WITHOUT FANFARE: ANNOUNCE IT WITH TRUMPETS!

B. NO ACT IS WITHOUT HYPOCROCY: AN ACTOR WHO PORTRAYS ANOTHER, NOT THEMSELVES!

ILLUSTRATION: SEE PRINTED PAGE ON HYPOCRISY

TRUTH: WE CAN PRETEND TO BE ANYONE WE WANT, BUT GOD KNOWS WHO WE ARE!

QUESTION: DO WE KNOW IF WE ARE ACTING OR BEING REAL?

III. OUR LITTLE SECRET IS A CLOSED DOOR MATTER VV. 6&3

A. A CLOSED DOOR MATTER IS ALL ALONE

B. A CLOSED DOOR MATTER IS ALL ABOUT THE FATHER

C. A CLOSED DOOR MATTER IS A MATTER OF FAITH: HEBREWS 11:1 D. A CLOSED DOOR MATTER IS A MATTER OF REWARD: WHY NOT?

ILLUSTRATION: SIGN FOR THE BATHROOM DOOR

Attention Everyone: The Bathroom Door is Closed!

Please do not stand there and talk, whine or ask questions.

Wait until I get out.

Yes, it is locked. I want it that way.

No, it is not broken; I am not trapped.

I know I have left it unlocked, and even open at times, since you were born,because I was afraid some horrible tragedy might occur while I was in there.

But it’s been ten years, and I want some privacy.

Do not ask me how long I will be.

I will come out when I am done.

Do not bring the phone to the bathroom door.

Do not go running back to the phone yelling, “She’s in the bathroom!”

Do not begin to fight as soon as I go in.

Do not stick your little fingers under the door and wiggle them.

This was funny only when you were two.

Do not slide pennies, Legos, or notes under the door,

Even when you were two, this got a little tiresome.

If you have followed me down the hall, talking,

And are still talking as you face this closed door,

Please turn around, walk away and wait for me in another room.

I will be glad to listen to you when I am done.

Oh…and yes, I still love you. Mom

SOURCE: Espresso for a Woman’s Spirit by Pam Vredevelt.

Contributed by: Kenneth Squires

TRUTH: OUR FATHER WANTS TO BE ALONE WITH US!

QUESTION: DO WE WANT TO BE ALONE WITH OUR FATHER?

IV. OUR LITTLE SECRET HAS NO FORMULA V. 7

A. NO FORMULA IS ABOUT A PLAN: BABBLING

B. NO FORMULA IS ABOUT A DEMAND: THEY WILL BE HEARD

C. NO FORMULA IS ABOUT QUANTITY: MANY WORDS

SCRIPTURE THOUGHT: I KINGS 18:26-29

ILLUSTRATION: ACCIDENTAL BRAVERY

One dark night outside a small town, a fire started inside the local chemical plant. Before long it exploded into flames and an alarm went out to fire departments from miles around. After fighting the fire for over an hour, the chemical company president approached the fire chief and said, "All of our secret formulas are in the vault in the center of the plant. They must be saved! I will give $50,000 to the engine company that brings them out safely!"

As soon as the chief heard this, he ordered the firemen to strengthen their attack on the blaze. After two more hours of attacking the fire, the president of the company offered $100,000 to the engine company that could bring out the company’s secret files.

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