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Summary: For Round-Up Sunday ot Holloween

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THE MASK

Text: Luke 12:2

INTRODUCTION:

1. Skit: Pastor Joe reads introduction, “With his fiery horse Silver that runs with the speed of light, and raises a cloud of dust and his hearty, ‘Hi Yo Silver Away!’ the Lone Ranger returns with his faithful Indian companion Tonto. His the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains, where he led the fight for law and order in the early days of the West. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Ranger rides again!” (The William Tell Overture begins to be played.) The Lone Ranger and Tonto come riding in on their stick horses. They stop down in the front of the church.

LONE RANGER: “Good morning Partners. I came to share my story with you today. There were six of us Texas Rangers riding into the sun. We were on an important case trying to bring down the Dalton gang. But we were caught in an ambush that resulted in death for all but one. I lay there on the trail the lone survivor.”

TONTO: “That is where I found him – almost dead on the trail. I hid him and buried the other Rangers. He mended quickly and then in the night we added another grave to hide form the outlaws that one man lived to continue the fight for justice. He used silver bullets as his trademark And he wore a mask to disguise himself from the Daltons. His horse was a great silver stallion.”

LONE RANGER: “Tonto, you know I don ‘t know what I would have done without you. You have been a faithful companion all these years. You have been like a brother to me.”

SILVER THE HORSE: (Play horse whinnies into the mic.)

LONE RANGER: “What is it you are trying to tell me Silver? Are you sure? There are thousands of Comanche Indians with Chief Sitting Bull about to attack us from the North? What’s that? And Geronamoe and his Sioux are coming over the; hill form the South? And what is that. The Worst Indian of them all Big Chief Killumcowboy is coming from the west? Tonto, what are we going to do?

TONTO: “What do you mean WE? Who are you paleface?” (And Tonto rides off the stage and down the center isle)

2. Well that’s how it is sometimes. Right? I tell you there are some things about the Lone Ranger that are interesting. Do you know he wore his mask throughout every episode of the Lone Ranger? Do you know why? He was covering up his identity for his protection. I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT WHY PEOPLE WEAR MASKS TODAY.

SERMON BODY:

I. A SPIRITUAL MASK IS WORN TO TRY TO CONCEAL OUR TRUE SPIRITUAL IDENTITY. But when the Holy Spirit deals with us personally and we refuse to change it can be end of our usefulness to God and the church

A.Ananias and Sapphira did not want to contribute to the needs of the church body during a critical time. There was great poverty in the church at Jerusalem

because of the thousands of converts who were being put out of their homes and losing their jobs as they converted to Christianity. They paid a great price

to become a Christian. The emergency was shouldered by everyone. People began selling extra land holdings that they did not need. They cashed in their stocks and bonds and contributed it to the church. The deacons distributed it among the needy. Ananias and his wife raised their hand in a church meeting

and said, “We want to give all of a particular tract of land to the needy. We don’t need it and they do.” They had seen that everyone was doing this.

Barnabas did. Acts 4 says because of this attitude there were no needy families in the church. This couple had sold the land but they connived in their hearts to keep back part and contribute the remainder as if they were really giving the entire amount as they said they would do.

THE HOLY SPIRIT REVEALED THE WHOLE PLOT TO PETER. He said, “Ananias, how did Satan get you to lie to the Holy Spirit and secretly keep back part of the price of the field? Before you sold it, it was yours, and after you sold it, the money was yours to do with as you wished. So what got into you to pull a trick like

this? You did not lie to men but to God.” I think the thing that was at stake here was the commitment to the unity of the body. In chapter 4, Luke tells us that there was great unity and love…”one heart and one mind” are the words he uses. They were all sensitive to the needs of the whole body. They were caring. And they were genuine in their caring. But the truth is everyone had not reached that level of maturity. The problem came when one family wanted the reputation of generosity but did not want to pay the price. We are not all at the same level in Christ. We have to learn and God doesn’t hold us to a greater commitment than anther who is deeper in the faith. So what am I saying? Don’t be sinful in the way you represent your faith in Christ. Ananias and Sapphira should have just owned up to where they were in Christ and said, “Hey, you guys pray for us. You are ahead of us in trusting God with everything and caring, but we are going to at least trust God by giving part of the amount we received.” We always have a choice to make. One of the great benefits of the group sessions in our meetings at the Agape Recovery Center which meets

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