TROPHY CASE CHRISTIANITY
TEXT: Luke 18:9-14
I was visiting a man in his home when I noticed a large glass case that was filled with trophies. There were trophies for bowling, trophies for racing cars, trophies for hitting home runs at softball, and many others. Each one had this man’s name engraved on it. I commented that I had been very active in sports but had never won a trophy of any kind. Then the man’s wife said something which completely humbled him. She told how her husband had bought most of those trophies for himself, and how he had paid to have his own name engraved on them. The man had awarded those trophies to himself.
There are many like that man who award themselves with trophies. Some are material trophies like the man I just mentioined, but others are a sort of imaginary trophy.
THE PHARISEE OF LUKE 18 HAD IMAGINARY TROPHIES
A.The trophy for not being an EXTORTIONER (v.11)
B.The trophy for not being UNJUST (v.11)
C.The trophy for not being an ADULTERER (v.11)
D.The trophy for FASTING (v.12)
E.The trophy for TITHING (v.12)
I. SOME LIST THEIR OWN TROPHIES
A. THE LIST LOOKS LIKE THIS
1."I have this trophy for paying my tithes..."
2."I have this trophy for fasting..."
3."I have this trophy for not robbing any grocery stores..."
B.THEY ALSO THINK THEY DESERVE THINGS BASED ON THEIR TROPHIES
1."I tithed, therefore I deserve to be a deacon..."
2."I taught Sunday School, Lord, therefore I deserve to have my prayers answered."
3."I sing in the choir on Sunday night, therefore I deserve to be asked to lead the music at camp meeting time."
4."I don’t lie, cheat, or steal, Lord, therefore I deserve to be saved."
C.THEY THINK THEY WANT JUSTICE, BUT WHAT THEY NEED IS MERCY
1. A woman went to see a famous artist and questioned him about painting her portrait. She said, "I just hope you can do me justice."
2. He looked her over real good and said, "Lady, you don’t want justice, you need mercy!"
II. THEY WANT TO CLAIM THEIR RIGHTS
A.THEY THINK THEY HAVE EARNED SOMETHING FROM GOD
1. Luke 6:31 "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."
a)This verse is not a promise
b)This verse is a command
c)Jeremiah 17:5-7 is a promise (and a warning)
5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.(KJV)
2. The arm of flesh will fail you but those who trust in the Lord shall be blessed.
B.THE BIBLE DOES GIVE US CERTAIN RIGHTS
1.The right to turn the other cheek
2.The right to bear all things
3.The right to be long-suffering
4.The right to show Christian Virtue and Christian Character
C.THE TRUE VOICE OF GOD
1.The Trophy Case Christian says,"I prayed and God showed me I deserve better than this."
2.The Apostle Paul prayed and God showed him,"Love bears all things." ICor.13
III. THEY TRUST IN SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS
A."HE SPAKE THIS PARABLE TO CERTAIN WHICH TRUSTED IN THEMSELVES"
1.They expected God to do something for them because of what they had done.
2.Many Christians expect God to heal them or answer their prayers based on what they have done for God.
3.This Pharisee did not receive anything from God. (v.14)
4.Nobody will receive salvation, healing, or answer to prayer based on their own works. (Eph.2:8-9, Tit.3:5)
B.THE PHARISEES OMITTED JUDGEMENT, MERCY, AND FAITH (Mt.23:23)
1.They tithed mint, anise, and cummin
2.They forgot JUDGEMENT - Payday may be delayed but one day all accounts will be settled.
3.They forgot MERCY - Because they had forgotten judgement, they had no fear of omitting love and mercy.
4.They forgot FAITH - They wanted to climb the ladder of religious works, but Scripture doesn’t offer a religious system of dead works it offers a relationship with the Living God.
Have you been depending on your imaginary trophy case displaying your religious accomplishments? Have you been trusting in these for answers to prayer, for healing, or even for salvation? Leave your trophies and your accomplishments at the altar. Come to God trusting not in your own works but in the finished work of Christ on the cross.