Sometimes There’s No Applause

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Luke 17:7-10


I.         What do you do when no one pats you on the back?

            A.        You work hard, yet no one seems to notice your effort.

            B.        Why clean when you know the kids are just going to make a mess of it in a short while?

            C.        Why give that extra effort at work when the boss doesn’t notice and the family doesn’t appreciate it?

            D.        I started thinking about this listening to a caller to Dr. Laura complain that she wanted to leave her marriage because her husband didn’t appreciate her.

                        1.         Is being appreciated a right?

                        2.         Should we only do things because others recognize our efforts?

II.        Our good deeds are to shine out - Matthew 5:14-16

            A.        Yet, the goal is glory to God and not our selves.

            B.        It is so tempting to do righteousness because others see us - Matthew 6:1-6

                        1.         It is the trap the Pharisees fell into - Matthew 23:5-12

            C.        Justification is seen as what other men accept and not what God accepts - Luke 16:15

                        1.         If we seek the praise of men, we don’t believe God - John 5:44

III.       We do righteousness for God, but we must not make the mistake of thinking that God needs our feeble efforts

            A.        Our wickedness does not harm God and our righteousness does not benefit Him - Job 35:6-7

            B.        The whole duty of man is to serve God - Ecclesiastes 12:13

            C.        Yet, God owes us nothing for our service - Romans 11:33-36

                        1.         Because everything we have is what God has first given us - I Chronicles 29:13-16

            D.        We serve God because we love Him - Deuteronomy 10:12

                        1.         This, Jesus said is the greatest commandment - Matthew 22:36-38

IV.      The motivation for righteousness is because God says it is right

            A.        We cannot do right because others will reward our deeds - Matthew 5:46-48

            B.        Too often we do good because of what we get out of it and not because it is right in of itself - Luke 6:31-36

            C.        If respect of others is our motivation, then we will be sorely disappointed - I Peter 3:13-17

V.        This is not to say that our righteous deeds will be ignored - Hebrews 6:9-12

            A.        The question is what motivates your service? - Galatians 1:10

            B.        Bind your life to the Almighty this day.

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