Sheet music stood up on a piano shelf

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All glory to God (1)

14 April 2018
‘That the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you.’

You’ve probably heard it if you’ve ever been to a wedding – Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, one of the most popular soundtracks as brides walk down the aisle. And for good reason – it’s a pretty stunning piece. The reason Bach’s music touches your soul is because it came from his soul. Bach’s cantatas didn’t start off as music: they were prayers before they were songs. Before he started scoring a sheet of music he would scrawl ‘JJ’ – Jesu, Juya – right at the top. It means ‘Jesus, help me.’ Then at the bottom, he wrote three letters: ‘SDG’ – Soli Deo Gloria – ‘to the glory of God alone.’ His life was a unique translation of that laser-focused, God-glorying motive. So is yours. No one can glorify God like you, or for you, because your life is an original score. Soli Deo Gloria is living for an audience of one; it’s doing the right thing for the right reason. It’s living for the applause of the nail-scarred hands. It’s declaring that Jesus Christ is your all in all. Just Jesus. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Paul gives us a prayer to help us live like this: ‘that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfil every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God’ (vv. 11-12 NIV).


What now?

At the start of your day, draw ‘JJ’ on the back of one hand. Then at the end, draw ‘SDG’ on the other. Pray about what they mean throughout the day.

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