From the Pulpit: Give God the glory

Pastor Dan Deardoff, Blessed Redeemer Lutheran

Have you ever tried to take credit for something you didn’t do? A good example of this is something Stacey King once said. On March 28, 1990, Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls scored a career-best 69 points in a 117-113 overtime win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The same night, his rookie teammate Stacey King entered late in the game and scored one point by making a free throw. Michael Jordan naturally received all the post-game attention from the press, but King is remembered for a one-liner he delivered that night. He said, “I will always remember this as the night that Michael Jordan and I combined to score 70 points.” The truth is Jordan, not King, won the game. 

Obviously, Stacey King was joking, but it is equally ridiculous when we try to take credit for anything God does, whether it be our conversion or the new life we live in Christ. Eph. 2:4-5 says, “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions –it is by grace you have been saved.” Several verses later St. Paul emphasizes again that God get the credit for bringing us from spiritual death to life by adding that even faith is a gift. Eph. 2:8&9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast.” 

We can’t take credit either when we do the good works that follow faith. In Matt. 5:16 Jesus tells us, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Notice it doesn’t say, “So they may praise you for being such a good Christian.” Instead Jesus said in John 15:8, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Just as the world didn’t create itself, but rather was created by God, we are created to point others to God and His goodness, not ours. 

So what do you do when someone gives you a huge compliment, or thanks you for making a difference in their lives by showing them the love of God in Christ? I suggest that you ask, “WWJSBD?” That stands for “What would Johann Sebastian Bach do?” I like that question better than “WWJD?” because I can’t do what Jesus did. As the only Son of God, He became flesh, lived a perfect life, died to pay for our sins, and rose to give us new life. Who but Jesus could do that? 

But I can do what Bach did. Bach wrote beautiful music, some of the most beautiful music written in the history of the world. It is still performed around the world today. When Bach composed a new song, he wrote the initials “JJ” at the top of the page. That stood for the Latin words,” Jesu Juva”, or “Jesus Help Me.” At the bottom of the page, when he finished the composition, he wrote the initials “SDG.” That is an abbreviation for the Latin words, “Soli Deo Gloria”, or “To God Alone Be the Glory.” Instead of stealing the glory that belongs to God, I can say, “To God be the glory.” Let the bookends of your life be “JJ” and “SDG”! 







The Brandon Valley Journal


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