All Glory to God

I like music, but I don’t listen to music very much. When I’m in my automobile, I’m usually listening to some kind of teaching tape or the news of the day.

I’m certainly not a strong classical music fan, but one of my favorite musicians is Johann Sebastian Bach.

Let me tell you why I appreciate him so much.

Almost every day, I read a devotional about the culture of the day by Jim Denison. Last week Jim mentioned briefly about Bach and how he composed his music.

Bach’s story is fascinating. Jim Denison caused me to get really interested in the life of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Johan Sebastian Bach lived in Germany in the last part of the 17th century until halfway through the 18th century. He died in 1750 at age 65. He composed more than 300 cantatas.

I don’t know how someone like Bach writes music, but I am fascinated with his dependence on God.

I learned that Bach wrote the letters JJ at the top of each composition. Those letters stood for “Jesus, help me.”

At the end of each composition, Bach wrote the letters SDG, which stood for the Latin words “Soli Deo Gloria.” These words mean something like “all the glory to God.”

Bach’s music is timeless. It’s now 300 years old and people still listen to it, play it, and compose from it.

Life is simply better when we live by “Soli Deo Gloria.”

Some scholars believe Bach used those words from 1 Timothy 1:17 which is a doxology, a word of praise to God. “Now to the king of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, glory and honor be to him forever and ever, Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17).

When I think of Bach and “Soli Deo, Gloria,” I think of another passage of Scripture as well. It is the word of the Psalmist: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

What a difference would be made in our lives if we did everything to the glory of God alone. What amazing things would happen if we delighted ourselves in the Lord.

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  1. Scott Cannon
    Feb 15, 2017

    I heard Jim Denison’s message on Bach last week as well. It truly brought a joy to my heart when I heard that Bach relied on God so much for his song writing inspiration and that he gave God all the glory of his songs success. Anything of God and for God is timeless. I as well have a new interest, appreciation and respect for Bach.

  2. The Millers
    Feb 15, 2017

    My interest is now also spiked.
    Early searches show two other artists, George Frideric Handel and Christoph Graupner, also used SDG to honor God.
    Looking forward to reading more on these gifted men. It’s encouraging to know more about believers who have gone before us.
    Email addresses that remind me of God’s Love and guidance have been used for years. Don’t be surprised if you see another “reminder” on my correspondence in the future!
    Thank you!

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. — Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)