Soli Deo Gloria

Week Thirty-Six, 2022

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Soli Deo gloria is a Latin term for Glory to God alone. It has been used by artists like Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Christoph Graupner to signify that the work was produced for the sake of praising God. As a greeting, it was used by monks in cistercian and trappist monastic orders in written communication. As a doctrine, it means that everything is done for God’s glory to the exclusion of mankind’s self-glorification and pride. Christians are to be motivated and inspired by God’s glory and not their own.

Handel’s Messiah is one of the greatest oratorios ever. The first part prophesied the birth of Jesus Christ; the second exalted his sacrifice for humankind; and the final section heralded his Resurrection. The rousing ‘Hallelujah’ Chorus is one of the most famous pieces of Baroque choral music, and by far the most widely-known section of the work. Handel produced the 260-page score in just 24 days. The audience always stands up while the Hallelujah Chorus is being sung, because King George II did this at the first London performance of the Messiah in 1743.

The three parts of the Messiah were drawn from three parts of the Bible: Old Testament prophesies of the Messiah’s birth; New Testament stories of the birth of Christ, his death, and his resurrection; and verses relating ultimately to Judgment Day, with the final chorus text drawn from the Book of Revelation.

When he finished the work, he signed it Soli Deo Gloria …… glory to God alone.

While Handel’s music is his greatest bequest, his philanthropic work in donating for needy causes also established a lasting legacy. Performances of his works, in particular of Messiah, for charitable causes have taken place throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and continue to this day.

The teaching for us of this great work is not the masterpiece of the accomplishment, but the sharing of the blessings it produced. Through his works, Handel became wealthy, but he gave it all away to the poor. He knew that the greatest way to acquire a blessing is to give blessings away.

To God alone be the glory. Who have you blessed this past week?



There’s a story of a young Buddhist monk who sat outside his temple two thousand years ago, with his hands clasped in prayer. He looked very pious and he chanted ‘Amita Buddha’ all day. Day after day he intoned these words, believing that he was acquiring grace.

One day the head priest of the temple sat next to him and began rubbing a piece of brick against a stone. Day after day he rubbed one against the other.

This went on week after week until the young monk could no longer contain his curiosity, and he finally blurted out, “Father, what are you doing?”

“I’m trying to make a mirror,” said the priest.

“But that’s impossible!” said the young monk. “You can’t make a mirror from brick.”

“True”, he replied. “And it is just as impossible for you to acquire grace by doing nothing except chant ‘Amita Buddha’ all day long.”

Like the young monk, there are many who think they can attain spirituality through mere rites, rituals, and religious routines. It was a problem that Jesus encountered in His day and one that continues to exist.

While the Bible speaks of “pure religion” that is “undefiled” (Jas. 1:27), there’s an abuse and misuse of our religious beliefs and practices called religiosity. Yes, that’s a word.

Religiosity is defined by the Collins dictionary as “affected or excessive devotion to religion… If you refer to a person’s religiosity, you are referring to the fact that they are religious in a way that seems exaggerated and insincere.” It further adds that “religiosity is the quality of being excessively, ostentatiously, or mawkishly religious.” Ken Welliver – The Preacher Man

— o —

We seniors agree that music sounded better on vinyl. That’s because the music was better.

— o —

Here’s some good news: to live longer, focus on good news in the news.

A study now being reported by the Washington Post notes that people with the highest levels of optimism enjoyed a life span between 11 and 15 percent longer than those who were the least optimistic. Research links optimism to eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, and being less likely to smoke cigarettes. Optimists also tend to manage stress.

Since studies clearly link religious commitment with a more optimistic outlook, you and I should be especially positioned to benefit from such positivism even in challenging times. But as I have learned personally in recent days, trust in God does not guarantee optimism, especially when God does not do what we are trusting him to do. Jim Denison

— o —

An older man was walking on the beach and found a lamp. Instinctively he rubbed it, and to his surprise, a genie appeared. “Because you have freed me,” the genie said, “I will grant you one wish.” The man thought for a moment and then responded, “My brother and I had a fight 30 years ago and he hasn’t spoken to me since. I wish that he would finally forgive me.”

There was a thunderclap, and the genie declared, “Your wish has been granted.” “You know,” the genie continued, “most men would have asked for wealth or fame or material possessions. But you only wanted the love of your brother. Is it because you are old or are you dying?

“No way!” the man cried. “But my brother is, and he’s worth about $60 million.”



No matter how big a hammer you use, you can’t pound common sense into stupid people.

You come from dust and you return to dust. That’s why I don’t dust. It could be someone I know.

A gun is like a parachute. If you need one and don’t have it, you will never need it again.

Politicians are not supposed to make us a “Christian Nation” that job is for the Christians, how we treat others and serve the poor speaks volumes to the people around us. If we as Christians acted Christ-like then the real work would begin. Russell Johnson

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks, months, maybe even years.

The older I get the more wisdom I find in the ancient rule of taking first things first. A process which often reduces the most complex human problem to a manageable proportion. Dwight D. Eisenhower

How sad it is that these great gentlemen should believe what anyone tells them and do not choose to judge for themselves! But it is always so. Mozart

Don’t put the wrong things at the top of your priority list. Dan Shock

Jesus says “I am at the door and knock” but the lock is on the inside and you have the key. Kelly Knouse

The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests. Epictetus

Fear and faith are mutually exclusive. Dan Shock

People only see what they are prepared to see. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Joy doesn’t make you grateful. Gratitude makes you joyful. Charles Swindoll

God meets daily needs daily. Not weekly or annually. He will give you what you need when it is needed. Max Lucado