Colossians 3:17, HCSB
Johann Sebastian Bach was born in 1685 in Germany to a family of musicians. He was orphaned by the age of ten, but through the early influence of his father, and the later guidance of his brother, he decided he would write music for the glory of God.
When he was only seventeen Bach became the organist at the church in the small village of Arnstadt, and soon was placed in charge of the entire music ministry. During one period in his life he wrote, conducted, orchestrated and performed with his choir and orchestra a new cantata--every week!
About two hundred of his musical compositions survive to this day, including his famous Brandenburg Concertos. But here is why I’m telling you about this: At the beginning of every one of his manuscripts there are the letters “J.J.,” which stand for “Jesu Java” (Jesus help me). And at the end of each original manuscript you can find the letters “S.D.G.,” a reference to “Soli Deo Gloria” (glory to God alone).
We may not be composing music but those seem like good attitudes to begin and end each twelve month period of our lives. When we are beginning a new year, let us write at the top of it, “Jesu Java—Jesus Help Me.” Through the days, weeks and months which follow, let us live in light of the fact that Jesus is with us, just as He said He would be, and that He provides us with the strength we need for living.
At the end of the year, will we be able to look back and add “Soli Deo Gloria—glory to God alone” to our experiences and endeavors of the year? But this won’t happen by accident or “just because.” Frankly, the only way to be able to do that is to walk with Him and live for Him as a conscious, determined effort.
So write “Jesus help me” across the beginning of your new year, so that you can write, “glory to God alone” across the end of it.
–Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com