10-22-17 "The Five Solas of the Reformation: Soli Deo Gloria"

I just shared something with someone yesterday that I’ve shared with various others over the years -- that sometimes, whole weeks go by where I feel shocked that I get paid to do something that’s this rewarding and this much fun... and then other weeks come by where I remind myself that it’s times like this when I earn all of that back pay.  This week has actually been a smidgey bit of both.

But I choose to focus on the positive -- like when I had the immense blessing of being able to dedicate little Zane Charles Doremus to the Lord this Sunday morning.  And I even remembered to wear a different suit (since I noticed in old pictures that, bizarrely, I wore the exact same suit, shirt, and tie combination for at least two of the other children’s dedication services, so it looks for all the world like I did them all on the same day).

And then later this week, I’m honored to be the featured guest on a local colleague’s podcast, where we’ll be discussing the nature of evil and the history of the Church’s portrayal of evil in “morality plays” and superstitions to try to scare people into doing good... just in time for his Hallowe’en upload of the interview.

But to me, October 31 each year is always more of a positive association with Reformation Day than a dark association with Hallowe’en.  And this year, it’ll be all that much more exciting because 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation.  Maybe I’ll shave my head and wear a monk’s robe to celebrate -- not to go “trick or treating” around the neighborhood, mind you, but just around my house...

In our sermon this week, we looked at the last of the “Five Solas” of the Reformation.  We’ve talked about “Sola Scriptura” (that our ultimate authority must be Scripture rather than tradition or preferences), “Sola Fide” (that we’re saved through faith alone, and not by our works), “Sola Gratia” (that we’re saved by God’s grace alone, and not because we’ve merited anything), “Solus Christus” (that we’re saved by Christ alone, and not through the work of some other, worldly intermediary), so this week, we talked about “Soli Deo Gloria” (that we were created to glorify God, so we should actively make sure that we focus on glorifying Him, and Him alone).

There are so many ways to lose sight of that focus.  Oh, we could start worshiping other pagan gods, but most of us aren’t planning on doing that.  But most of us do struggle with tacitly making little gods out of our own petty preferences, or petty frustrations, or petty ambitions, or petty comforts -- feeding them can become more of a priority to us than following God.  Or we struggle with trying to glorify God and ourselves -- and most of the time that we do that, our focus on God fades into the background and we quietly find ourselves putting ourselves into the spotlight of the glory.  Pretty consistently, our default position in this life is not to be actively glorifying God -- we have to make it a conscious point to do it.

We were created to glorify God (Isaiah 43:6-7).

Paul calls us to glorify God in whatever we do (1 Corinthians 10:31). 

In the throneroom of Heaven, the bizarre creatures and the two dozen elders never stop glorifying God (Revelation 4:6-11). 

So let’s make that our own priority today, and make it a conscious point to give God the glory in everything that we do.  Let’s stand alongside David in 1 Chronicles 16:29 and “ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name.”