Welcome to St Clement’s! Can you believe we’re already in February? Holidays are over, schools are back, and you’re probably settling in to the normal routine of 2017. But as we go forward into 2017, what will your priority be? Malcolm Turnbull in his New Year speech said that as we ‘look ahead to 2017, rest assured that national and economic security will again be my priority.’ What’s your priority as you look ahead to 2017?
As we’ve started 2017 at St Clement’s our priority has been to re-orient our lives by looking at five great truths about how we can be right with God. 1) Through Scripture alone; 2) by grace alone; 3) in Christ alone; 4) through faith alone; and today, 5) to the glory of God alone. In many ways ‘to the glory of God alone’ is the culmination of all these truths, and as I’ve been thinking about this, it’s helped to shape my priority for 2017, that I might live my life ‘to the glory of God alone’ and join in with the hymn, ‘To God be the glory, great things He has done’.
But that’s easier said than done! For in life it’s easy to sing, ‘To me be the glory great things I have done!’. Moses warned the Israelites of this as they entered the promised land, that they might forget God and say, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” (Deut. 8:17 NIV). Despite this warning, as time went on they forgot God’s goodness to them, and praised themselves, with terrible consequences! And we do too, with terrible consequences!
That’s why it’s so wonderful that Jesus lived a life perfectly giving glory to God, and gave up his life, so that we might be forgiven, forgiven for when we don’t give glory to God. Jesus “humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:8 NIV). Jesus, “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 NIV).
What’s your priority this year? Is it shaped by what Jesus alone has done for you, so that in Christ alone, you might sing ‘To God be the glory, great things he has done’?