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Coach Gess Gameday Devotion - Game 7 vs. Monroe Area

Coach Gess Gameday Devotion - Game 7 vs. Monroe Area
David Beall

TONIGHT – Monroe Area comes to Hebron. Monroe Area has a record of 2-4 but the four games they lost came against teams that are still undefeated.  They lost in double overtime to Loganville who is 7-0. They lost 19-11 to Gainesville who is undefeated and #3 in 6A. They lost to Prince Avenue because they fumbled twice going into score inside the 5 (Prince is undefeated). Then they lost to Stephens County last week 24-27 and Stephens is undefeated.  Monroe could easily be 6-0. They are a very good team with great players. This will be a war once again. 


Much of what I write today must be attributed to our strength coach, Spencer Arnold. He spoke in chapel a few weeks ago and one of his resources was a writing on Johann Sebastian Bach. The article on Bach and Spencer’s chapel speech has stuck with me the past few weeks and really has me pondering Soli Deo Gloria.

Bach is a famous music composer from Germany. He lived from 1685-1750. Today, in 2022, his name and his work is studied throughout the world. In every single one of his compositions he would always sign in at the bottom SDG. Soli Deo Gloria is a Latin term for Glory to God Alone. Bach possessed a genius for writing music. It was such an amazing genius that across the world people know his name and study his work. His music is played across the world. 

Why sign it SDG and not JSB? Bach was a Christian. He lived his life inspired by the Holy Spirit living inside of him. As a Christian, Bach knew that he was created in God’s image for God’s glory. He knew that any talent and ability he had, God had given it to him. By signing his pieces SDG, he was reminding himself it was for God’s glory he composed. He was reminding you and me it was for God’s glory he composed. Had he signed it JSB, his purpose would be that everyone would know the amazing work he had done. By signing it SDG, he was reminding everyone it was by God moving and working through him he composes…To God the Glory!

Bach understood by the power of the Holy Spirit working in him, that his brain could compose music in a special way because God gave him the ability. To give credit to himself or anyone else would be stealing from God’s glory. But as he consistently pointed to Jesus in all of his work, 300 years after his death, Bach is the most famous name known in the music industry. Bach never intended to make his name great. His aim was to glorify God and magnify the name of Jesus Christ. The world has glorified Bach. Bach has glorified Christ. So as the world studies Bach they see Christ. It is amazing how God works! 

The question I have been asking myself is this? Why do I do what I do? Is my purpose and aim to glorify myself or is it to glorify God? I know the correct answer: SDG! But is this truly my aim? My sin nature wants self to be glorified. We all want recognition and attention. I don’t think this is all wrong but we must analyze our motives. Self cannot be our central purpose. If it is, we will have reduced God to being our personal genie.  God will go from being the Savior of the world who all of my honor and glory is due, to being my personal assistant in my quest for glory. 

Can you write? God gave you the ability. Can you sing? God gave you the ability. Are you smart? God gave you intelligence. Are you fast? God gave you your height. Are you strong? God gave you your strength? Are you an artist? God gave you the ability. 

I find myself pondering SDG because I can see where I have been guilty in the past of chasing glory for myself. It’s an ongoing daily battle to not steal the glory due to God. Our flesh sometimes wants to sit and bask in what great things we have accomplished. It’s not wrong to have joy in your accomplishments, but wisdom points us to the one to whom has given us the ability and to whom the glory is due: Jesus Christ. 

What I have found in life is there is never enough glory you can get. You will always want to win one more game and one more championship. You think to win would satisfy your desire to win…you think to win a championship would quench your desire for a championship. But it doesn’t! It only makes the desire for it more. And this is very dangerous territory. 

Think about the guy at Enron back in the early 2000’s. He had a business and it was growing. He probably started off doing everything right. In his businesses early growth he becomes a millionaire and so does many around him. You think he could just stop right there and enjoy what he had built and slowly and legally continue to grow.  But that isn’t what success does to us for those who are not after success but after worldly glory. In his success he wanted more. He got addicted to growth and successful quarterly reports that made his stock price grow. He was winning every quarter. The world is proclaiming him a genius. This becomes his identity–the genius of a man who never fails.

So what did he do? He started cheating so his quarterly reports never showed any negative growth. He lied, cheated, and stole because he was chasing his own glory. The world thought he was a genius and he would never fail. This became his identity. He fell in love with the glory. He would do anything to keep it…to his own demise.  In the end it was one of the greatest cheating scandals in our nation’s history. 

There is freedom in SDG. You can be free from chasing glory for yourself everyday.  I know from experience it is exhausting. Just think about it…if we can just stop thinking about how I can get the next wave of attention or the next win…think about how much freedom and peace our brain can receive.  

SDG has this mentality: I am going to work as hard as I can to be successful. I pray Psalm 32:8 with my work: 

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” 

But in the end I surrender my work to Christ and it is for his glory. He will do with it what he may. If he gives success and victory then SDG. If he allows failure and defeat then we will still proclaim SDG trusting in God’s good and perfect plan. 

I’m not saying don’t work hard…I’m saying work hard for God’s glory. I am not saying don’t desire to be successful and work toward that end…I am saying do it for God’s glory. Bach was purposeful in doing his work for God’s glory. 300 years later he is the most famous music composer in the world and people are seeing that he did it for God’s glory. May this be our aim!


“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” – Proverbs 21:31

Wholly for Christ,

– Coach Gess