a monthly devotional journal by David S. Lampel -
Issue #84 / November, 1997
Evidence of His Glory
An expert on the Jewish Law once asked Jesus
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus' answer was direct and simple.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and
with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment."
There are many things important in the Christian life. Evangelism is important.
Koinonia fellowship is important. The preaching of the word, study, intercessory
prayer are all important things we are called to do.
But Jesus said that there is one thing we are to do before anything else
indeed, none of the above are even possible without first loving the
Lord our God.
How do we do that? How do we love God? He is invisible to us. In John 4 Jesus
says that God is spirit. But we are flesh; how can we love someone so unlike
The Bible says that we love God vertically and horizontally.
Our vertical love for God is manifested in praise and worship. We love Him
by telling Him we do, by singing out His goodness, and by verbally proclaiming
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in
my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear
it and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 34:1-3 NASB
In corporate worship we come together and make the presence of the Lord larger
in our minds and hearts by proclaiming who He is. It's a little like reminding
ourselves. Day after day we struggle through life, spending our time with
activities in which it is easy to forget that God is greater than anything
taking place down here. Because it's easy to forget, He created worship.
From Thee comes my praise in the great assembly. Psalm 22:25a
In worship we remind ourselves that God is God, and we remember His countless
attributes, among which are His omnipotence, His grace, His wisdom, and His
own love for us.
So worship is a time to reconnect with our God. But, as David says in Psalm
34:1, it is also a time to bless Him which means to adore Him. As
one would look deeply into the eyes of a wife, a husband, a child, or a
betrothed, we look deeply into the holiness of God and cry out, "I love You!"
"Our tongue is our glory, and it ought to reveal the glory of God. What a
blessed mouthful is God's praise! How sweet, how purifying, how perfuming!"
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Worship of God is not to be limited to our Sunday morning corporate service;
worship and praise do not require a leader directing from the church platform.
Real worship requires only a loving and honest heart ready to turn its attention
All around us is evidence of His glory and reminders of His character. We
need not struggle to paint a picture in our minds of the personality of God,
for we see His hand in everything. The lark sings of His tenderness, the
storm of His wrath; the wind whispers of His Spirit, the clouds of His
overarching wings of mercy. In all these and more we find the words of our
praise the qualities of a God who longs to hear from us.
O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our
maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep
of his hand. Psalm 95:6-7a KJV
We are to collect up all the evidence of His glory and heave it back toward
heaven in our hymns and words of praise. In this He is pleased, and in this
we remember His strong, constant hand in our lives.
Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
You Are Great
Oh, how we have devalued this word. It along with its first cousin
"awesome" has been so debased by common, idiotic use that it no longer
means anything at all.
"How are you feeling?"
"I can make it to your party."
"How was that movie last night?"
"How were those brownies you made?"
"Describe your God."
We are a people who have sunk so low as to use the same word to express our
pleasure or approval that the Bible uses to describe omnipotent, almighty
How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!
Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God,
his holy mountain. Psalm 48:1
And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing
beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image
and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God and sang
the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb:
"Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the ages.
Who will not fear you, O Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed." Rev.
"We must not think of God as highest in an ascending order of beings, starting
with the single cell and going on up from the fish to the bird to the animal
to the man to angel to cherub to God. This would be to grant God eminence,
even pre-eminence, but that is not enough; we must grant Him transcendence
in the fullest meaning of that word. Forever God stands apart, in light
unapproachable. He is as high above an archangel as above a caterpillar,
for the gulf that separates the archangel from the caterpillar is but finite,
while the gulf between God and the archangel is infinite." A.W.
O Majesty unspeakable and dread!
Wert Thou less mighty than Thou art,
Thou wert, O Lord! too great for our belief,
Too little for our heart.
You are Wonderful
His name is wonderful, His name is wonderful,
His name is wonderful, Jesus, my Lord;
He is the mighty King,
Master of everything,
His name is wonderful,
Jesus, my Lord.
He's the great shepherd, the Rock of all ages,
Almighty God is He;
Bow down before Him, love and adore Him,
His name is wonderful,
Jesus, my Lord.
His name is not "Wonderful" as mine is "David" and yours may be "Mary Jane."
The entirety of who God is His unchanging character and personality,
His attributes and ways everything that comprises God's holy person
is contained in and faithfully represented by His name. And the sound of
that name to our feeble ears is wonderful, it is lovely beyond words.
All this also comes from the LORD Almighty, wonderful in counsel and
magnificent in wisdom. Isaiah 28:29
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people
belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you
out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter
Then Job replied to the LORD: "I know that you can do all things; no plan
of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel
without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things
too wonderful for me to know. Job 42:1-3
We are naturally drawn to people who are wonderful; we are, literally, filled
with wonder over them, and are drawn to learn more. With people dwelling
on our plane this may be possible, but the things of God are so profound
as to be outside our comprehension.
We may nibble here and there at the fringes of His grandeur, but more often
we are left with only a sigh, and a resignation that He is too wonderful
to comprehend fully.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
"When we are about to look upon God's perfections, we should observe our
own imperfections, and thereby learn to be the more modest in our searching
of God's unsearchable perfection: 'Such knowledge,' saith David, 'is too
high for me, I cannot attain unto it.' Then do we see most of God, when we
see Him incomprehensible, and do see ourselves swallowed up in the thoughts
of His perfection, and are forced to fall in admiration of our God."
You are Strong
Your arm is endued with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.
The way we consider someone's strength has much to do with our personal
perspective. To someone who is weak, another person's strength may be a welcome
help or painfully intimidating. To the strong, someone else who is
equally strong may be seen as a challenger to be conquered or an
empathetic companion. Whatever our perspective, we typically approach human
strength with caution.
But the Lord's strength we can confidently embrace, for it is equally imbued
with His love.
One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are
strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person
according to what he has done. Psalm 62:11-12
O LORD, I say to you, "You are my God." Hear, O LORD, my cry for mercy.
O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of
battle do not grant the wicked their desires, O LORD; do not let their
plans succeed, or they will become proud. Selah Psalm
A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
"The word 'Comforter' as applied to the Holy Spirit needs to be translated
by some vigorous term. Literally, it means 'with strength.' Jesus promised
His followers that 'The Strength-ener' would be with them forever. This promise
is no lullaby for the faint-hearted. It is a blood transfusion for courageous
living." E. Paul Hovey
You are Steadfast
"A child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life.
Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce
and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always
say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly
dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.
"But perhaps God is strong enough . . . It is possible that God says every
morning, 'Do it again,' to the sun; and every evening, 'Do it again,' to
the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike:
it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired
of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for
we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."
G. K. Chesterton
Praise the LORD.
I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and
in the assembly.
Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in
Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and
He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are steadfast for ever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness.
We sigh for human love,
From which a whim or chance may sever,
And leave unsought the love of God,
Tho' God's love lasts forever.
We seek earth's peace in things that pass
Like foam upon the river,
While steadfast as the stars on high,
God's peace abides forever.
Man's help, for which we long, gives way,
As trees in storm winds quiver,
But mightier than all human need
God's help remains forever.
Effie Smith Ely
You are Beautiful
Fairest Lord Jesus! Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son!
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul's glory, joy, and crown!
There can be no finer portrait of God than the beautiful Savior. In the person
of His Son God has placed everything pleasing by which we can make contact
with His pristine holiness.
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
The fleeting beauty of the world around us is little more than fragile dust
when compared to the loveliness of the Lord. But more than pleasing to the
eye, Jesus is lovely to the soul, a compassionate friend who turns our night
fears into morning joy.
Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host:
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer,
Than all the angels heaven can boast.
Robed in light and burning with the brilliance of a thousand suns, Jesus
outshines every stellar creature, every created being above and below. Were
all the beauty ever created from the beginning of time till the end of the
ages collected into one place, Jesus would be more lovely than its sum.
Beautiful Saviour! Lord of the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forevermore be Thine! Amen.
Jesus possesses the only beauty that commands respect and obeisance. His
is a fearful brilliance that brings us to our knees in joy-filled reverence.
But we must never forget that Christ's loveliness is not His alone, but
represents the eternal beauty of the Godhead. Our beautiful Savior is nothing
less than the magnificence of God brought down to man.
Our midnight is Thy smile withdrawn;
Our noontide is Thy gracious dawn;
Our rainbow arch, Thy mercy's sign;
All, save the clouds of sin, are Thine.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4
You are Eternal
A prayer of Moses the man of God.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before
the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from
everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn men back to dust, saying,
"Return to dust, O sons of men." For a thousand years in your sight are like
a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. Psalm
So I said: "Do not take me away, O my God, in the midst of my days; your
years go on through all generations. In the beginning you laid the foundations
of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish,
but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you
will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and
your years will never end. Psalm 102:24-27
"Because God lives in an everlasting now, He has no past and no future. When
time-words occur in the Scriptures they refer to our time, not to His. When
the four living creatures before the throne cry day and night, 'Holy, holy,
holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come,' they are identifying
God with the flow of creature-life with its familiar three tenses; and this
is right and good, for God has sovereignly willed so to identify Himself.
But since God is uncreated, He is not Himself affected by that succession
of consecutive changes we call time. God dwells in eternity, but time dwells
in God." Tozer
Thou hadst no youth, great God,
An Unbeginning End Thou art;
Thy glory in itself abode,
And still abides in its own tranquil heart:
No age can heap its outward years on Thee:
Dear God! Thou art Thyself Thine own eternity!
Without an end or bound
Thy life lies all outspread in light;
Our lives feel Thy life all around,
Making our weakness strong, our darkness bright;
Yet is it neither wilderness nor sea,
But the calm gladness of a full eternity.
Oh Thou art very great
To set Thyself so far above!
But we partake of Thine estate,
Established in Thy strength and in Thy love:
That love hath made eternal room for me
In the sweet vastness of its own eternity.
You are Present
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this
place, and I was not aware of it." Genesis 28:16
You hem me in behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
"Am I only a God nearby," declares the LORD, "and not a God far away?
Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the
LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD. Jeremiah
"Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.
"When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,
For I will be with thee, thy trials to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine,
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."
"God is indeed there. He is there as He is here and everywhere, not confined
to a tree or stone, but free in the universe, near to everything, next to
everyone, and through Jesus Christ immediately accessible to every loving
heart. This truth is to the convinced Christian a source of deep comfort
in sorrow and of steadfast assurance in all the varied experiences of his
life. To him 'the practice of the presence of God' consists not of projecting
an imaginary object from within his own mind and then seeking to realize
its presence; it is rather to recognize the real presence of the One whom
all sound theology declares to be already there, an objective entity, existing
apart from any apprehension of Him on the part of His creatures. The resultant
experience is not visionary but real." Tozer
You are Truth
Be careful to not confuse truth with reality, for truth is objective, while
reality is subjective.
When God wrote Scripture He wrote absolute truth. He put down exactly,
succinctly, what He intended in the manner He intended. But we each have
been left to discover our own reality. Absolute truth has always been filtered
through the lens of our own perception. Ask the colorblind person what the
color green looks like; ask Helen Keller (if we could) what water feels like
as it gushes over the hands; ask my wife what broccoli tastes like (then
Over the centuries we have layered onto God's clear truth so many "traditions"
that our lenses have become clouded. God's truth is simple, crystalline.
It is man that has clouded our lens of perception.
What we each know of God is influenced by our life experiences: experiences
with God Himself, answers to prayer, how His Spirit speaks to us in worship,
our ability to interpret and reason through the Scriptures, our personality,
our receptivity to ideas different from our own.
These various filters color our perception of God which becomes, for
each of us, our reality. Not truth, but perceived reality. None of these
filters, however, change the truth of God. That is eternally unchangeable.
Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord,
My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word.
Bless Thou the truth, dear Lord, to me, to me,
As Thou didst bless the bread by Galilee;
Then shall all bondage cease, all fetters fall;
And I shall find my peace, my All in all.
Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me;
Give me to eat and live with Thee above;
Teach me to love Thy truth, for Thou art love.
O send Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me,
That He may touch my eyes, and make me see:
Show me the truth concealed within Thy word,
And in Thy Book revealed I see the Lord.
Mary A. Lathbury
"First to the right, then to the left, the road was ever ascending but always
twisting, and thus, by easy marches, we were able to reach the summit of
the pass. A straight line would have been shorter for the eagle's wing, but
no human foot could have followed it. Nobody called us inconsistent for reaching
our destination in this way; we kept to the road, and no one could complain.
If we honestly desire to gain the heights of divine truth, we shall find
many zigzags in the road. Here we shall face divine sovereignty with all
its lofty grandeur, and soon we shall turn in the opposite direction, toward
the frowning peaks of human responsibility. What does it matter if we appear
to be inconsistent, so long as we keep to the highway of Scripture, which
is our only safe road to knowledge! Angels may, perhaps, be systematic divines.
For men it should be enough to follow the word of God. Let its teachings
wind as they may." Charles H. Spurgeon
You are Creative
You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens,
and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and
all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven
worship you. Neh. 9:6
1In the beginning God created the heavens and the
3And God said, "Let there be light . . ."
Praise ye the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Join me in glad adoration!
6And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters
to separate water from water." 9And God said, "Let the water under the sky
be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear."
Praise ye the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
11Then God said, "Let the land produce . .
14And God said, "Let there be lights
in the expanse . . ."
20And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and
let birds fly above the earth . . ."
24And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according
to their kinds . . ."
Praise ye the Lord, who with marvelous wisdom hath made thee!
Decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee;
How oft in grief hath not He brought thee relief,
Spreading His wings for to shade thee!
26Then God said, "Let us make man in our image . . ."
Praise ye the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him!
Let the Amen sound from His people again:
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
from Genesis 1:1-26
You are Righteous
"The Divine 'goodness' differs from ours, but it is not sheerly different:
it differs from ours not as white from black but as a perfect circle from
a child's first attempt to draw a wheel. But when the child has learned to
draw, it will know that the circle it then makes is what it was trying to
make from the very beginning. This doctrine is presupposed in Scripture.
Christ calls men to repent a call which should be meaningless if God's
standard were sheerly different from that which they already knew and failed
to practise." C.S. Lewis
"Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and
they know that you have sent me." John 17:25
The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the simplehearted;
when I was in great need, he saved me.
Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you. Psalm 116:5-7
"Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you
alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous
acts have been revealed." Rev. 15:4
No politician, no lobbyist, no coalition of activists, no neighborhood group,
city council or ad hoc committee can set the rules determining right from
God is right; He is the very essence of justice. His righteousness does not
stand outside the workings of our day-to-day society; it is not something
utterly detached, pristine so as to be incomprehensible. God's righteousness
and justice His concept of right and wrong stand beside us
every day in the checkout line; they sit with us as we watch the evening
news; they dwell within our minds as we share our thoughts and positions
God's word is eternal, and we never need to guess. We never need to wonder
what God might think if He were in this situation. He is, and His position
is written for all time in the pages of His book: the Holy Bible.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the LORD with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love. Psalm
You are Radiant
"A sight of God's glory humbles. The stars vanish when the sun appears."
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, You are very great:
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment,
Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.
He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters,
Who makes the clouds His chariot,
Who walks on the wings of the wind,
Who makes His angels spirits,
His ministers a flame of fire. Psalm 104:1-4
O splendor of God's glory bright,
From light eternal bringing light;
Thou Light of life, light's living Spring,
True Day, all days illumining.
Come, very Sun of heaven's love,
In lasting radiance from above,
And pour the Holy Spirit's ray
On all we think or do today.
Confirm our will to do the right,
And keep our hearts from envy's blight;
Let faith her eager fires renew,
And hate the false, and love the true.
O joyful be the passing day
With thoughts as clear as morning's ray,
With faith like noontide shining bright,
Our souls unshadow'd by the night.
Dawn's glory gilds the earth and skies;
Do thou, our perfect Morn, arise;
The Father's help His children claim,
And sing the Father's glorious name. Amen.
Ambrose of Milan
Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was
the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory
of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one
speaking. Ezekiel 1:28
Then the glory of the LORD rose from above the cherubim and moved to the
threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full
of the radiance of the glory of the LORD. Ezekiel
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of
his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews
You are Sufficient
I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that
I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant
offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet
all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God
and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Philip.
Ah, we are a people so preoccupied with what we desire from the pitiful storage
sheds of the world, that we have blindly missed altogether the vast warehouses
filled to the brim of God's 'glorious riches.'
Because He is invisible, we imagine His wealth is intangible; because He
is mysterious, we think His riches will be difficult to grasp; and because
we don't know Him as well as we should, we figure He won't understand our
No one knows us as well as the Lord. And no one knows our needs better than
He. If what we need is not in His storehouse and His inventory is
vast then we don't really need it.
To praise God's sufficiency is to understand that our lives need nothing
that is not already in His.
"On a tradesman's table I noticed a book labeled WANT BOOK. What a practical
suggestion for a man of prayer! He should put down all his needs on the tablets
of his heart, and then present his 'want book' to his God. If we knew all
our needs, what a large book we would need! How comforting to know that Jesus
has a supply book, which exactly meets our want book! Promises, providences,
and divine visitations combine to meet the necessities of all the faithful."
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great
revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan,
to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made
perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my
weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Cor.
"Is not my house right with God? Has he not made with me an everlasting
covenant, arranged and secured in every part? Will he not bring to fruition
my salvation and grant me my every desire?" 2 Samuel
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides
you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26
"By His nature He is inclined to bestow blessedness and He takes holy pleasure
in the happiness of His people." Tozer