Psalm 103:11-14

For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.

For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:11-14

What does it mean to fear God?

For much of my life, fearing God simply meant being afraid of God. God was all about authority which meant God was all about anger and usually that anger was directed toward me.

The very idea of God conjured up images of being sent to the principal’s office (as I was, on more than one occasion); being terrified of my Mom’s moods and behaviors (as our parents are, for better or worse, god-like figures in our lives); or wondering why God was so far away (like the Dad I didn’t meet until I was 15.)

Christian people, especially hard-core Christian people, freaked me out. Like a friend of mine’s mother who baked both white and dark angel’s food cake because she wouldn’t use the word “devil.”

I thought church services were boring. BORING! And I was afraid that God, who knew I felt that way, would even hold my going to church against me.

Add all of that into the things that I did, and kept on doing, and even liked doing, that I knew were not good or right – my growing sense of sin and shame – and it only makes sense that God turned my stomach with fear long before God turned my life around.

But God kept coming after me. And then it happened. God was no longer the principal enforcing the rules, or the troubled mother, or the absent father, or the moralistic and fear-based neighbor. Suddenly I realized that God was loving, forgiving, patient, and present. Even for me.

Today fearing God means demonstrating the same kind of respectful admiration and devotion that I would show anyone who saved my life and then stuck around to walk with me through the rest of it.

Let us pray: God you ARE a very present help in time of trouble. You are gracious and merciful. You forgive and you forget. You heal and bind up the wounds of the broken. You are a light and a lamp. You see us without rejection or judgment. You are a prayer away. You are a compassionate parent. For this and more, we bless and praise you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


5 Responses to “Psalm 103:11-14”

  1. Charles Sheppard Says:

    Amen Kerry!!!    Chuck Shep

  2. Anonymous Says:

    So powerful!! Praise God!! Thank you, Pastor Kerry.

  3. deblee11 Says:

    Pastor Kerry, I can’t thank you enough for your Daily Devotions! I love your willingness to genuinely and honestly share yourself with us. You put into words the things I often have carried inside and struggled to understand. You always speak to my heart and give me hope.

  4. Carolee Says:

    Pastor Kerry, thank you for your explanation of what it means for us today to fear the Lord. It doesn’t mean we should be afraid of God, that he may strike us dead in our tracks. But rather as you say: “Fearing God means demonstrating the same kind of respectful admiration and devotion that I would show anyone who saved my life and then stuck around to walk with me through the rest of it.”
    Thank you pastor, and thank you Jesus.

  5. Anita Byrd-Petts Says:

    Thanks Reverend Kerry. We get so caught up in worrying about not pleasing God and making him angry that we forget how much he loves us, and that it is more than ok to love him back even when we don’t feel “good enough”. Thanks for reminding us.

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