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Fear of God

The fear of God leads us to his mercy.


A few summers ago, my family took a family trip to Toronto. We'd never been there before, so we didn't know what to see. But all the guidebooks said you have to go up the CN Tower, the world's tallest building and freestanding structure. I didn't think that was such a good idea, because I have a real fear of heights. Just looking at 1,815 feet in the guidebook gave me a bad feeling. But the kids insisted, "Come on, Dad! We have to go!" So against my better judgment, we went.

When we got there, I was the last one into the elevator. Following the universal law of elevators, I turned around and faced the door. It was only as we started up that I realized the door of this elevator was made of glass, and we were affixed to the outside of the CN Tower. So as we were racing up this tower, Toronto was falling away at our feet. My palms started to sweat. My throat tightened up, and I began breathing harder. I told myself, It's going to be okay. Pretty soon, we're going to be on the observation floor, and we're going to be okay.

I was the first one off the elevator, thankfully. I got onto the observation floor, and there I discovered some sadist had installed a glass floor so you could walk around and look down. The kids were saying, "Come on, Dad!" They were out there jumping up and down on it, lying on this glass floor. I could not do it; I could not look all the way down. 

That same year we went to the Grand Canyon. At the Grand Canyon, you stand at the south rim and you peer 6,000 feet down to the bottom. Unlike the CN Tower, there are no solid blocks of glass separating you from your doom. As the guidebook states, every year, on average, four or five people die at the Grand Canyon—some from "overly zealous photographic ...

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Kevin A. Miller is the senior pastor at Church of the Savior in Wheaton, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:


I. What does it mean to fear God?

II. Fear of God is more than just awe and reverence.

III. Fear of God is healthy and restraining.

IV. Fear of God leads us to mercy.