The Daily Paine

Fear God, and no other fear will ever trouble you.”
–Joseph Parker

“Many people seem to think they can make others fall in with Christianity best by bringing it down to their standard.  As if the nearer you bring Christianity to the world, the more likely the world will be to embrace it….  No, the true way is to exhibit righteousness and the world in strong contrast, or you can never make sinners feel the necessity of a change.”
–Charles Finney              

I remember seeing May Day pictures of the Soviet Union back when they were a threat to the world.  They would parade their complete arsenal through the streets.  May Day to them was a sign of power and a warning.  It was quite different when I was growing up.  There were no parades of military prowess in the streets, but there was a custom of giving gifts, candy and putting them on the doorsteps.  Ring the doorbell and run.  Interesting the difference in cultures–fun times or threat of destruction.
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Here’s a question for you.  What is the most deadly thing known to man?  Cobra, nuclear weapons, a deadly virus, and they would be good answers.  William E. Sangster wrote that it was the cross.  He stated, “It is the most deadly thing known to God and man.  It would slay the body and damn the soul.”  The cross is the dividing point, the point of no return, or the place of hope and redemption.
It would be good for man to fear the cross.  Yes fear, for the cross is the only hope for life.  Now isn’t that paradoxical?  An emblem and method of death, yet it is the only hope for man to survive the dreaded disease of sin.  There man be natural diseases that eat the flesh of man, and destroy his brain, but there is nothing more fearful to the soul than sin.  Sin eats man’s soul away.
“Sin is deadly.  It is the one thing God won’t tolerate.  The war between good and evil is to the death.  And you lend yourself to sin without knowing to what dirty enterprise you have sold yourself…” (Sangster)  It does us good to look at the cross, pause and reflect.
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What does the “man of God” look like?  Could you pick him out in a crowd?  It used to be that the preacher in the community had a “uniform” of sorts.  People knew who he was by the way he dressed, especially on Sunday morning.  Go into a church today and try and identify the pastor. 
Ponder it some.  Could it be that he no longer wants to be recognized?  He wants to blend in with the community, when in fact he should stand out.  No, not to be weird, but to recognized.  I have yet to hear a good reason for the pastor not to lead the community and be recognized by the way he dresses.  Should he just blend in?

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
–Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)