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Carnality: The Terminal Cancer Of The Christian!

Pastor Andrew SchankFor decades now, many of us have been hearing more and more about people who have varying types of cancers. The conspiracy theorists would have us think this stems from the government spraying us with toxins in an effort to control the population, while others think this is due to the lack of nutrients in our food nowadays. The truth is that there are many contributing factors to the increase of those diagnosed with cancer. One of which is the intentional participation in things known to be carcinogenic.

Does not this sound familiar to the child of God? Does not this remind us of how carnality, with all of its tentacles, can sap the life from a child of God? The Apostle Paul stated in His Epistle to the Romans the following, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6) Here we see a clear distinction between being fleshly motivated and Holy Spirit led. We see the immutable results of each. Yet, knowing this truth, many of God’s children behave as if this dynamic is only a fable and has nothing to do with reality.

This is no different than someone continuing to smoke cigarettes, all the while, knowing they will likely be stricken with some sort of cancer or illness related to this risky behavior. It has long been known that committing adultery and fornication can not only rob you of your Christian testimony, but it you can leave you with an STD (sexually transmitted disease). Some of which are worse than cancer!

Though many have known Christ for several years, they are eaten up with the cancer of carnality. Our old nature is our biggest enemy and will devour us if we do not allow the sweet Holy Spirit to lead us day by day.

If we allow our old, Adamic nature to have its way and if we don’t allow the Spirit of God to bridle our decision making, then we will live a life characterized by carnality. Sin will cease to make us blush. What was once wicked will soon be seen as tolerable. Things that used to be taboo, will be allowed under the so-called license of “Christian Liberty”.

Lest we think carnality is only a personal thing, we should remember that cancer is not. The patient is not the only one who suffers with cancer; families are ravaged as well. At a distance, the cosmetic effects of cancer can be understood. So it is with carnality. The sins of the flesh will hurt those around us in more ways than our selfish mind can contemplate. We should never think that our carnality is not brought into visibility by those who watch us.

(Psalms 119:9-11) “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (KJV)

What will it take for people to wake up and discard the reasoning that enables a carnal lifestyle? Much of life’s drama is simply the ramifications of self-induced carnality. Every child of God must be obedient to God’s Inerrant Word and submissive to His leadership through the Holy Spirit if they are to live the victorious Christian life that God desires for them.

 

 

Decision Making: It Says A Lot About You!

Pastor Andrew SchankSomeone once said, “Actions speak louder than words!” There is a lot of truth behind that axiom, isn’t it? Each of us can cite examples of poor decision making either in our own life or in someone’s life whom we love dearly. Many try to mask poor decisions with a lot of pretense, but the truth is we do just exactly what we want to do most of the time. There is nobody to blame for the things we say and do, but ourselves.

Poor Decisions Hurt People…

Many are accused of being judgmental when pointing out the errors that result from poor decision making, but that could simply be a misunderstanding. Think about it… people we care about the most will stir our emotions and passion. Voicing disagreement should not be construed as judgmental… necessarily.  Frankly, poor decisions hurt people!

Nothing will hurt and age pastor any more than bad decisions made by folks in the congregation. Parents and grandparents are often scarred by the decisions made by their offspring! Even when children leave the nest, parents don’t stop being parents. On the other hand, children are often hurt deeply by the bad decision making of hasty parents!

Decisions Have Consequences Both Good And Bad…

A friend of mine wrote, “Making the decision is not the hard part, but its living with the consequences.” That rings true, doesn’t it? One of the basic parts of life is making a decision and living with its consequences. From a little child we learn how to do this. The problem arises when we make bad decisions, knowing the possible consequences, and continue down the wrong path. We should make decisions in light of God’s Word! After all, it is the best way!

Our Decisions Have Something To Say…

Whether we choose to believe it or not, the decisions we make each day have something to say about our character. It is laughable how people get mad at others who form opinions about them from decisions which have been made. The Bible has a lot to say about the actions of the fool. Read the Book of Proverbs! When it comes to children, the Bible teaches us that they are known by the deeds; good or bad.

(Proverbs 20:11) “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” (KJV)

Conclusion

What have your decisions said about you lately? Do you feel that you have been misunderstood? Even when doing the right thing, people can misinterpret us. Our focus should be on being obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ and let God sort things out. According to Luke 7:35 “… wisdom is justified of all her children.” Decisions, both good and bad, can be learned from and both will be made by each of us. May we realize just how important it is to make the right ones so we can keep a clean testimony!!!

Resurrection Day: The Reminder!

Pastor Andrew SchankOf the holidays we celebrate, I like Resurrection Day the most! There are many reasons for this, but I suppose if I were to narrow it down to one it would have to be the fact that it REMINDS me of what my life as a believer is all about. The older I get the more I need to be reminded about things because life has a way of distracting you from what it truly important.

Jesus Rose Again!

Resurrection Day reminds me that God is still on the throne! He is Sovereign! He is Almighty! He has no equals! Our Lord Jesus came to the Earth for one purpose:the cross. After taking my sins and your sins upon Himself, paying our sin debt, suffering the wrath of God in our place, He was placed in a borrowed tomb. After three days, Jesus Christ was raised triumphantly! There are a plethora of details that we could highlight concerning the events leading up to and during the crucifixion. We could even write about the activity of Jesus during the entombment. The resurrection, however, is the culmination of it all! Jesus rose again! Because He did, I can LIVE!

(Matthew 28:5-6) “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (KJV)

Trouble Precedes A Resurrection!

This holiday season I am more keenly aware of the absolute hatred and vitriol people have for God, His Word and His People! In the weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday, I , like many of you, read the Gospel accounts of how people treated our Lord from His agony in the garden to His expiration on Golgotha. It sickened me. What’s worse is that I see the same contempt unleashed upon people for simply standing up for what they believe concerning the Bible here in America! While folks are mocking us and slapping us around like they did to Jesus, they will soon have us bearing a cross on our bloodied backs! In other places around the world people are being murdered almost incessantly for simply professing that they are a Christian! Though this troubles you and I, we must remember that there would not have been a resurrection if there had not been the cross beforehand!

“God doesn’t always smooth the path, but sometimes he puts springs in the wagon.” – Lucas

(2 Timothy 3:12) “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (KJV)

We Can LIVE!

When you and I look back upon the historical Biblical record of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, you and I are reminded of the truth that we too can LIVE! Not only after we leave this world, but while we are in this world! Yes, the animosity and malicious behavior of wicked souls do, in fact, tend to intimidate us, but we can LIVE! We do not need to hide in a corner somewhere and live our lives as best we can. God wants the life of His Son to be lived through us.

(Galatians 2:20) “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (KJV)

Conclusion…

As you continue your day, remember that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ reminds all of us that God is in control! Though troubles and trials may seem to sap our joy in life, we can LIVE as we allow Jesus to LIVE through us! Live in the reality of the Resurrection!

(Romans 8:35-39) “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (KJV)