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“Be careful little lips what you say

For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray.”

Casting Crowns – Slow Fade

 

“If lips and life do not agree, the testimony will not amount to much.”

H.A. Ironside

 

In the first Chapter of Genesis God speaks everything we know into existence. If we are created in His image then surely the words we allow to so carelessly fall from our lips also carry great power. I found over 2000 Bible verses dealing with the spoken word!  Now, I’m not saying our words hold anywhere near the power of God’s, but it’s obvious they affect our lives, both positively and negatively. We must be more careful what we speak!

Joel 2:28 “…and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy…”

Why prophesy negative into your life? The negative words seem to jump right out of us. We use phrases like…

…You’re…it’s…he’s…she’s killing me.

…I’ll probably die…get cancer…lose…

…Watch me get in an accident…fall on my head…break my neck…

Then we wonder why bad things happen to us! Even a simple phrase many of us use everyday, “I can’t afford it.” Why would we say that, when God has promised to provide everything we need?

We can also manipulate with our words, half-truths and flattery can do more harm to those around us than a physical assault.

Psalm 140:3 “They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adder’s poison is under their lips. Selah.”

Proverbs 10:32 “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh forwardness.”

Proverbs 20:19 “He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.

Of course, there are some pretty harsh penalties for giving your lips free rein.

Psalm 12:3 “The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:”

Psalm 59:12 “For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.”

King David knew that the “fruits” of one’s lips were important.

First he asked the LORD to protect him from others…

Psalm 120:2 “Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.”

…then to watch over his…

Psalm 141:3 “Set a watch O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”

…but of course, he knew the secret.

Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

Next time you’re tempted to prophecy negative into your life, stop and rewrite your inner script. If it pops out anyway repent it, quickly.

Never use flattery to get your way. If you can’t say a nice thing honestly it’s probably best to just shut up.

Pick one negative thing you say, out of habit, and choose not to say that thing, today. You’ll be amazed how quickly you can break the habit, once you become aware of it.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to help you notice the negatives and the flattering lies and avoid them.

 

Oh be careful little lips what you say.

Oh be careful little lips what you say,

For the Father up above is looking down in love.

Oh be careful little lips what you say.

 

 

 

Next: Hope For The Faded

Be careful little ears what you hear

When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near

Casting Crowns – Slow Fade

 

“A man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears.” Woodrow Wyatt

 

 

 

Our ears, they hear, but do they always listen? We stick ear buds in them, put headphones over them, wear blue tooths on them, and pierce them. When we were little, we tried to remember to clean them so Granny couldn’t dig “taters outa there”.

 

There are no Bible verses about cutting off your ears, thank heaven! But there are some about how we should hear.

 

Proverbs 8:33 “Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.”

Proverbs 1:5 “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:”

 

It also has a few things to say about how we shouldn’t use our ears.

 

Ecclesiastes 7:5 “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.”

Proverbs 19:27 “Cease, my son to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.”

 

Use your ears to become wise and gain knowledge, and don’t listen to fools or people who will lead you astray. Seems like a no-brainer; doesn’t it? But is it?

 

2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

 

It does seem many “churches” today have motivational speakers instead of Pastors. The “don’t offend anyone, don’t step on any toes” attitude of today’s church has done more harm to the cause of Christ than any anti-Christian movement has ever done.

 

Yes, we all want praise, and we all want to feel good about ourselves, but let’s not sacrifice truth on the altar of self esteem.

 

Proverbs 26:28 “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it, and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.”

 

It might be pleasant to have someone “spread it on thick” for a few minutes, but you can bet anyone laying on the flattery does not have your best interests at heart.

 

Proverbs 7:21-22 “With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;”

 

Those who would destroy your life don’t usually do it with harsh words. They do it with pretty words that make you feel good. Otherwise, why would you listen?

 

What you hear can affect your mood even when you don’t think you’re listening. Don’t believe it? Turn on an “end of the world” movie and take a nap. That’s why it’s important to choose your music carefully.

 

– Angry lyrics have been shown to increase anger and tension in teens

– A study of country music showed it could lead to depression.

– Music can lower inhibitions and increase arousal.

– Classical music lowers blood pressure and can lower tension.

– Very fast or chaotic rhythms can cause confusion, and decrease concentration.

– Up lifting songs, and upbeat rhythms increase productivity.

 

 

Be careful what you allow into your head, through your ears. Set your limits, before someone can talk you into something with pretty words. Ask yourself, “Will I gain knowledge, learn truth, or become more wise by listening?” “How does it affect the way I feel, the way I act?” Keep your ears “clean” in a way your Father would be proud of.

 

 

 

Oh, be careful little ears what you hear.
Oh, be careful little ears what you hear.
For the Father up above is looking down in love.
Oh, be careful little ears what you hear.

 

 

Next: Be Careful Little Lips What You Say

 

 

“Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow”

Casting Crowns – Slow Fade

 

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” Abraham Lincoln

 

We tend to ignore our feet, until they hurt or start giving us trouble. We stand on them for hours without rest, pound them to pieces trying to get in shape, and put them in shoes that violate the Geneva Convention. But the Bible takes our feet more seriously.

 

Mark 9:45 “And if thy foot offend the, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:”

 

Hmm, This time instead of plucking out our parts, we’re chopping them off! Seems like a major overreaction. Or is it?

 

First we have a father’s warning to his son concerning an adulterous woman.

 

Proverbs 5:5 “Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.”

 

Okay! Let’s not follow her any further! How about a warning to a son about running with the wrong crowd?

 

Proverbs 1:15,16 “My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.”

 

I can hear the howls now, “But I only…

…go to the men’s club for business. I don’t ever look at those girls!”

…have a couple of drinks at the bar. I never get drunk!”

…hang out with them sometimes. I’d never do what they do!”

…went out for a coffee with him. I’d never cheat!”

The Bible has this answer for us.

 

Proverbs 6:28 “Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?”

 

And what happens when we continue to allow our feet to lead us astray?

 

Jeremiah 14:10 “Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.”

 

Understand this is not talking about losing your salvation. That is ours to keep, but we can mess up bad enough that, much like we would with our own children, God allows us to suffer our consequences. I don’t know about you, but I pretty much count on God to protect me from my own stupidity. Think I’ll do my best to watch what my feet are up to.

 

There is another very good reason to watch where your feet are leading you. You could be leading someone else as well. And what if you’re leading them astray?

 

Matthew 18:6 “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

 

So what are we to do? We rely on Him to keep our feet on the right path.

 

1 Samuel 2:9 “He will keep the feet of His saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.”

 

“But, Shawn, you have no idea where my feet have been, or what I’ve done there.” No, and you don’t have any clue where mine have been either. If God can put this woman on the right path he can do it for you too.

 

Psalm 40:2 “He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”

 

The Bible even tells us the best way to find the right path.

 

Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

 

And when you walk the right path, so do the little feet behind you.

 

Proverbs 20:7 “The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.”

 

Our Bibles even tell us how to have pretty feet.

 

Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”

 

Okay, maybe I stretched that one, just a little.

 

The point is that it matters where we go. It matters even more for a Christian. Never go anywhere you wouldn’t want your Pastor, a member of your church, or your child to find you. Someone is watching. Set a good example.

 

 

 

 

Oh, be careful little feet where you go.

Oh, be careful little feet where you go.

For the Father, up above, is looking down in love.

Oh, be careful little feet where you go.

 

 

Next: Be Careful Little Ears What You Hear

 

“Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings”

Casting Crowns  Slow Fade

 

An old Yiddish Proverb says, “The eyes are the mirror of the soul.” If you have any doubt, make it a habit to look into the eyes of people you meet on the street, and you’ll soon see it’s true. Of course, some will avoid that eye contact, because they don’t want you to see what’s going on inside, and with good reason.

We take guarding our eyes seriously. We have them examined yearly, wear shades to protect them from UV rays, wear goggles to protect them from flying bits and water, and pat moisturizer around them to protect them from the signs of aging.

 

The Bible also takes guarding your eyes seriously.

 

Matthew 18:9 “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.”

That sounds pretty radical! Why would the Bible say it’s better to live and die without your eye than to allow it to cause you to sin? Let’s take a look some of the consequences of allowing your eyes to lead you astray.

 
The fall of man began with the lust of the eyes.

 

Genesis 3:6 “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

The fruit looked good to her. Never mind that she had been warned not to eat it. It looked good; she ate, caused her husband to eat, and brought about the downfall of all mankind.

 

Sampson was his mother’s answered prayer. He was dedicated to God before his birth, raised in the priesthood, and blessed with the strength of many men.

Judges 14:1-3 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.”

Consecrated to God, and forbidden to marry outside his faith, Sampson liked the way the Philistine woman looked, and started on the path of his destruction. He was blessed one last time, when God allowed him, as a blind captive being treated like an animal, to end his life and take his tormentors with him.

 

How about David, who God called a man after His own heart?

2 Samuel 11:2-4 “And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.”

She looked good to him, and that look led to adultery and murder, and eventually to the rape of one of his daughters by one of his sons, the murder of that son by another, and his own son turning on him and trying to end his life.

 

So what does that have to do with us today?

Let’s start with pornography, which causes a response in the brain similar to the use of street drugs. The primary chemical, released by viewing porn is dopamine, which provides immense pleasure. MRIs show that the brain chemistry and wiring in the brain is changed. The pleasure center of brain takes over and the frontal lobes, or the logic parts of the brain, begin to check out.

Therapists who treat pornography addicts say they behave just like any other addicts. One of the key features of addiction is the development of a tolerance to the addictive substance. In the way that drug addicts need increasingly larger doses to get high, porn addicts need to see more and more extreme material to feel the same level of excitement they first experienced.

 

Proverbs 27:20 “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”

 

Is that an extreme example? Maybe not if you understand many of the problems of mankind begin with a lust of the eyes.

–No one steals a thing, they don’t first see and begin to desire.

–Many murders are committed out of rage or jealousy, caused by something seen.

–Families are destroyed by adulterous relationships, because someone looked better than his/her spouse.

–Children commit horrendous crimes based on things they’ve seen in movies or video games.

–People are tormented and shunned, because they appear different than what others expect or to which they are accustomed.

 

God gave us the incredible gift of sight, but like any gift, it can be twisted into something it was never meant to be. We must take guarding our eyes more seriously. Don’t let garbage enter your mind through them. Refuse to take that second glance that sets the imagination in motion. See things the way the really are, instead of the way you’d like them to be.

–Ask yourself is that thing you want worth the shame of being caught? Is it worth going to jail?

–Never let your imagination feed a rage that could lead you to harm another.

–Realize, that sweet, funny guy at work probably leaves his dirty socks lying all over the house or belches at the dinner table.

–Remind yourself that your neighbor’s beautiful wife probably wakes up with dragon breath or chews her toenails.

–Protect your children’s eyes and their innocence.

–Learn empathy and acceptance. That odd person may turn out to be a blessing beyond measure.

 

Oh be careful little eyes what you see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

 

Next: Be Careful Little Feet Where You Go

Sometimes a thing grabs one’s heart and refuses to let go. The first time I heard Slow Fade it took me twenty minutes to stop crying. That’s why I’ve decided to do a series based on this song. I don’t know yet how many of the reasons, for my tears, I will share with you. We all have things we are only willing to confess to Him, and only because He knows it all anyway.

Luke 12: 2-3For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”

It will take two or three days to prepare each sermon, so you can expect Be Careful Little Eyes soon. I will welcome any constructive criticism you have to offer, and will be happy to answer any questions. (If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find out for you.)

 

Slow Fade

 

Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see.

 

Lyrics courtesy of:

http://www.castingcrowns.com/music.htm