Be Careful


Be careful of your thoughts

For your thoughts become your words.


Be careful of your words

For your words become your actions.


Be careful of your actions

For your actions become your habits.


Be careful of your habits

For your habits become your character.


Be careful of your character

For your character becomes your destiny.


(Mat 6:1 NIV)  "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.


(Mat 16:6 NIV)  "Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."


(Mark 8:15 NIV)  "Be careful," Jesus warned them. "Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod." (Last week we saw how the Pharisees didn’t practice what they preach.)


(Luke 21:34 NIV)  "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.


(Rom 12:17 NIV)  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.


(1 Cor 3:10 NIV)  By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.

*   (1 Cor 3:11-17 NIV)  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 1:23) {12} If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, (You in Christ are the church) {13} his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. {14} If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. {15} If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. {16} Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? {17} If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (A warning for us and our enemies)


(1 Cor 8:9 NIV)  Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. (There are things that are OK to do. Yet some that are weak in knowledge or faith or conscience can be caused to stumble by our liberty.)


(1 Cor 10:12 NIV)  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! (We do indeed have the assurance of our salvation, Jesus paved the way, but if we fail to hold fast to that gift we can lose it!)


*   (Titus 3:4-7 NIV)  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, {5} he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, {6} whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, {7} so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

 (Titus 3:8 NIV)  This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.


(Heb 4:1 NIV)  Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. (Again we see: We do indeed have the assurance of our salvation, Jesus paved the way, but if we fail to hold fast to that gift we can lose it!)


(Now for the rest of the story)

(Mark 7:21-23 NIV)  For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, {22} greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. {23} All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'" (So from our thoughts can come all sorts of things that we need to avoid. Much better to do as advised in (Phil 4:8 NIV)  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.


(Mat 12:37 NIV)  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." (Sherry has been showing us for several weeks now the power of “Words.”)


(1 John 3:18 NIV)  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. The truth of this is shown in the venerable saying, “Actions speak louder than words.”


(Heb 10:25 NIV)  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (How long or often must we do something before it becomes habit?)


(1 Cor 15:33 NIV)  Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." (Reminds me of another old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Or, there is an old adage, which states, “It’s difficult to soar with the eagles, when you’re scratching with the turkeys!”


(Phil 3:18-21 NIV)  For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. {19} Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. (Perhaps it would be better stated that their minds are only or mainly on earthly things.) {20} But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, {21} who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (It makes me wonder what a “Spiritual body” looks like.) (1 Cor 15:42-44 NIV)  So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; {43} it is sown in dishonor (Lowly), it is raised in glory (Glorious); it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; {44} it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.


So there you have it. Let me summarize.

*   Thoughts become words

*   Word become actions

*   Actions become habits

*   Habits become your character

*   Your character becomes your destiny!


(James 1:12-15 NIV)  Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. {13} When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; {14} but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. {15} Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.


Words, actions, habits, character, and destiny: Be careful!