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I. Words

a.  The Hardest Thing for Us to Control Is Our Tongue ().

James 3:1–2 ESV
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

b. Therefore, We Must Watch What We Say.

c. We Must Not Curse Our Fellow Man With Our Tongue ().

James 1:1–12 ESV
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. 12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

d. We Will Give Account for Idle Words ().

Matthew 12:36 ESV
36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

e. No Vain Babblings ().

2 Timothy 2:16–18 ESV
16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.

f.  No Corrupt Words (, ).

Ephesians 4:29 ESV
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 5:4 ESV
4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

g. No Lying ().

Revelation 21:8 ESV
8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

h. But Words Fitly Spoken ().

Proverbs 25:11 ESV
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

i. Speech Seasoned With Salt ().

Colossians 4:6 ESV
6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

II. Actions

a.  We Will Give Account for What We Do ().

2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

b. We Must Not Let Our Actions Be the Works of the Flesh ().

Galatians 5:19–21 ESV
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

c.  But Instead, Good Works ().

Ephesians 2:10 ESV
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

III. Thoughts

a. We Will Also Give Account for Our Thoughts ().

Hebrews 4:11–13 ESV
11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

b. Several Sins Have to Do With Thought, Not Action ():

Romans 1:29–31 ESV
29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
i.    Covetousness
ii.  Maliciousness
iii.  Full of Envy
iv.  Evil-Mindedness
v.  Haters of God
vi.  Proud
vii.  Undiscerning
viii. Untrustworthy
                                        viii.    Untrustworthy
ix.  Unloving
                                             x.    Unforgiving
x.  Unforgiving
xi.  Unmerciful

c.   Jesus Knows Our Thoughts (; ).

Luke 11:17 ESV
17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.
Mark 2:6–12 ESV
6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

d.  Therefore, We Must Bring Our Thoughts Captive ().

2 Corinthians 10:4–5 ESV
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

e.  And Focus on Good Things ().

Philippians 4:8 ESV
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

IV. Company

a.  Those We Associate With Will Influence Us ().

1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

b.  Amnon Was (; ).

2 Samuel 13:1–6 ESV
1 Now Absalom, David’s son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar. And after a time Amnon, David’s son, loved her. 2 And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. 3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother. And Jonadab was a very crafty man. 4 And he said to him, “O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” 5 Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat it from her hand.’ ” 6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. And when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.”
2 Samuel 13:14 ESV
14 But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her.

c.  Peter Was… “In the Courtyard” ().

Matthew 26:69–75 ESV
69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

d. Solomon Warned His Son to Watch His Company ().

Proverbs 1:10–15 ESV
10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; 12 like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; 13 we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; 14 throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”— 15 my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths,

e. Bad Friends Can Be a Snare to Our Soul ().

Proverbs 22:24–25 ESV
24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, 25 lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.

V. Heart

a.  All Issues Flow From Our Heart ().

Proverbs 4:23 ESV
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

b. All Other Problems Can Be Dealt With By Watching Our Heart:

i.    Our Words ().
Matthew 12:34 ESV
34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
ii.    Our Actions ().
Proverbs 16:9 ESV
9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
iii.    Our Thoughts (; ).
Matthew 15:19 ESV
19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
Proverbs 23:7 ESV
7 for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
iv.    Our Company ( – Heart Set on Serving God Abhors Evil; – Tormented by Conduct of Wicked).
Romans 12:9 ESV
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
2 Peter 2:8–9 ESV
8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,

c. Therefore, “WATCH!” ().

Mark 13:37 ESV
37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
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