Bible Faith Fellowship: Substance Over Form

Slow Fade (Fear or Love, The Choice is Ours - Part 1)

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Joseph Tokar

Slow Fade (Fear or Love, The Choice is Ours - Part 1) Slow Fade (Fear or Love, The Choice is Ours - Part 1)

Date 2009-08-23
Series Fear or Love, The Choice Is Ours
Sub-series  
Document (PDF) BFF-20090823-SlowFade.pdf

Slow Fade By Casting Crowns

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

Slow Fade

Does anybody here, other then me, have a problem that they know about, but they continue to fight? Anybody have a problem with lying? Procrastination? Poor work habits? Lust? Laziness? Gluttony? The list goes on. We fight against these strongholds on a regular basis, sometimes giving in ... ok, often giving in, we continue to try and stand strong without relying on the one thing we can always count on. How often do we know that something is wrong, something that we do over and over and yet continue to do and how often do we fall short of the mark that God has set for us?

I want us to listen to this song and I’m going to talk about what it has said to me, and what it should say to all of us.

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

Read 1 John 2:15-16 (KJV) "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

Lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, pride of life ... these are the things that bind us, that keep us from God, that lead us to darkness. So what can we do about it? How do we avoid the darkness that ties our hands? It's all around us, every single day. Women in skimpy clothing, men jogging shirtless, television, MTV, covers of magazines. Everywhere we look temptation rears it’s ugly head. How do we fight it, how do we have a chance against everything that the world has to offer, against that "second glance that ties our hands?"

Read Romans 13:13-14 (NLT) "Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires."

Read 1 John 2:15-16 (NLT) "Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world."

Think about this: God says we belong to the day and we don't belong to this world, so why should this world have so much that we crave, why should we give in to those things the world says we should? The next line of the song:

Be careful little feet where you go for it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

Everything that we do affects those around us, especially when we have children. This line makes me want to cry, because I can imagine the damage that we do to others when we fall into the darkness. And it's not just our children, it's our co-workers, our friends, our students, the kids on our team.

Alex came home the other day and told me that his coach had used profanity toward him ... he had told his coach that he couldn't play because his pinky hurt. His coach said "you gotta be blanking me!" Needless to say, I was a bit upset. Not that the coach was upset because Alex couldn't play, though that annoyed me a little, but because the coach had so much darkness that he would fall to the level of using profanity to a 12 year old. Coaches have SO much influence on the children they deal with and it can be used for good or for evil. I know that sound cliche, but it's true. Anyway, I called the head coach (it wasn’t the head coach that said it) and confronted him on it. His excuse was that "that's who he is on the field, he can't help it." I told him that was ridiculous, the guys a teacher and he wouldn't dare use that type of language in the classroom, he'd lose his job. Then he said, "well, I hear that kind of language from the boys in the locker room all the time." I almost laughed. I told him, "of course you do, how would you expect your team to not curse, when they hear it from their coaches every single day, they want to be just like you, they look up to you, they strive to be you. We have the same problem at the high school, for the first few days. None of the coaches on my staff use profanity, and we don't tolerate it from the athletes. When they see that the coaches don't use it, and they get in trouble for it on the field or off the field, they begin to change the way they speak. I've seen it every year I've coached. The first few days, I can stand outside the locker room and hear the profanity flying, after a week I can stand outside the locker room and maybe once in a while hear a swear word. It's the standard I hold everyone to, because it's the standard God holds me to."

Everything we do, everything we say, everything we are…someone is watching us and someone is sure to follow.

Read 1 Timothy 4:16 (NLT) "Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you."

Read James 3:1-2 (NLT) "Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way."

Be careful little ears what you hear. When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near.

Come on man, let’s do it, what’s wrong with just this once? One time isn’t going to hurt you, live a little, take a chance. Anybody ever given in to peer pressure? Cursed because everyone else is doing it? Looked at something or watched a movie that we knew we shouldn’t, but everyone else was so we did? I’ve heard so many times to guard our eyes and our lips and our hearts. But let’s look at how our ears affect us. Think about the popular songs of today, violence, sex, stealing, lawlessness, all embedded in the songs that so many people listen to. How hard is it to avoid temptation when we can hear it in our ipods and on our televisions every minute of every day. "Be careful little ears what you hear." For what you hear will certainly affect what you think and how you act.

Be careful little lips what you say. For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray.

How many of us make promises we don’t keep? I know I do, how many time have I disappointed my wife because I’ve said "I’ll be home in an hour" ...but I’m not. How many times do we have to say we’re going to do something and we don’t before someone’s heart grows cold. I’ve been late so many times, when I say I’ll be back in two hours nobody even believes me. And for good reason, something always seems to come up, something always needs to be done…just one more thing, just a few more minutes. There’s always an excuse, and it’s always wrong. Christ says: "let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no"

Do we want to be like Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:17 (NLT) "You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say 'Yes' when they really mean No'?"

I don’t want to be that person anymore, I want to be the kind of person that keeps his word, not because of pride, which would be an easy trap to fall into, but because that’s the kind of person God wants me to be.

Everything in this song has been leading up to the next few lines, which hit me so hard every time I hear them:

The journey from your mind to your hands. Is shorter than you're thinking.

What we think is how we act, how we act is who we are and who everyone else sees us to be.

  • Psalm 4:4 "Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent."
  • Psalm 77:12 "They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
  • Psalm 119:97 [ Mem ] "Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long."
  • Psalm 119:148 "I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:34 "Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all."
  • Philippians 4:8 "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
  • Colossians 3:2 "Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth."
Be careful if you think you stand. You just might be sinking

Do we think we’re in control, or is it darkness that has tied our hands? Is God the controller in our lives, or the world? Be careful.

Read 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (NLT) "If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure."

When we fall, it’s not all at once, "it’s the second glance that ties the hands and darkness pulls the strings." How often do we look twice? How often do we think twice about doing things we know we shouldn’t? How easy is it to just give in this once?

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

Stand firm, trust in the Lord, read scripture every day do not give in to the temptations that are all around us every single minute of every day. Some scripture verses to help us:

Read Matthew 26:41 (NLT) "41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!"

Read James 1:13-16 (NLT) "And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, 'God is tempting me.' God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters."

Read Romans 12:2 (NLT) "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

Read Ephesians 5:8-11 (NLT) "For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them."

And most importantly, Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV) "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen"