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Summary: We are all tempted to do things we shouldn’t. Here’s a sermon with a story that illustrates what can happen when we give in to temptation.

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"AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE!"

MATTHEW 26:36-41 New King James

[36] Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there."

[37] And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.

[38] Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me."

[39] He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

[40] Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, "What? Could you not watch with Me one hour?

[41] Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

We often learn things the hard way…don’t we?

Preventative maintenance on our vehicles

is cheaper and easier in the long run

than letting them break down and having to repair them.

There’s a TV commercial for oil filters.

The mechanic says: You can pay me now…or pay me later

We know paying for oil changes is cheaper than engine repair.

Cancer researchers are coming to the conclusion

that while research to find a cure for cancer is needed,

even more needed is research into ways to prevent cancer.

If causes can be identified and eliminated,

Then much suffering, worry and death can be avoided.

The same holds true for our lives.

If we would prevent some of our difficulties in the first place,

we wouldn’t have to cure them in the second place.

Transition:

A teenage boy, Andy Witt, learned that lesson.

His parents had been invited by friends to a party.

They told Andy to stay home to finish his history paper.

But Andy had just gotten his driver’s license.

So he asked, "Can I use the car for just a little while?

I need to borrow a book from Todd -- I’ll only be gone awhile."

His Dad refused: "Absolutely not!

You stay home and work on that paper."

Just then their friends arrived..and Andy’s parents left.

It didn’t seem fair!

They weren’t using the car.

He would only be gone for just a few minutes..maybe an hour!

There would still be time to work on the stupid paper.

Just then the phone rang.

It was Todd, "Come on over! All the guys are here!"

Now…Andy was even more tempted to take the car.

He thought about it for a moment.

He could go to Todd’s and be back before his folks got home.

If he was careful to put just enough gas in,

they’d never know that he used the car.

Andy was about to set himself up for a major mess.

He’d have been a happier and wiser young man

to have prevented trouble he couldn’t cure.

Transition:

In the text, Jesus identifies 2 factors

in preventing spiritual troubles.

Jesus prefers that we deal with temptation and conquer it

Rather than to give in to it and need to be restored.

Jesus knows that an ounce of prevention

is worth a pound of cure.

What did Jesus say that can prevent spiritual disaster

before it happens?

POINT #1

JESUS SAID, "KEEP WATCHING!"

[41] Watch…

The word Jesus used means:

To be on your guard, on the alert, open eyed.

To be cautious, wary, observant

1 Peter 5:8. says:"be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

Be awake and alert.

Colossians 4:2. says: "devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;"

The key word here is "keep!"

"Keep watching!"

Watch at all times and in all circumstances!

Stay continually alert!

Let me give you some examples:

#1 We get out of our car in a dark parking lot

and scan the area for possible attackers.

#2 If we take our children shopping

we keep watch so they don’t wander off.

So, how does this apply in life?

Keep watching: don’t let the world lull you to sleep.

Keep watching: don’t let sports or pleasure or money

or anything else become your central focus.

Keep watching: don’t let the world cram you

into the mold of its ethics and values.

Keep watching: don’t embrace what God hates.

Keep watching: don’t keep the t.v. tuned to programs

which tempt you

and pollute your mind with x-rated garbage.

Keep watching:

don’t be blind to the fact that sex outside of marriage

is fornication, a sin for which God will judge you

unless you repent.

Keep watching: don’t imagine that just a little,

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