Summary: This sermon deals with the tragic results when we allow temptations to take control.

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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.

Preventative maintenance on our vehicles

is cheaper and easier in the long run

than letting them break down and paying for repairs.

There was 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.


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 or 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.


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?



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