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Summary: This sermon deals with the issues of compromise in our walk with God.

Satan Is Happy When We Almost Choose To Do Right

5/3/98 Proverbs 3:5-12 Hebrews 12:1-3 1 Samuel 13:1-6

Almost is a word which can be very encouraging or very discouraging depending on whether you are at the top of the almost looking down or at the bottom of the almost looking up. Would you rather be able to say we almost won or we almost lost? In the playoff game between the Nets and the Bulls the other night, the score was tied. The Bulls took a shot with about three seconds left and missed. A Net player under the goal got the rebound, and with almost no time left on the clock, he threw the ball the length of the court. It hit the side of the rim and almost went in.

Knowing one of my daughters was a Bull fan, I said Sam did you see how the Nets player almost made the shot from full court to beat the Bulls. She replied, "I saw the shot, but did you see who won the game at the end in overtime." Almost making the shot, didn’t quite win the game.

We are all going to be faced with having to make decisions to do the right thing. Sometimes it’s going to be harder than others, especially when it seems that no one else will know what we did.

Take Susan for instance. Susan was $200 short with her rent money. She did not know where she could get any more money. She prayed to the Lord for help and left for work pretty despondent. When she got to the bus stop, she noticed a bag. Inside the bag was a purse. The purse had a brown envelope like a social security check comes, in with $400 in it. Was this a blessing from God or what. She also saw a picture ID of a 72 year old woman. Susan decided to take $200 and send the purse and the rest of the money annonymously in the mail to the woman on the id card. She almost did the right thing.

Mark was a great witness for the Lord. He lived for God at work and worked hard for the Lord at the church by singing in the choir, ushering, and serving as an elder. Mark enjoyed science fiction movies. One night he rented a video. At home he opened the case and discovered it was not the same video inside as on the outside cover. Inside the case was the video "Bunnies From Heaven" rated XXX. Mark put it back in the box immediately, called the video store and told them they had given him the wrong movie.

They told him to bring it back and they would give him credit for another video. After hanging up the phone, Mark intended to go back to the store, but he messed around until it was too late. While Mark was lying in bed, he got to thinking, just what would "Bunnies From Heaven" be about anyways. Bunnies From Heaven wasn’t the last XXX movie which made it to Mark’s house after that night. In the beginning, Mark almost chose to do the right thing.

Lena could only go to her friend’s overnight party if she passed her history test. Lena studied hard the night before the test. She wanted to go to that party so bad, she made a little cheat sheet. When she got up the next morning, she prayed for God’s help. God reminded her of the cheat sheet. Lena through the sheet in the garbage before she left for school. During the test Lena knew seven of the ten matching questions. She wasn’t sure about the last three. Donna who sat in front of Lena, was an A student. Lena knew if she leaned far enough out she could see Donna’s last three answers. She leaned and she got an A. Lena almost choose to do the right thing.

Brothers and sisters, where are we almost choosing to do the right things in our lives. Mary, Mark, and Lena were not alone when they almost choose to do the right thing. You see, the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the good and the evil which we do. Satan gets happy when we almost choose to do right, because He understand how it breaks the heart of God when we choose to defy and disobey him. God always wants what is best for us, even when from our viewpoint we are giving up something we think we ought to be able to have.

For many of us, we are not running to do wrong or even desiring do wrong. Our downfall is that we almost want to do right. But the flip side of almost doing right, is we have become content with doing wrong. Some of us have convinced ourselves that viewing pornography is okay because it’s not real adultery. Some of us have justified selling drugs, because it allows us to help someone else. Some of us have accepted our unwillingness to forgive another, because at least we’re not getting revenge. We’re almost choosing to do something right, but in the mean time we are doing something wrong.

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