Maybe the examples of the summer job or the watch aren’t the best, because they are kind of frivolous, but the way I look at is, if God can be frivolous with us, then He can be powerful with us, too.
Another thing I remember was kind of pivotal in my life. I recall asking my mother why she wanted me to go to church, when she didn’t go herself when I was a young teenager. She explained that the church we attended was the church she grew up in. But now that we had moved, the people in our new congregation didn’t seem very friendly to her. I asked her why she thought it was that way, and she said, “Well, you know, they have a lot nicer clothes and houses and cars than we have.” So I never went back. But I did ask God to show me what He wanted me to do. And He did. And I’m still on that track today. I think, if we have specific answers to the questions we ask of God, then it helps us keep on the right track.
What I think is the best example of all, though…. Let’s turn to Luke 1:49. I quoted this just recently. But it’s such a good example. This is what Mary prayed after the angel came to her. Let’s think about Mary for a minute before we read this. The angel came and told her that she was going to have a baby. Right? And she said, “Well, how could that be seeing as how I have never been with a man?” He said, “No problem.” She said, without any waffling, without any ambivalence, without any back and forth whatsoever, she said, “Well, then, let it be done to me as you’ve said.” So she was a pure-hearted person, wasn’t she? If God says it, then it’s going to happen, even if I don’t understand how. Right? So this is what she said. This is her song.
Lk. 1:49 – For He, who is Almighty, has done great things for me. And Holy is His name. See, there it is, isn’t it? He did great things for her. He did miracles for her. She was already pure in heart, but I think that probably helped.
So that’s one thing, I think, that happens to us. Is that something we do or God does? Well, both, because God does stuff when we ask Him to do it, a lot of times. So we have a part in that, too, don’t we. God, I think, wants us to ask for things that we need. Sometimes He doesn’t agree – gives us something else – but I think He does want us to. And I think that when we know that God takes care of us, it’s a lot easier for us to be single-minded toward God.
In the first sermon on this purity of heart thing, in the beatitudes, we talked about how the opposite of that is double-minded. That’s the word James used to describe lack of purity of heart. “Halting between two opinions,” Elijah said. Right? Well, when you’re pure in heart, you don’t have two opinions. You just have one. And that’s what God wants us to do.
Okay. What else? Let’s go to Mark 9, and verse 20.