Today's Devotional

How Does the Lord See It? (15 March)

Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon, a man who had suffered from a dreaded skin disease. While Jesus was eating, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar filled with an expensive perfume, which she poured on his head. The disciples saw this and became angry. "Why all this waste?" they asked. "This perfume could have been sold for a large amount and the money given to the poor!" Jesus knew what they were saying, and so he said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman? It is a fine and beautiful thing that she has done for me. You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me. What she did was to pour this perfume on my body to get me ready for burial. Now, I assure you that wherever this gospel is preached all over the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her."
Matthew 26:6-13

The American Christian writer Jamie Buckingham tells of a time when he was invited to speak to a group of men. Before he spoke, two elderly gentlemen got up to sing a duet. Their instruments were out of tune and broken, their voices were bad, and they ended up singing the wrong parts. Buckingham was embarrassed for them and for himself, that he had to stand up after such a poor performance and speak. In his spirit he groaned to the Lord about it.

He then felt God speaking to his heart. "You think this is pretty bad, don't you. Do you want to know what I think? Those are two of my choicest saints. They stand and sing, knowing their voices are cracked and their instruments out of tune, because they love me. They are singing to my glory, and I have commanded all the angels in heaven to be quiet so I can hear them. . . . You were listening to how they sang. I was listening to why they sang."

How often we see things very differently from the way God sees them. The disciples in the Matthew passage were thinking about how much the perfume was worth and even the commendable thought that the money could be used to help the poor. But they were not seeing things as God saw them.

Our God looks on the heart, not on the outside, where we tend to focus. He sees a person's motives for doing something. He also sees the long term results of the action.

Before we are too quick to judge how a person is doing something, we need to ask God to help us to see it through his eyes.

- 15 MARCH -

© 2012 United Bible Societies - Palestinian Bible Society, Bible Society in Israel, and Arab Israeli Bible Society. All rights reserved.