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Today’s Truth

Jesus said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me” (Matthew 26:10 NIV).

Friend to Friend

I am completely crazy about cool jewelry, so when the Lord prompted me to take off my favorite necklace and give it to the woman who had just admired it, I tried to pretend I didn’t hear Him.

“It’s mine, God!” I reasoned. “I love this necklace! Why would You ask me to do that?”

My self-plan didn’t like the God-plan that was laid out before me.

He was nudging me to give up something that meant a lot to me. And the Spirit prompt didn’t even make sense. It seemed bizarre and totally random.

Reluctantly, I chose to obey.

Moments later God softened my childish heart as the woman wept at the Lord’s blessing. My selfish thoughts faded to deep, humble joy as I watched her rejoice in God’s love for her. It was personal and she knew it. She felt it.

Blessings boomeranged right back to my heart as I thanked the Lord for allowing me to participate in His special moment with her.

It was a beautiful thing.

I’m gonna be honest, sometimes I’d rather give things that don’t cost me much. That’s probably something only I wrestle with, right? (Kidding.) It’s often hard to be open handed with things that we hold dear, isn’t it?

Some of us struggle with an unwillingness to give away material things or money. Others of us hold tight to our schedules, affections, positions, jobs or availability. Still more of us hold tightly to our children, grandchildren, spouses, friends, parents or other people in our lives that we want to keep a tight rein on.

The truth of the matter is this: the act of giving generously is kingdom gain, because in God’s economy surrender and worship go hand in hand.

The Bible shows us a beautiful picture of surrendered devotion in Mary of Bethany. She poured out an offering onto the feet of Jesus that was worth a year’s wages. She lavished her costly perfume, her attention, her affection, her time and her worship on Jesus because she loved Him.

He was her Savior. Her Friend. Her Hope. The Healer who had miraculously brought life back to the stench of death that had fallen on her brother Lazarus.

The details are recorded in the book of Matthew.

“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Matthew 26:6-13 NIV).

The Message paraphrase says it this way, “She has just done something wonderfully significant for me” (Matthew 26:10).

When I read this story, I find myself wondering: when God looks at my life, does He see a beautiful thing?

Does He see me do anything wonderfully significant for Him?

What do you think He sees when He looks at your life?

Does He see a beautiful thing?

When we open the hands of our lives to God’s presence and purposes, and yield to His service, we can be confident He does, in fact, see a beautiful thing.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, You are worth far more praise than I could ever give. Please help me to rest in Your presence and trust in Your plans. Fill me with Your perspective until I willingly lay down my will for Yours. Lord, when You look at my life, I want You to see beautiful.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 

When have you sensed the Lord leading you to do something beautiful for Him?
Leave a comment and let’s share.
Is there anything or anyone you’re holding back from God today? Spend a few moments praying about it.

Read through Psalm 96. Read through it a second time, but pause after each verse with a personal, prayerful response to God. Write out any verses that you want to remember.

More from the Girlfriends

Got some back-burner heart dreams that you’re ready to prioritize and make happen? Do you desire to be mentored and challenged as you progress toward your goals? Gain focus, bolster your courage and sharpen your competencies through 1-on-1 coaching. Spots are limited. Learn more at GwenSmith.net/Coaching.

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9 Responses to “A Beautiful Thing”

  1. Dori says:

    Earlier this year my Church had a funding drive to renovate a second house for our ministry Restoration House. This ministry takes women from brokenness to restored by providing a room, board, counseling, and assistance along their journey. I felt God speak to me to donate $1500. which would be matched by another donor. For some, this amount may not be significant but for me this is a sizable amount. I followed the prompting and wrote the check. We have raised the $150000 needed to renovate the property. I am thankful to have contributed to this ministry.

  2. Sherri says:

    …”surrender and worship go hand in hand”
    Absolutely!! It is so rewarding when you obey God’s tap on the shoulders (that is what I call them) and find out their heartfelt story just for being obedient to God.

    It brings tears and praise to my heart at the same time. I just experienced this on yesterday.

    After receiving a blessing over a year ago, I asked God back then who could I be a blessing to through it? One full year while praying, this family boldly came to my heart. To see them and hear their story, you would NEVER have known their trials!!
    They love the lord!!! I am so thankful to God for those “taps on the shoulder.”
    Blessings to everyone❣

  3. Carol says:

    When I read this, I’m reminded that God gives us blessings, in the form of all kinds of things (jewelry, clothing, etc.). These blessings are only temporary, you want to pass them onto others as a “hands and feet” of Jesus action to others.
    I want to give away, as an action of love (Romans 12); it’s part of our mission to others.
    Thanks, Gwen. Your writing has blessed me this am.

  4. Jeanie says:

    I felt God nudging me to start a women’s retreat but it was met with comments that discouraged me and put doubts in my mind. I’m 73 so my age was always in conversation. I read something that sums up my attitude “Life is too short to be vanilla,” I love the fact that God gave me a little daring and I choose to be “Extravagant Peach!” Even at 73! My heart sees an Awakening of the church. I believe there are more souls to win before his return!
    The theme of my two day retreats is Awakening one woman at a time!

    Thanks for giving me a place to express my God-given vision. Pray for me! I love my Savior more than I can even express.

    Always in His service.

  5. Confused says:

    Please clarify. I thought the only recorded time in the Bible of perfume being poured onto Jesus was his feet. I never heard this story. I thought she washed his feet with her hair? Is this the same woman? ( I am so fascinated by this beautiful story). I thought she was a prostitute? Or someone that made terrible mistakes and used her tears and her hair to wash the feet of God? I never heard of Lazarus’s sister doing this. Is this a real story ??? If so. Its a WOW moment.

    Thank you.

  6. Terri says:

    Goods day, After my parents passed, I was not allowed to go in the house alone. My brother had POA and then estate manager. I didn’t want anything, just to sit once more in my safe place where I felt their love. If I wanted anything all I had to do is ask and they would either say yes or no.
    Going through grief reminded me of how my late husband’s sister treated the younger brother. My husband passed away 10 months prior to my mom and dads passing. I thought of all the things we had that belonged to Doug’s mom and dad. My mother in law had given me a diamond ring gir my engagement ring. We had a few odds and ends, pocket watch, pottery pitcher, pottery inkwell, an angel made out of my mother in law’s wedding dress.
    I boxed these things up and sent to my brother in law. His wife told me he cried as he thought he would never have any family heirlooms.
    I had prayed long snd hard. I felt like I needed to do what God had put on my heart to do. And I feel 100%happy that I could bring joy to someone in a small gesture as this.
    Thankyou for letting me share. Have a blessed day.

  7. Sue says:

    Terri, that was a beautiful act. Sometimes the family dynamic is hard to navigate. It’s filled with so many emotions, jealousy, resentment, hurts that never seem to heal. Your comment touched my heart and I am sure, God’s heart as well.
    In loving GIG friendship, Sue R

  8. CAILIN says:

    I serve God through my career as a physical therapist, which I am passionate about! Recently the Lord nudged my husband and I to relocate, so we uprooted our lives and moved to a different state with His guidance.

    For a long time God has told me my ‘something beautiful’ is to serve through disaster relief, but I don’t know exactly how that would look with this relocation.

    I would love prayer requests for continued guidance and wisdom on my next steps! Thank you sisters =)

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8