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By Grant Gaines

The ancient Australians had a problem. It wasn’t that they lacked animals to hunt for food as the Australian Outback was bursting at the seams with wildlife. What they struggled with was how they could capture and kill these animals such as kangaroos, parrots, and other birds that were so elusive. It seemed that every time a hunter got within eyesight of these creatures, they would spring or fly away into the thick Australian brush leaving the hunters no hope of bringing home dinner that night.

After many failed attempts to create a weapon that could help solve the hunters’ woes, the boomerang was finally invented and revolutionized the way Australian history unfolded from that point on.

The boomerang could fly for long distances because of its aerodynamic design which allowed hunters to have an old fashioned “sniper rifle” in their arsenal. But the cherry on top was that, because of the boomerang’s curved design, if the hunters missed their desired target the weapon would return back to the general vicinity of the thrower. What the hunters threw away, came eventually back to them.

The boomerang is an interesting concept because in so many ways it mimics what happens when we make a sacrificial offering to the Lord. Sometimes those offerings are in the form of money, sometimes they’re in the form of time, and sometimes they’re in the form of going out of your way to help someone around you. We tend to believe that whenever we give that sacrificial offering to the Lord that it is the last time we will see that money, that free time, or that opportunity that we gave up. However, as we study the Bible, we see that, just like the boomerang, our sacrificial giving tends to find its way back to us.

This particular story takes place in John 12 which was just two days before Jesus was killed on the cross for the sins of the world. Christ was hanging out at His good friend’s house, Simon, with His disciples enjoying some precious last moments on earth before returning to the Father. As the men were no doubt laughing, reminiscing about good times, and dreaming of the future, Mary (not His mother Mary, but Mary the sister of Lazarus and Martha) came to Jesus and poured an entire jar of expensive perfume on His feet and wiped His feet with her hair (John 12:3).

How expensive was this perfume? John 12:5 (NIV) tells us that it was worth “a year’s wages” which in today’s economy would be roughly $15,000 if we look at an annual income at the minimum wage! Talk about a sacrifice!

But did you notice how the story concluded? Mary walked away with her hair soaked in perfume. Don’t you find that ironic? Mary thought she had seen the last of her expensive perfume only to walk away from her sacrificial giving with the sweet aroma of that very perfume hovering about her like a radiant halo because she washed Christ’s feet with her hair.

Mary certainly counted the tremendous cost of her actions before carrying them out, but there is no way she could have imagined the boomerang blessings that awaited her sacrifice. Not only did she get the perfume back in a roundabout way, she received the highest of all blessings from Jesus when He declared to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, wherever this Gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Matthew 26:13, NIV). Talk about some serious appreciation from Jesus! On the integrity of Christ’s word, Jesus promised Mary that wherever people would read the Bible across the world for the rest of eternity, Mary’s act of sacrifice would forever be remembered and appreciated by the Lord and His people! Wow! Mary gave to God, and God returned a blessing to “thank” her.

The same could be said of us. When we “sacrifice” for God, whether that’s with time, money, or with our talents, God always out gives us in return. Call Him “competitive,” call Him a “one-upper,” call Him whatever you want, but the one thing you can’t call God is “stingy.” He will always out give us.

Malachi 3:10 (NIV) states this truth more clearly than anywhere else in the Bible, “’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” You give God what seems like a sacrificial offering, and He joyfully returns the blessing to the point that “there will not be enough room to store it.”

Of course, that doesn’t always mean that if we give God $10 in the offering plate this week that we will find a random $100 bill while walking out of church. What it does mean is that if we give to God something that is of value to us, God will give us something that is of even greater worth in return – peace, joy, laughter, relationships, etc.

This isn’t the Prosperity Gospel, this is the way the Lord operates. We give to God and He returns a blessing upon us. Will times still be tough? Will sickness, marital frustrations, and worries at work still arise? Sure will. But we still joyfully give to God in faith believing that the Lord who owns everything in the entire earth (Psalms 50:12) will refuse to be out given by His children.

How can you give to the Lord today?

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?
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©Grant Gaines 2017


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