Read Luke 7:37-47. What does this story teach us about the proper motivation for offerings to God?
Mary entered the room and saw Jesus reclining at the table. She broke the alabaster box of expensive nard and poured it on Him. Some thought her act was improper, considering that the life she lived was illicit.
But Mary had been set free from demon possession (Luke 8:2). Then, after witnessing the resurrection of Lazarus, she became overwhelmed with gratitude. Her perfume was the most valuable possession she owned, and it was her way of showing thankfulness to Jesus.
This story captures what should truly be our motivation in the giving of our offerings: gratitude. After all, what other response should we have to the priceless gift of the grace of God? His generosity also prompts us to give, and when coupled with our gratitude, both make up the ingredients of meaningful offerings, including our time, talents, treasures, and bodies.
Our best offerings may seem insufficient in our eyes, but they are significant in God’s. Giving God the best shows that we put Him first in our lives. We don’t give offerings in order to receive favors; instead, we give what we have out of gratitude for what we have been given in Christ Jesus.
“Entire devotion and benevolence, prompted by grateful love, will impart to the smallest offering, the willing sacrifice, a divine fragrance, making the gift of priceless value. But, after willingly yielding to our Redeemer all that we can bestow, be it ever so valuable to us, if we view our debt of gratitude to God as it really is, all that we may have offered will seem to us very insufficient and meager. But angels take these offerings, which to us seem poor, and present them as a fragrant offering before the throne, and they are accepted.” – Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 397.
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons