A Sweet Aroma

We had some friends over one evening this past week to share a meal with  us. It was a warm, beautiful summer-like evening so we sat out on our deck  to eat and the sweet aroma from our lilac bushes was coming our way, brought by  a gentle breeze. What an enjoyable setting. A week earlier we loved to go  out into our little orchard and take in the beautiful aroma of our apple trees  which were in full bloom. It is a real treat this year, because last spring  we had only a few blossoms. This season, the trees are loaded with blooms  and smell so good.  And, of course we look forward to some fruit at the end  of the summer, whereas last year we got only two or three apples and a few  plums.

I was reminded  of the Apostle Paul’s second recorded letter to the Corinthians where he wrote  this: “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in  Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him  in every place.  For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who  are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from  death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life” (II Cor.  2:14-15).    The picture is of a Roman conqueror leading  his captives in triumph.  Those captured would be paraded along with the  conquering Roman officials and commanding officer in a chariot.  The  priests would walk behind swinging their censers with the sweet-smelling incense  burning in them.  To the conquerors the perfume from the censers was an  aroma of joy, of triumph, of life. To the captives (who would be executed), that  incense had the smell of death about it.  Paul gladly considered himself  one of Christ’s captives being led in triumph, to the glory of Christ.

In his first  letter to the Corinthians, the apostle spoke of Christ’s triumph over sin and  death, saying, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your  victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin and the power  of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our  Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable,  always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain  in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:54-58).  Our Creator became our  Redeemer through coming to earth, taking on a human body, and suffering the  death on a cruel cross, but rising again from the dead. In doing so, He defeated  Satan (Gen. 3:15 cf Heb. 2:9,14,15), conquered death ( I Cor. 15:20-26),  and took the guilt of our sin (I Pet. 2:24; II Cor. 5:21).  So, when we, by  faith, put our trust in Christ as our personal Deliverer (Savior), we enter  into His triumph, and can say with Paul, “In all these things we  overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither  death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things  to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created things, shall  be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”  (Ro. 8:37-39).  AMEN!!  When our heart is captured by  the love of God and we believe in Jesus Christ and His atoning work at  Calvary, we join the triumphal march of the saints of God, the soldiers of  the cross. We become part of the body of Christ, the Church. And when we  abide in Christ, our life becomes that “sweet aroma of the knowledge  of Him in every place.”  Everywhere we go, we represent the triumph of  Christ to those around. To those who respond and trust in Him, it will be the  aroma of life; and to those who reject Him it will be an aroma of  death.

What kind of  “fragrance” is coming from your life?  Is it the sweet aroma of Christ  in you, or is it the stench of the works of the old, sinful, rotten flesh?  Is  your life directing people toward faith in Christ or driving them away from  Him? Are you marching in the triumph of the victory of Christ  over Satan, and sin, and death? In Acts 4:13 we read concerning the  testimony of a couple of Jesus’ disciples, “Now as  they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they  were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize  them as HAVING BEEN WITH JESUS.”  How about  you? Do those around you recognize you as “having been with Jesus” or  “belonging to Jesus”?  As believers, remember, that we  are “ambassadors for Christ” and represent Him to the  world around us. So, how do you smell?

Forever His,

Pastor Dave

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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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