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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)

TITLE: Pleasing Aroma
By Connie Dixon


It had been a stressful day and all I wanted to do was come home and take a hot, relaxing bubble bath. With the scented candle lit and a new romance novel close by, I began to fill the tub. To my surprise, instead of the crystal clear, steamy liquid I was expecting, out came water with spurts of black stuff...almost like soot or something. I have no idea what it was, but it shot out enough times to ruin the ambient mood I was trying to create.

How could it be that water from our drinking supply was tainted with this black stuff? Oh…ok, it makes sense. We haven’t used that tub for a few months, and obviously something had built up in the pipes. But something black? I don’t know… that’s just my theory. The point is, what came out was definitely not what went in, and I was totally taken back by it.

I heard a story about a mom who was driving with a friend in the car. She stopped on the way to pick up her 5-year old from Kindergarten. They got into some traffic and this guy pulled right out in front of her without looking, missing her car by inches. This mom was a little shook up and not too happy about what happened, but before she could say anything, her innocent daughter looked right at the guy and shouted, “Get a life, you moron!”

I wonder what God thinks about His children when He pours and pours and pours His love into our hearts, and many times what comes back out of us is a big disappointment.

Ephesians 1:4 says: Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God chose me! Were you ever chosen by one of your elementary school teachers to pass out papers, clean the board, lead the lunch line? If so, you probably felt proud and wanted to please the one who had put that trust in you.

God chose me…shouldn’t I want to please Him? Shouldn’t I want to be obedient, follow His example, do the things He implores me to do?

Philippians 2 tells us we are not to be selfish, not to try and impress each other. We are to be humble and not think of ourselves as better than others. I am not to look out for my own interest, but look out for the interests of others.

Jesus is God, but He never threw that in our faces! He never said, “Because I said so!” Instead, He was born in a manger, He became a slave, He lived in humble obedience to God and He died the most brutal death anyone could imagine.

God poured Himself into this world; He sacrificed His only Son for you and me. Why? So we could be self-centered, hateful whiners? Of course not. Jesus was the example sent to us so that we might in turn love others as He loved us: John 13:14-15 says: And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.

I know a lady at church who seeks me out every Sunday. Her words are a sweet aroma of encouragement and affirmation. I have never heard her utter a negative or destructive word. To me, she is a true example of a life submitted to Jesus. What comes out of her lips is a reflection of the truth and love poured into her.

That five-year old did not come up with those critical words on her own. The bath water that flowed from those rusty pipes was not a replica of the drinking water that ran into them. Somehow the vessels got tainted. Are you tainted? Does your pot need some purifying? 1 John 1:9 says: But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

It’s not too late to start living your life as though God intended. Today is a new day! Ephesians 5:2 says: Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

What kind of an aroma is coming out of you?

*All verses are from The New Living Translation.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 639 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kendra Bacus05/07/09
This story just reinforces how important it is for positive input into our daily lives. The issue then becomes our choice to have positive output. Thank you for your perspective.
Margaret Gass05/07/09
What's down in the well does indeed come up in the bucket. This piece encouraged my heart today.
Mona Purvis05/11/09
Very, very good lesson. One I can use each and every day. I know a few, very few, people who are like the lady in your church. They truly bless my soul and I long to be more like their example.
Great devotion.
Betty Castleberry05/12/09
Lovely devotional with a great message.

I like the conversational style.
Micheline Murray05/12/09
I really like this-especially: Were you ever chosen by one of your elementary school teachers to pass out papers, clean the board, lead the lunch line? If so, you probably felt proud and wanted to please the one who had put that trust in you.

Who hasn't felt that? I appreciate the connection between that, and how HE has chosen us---
Bryan Ridenour05/12/09
Wonderful devotion with great reminders to us all. God bless. Well done.
Sonya Leigh05/12/09
Hi, Connie, and thanks for this devotional...we all need to hear it.
Loren T. Lowery05/12/09
I liked the way your story unfolded to reveal the message. You were able to show how everyday occurrences, if observed rightly, can be great teaching tools - straight from the Master's own chalk board.
Yvonne Blake 05/12/09
Interesting analogy and examples! I think the title and ending should have had to do with water instead of aroma, even though the message is the same.
Good thoughts!
Shelley Ledfors 05/12/09
Very good devotional with important lessons for all of us to remember. I like how, near the end, you tied your initial illustrations of the bathroom pipes and the comments of the five year old as being tainted vessels. Initially I wasn't quite sure how those related. Again, great thoughts. Thanks for sharing this!
Karlene Jacobsen05/12/09
This is quite an insightful devotional/teaching.
Chely Roach05/12/09
A truly fabulous devotional. Wonderful!
Diana Dart 05/13/09
Thank you for this devotional. So thoughtful and well presented.