Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Smell (the sense of smell) (07/29/10)
TITLE: Stench or Aroma
By Edmond Ng
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But thanks be to God, who always leads us in 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; (2 Corinthians 2:14-15 NAS)I recently came across an unusual question raised by someone at the WhatBrandBest.com web site. The subject in question is tagged with the header ‘My Bible is starting to smell funny. Best brand of Bible deodorant?’ In the discussion thread, the writer elaborated to say, "My favorite bible is starting to smell a little moldy. Is there anything I can use to freshen it up? I was at a Christian bookstore and I saw a can of ‘Gee, Your Bible Smells Terrific,’ but that's all they had. What brand of bible deodorant is everybody using?"
Sometimes we may encounter a similar situation of having our Bible smelling foul or becoming moldy. Although this may sound a little funny, it is certainly not something we should be proud of or consider lightly as expectable or perfectly normal. All of us know that things on earth get moldy and smelly only because they are not used regularly. If we have something we like turning moldy and smelly, it is most likely we have forgotten what we have. By the time we rediscover and attempt to restore it to its original state, it is often quite difficult to remove the unpleasant smell and the mold. Spraying a fragrance over it offers little help removing the odor. Even if we take measures to cover it with frankincense—the one scent known for its evocative fragrance in the history of aromatics—it is ultimately the regular use of the thing we once liked that will help improve its condition. Unless we regularly pay attention to the thing we like, no amount of restoration work will help make it become like before, free of mold and stench.
Like the things that become moldy and smelly over time of negligence, Christian living is very much the same. If we neglect the study of the word of God and choose to leave our Bibles to rot, our Christian lives will gradually deteriorate, stink and become defiled with mold and unpleasant smell. We may try to act perfectly normal in the sight of men, spraying fragrance on ourselves in masking our inner state of being or dipping ourselves into frankincense to hide among those in the faith. Eventually, however, our missing aroma or our odor will sooner or later give us away. Like the foul smell and stench of a land desolate, emptied and devoid of life and growth, our fruit and deeds will reveal our true state of being (Joel 2:20; Micah 7:13).
The first steps we must take in getting rid of the foul smell therefore is not to cover up, but to let out from within the fragrance of Christ. God is the One who leads us in triumph in the Lord to manifest through us the sweet aroma of Christ in every place (2 Corinthians 2:14). We are the fragrance of Christ to God among all who are being saved and to those who are perishing (2 Corinthians 2:15-16). Unless we return to the Lord and get back to our regular walk with God, our condition cannot improve. No amount of restoration work will help bring forth the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Christ in us to the perishing world if we do not spend time in His word.
Forgive us dear Lord for neglecting to spend time with You and in the studying of Your word. Help us rediscover our first love for You and for Your word Lord, that we may not pretend we are well by covering up our state of being in hiding our inner decadence. Restore to us Lord the sweet aroma of the knowledge of You in us in bringing forth Your fragrance to those who are being saved, and those who are perishing. Thank You, God, for leading us to triumph in Christ, and for manifesting Him through us to the world.
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