Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fragrance (10/24/05)
- TITLE: Sweet Smell or Stench - I praise Him for both!
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According to 1 Corinthians 2:15-16, “Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those being saved and by those perishing. To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume.” (NLT)
I never thought of myself as a fearful smell of death and doom, but if God’s Word says it, it must be true. That would explain why my unbelieving family and “friends” maintain a certain distance from me, especially when I speak of Jesus (and all along I thought I just ate too much garlic). I suppose I should be proud of the fact that I stink to unbelievers. It’s kind of like being persecuted for His sake. Not only do they call me “Jesus Freak” and “narrow-minded”, but they plug their noses as well – a double blessing. Being persecuted and rejected for the cause of Christ is a blessing in that we are sharing in His suffering. I Peter 4:14 (NLT) tells us, “Be happy if you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God will come upon you.” And 2 Corinthians 4:10 (NLT) says that “Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” When I speak of Jesus to those who are perishing, or model my life according to the standards set for us in the Bible, I often experience ridicule. I’m behaving differently than the rest of the world, and the rest of the world is sometimes convicted and intimidated. To those who respond in a negative way, I am a stench - an undesirable fragrance. They see the life of Jesus in my body, and they bring out the gas masks and crank up the fans. Hallelujah!
In my spiritual family, it’s a different story. We all smell like roses to one another, and it’s not our deodorant. We desire to be around one another because it fills the room with the fragrance of fellowship, love, and a deep common bond. There’s no sweeter fragrance in the world than that of a room filled with believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, loving and encouraging one another. My brothers and sisters in the Lord represent the hope, joy, and love of Jesus to me. They are filled with the sweet smell of the Holy Spirit, and victory in the Lord. A heady fragrance indeed, and one that spurs me on “to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” –Phillipians 3:14 (NLT) Amen!
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