"Live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us as a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God." -Ephesians 5:2
A field of fresh flowers, a freshly bathed baby, fresh cut oranges and lemons. Hopefully all of those smells bring a smile to your face, as you imagine them.
Our sense of smell is one of our strongest senses and they can stir emotions, memories, and feelings in us. Sometimes they are good memories like grandma’s house and fresh baked goods or when you had a baby around your home. Other times they can make you screw up your nose, like the smell of skunks, sour milk, or other odors you’ve encountered in life. For me, I love the smell of fresh cut grass, leaves burning in controlled fires and gas stations late at night. All of them hold happy childhood memories for me and make me smile.
The Bible speaks about our sense of smell too. 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 talks about how God spreads His knowledge like sweet-smelling perfume. It says we too are to be like a sweet aroma to a lost world, by spreading our joy of being saved. We are to share Christ with an uplifting aroma that will make others smile, not turn up their nose in disgust.
In Philippians 4:18 Paul uses this imaging as well, calling the gift sent him by the church, "a fragrant aroma", again suggesting that their gift was like a sweet smelling thing --- pleasant to experience.
Jesus wants us to become imitators of Him and with smell being such a big part of our lives I have found in reading the Bible that there are four ingredients to produce the beautiful aroma of Jesus Christ.
1. Purity of thought, speech and action. (Ephesians 5:3-6)
2. Making spirituality the priority. (Ephesians 5:15-21)
3. Orderly living at home and work. (Ephesians 5:22-24, Ephesians 6:1-9)
4. Perseverance in the faith --- not just avoiding (Ephesians 6:10-20)
Today let’s decide to put away our stinky sinful life and begin preparing a new mixture of ingredients that will come before God smelling sweetly and acceptable in Christ Jesus.
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