A daily, Bible-based message of hope and encouragement. Having trouble reading this message?
Read mobile edition online
The on line Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home About Us Archives Free email subscription Listen to these messages
Text only for printing
See here for more info.
<Previous Message · Archive edition
Thursday, February 20, 2014He's going to be shrinking over the next few days with rain and warmer temps in the forecast!
This morning it's warming up and the snow is melting but we passed this one room Amish schoolhouse where the children made a big snowman still standing tall against the fence.
"The Smell Of Death"
"For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life…" (2 Corinthians 2:15,16).
Kids can sure say some interesting things when they're developing their vocabulary, at times the opposite of what they really mean. I remember Chrissie, one of our foster children, yelling out in self-defense, "I did it on purpose, I did it on purpose" instead of "I did it accidentally."
One afternoon I came in from a day of hard, physical labor and Ester surprised me with a big hug. She quickly backed off and alerted me, "You need B.O." (body odor)! Of course I knew she meant "You need deodorant!" Well actually I needed a good hot shower which was forthcoming!
Earlier this week we shared a photo of an interesting flower. It is known as the Corpse flower and has a number of interesting characteristics, must notably a terrible stench when it blooms that is described in numerous ways including that of a dead corpse (thus the name). Our friend, Darlene, told us about the flower months ago which is at her 93 year old mother's house. This Sunday it had bloomed and she invited us over to see and smell the flower. Her son had removed the flower to the garage because of the stench which filled the house. (The bloom is not open in the photo.)
The smell is offensive to most humans but actually attracts the insects the plant needs for pollination so I suppose odor (whether pleasant or unpleasant) is in the olfactory glands of the beholder. The smell of a decaying rat is extremely offensive to my sensory glands (never mind the visual image), but to the hawk its scent is much like sizzling succulent sirloin steak smothered in garlic, onions and peppers on the grill! (That description makes me hungry as I write.)
How do you smell today? You say, "That's kind of personal don't you think!" But actually we are not referring to a physical smell but rather a smell test from our daily text.
Numerous times throughout the 18 years we have written these messages we have used the daily text but in preparing today's message a different thought came to mind as we focus on the phrase, "To the one we are the smell of death." This is in the context of how we smell "to those who are perishing".
To both those who are being saved and those who are perishing we are the "aroma of Christ". However we "smell" vastly different to each group. To one we are the "smell of death", to the other the "fragrance of life".
The Gospel of Christ appeals to some and to others it is blatantly offensive. The message of the gospel is to be released in the world through the transmission of God's Word and through our Christian testimonies. It should always be sweet-smelling to God and to those who are being saved. But many are repulsed by our "fragrance of life" because they have trained their aromatic senses to follow the "smell of death." They have chosen rebellion against God and the temporal thrills of this present life over the enduring joys of heaven.
Paul is thanking "God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ"(2:14) which is imagery of the Roman triumphal procession. The victorious Roman general would lead his soldiers and the captives they had taken in festive procession, while the people watched and applauded. The air was filled with the sweet smell released by the cloud of spice-filled incense in the streets. To the victors the aroma was sweet but to the captives in the parade it was the smell of slavery and death.
Bible commentator Dave Guzik offers this explanation, "To the one we are the aroma of death to death, and to the other the aroma of life to life: The smell of incense burnt to the gods in a Roman triumph parade would be a great smell to a Roman. But it would be a bad smell to a captive prisoner of war in the parade, who would soon be executed or sold into slavery."
In the same way, the message of the gospel is a message of life to some and a message of condemnation to those who reject it (John 3:17-21). “The same happens to the present day to those who receive and to those who reject the Gospel: it is the means of salvation to the former, it is the means of destruction to the latter; for they are not only not saved because they do not believe the Gospel, but they are condemned because they reject it.” (Clarke)
This closing thought may take some consideration and some may initially find it offensive. We want to smell good to everyone, certainly physically through good grooming but also spiritually. We want everyone to like us and say we smell good. But as faithful witnesses upholding God's truth and standards in the increasingly decadent world we are to those who are perishing the smell of death.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, as we interact with others today we want to release the aroma of Christ as the Holy Spirit works in and through us. It is our prayer that others will take in the spiritual fragrance of Christ, as His sweet presence is released through our endeavors. But help us to also accept the unpleasant truth that for those who are perishing we are the smell of death. We pray that they would be wooed by the Holy Spirit and train their senses to breathe in the aroma of life by seeking out truth as defined and modelled in Scripture, namely in the person of Jesus Christ our wonderful Savior. It's in His name that we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Fragrant Offering" Video Rita Springer
"Offering" Video Paul Baloche
"I Love You Lord" Video Maranatha Singers
"Sweet Fragrance" Video Crystal Cooper
Dishwasher repair update: In Monday's message I expressed thankfulness for my Dad and his teaching me common sense house repairs. This morning I received the replacement part for our dishwasher and it appears to correct the problem and the dishwasher is running fine!
Today's message stirred another "deodorant" memory: Years ago Brooksyne, Ester and I dined in the Crystal Dining Room, a fine historic restaurant in the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The hotel sits on the top of a mountain overlooking the charming Victorian resort village.
It was a very busy setting with many people eating. Several orders we placed required the weary server to come back to our table and apologetically inform us that they had run out of that food entree. Following our delicious meal the rather tired server asked, "Are you ready for deodorant?" Looking at her in great surprise I responded, "Well, do you really think I need it? I just showered this morning!"
Her face reddened as she immediately realized what had come from her lips. She was even more shocked at her words than we were which led her to quickly apologize, "I got my tongue twisted and meant to ask 'Are you ready to order dessert?'" You can imagine how many times Brooksyne, Ester or I asked the other on our trip home, "Are you ready for deodorant?" It never failed to bring a roaring laughter among the three of us.
The corpse flower is also named the Amorphophallus titanum. Here is some more information. We only got a couple of correct responses identifying this unusual plant.
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"
Personal Ministry Update (Revised 10/21/13)
Are our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? Each weekday morning Brooksyne and I prepare these messages and distribute them at no cost to you and many others all over the world. We ask you to consider an offering to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible. Click here to donate online.
2014 YTD offerings to Daily Encouragement Net: $1,965.00
If this email was forwarded to you, you can subscribe here.
These messages are never sent by us unsolicited. It was sent to you because you either signed up to receive it OR it was forwarded to you. You can also subscribe to the Wordpress rss feed or as an email subscription through Wordpress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.) Cancel: These messages are only sent from us to people who request it; please accept our apologies if it reached you in error. You can unsubscribe from this list at any time. If you no longer desire to receive these messages you can remove your address from the list by merely using the link automatically inserted by the mailing list software at the very bottom of each email message. (To change addresses cancel your old address and then join again using your new address.)
Weekly Version: The weekly version is intended for those who may not check their email regularly or who may desire less frequent mailings. It is Friday's message with a link to previous messages. To receive the free weekly version, send a blank email to this address.
Daily Encouragement on Facebook and Twitter:
The daily message and prayer on Facebook.
The daily message and prayer on Twitter.
Reader Survey: Please take a few minutes to assist us in improving our ministry effectiveness by filling out this online reader survey. To take the survey click here.
Please feel free to pass these messages on!
Our other blogs:
"A Daily Prayer" - A blog simply posting the daily prayer. We keep this up each day since it's merely the prayer from the Daily Encouragement Net message!
"A Little Foolishness" - Humor/satire blog (a great outlet for non-serious writing but at times with a subtle message!) (Note: This material is satire!)
"Clear Minded" - Longer, periodic articles on specific issues impacting the faithful believer and church. (Actually this is my intent but I haven't done much with it!)
"Hymns of Hope" - Brooksyne along with two friends made a CD using classic hymns. Brooksyne tells the background story of the 11 hymns. All of these songs are also available for download on the site.
Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
How to become a child of God
Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version. Other versions are also occasionally used.
© Copyright 2014 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved
"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"
Daily Encouragement is issued Monday-Friday. To make sure you continue to receive these e-mails in your Inbox (so they're not sent to a junk folder), please add email@example.com to your address book or safe sender list. You are receiving these recurring messages as a subscriber to Daily Encouragement Net because you signed up on our website or otherwise requested it unless someone forwarded the message to you. If you desire to unsubscribe use the link below. However, please do not use this link unless your address is the subscribed address below as you will otherwise unsubscribe the person who forwarded it to you!