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"The Aroma Of Christ"
Note: We did not prepare a podcast for this message.
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. 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. And who is equal to such a task?" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).
After enjoying a seafood lunch on Monday with our friends in Ocean City we decided to indulge in another seafood meal at the Lobster House on Fisherman's Wharf in Cape May, New Jersey. The appetizing whiff of a freshly prepared seafood dinner is irresistible, but when we stepped out on the wharf to view the fleet the aroma was far from pleasant!
Our visit Monday afternoon with our friends Jim and Dorothy Schmidt prompted another aroma type memory seven years earlier. We slept in their lovely guest room and during the night we awakened to a pungent odor that smelled like a faulty septic system. I think we both laid awake for awhile before one asked the inevitable, "Do you smell what I smell? What do you think it is?" The odor lingered so Brooksyne suggested that I shut the window. Yet the odor seemed to increase and I wondered if it might be coming up through their basement.
We debated as to whether we should say anything as we discussed the problem privately. If they didn't smell the stench our suggestion of a foul odor might embarrass or even worse offend them, but on the other hand perhaps we needed to alert them to a problem they might be unaware of. Ahh, the sensitivity of being a gracious and appreciative guest...
As I visited with Jim over coffee I decided to touch on the "problem" cautiously. Jim started laughing and quickly called out to his wife, Dorothy. I wondered, "Oh no, what have I done now? We'll never be invited to stay here again." Jim explained, "Because we live next to the Bay, at low tide with the right wind conditions, this is a 'normal' recurring odor." As we took an early walk the overwhelming odor smacked me in the face again and this time I chuckled about our faulty conclusion earlier.
Jesus calls us to be "the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14). Recall with me the old children's song, "This little light of mine." I hope that you let His light shine through your life today.
Did you know that we as Christ's followers are called not only to be "the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14) but we are also called to give off a fragrance. Paul uses a rather unusual metaphor in our daily text to describe this aspect of ministry, "God through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him."
God has ordained that His people spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. The Greek word for fragrance is "osme" and is the same word used when Mary washed our Lord's feet with expensive perfume and the pleasant fragrance filled the house.
This fragrance is detectable to both the saved and the unsaved. However their reactions are entirely different. To the unsaved we are the stench of death, to the saved we are the fragrance of life. This contrast is similar to a theme found in John 3 regarding reactions to light. Some love spiritual light, others flee from it.
I'm intrigued by Paul's closing question to this thought; "And who is equal to such a task?" He was aware of the awesome responsibilities that this placed upon himself and other believers.
Today, we urge you to spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus. May this fragrance be pleasing to God and release the fragrance of spiritual life to those around you!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I am thankful for the sense of smell. Depending on what I am smelling it can bring about a pleasant response where I linger taking in more and more of the pleasing scent. Today, I pray that the spiritual fruit from my life would emit such an aroma. First, I want to offer to You the sweet smelling sacrifice of a life fully surrendered to You. Secondly, I pray that those whom I see today would find my words and/or actions to be a very uplifting part of their day. May I bring encouragement through pleasant conversation and by taking a personal interest in others. Keep my mind and words from wandering in the cesspool of lies, jealousy, gossip, immorality and hatred. Instead I want to spread the aroma of the living Christ that others might seek Him. You will bring about divine appointments throughout my day if I make the most of every opportunity. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
In our travels yesterday we walked the grounds of the Wheaton Art Center in Millville, NJ. It was a warm day but the large and plentiful trees accompanied by a light breeze kept us comfortable. A large old order Mennonite family from Lancaster had gathered for the annual celebration of their mother's (grandmother's) birthday.
From our table inside the Lobster House yesterday we observed those who preferred to sit out on a large boat for their luncheon. We also observed the hungry seagulls as they swooped into the boat and onto the tables to get their seafood as well (of course, their biggest catch was at the empty tables where no customer could fight them off).
Do any of our readers recognize what this is? (We will answer tomorrow)
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Offering" Video Paul Baloche
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)
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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.
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