PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• This is Day 2 of our week-long focus on the five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.
Perhaps the most underrated sense we have… at least until we have a cold.
Our sense of smell is important though…
It keeps us safe by making us aware of smoke or gas, helps us identify foods that are good vs those that have gone bad, and smells evoke memories.
And just as people see things from a unique perspective, scents are very personal to the one who smells them.
What may smell great to you, may be rancid to another.
A perm is an easy example.
Many think perms stink, but if you recently had a perm and we are good friends, it’s highly likely that I’d stick my nose in your hair to get a good whiff.
(I love the way perms smell.)
The apostle Paul compared our faith to smell.
In 2 Corinthians 2:15-16, he wrote, “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?”
First, “we are the aroma of Christ,” can be beautifully described as the fragrance of sacrifice and grace.
It has Old Testament ties when the sacrifices made to atone sin were burned as a pleasing aroma to God (Genesis 8:21 and multiple passages in Leviticus).
Because Christ became the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world, His sacrifice is compared to a fragrant offering in Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
As we continue in the passage from 2 Corinthians, Paul says that what we represent—or rather, Who we represent—carries the scent of life to those who believe in the gospel of Jesus.
To those who refuse to believe, Christianity is the smell of doom and destruction.
It’s similar to the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
The question he asks at the end is one we should all reflect on.
“Who is sufficient for these things?”
He is referring to the weighty responsibility that befalls each and every Christian—sharing the Gospel.
Remember, Jesus didn’t give the Great Commission to just preachers.
Every born-again Christian needs to be prepared to tell others about what God has done for them.
So who is sufficient for these things?
Let’s hop down to verse 17, “For WE ARE not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
Emphasis is mine; the answer is “we are.”
(The use of “not” is referring to the ones Paul described as “peddlers,” as those were the ones who didn’t preach from the sincere desire to share Jesus but to profit from the message.)
Are you living your life in a way that reflects the fragrance of Jesus’ sacrifice?
Today, as you pray, thank God for the gift of smell, but more importantly, the sacrificial aroma of grace that was lifted as Jesus hung on the cross.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you live in a way that others can smell the beautiful scent of God’s forgiveness and mercy.