TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.. (2 Corinthians 2:15-16a NKJV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Have you ever been to an event, a meeting, had a conversation — whatever kind of shared experience you can imagine, and realized later that you and another person experienced two very different things? Often, we see the same thing, but hear something very different from one another. Perspective and experience have a tremendous impact on the way we translate and see the things around us.
Such is the case, too, with the Word of God. One person may hear the Gospel and understand it; another may hear it and dismiss it.
Today, let’s go to 2 Corinthians 2:15-17, which says, “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.”
Where one person sees God’s goodness, another denies Him. Where one person accepts salvation, another rejects it.
This week, I had this conversation with someone I love very much, but agree with on very little. Where I have placed my trust in God, he despises my faith and everything it represents. Where I see the Bible as the authentic and inspired Word of God, he sees it as a made-up book that is designed to judge. During our conversation, I told him, “I feel like you have the wrong view of God. He doesn’t exist to serve us; we exist to serve Him.” This person said to me, “That seems really egotistical.”
And in fairness, out of context, I can see his point. But I explained, “The Creator doesn’t serve the creation.”
As I’ve thought about this conversation, I keep thinking of this passage from 2 Corinthians. The Word of God smells sweet to me because I’ve recognized that I’m a sinner who is in desperate need of a Savior. But to those who haven’t — the Word of God is pungent.
My Believer’s Bible Commentary sums it up beautifully — “The preaching of the Gospel has a twofold effect. It signifies one thing among those who are being saved, and something altogether different among those who are perishing. To those who accept it, it is a pledge of a glorious future; to others, it is an omen of doom. But God is glorified in either case, for to Him it is the fragrance of grace in the one case and of justice in the other.”
As we look at the world around us and the increasingly antagonistic view the world holds for Christians, we need to remember this truth. God is loving, merciful, and full of grace. But He is also just. Every person who has ever lived will one day stand before Him and answer to Him. We will either stand before Him justified by the blood of Jesus (if we have trusted in Him); or we will stand before Him to be judged and condemned.
The choice is ours. Because true love — and God is love — always gives a choice.
Will we choose to embrace the fragrance of grace? Or the fragrance of justice?
Personally, I choose grace.
Today, as you pray, thank God that in all things, He is glorified. Thank Him for the good news of Jesus Christ. Ask Him to help you point others to the grace and goodness of God and pray specifically for revival in our nation and world. And I ask you to please join me in praying for my own loved one – that he will recognize the love of God and accept the salvation found only in Jesus Christ.
SPECIAL NOTE: Traditionally, I have used the ESV translation when quoting Scripture. And while I still love the ESV, I have started reading more from the NKJV and just love it. Going forward, the NKJV will be the primary translation used for My Grace-Full Life.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.