Aroma of Christ
Today's Reading: Proverbs 6-7; 2 Corinthians 2
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. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15
There are two words in these verses that should catch our attention, the words "fragrance" and "aroma." Isn't it interesting that Paul uses words that relate to our sense of smell to describe how we should be seen by others (or smelled by others)? Most of us notice when a person passes by wearing cologne or perfume, especially when it is a strong scent. There are certain fragrances that evoke memories in us. The smell of spices and evergreen are most common at Christmas. Floral smells hint of springtime. And even someone's scent (good or bad) stirs emotions within us if we relate that fragrance to a particular time or event in our lives.
As Christians, Paul is saying that we, too, have a scent about us —"the aroma of Christ." The origin of the word "aroma" brings us back to Old Testament times when the sacrificial offerings of burning animal flesh were common. Our lives as Christians are offered as that living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1). As we live for Christ (and are willing to die to ourselves), we become a sweet-smelling aroma to God. Not by our good works, but because of the offerings and sacrifices we are willing to make in our daily lives. But we live in a world of indulgence to self, not sacrifice. How can we be the fragrance of Christ in the world today?
The first step is in being aware of who you are in Christ. As a believer, you represent Him wherever you go and whatever you do. What does that look like in real life? Maybe by forgiving someone who has hurt you. Maybe by giving up something you want just to bless someone else. The root of sacrifice and unselfishness goes back to love. It is the love of Christ in us and through us that leaves that sweet aroma on others.
Take time today and think about the fragrance you are wearing. Put it in the perspective of being an offering and a sacrifice unto the Lord for the sake of others. What better role model for us than the apostle Paul? Of course, the ultimate sacrifice was given through God's only Son, Jesus Christ, and it is now up to us to make that sacrifice known to the world. Ask the Lord today to help you be the aroma of Christ everywhere you go. May you leave a scent of love on everyone that you pass.
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