The Scriptures challenge us:
“Thanks be to God, who unfailingly leads us on in Christ’s triumphal train, and employs us to diffuse [spread, make evident] the fragrance [aroma] of his knowledge everywhere! We are a sweet fragrance of Christ for God’s sake, both [discernable alike] among those who are being saved and those on the way to destruction [perishing]; to the latter an odor dealing death, [a fatal odor, the smell of doom] to the former a breath bringing life [from life to life, a vital fragrance, living and fresh]. For such a mission [ministry] as this, is anyone really qualified [fit, sufficient, able]?” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16 Combined translations/versions)
“Follow the way of love, even as Christ loved you. He gave Himself for us as an offering to God, a gift of pleasing fragrance.” (Ephesians 5:1)
Christ’s sacrifice was foreshadowed by the sacrifices in the Old Testament and called “a sweet-smelling [fragrant] oblation [sacrifice]” (Exodus 29:18, 25)
The staff of the Christian radio station of which I am president has often presented me with a dozen and a half long-stemmed red roses for my birthday. The roses were always exquisitely beautiful, and their fragrance filled my home day and night while they were fresh. I wanted to preserve the petals by drying them, fully expecting them to remain fragrant.
I dried the petals successfully, but I was disappointed that they totally lost their fragrance! Friends reminded me that only fresh, living roses have a scent—not dead, dry ones. They told me to apply a few drops of special rose oil to them, close them snugly in a plastic bag and let the petals absorb the fragrance as if it were their own. Voila! They were fragrant again!
Let re-scented rose petals remind you that according to the above Scriptures we should bear the fragrance of Christ wherever we are, at all times, under all circumstances, in the uncertainties, adversities, and dark times of life as well as in the light.
We are to attract people to God and to His glory, not to ourselves. First of all, however, we are to be a fragrance unto God, to lavish our love on Jesus like the expensive perfume poured by Mary on Jesus’ feet as an expression of love and thankfulness for our sins forgiven.
Remember—only living roses can share their fragrance. Only living Christ-ones can offer a fragrance to God and to others around them.
You and I must snuggle close to Jesus, abide in Him, spend time in His presence and adore Him, not only in our quiet times but “without ceasing” throughout the day and night. Moment by moment we will be “anointed with fresh oil” of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 92:10) so we can absorb His fragrance.
Without our saying a word, others will know we have been close to Jesus and will be drawn to Him. As Saint Francis of Assisi taught, “Preach the gospel at all times and, if necessary, use words.”
FRAGRANCE UNTO CHRIST
A fragrance unto YOU?
You’ve said that I should be
a fragrance of Christ to God
delighting You—a thought
my mind can scarcely grasp—
You, the Supernatural, The Creator
imparting to me, the natural,
the fashioned clay, the mortal
the aroma of Your Manifest Presence!
I remember that You like incense
You even dictated its ingredients
for worship in Your earthly habitation
and when Your glory filled the Temple
Your fragrance was there.
You shared Your delight with us
by creating our senses
to give us the enjoyment of scents.
That You desire the sweet essence
of Your knowledge
a scent derived from walking close
leaning on Your bosom
to be wafted as perfume
a living and fresh aroma
in every place, at all times
The thought is too awesome for me!
Who is adequate for such a thing?
2 Corinthians 2:13-16; Ephesians 5:1; Exodus 29:18,25