If you were a scent, what would you smell like? I’d like to hear in the comments below.
To me there’s nothing like the smell of a sweet cake baking in the oven. It takes me back to when I was a kid spending the summers at my Nana’s house. She used to bake birthday cakes and wedding cakes for a living. I would stand by and watch, waiting to snatch some of the fresh cake trimmings to nibble on.
There is actually a science of smell and how scent, emotion, and memory are intertwined. It’s amazing how a smell triggers a rush of memories often long past, or even seemingly forgotten.
Did you know God has blessed you to be a fragrance?
2 Corinthians 2:14 reads: “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.”
Wherever we go, God uses us to make clear what is means to know Christ. Like a fragrance that fills the air.
Have you ever thought about your life in those terms before? That you are giving off a fragrance, an aroma wherever you go? And people are picking up on it as we interact with each other in the same ways that you pick up on things as you interact with people?
Verse 15 continues “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.”
The picture reminds us of the sacrifices of the old covenant. When the priest made a burt offering, the scent of animal flesh on the altar was “an aroma pleasing aroma to the LORD.” (Leviticus 1:9)
We continue: “But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume…” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16, NLT)
The smell of death to some and life to others? What does this mean?
Paul’s metaphor to “captives in a triumphal procession” we read about in verse 14 would have been readily understood by his audience. During these Roman military parades, captives of war would be marched through the streets as garlands of flowers were carried and incense was burned to their gods. Onlooking spectators breathed in their fragrance. At the parade’s finale, many captives would be put to death. Thus, the aromas were pleasing and life-giving to the victors, but they were the smell of death to those who had been defeated. Today, those dead in their sin who have hardened their hearts and rejected Christ.
Friends, Our lives smell like something. God has blessed you to be sweet fragrance. You are a fragrance of Shalom, hope, life, encouragement. Everything we say and do is creating the atmosphere we live in. Holy Spirit we invite you into that.
Join me in prayer:
Lord, teach us what it means to be a sweet fragrance of Christ. Release an amazing fragrance in the earth that those would be drawn to you. A sweet aroma of our love for God and trust in the Lord. We welcome whomever your Holy Spirit may draws to us. Let them see your light, Father, let them feel your warmth in me. Give me the words to say that will bring them to true repentance and cause them to make a decision to follow you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
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