Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Something smells rotten in Denmark!

Smells...we're bombarded with them daily...some good and some not so good. This morning, as I was about to enjoy my breakfast, my daughter pointed out that a stink bug had gotten into the house. Immediately, I jumped up from the breakfast table and grabbed a can of bug spray. "I wouldn't do that if I were you," she said. I asked her why and she said stink bugs emit a foul odor when threatened. "I'm going to spray him before he has a chance to emit his odor," I said as I began to vigorously spray that little devil. Within just a few seconds, the room was filled with an offensive odor...was it the bug spray or was it the stink bug??? I really couldn't say but it was a powerful smell and was not pleasant.

I began to think about it as I sat back down to enjoy my breakfast and immediately, a verse of Scripture popped into my mind "For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?" 2 Corinthians 15-16 NIV
We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ...hmmm. What did that really mean? Did that mean that when we allow Christ to live in and through us and permeate our beings we smell pleasant in the nostrils of God? And if that's true, then when we are sinful, walking in the flesh, doing our own thing without regard to how Christ wants us to live...do we smell offensive to God? I had to do a little more research to be sure, so I went looking in my Bible.

Aromas and fragrances are mentioned many times throughout the Bible. Many of the aromas came from burnt offerings of sacrificed animals laid on the altar to atone for sin. It was the burning of the offering that made it a pleasing aroma to the Lord which, in turn, caused it to arouse a certain kind of response from the Lord. According to Genesis 8:20-22 it was the pleasing aroma of the burning meat that led the Lord to promise that he would never again destroy the earth and mankind as he had done in the flood. The burnt offering was a way of calling on the Lord to pay attention to the needs, requests, and entreaties of his worshipers either independently or in association with the peace offering.

While those burnt offerings surely wafted into the nostrils of God, this tiny stinkbug's odor was wafting into my nostrils and I didn't like it. I wondered how many sacrifices and offerings were brought to God that emitted a foul odor? Many times in the Bible there is mention of a sacrifice not meeting the strict standards of God. A lame animal may have been presented or with perhaps one with another defect that caused it to be unacceptable; but more likely, it was the heart of the person offering the sacrifice that was unacceptable.

We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ...to me, that means that we carry Christ with us wherever we go and in whatever we do. When we enter a room, heads ought to turn just as they do when a woman enters a room wearing a heady perfume...everyone notices it immediately! Without ever having to say a word, they should be able to tell that we belong to Christ because we carry His aroma (His likeness, His love, His standards).

That smelly stinkbug smell is still lingering in my kitchen but it's not so bad right now. I am thankful for it because it reminded me of a valuable lesson...to always be about my Father's business...to always carry His love wherever I go...to always emit a pleasing fragrance of Him amid a world of lost people. Yes, there are so many smells that bombard us daily but just knowing that my character, my attitude, my odor wafts into the very nostrils of God reminding Him of Christ overwhelms me. I surely don't want to send an offensive odor of my sin, my flesh, my own selfish desires up to God, do you?

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