Tag Archives: Presence Of God

The Fragrance of Life

2 Cor. 2:15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16  to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?

“We are a fragrance of Christ.”  What an amazing thought.  God has scented us as Christians to be a fragrance of Christ in the world around us.  You don’t have to tell anyone you are a Christian, they can “smell” it.  We have an aroma.  It’s the presence of God, of live in us that gives off a scent to everyone we meet.

I have often been with someone who didn’t know I was a Christian and shortly in the visit they will ask, “You’re a Christian, aren’t you?”  They can “smell” us!  But what is it they smell?  What is the fragrance we give off?  It’s the fragrance of life.  It’s a scent that isn’t common on our planet where everything dies.  The only smell we know is the stench of death, but when the perfume of life shows up it’s a smell everyone knows.  It’s a smell that reveals something the world is missing.

For the Christian, as they “smell” the presence of another believer, they smell the sweet fragrance of life.  Another person who has life living in them, the presence of God. It’s a sweet fragrance and a wonderful reminder of the life we share.

For the world, as they “smell” the presence of a Christian, it highlights the reality to them that they don’t have life, they live in death.  It’s a fearful awaking for their senses.  It’s a smell they don’t like, a realization of their lack.  Often it’s the reason those in the world disdain Christians….we remind them of the truth that they do not have life, but simply await the final death.

Without a word the presence of a Christian communicates that life is available, that we have something the world lacks.  Without a word the world “smells” the presence of life in us.  This witness of the fragrance of life calls us to a Godly lifestyle because the world is watching, their noses know who we are, it’s critical we live to the glory of God because we can’t hide who we are.  The world around us, by the fragrance of life that comes from our very presence, knows we are Christians.

Live your life well, your fragrance precedes you…..the world already knows who you are.  Live in a way that glorifies the one who gave you life. Know that the fragrance of life oozes from your very presence and witnesses to the life you have.  Live as a child of life that the world will be drawn to the one who gave us life.  And never forget…..the fragrance of life precedes you as walk through your days.

 

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Hard Hearts And Stiff Necks

There are two things I see in scripture that cause us problems- hard hearts and stiff necks.
Hard hearts describe people who are insensitive to God’s voice and untouched by his work in their lives. They simply don’t see or sense him, his voice, or his conviction.

Stiff necks describe people who are, even knowing what God wants from them, unwilling to change directions, unwilling to repent. They have set their course and will not “turn their necks,” change their minds or direction.

I’m thinking about this because I’m reading a passage, studying a portion of scripture where I see the disciples witnessing some of the most amazing miracles of all history and seems untouched, unaffected by them. They had hardened their hearts. They had become insensitive to God’s amazing work in their midst.
I wonder….I wonder how hard my heart is. I wonder what God is doing in my life, around me, speaking to me and I simply don’t hear it, sense it, feel his presence. This is a dangerous place to be because we don’t realize that a hardness has developed in our lives and our relationship with God. I wonder if my stiff neck, my unwillingness to change my course is made worse by my hard heart?

These are my challenges. These are your challenges. I pray that my heart will be soft to God, sensitive to his touch, responsive to his voice. I pray that I will not be so stubborn that I can’t change, can’t turn my neck to God’s directions in my life. I’m thinking about this because 12 men who lived for three years in the very presence of God on earth struggled with it. I know I do to.

Lord, soften my heart, massage my stiff neck. Help me to respond quickly, to hear well your voice and respond to your leading in my life.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.