Tag Archives: Reminder

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.

Marching To Rephidim

In April of 2008 I wrote the following post in two parts. It’s been a great blessing to me and to many others over the years. I thought I would share it with you once more….

Part 1

There is a passage of scripture that I often go to for comfort and reminder. It’s a very strange place to go for such things, but it has proven to provide them to me. It is part of the story of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. They have left Egypt, crossed the sea on dry land, and are being led by God with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. In the middle of this odyssey we come to this passage, Exodus 17:1 Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the LORD….. . Day by day, led by the cloud and the pillar, they are following God’s leading…following him and trusting him. Then, in this short verse we find these words, and they camped at Rephidim… . They camped here by God’s leading! But you must see the end of the verse to understand how important this passage is,and there was no water for the people to drink. When this passage first became clear to me this last phrase stopped me, and my response was, “WHAT?!?! You took them to a place where there was no water? And you took them there ON PURPOSE!?” Yes he did. And he will lead us to places like this….places in the desert where there is no water. Dry places, places where we ask, “why did you bring me here?” That will become clear in a moment, but you need to know that dry places are in God’s plan for our lives. When you find yourself at your Rephidim know that it didn’t happen by accident, God has led you there. He’s working in your life….he has a plan.

Let me make this one thing clear- they were led to a place where there was no water. There were 2,000,000 of them with millions of animals, and God led them to Rephidim on purpose….to a place where there wasn’t any water. Did I make that part clear yet? Why? That’s a most important question to ask. Go back with me a few chapters to a shepherd in the wilderness who comes upon a burning bush. It’s the same Moses who now comes to this same wilderness with the nation of Israel in tow. Why did God bring them here? Here’s the reason, Exodus 3:1 Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb (Rephidim), the mountain of God. Let’s skip down the visit with God a bit to this verse, Exodus 3:12 And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.” God led them to this very place to meet with him, to worship him! But here is what they saw, Exodus 17:2 Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?” Exodus 17:3 But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, “Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” All they saw was a desert with no water in sight. What they missed was the fact that God was there waiting for them! In the next few verses God resolves their water problem, Exodus 17:5 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Exodus 17:6 “Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. This Horeb is the rock that was split in the middle and from it came water to quench the thirst of millions for months. God provided water, but they had missed the opportunity to ask a really important question, “Lord, why are we here?” They completely missed God in their thirst for water! How often I do that. I miss God in the midst of my “needs.”

So, as an expert in wilderness spirituality, let me suggest that when you come to a spiritual desert and find that you have no water the next thing you say is most important. Having been here many times let me suggest this as your next response, “Hello Father, I see we are in the desert without water. What are we working on today? How can I best glorify you through this time in the wilderness?”

When you find yourself out of work, hurting, wounded, left alone, discouraged, depressed, unhappy or simply thirsty for God and find that he has brought you to a dry place don’t fall into the trap of focusing on your need. Look around, God is there waiting for you….he has brought you to this place on purpose!

 

Part 2

Yesterday I left you in the middle of the desert with the nation of Israel in a place where there was no water. They were led there on purpose by God. Let me make this clear- they were led to a place where there was no water. There were 2,000,000 of them with millions of animals, and God led them to Rephidim onpurpose….to a place where there wasn’t any water.

Did I make that part clear yet?

Why?

That’s a most important question to ask. Go back with me a few chapters to a shepherd in the wilderness who comes upon a burning bush. It’s the same Moses who now comes to this same wilderness with the nation of Israel in tow. Why did God bring them here? Here’s the reason,

Exodus 3:1 Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb (Rephidim), the mountain of God.

Let’s skip down the visit with God a bit to this verse,

Exodus 3:12 And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”

God led them to this very place to meet with him, to worship him!

But here is what they saw,

Exodus 17:2 Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?”

Exodus 17:3 But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, “Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”

All they saw was a desert with no water in sight. What they missed was the fact that God was there waiting for them! In the next few verses God resolves their water problem,

Exodus 17:5 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.
Exodus 17:6 “Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

This Horeb is the rock I posted in part 1, the rock that was split in the middle. God provided water, but they had missed the opportunity to ask a really important question, “Lord, why are we here?” They completely missed God in their thirst for water! How often I do that. I miss God in the midst of my “needs.”

So, as an expert in wilderness spirituality, let me suggest that when you come to a spiritual desert and find that you have no water the next thing you say is most important. Having been here many times let me suggest this as your next response,

“Hello Father, I see we are in the desert without water. What are we working on today? How can I best glorify you through this time in the wilderness?”

 

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Psalm 46

This post is from @spreadingJOY – lover of the little things that make life big!  Marie knows that every once in a while, you need to be strengthened, encouraged and inspired.  For extra encouragement, a few smiles and lots of {HUGS} follow her on twitter.


Psalm 46

One Sunday morning not long ago, I was doing some daily Bible reading. Ps 46 was in the que. As I was reading it, the song Peace Be Still came to mind and I decided that I should memorize this passage in an effort to learn a verse a day.

Being able to quote this passage from memory has served me more than I would have imagined. Here are my thoughts on this amazing passage of comfort:

Vs. 1-3 – God is our refugee and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Thought the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

Daily, everyone of us can stand to hear a reminder that God is our strength. He is with us in trouble. We face trouble on daily basis.  More often than we want to admit, we are weakened and are driven to our knees.  If we would only grab ahold of this verse and cling to its Holy Promise! During the moments in my life when the mountains seem to be falling into the sea, I have been able to pull comfort from these verses. Praise the Lord for being my strength and help in trouble.

Vs. 5 – God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

 This verse reminds me that God Will help and wants to help.  That I do not have to go through my journey alone and scared.  God, the creator of the universe, the Master of the seas, the One that the winds obey his very voice, is in the midst of MY journey.  How amazing is that?

Vs 10a – Be still, and know that I am God…

Worry has a way of grabbing ahold of us and not letting go. We drag our worries around with us, fretting about tomorrow. We wonder what are we going to do, we waste precious time that we could be making a difference for Heaven on worry. That is what satan wants from us. He wants to distract us, so that we forget about this verse. We need to remember to be still and KNOW that God will take care of us, he wants to take care of us and will continue to take care of us. Instead of looking around at the raging storms and taking our eyes off of our Lord, we need to remain focused on him. We need to fix our eyes our heavenly Father and run to Him. We need to crawl right up into his lap and just be still, knowing that He is in control, that He wants to bless us, guide and direct us. Knowing that He is God!

I’m just as guilty as the next person about worry, about discouragement, about distractions.  Having hid these verses in my heart, where I can grab them at a moments notice has proven beneficial so many times. Speaking with my best friend on the phone who is afraid for her prodigal daughter. Consoling my daughter when she feels like the school can’t protect her. Re-assuring my son that God will provide the necessary funding for college. When my own heart is aching, with the desire to give big, with the need to see my son, with various heartaches and breaks – I too, claim these promises from the Lord.

Have you hidden these words in your heart? Can you grab them when you need them? You know the storms are coming, you know the battle will rage? What other passages do you need to hide in your heart?