August 28 - The Aroma of Christ
It is interesting to read of Paul’s struggle in Troas, with an open door but without Titus there, his spirit was not at rest. So he left there and went on to Macedonia. A little hesitation, a seemingly stuttered step, an uncomfortable feeling on our part can be interpreted as defeat or failure. Despite of this, Paul erupted in joyful praise of the sufficient grace of God who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession. No matter what happens, we are bearing the fragrance of Christ. This fragrance is the knowledge of Christ for those around us.
Like a victorious Roman general leading his soldiers and captives in festive procession is Christ leading us in victory after victory. For the soldiers, they were celebrating the victory and the coming reward; for the captives, they could only look forward to execution or imprisonment. The participants in the procession did not have the same destiny, some to life and glory, others to death and shame. While the air was filled with the sweet smell of burning spices in the streets, the aroma meant different things to different people.
Believers are to be the aroma of Christ, bringing the good news of victory to all around us. Receiving Jesus as King would mean life and glory while rejecting Him would mean certain death. It is either being saved or to be perishing, same aroma or good news would mean a big difference between life and death. Our goal is to be the aroma of Christ, impacting lives for Christ and not to death. On our own, we are not sufficient in doing so but are commissioned by God, in the sight of God and speak in Christ.
The aroma of Christ is a triumphal smell, a smell of victory and not defeat. Others should be able to discern this victory smell in our lives. If we live constantly in defeat and sin, then our testimony of the victory in Christ would not be real. The fragrance that we give, if it is not from Christ, would become our own body odors, preventing others from knowing this reality of victory in Christ. What kind of aroma are you spreading to others? In your words, deeds and attitudes, are you reflecting this fragrance?
Many have given Christ a bad name because of their fleshly odors. Paul referred to many who were peddlers of God’s Word. They were insincere and bore poor witnesses to the cause of Christ. This could give Satan occasion to blaspheme God and bring down God’s Kingdom. In today’s churches, we have smelled much body odors but very little fragrance of Christ. What are you sending out today to those near to you, can they smell the victorious fragrance of Christ or they can just smell your odor? Be the aroma of Christ!
Ps 94:12-23 Job 28:1-30:31 2 Cor 2:12-17 Prov 22:7