January 23, 2018-The Fragrance of God’s Love

By on January 23, 2018
April 30, 2018-Will You Pout or Praise?

By Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

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. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. (2 Corinthians 2:14-16, NIV).

Friend to Friend

I tend to be a creature of habit in many ways – a fact that impacts all areas of my life – even when it comes to smells. I know. A little strange, but let me explain.  

While teaching third grade at an elementary school in Texas, I habitually took the same route to work every morning. The elementary school was only a fifteen-minute drive from our home, and there were several different and even shorter routes I could have taken. However, the one I normally took went by a bakery at the precise time they were gearing up for the day. The aroma of fresh bread was like a magnet that lured me in to grab a hot cinnamon roll or blueberry muffin to eat on my way to school. Scrumptious! In fact, I eagerly volunteered to provide goodies for the teacher break room because it gave me an excuse to stop at the bakery. And all the other teachers just thought I was being nice. Interestingly enough, if I was dieting, I took a different route in order to avoid that tempting smell. 

I am also a creature of habit when it comes to candles. I love candles. In fact, everyone who knows me can testify to the fact I have a “thing” for candles. I burn them continually for any or no reason other than the fact I enjoy their aroma. The fragrance of a candle often triggers wonderful memories and instantly draws me in, and the aroma of just-baked cookies or a pot of coffee brewing just makes me feel good. I have to say that fragrances are important to me. 

Unfortunately, life is filled with both pleasant and not-so-pleasant fragrances. One of my least favorite smells comes from a litter box. We have had cats on and off for many years. Never just one cat, mind you. Oh no. At one point, we had two adult cats that both had kittens within a month of each other for a grand total of nine cats. And did I mention the fact that I hate litter boxes? When I walked in the front door of our home, and was greeted by that toxic litter box odor, I flew into high gear – lighting candles, emptying the litter box and – well, you get the idea. An aroma can be appealing and inviting or it can be offensive and unpleasant. That same principle can be applied to our life in Christ.

A life without Jesus Christ is filled with the aroma of death, but the fragrance of Jesus Christ at work in a life is pleasing and winsome. The knowledge of Christ is a compelling and magnetic fragrance that draws the broken heart and wounded soul to a place of restoration. When God looks at one of His children, I am convinced His heart beats with love, giving off the beautiful aroma of grace and hope. 

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 (NIV) “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. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.”

How about your life? Do you live in such a way that people are drawn to you, to the pleasant aroma of Jesus Christ and His truth at work in you? Does His transforming knowledge compel others to take a second look at your life and want what you have? I so want my life to be one that is winsome. I want others to see Him in me and be drawn to the fragrance of His love and mercy that save me and give my life purpose. I want to be the aroma of Jesus Christ to the broken and wounded people who cross my path every day. 

Let’s Pray

Father, I want others to see You in my life. I want to live out Your truth and knowledge in such a way that the lost and broken are drawn to Your love and mercy in me. Teach me how to saturate my life with Your truth and then share that truth with those around me. Let me be the sweet aroma of You to my family, friends, and neighbors … everyone You send my way. 

In Jesus’ Name, 
Amen.  

Now It’s Your Turn

Make a list of your five favorite fragrances. 

How do these fragrances make you feel?

Are you saturating your life with the fragrance of God’s truth? 

Who are the people in your life who need to know Christ?

What step(s) do you need to take to be the aroma of Jesus Christ to the people in your life?

More from the Girlfriends

Since each lesson stands alone, it is not too late to join Mary’s weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey, for practical ways to tap into the power of God’s Word. Beginning January 8, we will begin a new study, How to Hug Your Porcupine. I know you deal with pain in your life. It may be a broken relationship, chronic physical pain, the death of a dream, or the loss of someone you love. How do you deal with pain? Join Mary for a study that will change your life. 

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook

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About Girl Friends in God

Girlfriends in God is a non-denominational devotion and conference ministry that crosses generational and racial boundaries to bring the Body of Christ together as believers. Just as God sent Ruth to Naomi and Mary to Elizabeth, God continues to use women to encourage and equip other women in their spiritual journey.

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January 23, 2018-The Fragrance of God’s Love