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.
—2 Corinthians 2:14
You and I give off an odor. To make sure I don’t have a bad odor, each morning I put on deodorant. If I perspire a lot, the deodorant wears off and I smell. Sometimes my odor will be foul, and I won’t even know it. Thankfully my wife lets me know so that I can address it.
Spiritually we give off odors too—or maybe it’s better to use the word “aroma.” Paul says that God “uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of [Christ] everywhere.” Simply put, this is a wonderful aroma of life to all “who are being saved” through faith in Christ. But to all who are against Christ it is like a horrible odor that brings death—that is, death to the sinful nature. No wonder some people receive us warmly while others keep their distance.
If we are serving Christ faithfully, the sweet aroma of real, full life flows out through our attitudes, actions, and words. Our fragrance cannot be covered by deodorants or mouthwashes. We cannot buy a bottle of Christ and pour it over ourselves. By means of his Holy Spirit, Christ enters in as we believe in him, and this has an impact on everyone around us.
What do you smell like? Is the sweet aroma of Christ flowing from you? Can others sense that?
Lord Jesus, we want to spread your fragrance throughout our land. As our aroma brings a smell of both life and death, may your kingdom powerfully advance through us. In your name, Amen.
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