August 6th

Aroma of Life

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?  2 Corinthians 2:14-16 NKJV

There is nothing quite like the odor of incense.  Incense is a material that is burned in order to give off a perfumed odor.  Censors were used in Bible times and continue to be used today.  For example, in Catholic masses priests swing censors from chains.  As they do so, the fragrance fills the church.   The swinging motion provides the proper airflow through the censor chamber to facilitate efficient burning.  

Paul’s description of our role as Christians in the world can be described as “censers of Christ.”  As ambassadors of God’s love, we are to diffuse the “fragrance” of God’s knowledge in every place we go.  Jesus’ life, as documented in the New Testament Gospels, served as an example for us to follow in how to spread God’s fragrance in the world. 

Even when we are giving off a perfect fragrance of God’s knowledge, not everyone will respond positively to us.  In fact, some will hate us and persecute us. However, others will respond positively and seek God.  These are the people that God is saving.  We have the precious privilege of joining God in this wonderful, saving work.

We can ask ourselves, “How effective am I as a censor for Christ?”  When we’re living in our old sin habits (i.e. as a backsliding Christian), the world may not see any difference between us and everyone else.   Even worse, our hypocrisy may turn them away from God.  If we’ve allowed the cares of life, the pursuit of riches or the love of lust to clog our censer, the fragrance of God may not be flowing out of us.  In fact, it may be the odor of sin that flows from us.   If we’ve continued long enough in rebellion, our fire for God may have completely gone out. 

If either is your situation, you can ask God to help you clean and restart your censer.   You may also want to re-affirm Jesus as your Lord, confess your sins, repent from them, and ask God for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit.  As you move into a new relationship with Him, be ready to join Him in the work He is doing around you.  The idea is to keep your censer moving so that the fire does not go out!

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending your Spirit to live in me and to empower me to spread the knowledge of you in the world.  If there has been any sin in my life that has hindered my witness for you, I confess it now: ________ (list).  I turn from this sin and ask for your forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ. Thank you, Father! Please fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit and reignite the fire of passion for you in me.  Please also fill me with love for your people and guide me as a holy censer among them.  I praise you and thank you in Jesus’ name, Amen.”