The Sweet Scent of a Life Devoted to Jesus Christ
A devotional by Glynis Becker
“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?” –2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NLT)
We have been created by God to experience life in all of its fullness.
This includes sights, sounds, and tastes unique to each natural season. I especially love the moments that we get to experience right now as the seasons of Spring and Summer bloom. I enjoy the deep rumble of the first thunderstorm, the scent of lilacs carried on a light breeze, and the juiciness of the first ripe strawberries. I love to feel the first drops of warm rain that are a welcome change from the stinging sleet of a driving spring snowstorm. There is something wonderful, too, about hearing lawn mowers power up and inhaling the pungent smell of freshly cut grass.
But one of my favorite scents of Spring and Summer is from a campfire or a fire pit.
While I’m not one to actually go camping, the ability to step outside into our backyard on a calm evening and enjoy food, music, and conversation around a crackling fire is one of my life’s pleasures. I really love that smell while I’m sitting there. However, the problem is that the next day, the clothes that I wore when I sat around the fire now smell acrid and out of place. My hair carries the remnants of those moments surrounded by smoke and ash. The fragrance that was once fresh and lovely, has now become stale and uncomfortable.
In the Bible book of Exodus, the Lord gave many instructions to the priests and people on how to worship Him. There was information about feasts, sacrifices, and many other things, including specifics on incense and how it should be created, burned, and handled. Let's read an example of this in Exodus 30:7-9 (NLT): “Every morning when Aaron maintains the lamps, he must burn fragrant incense on the altar. And each evening when he lights the lamps, he must again burn incense in the Lord’s presence. This must be done from generation to generation. Do not offer any unholy incense on this altar, or any burnt offerings, grain offerings, or liquid offerings.”
As I recently sat by our fire pit and inhaled the scent of wood smoke, I wondered what the smell of that ancient incense was like. Was it sweet? Pungent? Delicate? When the Israelites smelled it, was it like a powerful trigger for them, a way to remember all the things God had done as they had wandered through the desert? Did their enemies recognize that scent and tremble with fear because they knew the Lord was present with His people? Will heaven smell like that?
Then in the New Testament, Paul speaks about those believers who live out their lives in obedience to Jesus Christ, sharing His teaching and loving those around them. In doing those things we become like the incense that once burned in the Temple. We smell sweet to God and to those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior. But to others, to those who do not believe, we smell like death. How does that make you feel?
While I don’t set out to be offensive to nonbelievers, I realize that not everyone will like what I have to say about Jesus. I’m content to smell like the day-old campfire if it means I have had one-on-one time with Jesus and I am a sweet sacrifice to Him, regardless of what others think.
Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, please accept my humble sacrifice. Allow me to carry the scent of life into a world that doesn’t see the Gospel the same way I do. Help me to love You and those around me more than ever before. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.
Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume.
She has co-written several screenplays, including the film Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming.
Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two college-age children.
When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting.
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