Sunday, October 19, 2014

Aroma of Christ

     There are some scents that each of us immediately recognize.
          Bacon frying in a pan.
          Fresh cut grass.
          Newly sharpened pencils.
          Coffee in the morning.
    I want to share a few scriptures concerning fragrance.  The first is found in Genesis 8.  Noah finally stepped out of the ark after floating around with a bunch of animals for 377 days.  One of the first things Noah did was to build an altar and offer a sacrifice to express his gratitude and to worship the God who saved him and his family. Genesis 8:21 says that “The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma.”  But it wasn’t just the aroma of a burnt sacrifice that pleased God.  God smelled the pleasing fragrance of Noah’s heart of worship and thanksgiving.
    The second scripture is found in Mark 14 and John 12.  Jesus was in the house of Simon the leper.  Martha was serving dinner - again.  Mary’s tender heart drew her to Jesus.  She broke open an alabaster jar of perfume and anointed Jesus with it.  Mary lavished Jesus with the oil and the fragrance of spikenard filled the room.  Everyone immediately recognized the aroma of this very expensive oil.  Some guests complained at the extravagance and the waste.  The oil, they reasoned, could have been sold and the money used for other, better things.  The spikenard was worth a lot of money.
     The true cost of the oil though was known only to Jesus and to Mary.  To Jesus it was the oil that would anoint Him for the cross.  But what was it worth to Mary?  The spikenard might have been the perfume that was to be saved for her wedding. It was the best she had.  It was all that she had to give.  And so, Mary chose to pour it out on the head and feet of Jesus with generous worship and extravagant love, wiping His feet with her hair and her tears.  It was the scent of adoration.  A sinner pouring out her heart to Jesus as Lord and King.  A sinner with a heart so full of love that everyone around was able to smell the fragrance.
      What is a pleasing fragrance to God?
For we are to God the aroma of Christ to those who are being saved and those who are perishing.   ~ 2 Corinthians 2:15
   We are the fragrance when we help a 90 year old woman over a curb in a parking lot.  We are the fragrance when we minister to a friend.  We are the fragrance when we bring a meal to the hungry, when we send Christmas boxes, when we shovel snow and ice off of the church roof, and when we prepare a sermon or sing a song.  We are the fragrance when we wash the family dishes and socks.  When we serve our family and rake the lawn.  When we pour out the intimate details of our lives with heartfelt adoration at our Savior’s feet.
      There is an unmistakable fragrance that  fills a room when we offer worship through our actions.  When we pour out personal adoration.
     Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  ~Ephesians 5:1-2
    May the everyday actions of our lives be worship.  May we give Jesus all that we have, only you and Jesus will understand the cost.  May we fill our lives with the intimate fragrance of worship pleasing to God.
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