When I opened the drapes to the back deck this morning it was like looking out on a winter wonderland! It wasn’t because of snow, even though we did have a few snow showers yesterday morning, but due to the thick white frost that covered everything! The real arresting scene was in the front yard though! Everything just seemed to glitter as the sun was breaking out over the distant trees. From the warmth of our home as I peeked out the window into the 18 degree weather outside, I couldn’t help but praise and thank God for the beauty He created… and for the heater in our home!
The picture of that gorgeous view and the corresponding cold temperatures seemed to go right along with the Word of God that I continued to study from 2 Corinthians 2:14. Even though one might complain about the cool temperatures, in the very midst of it the glory of God stood out and gave His victory to the situation!
I mentioned in our last post how 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 seems to show three points of view concerning an important aspect of our Christian walk. Verse fourteen should be familiar to us now as we have been talking about it for a while. In his letter to the Corinthian church the Apostle Paul makes what could be considered a questionable claim as he boldly declared, “But I thank God, who always leads us in victory because of Christ, and makes clear through us in every place the value of the knowledge of Christ. It is like a fragrance that fills the air.” (God’s Word © & the 1965 Bible in Basic English)
After meditating on this particular verse for many days, I came to realize that the Apostle Paul was telling us that this is how we should see ourselves in our daily lives. John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes states that “To triumph, implies not only victory, but an open manifestation of it.” His definition reminded me of one of the roughest times my wife and I encountered around the twentieth year of our marriage. A business proposition that I had wrongly entered into did not go as planned and we ended up losing our home. But even though it felt like my insides were being torn inside out during the time, it ended up being one of the greatest lessons we ever learned and in the end we came out as winners.
When we moved out of that home after many years of tumult, we left totally free from the overwhelming burden of debt. We had an opportunity to make a brand new start without any baggage and we took advantage of it! The lessons we learned back then helped me to follow the course of action we took and make the right decisions concerning the purchase of our new home that we are in today!
The second part of 2 Corinthians 2:14 declares that the Lord uses us “to make clear… in every place the value of the knowledge of Christ.” Then it caps the thought by saying we carry a sweet fragrance or pleasant aroma about us. I believe that this is something that we should acknowledge every time we walk into a room, a store, out in our neighborhoods, at our jobs and even in our churches! We should enter into every part of our daily activities with the humble confidence that God is using our lives, our words, our thoughts, our smiles, our friendly dispositions and our corresponding actions to let others know what it means to know Christ.
But we also need to realize that we are not doing this of our own accord but by and through Him and His grace, His love, His patience, and His joy. According to this verse God is using us whether we realize it or not. So why not go in with your head held up with the understanding of and on the lookout for any specific actions He may want for you to take. Knowing that I carry about me the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ makes me want to put out my best effort whether I feel like it or not! When I leave a room I want there to be a pleasant aroma that lingers behind me. Just like the wonderful fragrance of freshly brewed coffee that always met us when we walked into and out of the Target store in our old neighborhood due to the Strabucks that was in their lobby!
That brings up another memory of my wife’s and my early dating days. When we first met her folks had a Mustang and a Camaro SS 396. You might remember my joking story of how I knew Piper was the right one for me when she looked at me with that infamous glint in her eyes and tossed me the keys to her Mom’s new Camaro when a group of us went out for ice cream in High School… It was love at first drive! But back to my point… I was driving our 1951 Chevy which had become the car that the kids drove in my family, so whenever we could Piper and I would take one of her parent’s cars on our dates.
From the moment you opened the door on her Dad’s 1964 ½ Mustang your senses were overwhelmed with the fragrance of Old Spice Cologne. You definitely knew who had been driving the car previous to our usage of it. As I think about it today, he probably did that on purpose as every time I would lean over to smooth with my girl, I would catch that scent and think of him and proceed to be the perfect gentleman with Piper!
So dwell on that thought today… that you carry about with you the very fragrance of the knowledge of God wherever you go. The word translated “knowledge” carries the intent of a very personal or intimate relationship with Jesus. So the closer you get to Him, the stronger will be the fragrance you carry with you that lingers in the atmosphere of the places you visit. I am coming to see that God wants us to understand this truth so as to walk in the knowledge that we are important to Him and therefore should want to have His presence about us be important to those we interact with in our daily lives.
Think on that today and smile as you walk through the many doorways you’ll pass through, knowing that the very scent of Jesus goes with you! Have a great week and keep asking yourself… How strong is the fragrance am I expecting to leave behind today?”