Monday, July 29, 2013

The Fragrance of Christ - Part III

I love to walk into a gift shoppe that carries lots of candles in their inventory.  The whole shop is permeated with the mingled smells of row upon row of different fragrances.  it even lingers on after I've left the shop, clinging to my clothing and the shopping bag filled with goodies wrapped in tissue.

A fragrance grows stronger with application.

The Bible shows us many different ways that we can exude the fragrance of Christ as a sweet smell to God and those around us.

First, there is the fragrance of sacrificial giving.

Philippians 4:18  But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

Then, there is the fragrance of sacrificial living.

Romans 12:1, 2   I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

And then -- the fragrance of sacrificial talking.

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 


Sacrifice involves giving up something in favor of something else.  We give up our goods, or time, or money in favor of someone who needs it.  We give up our desires and actions in favor of what God would desire.  But, really, what do we give up to praise?  Here are just a few things that I found...

* Our right to be angry and hold grudges.  (Colossians 3:8, 12-14)
* Our right to complain and be moody.  (Philippians 4:4, 11)
* Our right to be worried or afraid.  (John 14:27; Philippians 4:6,7)
* Our right to be irritated and impatient. (James 1:2-4; Hebrews 12:1,2)
* Our right to be sarcastic or critical.  (Proverbs 31:26; Ephesians 5:4)
* Our right to please ourselves.  (Romans 12:1,2; Romans 6:16-19)
* Our right to give up. (I Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9)
* Our right to be overbearing.  (I Peter 3:3-5)
* Our right to have the last word.  (James 4:6)

Isn't that a painful list??  Each of those "rights" are like weeds in the garden of our heart, choking out the beautiful fragrance that should be its offering.  But just look at the beautiful flowers that can grow in place of the weeds if we only let the Holy Spirit work in the soil of our hearts!

Instead of ...
* Our right to be angry and hold grudges.
     Love... We become willing to sacrifice ourselves for another.
* Our right to complain and be moody.  
     Joy... We will be characterized by contentment.
* Our right to be worried or afraid. 
     Peace... We will rest at Jesus feet.
* Our right to be irritated and impatient. 
     Long-suffering... We will endure something that hurts or displeases us in order to   show Christ's love and mercy to the one who is causing the pain.
* Our right to be sarcastic or critical.  
     Kindness... We will be busy doing good for others, instead!
* Our right to please ourselves. 
     Goodness... We will seek to please God.
* Our right to give up. 
    Faith... We can trust God to be faithful in our situation.
* Our right to be overbearing.  
     Meekness...   We will be easy to manage, even when "ordered about" by others.
* Our right to have the last word.  (James 4:6)
     Temperance... We will be self-controlled and humble.

May the garden of your heart be filled with the fragrance of the fruits of the Spirit this week!!

Blessings!

Tricia  


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