November 30, 2015
About the Devotional Series:
For five consecutive Mondays, beginning on November 23, we’ll be releasing a new Advent devotional – one for each week in Advent plus one for Christmas Day. This year’s series focus on 2 Corinthians 4:7 in which Paul declares that, “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God . . . .” The treasure of abundant life and the privilege of sharing that life with others has been poured into the “clay jars” of our lives. Each devotional will focus on a specific aspect of the “treasure” which has been poured into the “clay jars” of our lives and how that “treasure” can flow into the “clay jars” of family, friends, and neighbors. As a result of this treasure that we have received, we bless others.
Read 2 Corinthians 2:14-17
As a young girl, I remember walking into my grandparents’ neglected farm house which had a wonderful old mildew smell. Today, I find myself drawing a long breath when I walk into a building that has been around for a long time or when I find a long forgotten book at used bookstores. To others, this scent may not be appealing at all. Smell is a funny like that. It can be both pleasant and perturbing.
Perhaps you have met a woman or man who wears too much perfume or cologne. You can sense them coming into your presence, because the hairs in your nose begin to tickle and work up to a slow burn. You may avoid physical contact or close proximity with them because even a handshake or slight bump results in the fragrance transferring to your clothes and skin for the remainder of the day. You are caught. You are coated.
Your perspective may change, however, if the fragrance is one of your favorites. Then, you might casually hug the person and embrace them for longer than normal to transfer the smell. You might breathe in slowly while in their presence. You might be transported into the presence of a loved one who is long gone.
2 Corinthians 2: 14-17 says, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
A.W. Tozer said, “We become like that which we worship.” As Christians we have an aroma that comes from what we worship. The more time we spend in the presence of God, the more we are soaked in the aroma of Christ.
Look again at the bold text above. This aroma is similar to the mildew smell to me. To those being saved, it is a pleasing aroma; to those perishing, it is putrid. Rev. Dr. Keith Loy points out that “Lost people are drawn to real worship.” He asks, “Do the lost see [or in this case smell] and want what we worship?”
We are not peddlers as this scripture points out. We aren’t hocking this fragrance off to the highest bidder. Rather, with our sincerity and faith, we offer this precious treasure we hold, freely to those who desire. Just as the Wiseman offered gifts to Christ, we then offer this gift to others. We have the unique privilege of sharing this fragrance, the sweet smell, with others, especially in this Advent season.
Lord, saturate us with the fragrance that comes only from closeness with you. As we encounter others in this season, pour out the treasure that you have given us through Jesus Christ. Amen.