WHAT IS THAT SMELL?

What's that smell?

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ALL DRESSED UP?

Invariably on your way to somewhere special you have to stop at the gas station.  You enter and immediately are assaulted by the aroma of the “deli.” We call them jo jo potatoes.  Fried and laden with grease, they have an undeniable smell.  So do you when you leave. You got out of the car smelling fresh and clean, you got back in smelling like jo jo potatoes.  Everyone will know where you have been.

SOME CHRISTIANS STINK

That’s what the world thinks.  Christians are often perceived as people doing the stuff or not doing the stuff.  While it is important not to compromise truth, religious people often pick a platform to stand on- usually some hot button moral issue.   The ones who are good at the church stuff parade around in their own righteousness and it stinks to high heaven. Jesus thought so too. He had some pretty harsh things to say about the Pharisees.  He even called them ugly names on occasion.  If the shoe fits or needs odor eaters….

LIKE BEING IN A SMOKY ROOM

The smell is in your hair, in your clothes, maybe even in your skin.  It’s a tell-tale sign of where you’ve been or who you’ve been with.  It can be unpleasant or sweet.  What do you smell like to the world?   Are you spending time with Jesus?  If so, you will give off the fragrance of Christ. Then the Bible says God will display us.  It’s a sweet, sweet smell.

WHAT DOES JESUS SMELL LIKE?

He smells like love:  love for sinners,  adulterers,  tax collectors (cheaters), his enemies.  The first fruit of the Spirit is love.  How much joy, peace and patience does the world see in your life?  It’s a pleasing aroma, like fresh baked bread.  Christians full of kindness and gentleness?  The world would notice and they would like it.  Faithfulness and self control are sweet smells, noticable when you walk by.  Jesus smells like humility.  Pride stinks.  It’s downright repulsive.  He smells like grace, but he also smells like truth.  That’s why some smell life and some smell death.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16, “But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.  For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others an aroma of life leading to life.” HCSB

HOW WILL THEY KNOW WHO WE ARE?

They will know by the aroma we give off.  If we spend time with Jesus, we will be the fragrance of Christ.  The Bible clearly tells us the world will know we are Jesus’ disciples by our love.  The more time you spend with Him, the more you will smell like him.  Like the jo jo potatoes – everyone will know.  My prayer is that my life will be a sweet aroma to the world and pleasing to God.

John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also love one another.   By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  WEB

Everyone needs a life verse.  That’s mine, what’s yours?

WHAT IS THAT SMELL?

What's that smell?

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ALL DRESSED UP?

Invariably on your way to somewhere special you have to stop at the gas station.  You enter and immediately are assaulted by the aroma of the “deli.” We call them jo jo potatoes.  Fried and laden with grease, they have an undeniable smell.  So do you when you leave. You got out of the car smelling fresh and clean, you got back in smelling like jo jo potatoes.  Everyone will know where you have been.

SOME CHRISTIANS STINK

That’s what the world thinks.  Christians are often perceived as people doing the stuff or not doing the stuff.  While it is important not to compromise truth, religious people often pick a platform to stand on- usually some hot button moral issue.   The ones who are good at the church stuff parade around in their own righteousness and it stinks to high heaven. Jesus thought so too. He had some pretty harsh things to say about the Pharisees.  He even called them ugly names on occasion.  If the shoe fits or needs odor eaters….

LIKE BEING IN A SMOKY ROOM

The smell is in your hair, in your clothes, maybe even in your skin.  It’s a tell-tale sign of where you’ve been or who you’ve been with.  It can be unpleasant or sweet.  What do you smell like to the world?   Are you spending time with Jesus?  If so, you will give off the fragrance of Christ. Then the Bible says God will display us.  It’s a sweet, sweet smell.

WHAT DOES JESUS SMELL LIKE?

He smells like love:  love for sinners,  adulterers,  tax collectors (cheaters), his enemies.  The first fruit of the Spirit is love.  How much joy, peace and patience does the world see in your life?  It’s a pleasing aroma, like fresh baked bread.  Christians full of kindness and gentleness?  The world would notice and they would like it.  Faithfulness and self control are sweet smells, noticable when you walk by.  Jesus smells like humility.  Pride stinks.  It’s downright repulsive.  He smells like grace, but he also smells like truth.  That’s why some smell life and some smell death.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16, “But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.  For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others an aroma of life leading to life.” HCSB

HOW WILL THEY KNOW WHO WE ARE?

They will know by the aroma we give off.  If we spend time with Jesus, we will be the fragrance of Christ.  The Bible clearly tells us the world will know we are Jesus’ disciples by our love.  The more time you spend with Him, the more you will smell like him.  Like the jo jo potatoes – everyone will know.  My prayer is that my life will be a sweet aroma to the world and pleasing to God.

John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also love one another.   By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  WEB

Everyone needs a life verse.  That’s mine, what’s yours?

GOD, WHO NEEDS HIM?

I DO, SO DO YOU

Why do you need a god?   Because life is hard and eternity  is forever.  There are many gods and you are free to pick. Which god will you choose?

Joshua 24:15, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.  But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  NIV

Genie

GENIE

Wouldn’t it be great to have a magic genie?  Life gets hard, seriously hard.  All of us have desperate needs or wants.  Do you need healing?  Reconciled relationships?   More money or just a job?  Rub the bottle and coax the genie out.  “Your wish is my command!”   Make your request, the genie can supply.  Deal done, it’s over.  Conveniently, put the cork in the bottle and place it back on the shelf until there is another serious need.  Then he will stay in the bottle until released again.  He won’t interfere with your life in the meantime.  You determine what you need and he performs.

Santa

SANTA CLAUS

What about Santa?  He rewards good behavior.   He would never let bad things happen to good people.  Be relatively good and you can expect to get whatever indulgence is on your wish list.  I’ve never known anyone who missed out because they were bad, so I think his standards for behavior are pretty low.  But, no one wants a lump of coal, so try to be on the nice list.  If you are good you will have health, wealth and happiness, right?  Maybe, if Santa is your god.

self

SELF

You need answers and you need them now.  Advice and solutions to your problems are available in the information age.  Just use a search engine and get instant results.  You can find a you tube video to show you how to do just about anything.  You can diagnose yourself (warning – it’s usually fatal).  You can discover the truth about anything, if you loosely define truth.  Knowledge, information, programs and formulas can be your god, but, ultimately you are depending on yourself.  I have depended on myself for years.  I’m pretty reliable, tough and determined.  I can do anything I set my mind to, or at least I thought I could.  Myasthenia gravis gets worse the more you try.  Of all the weird diseases….

suffering servant

SUFFERING SERVANT

Who wants that?  A God who left the glorious realms of heaven to come and suffer rejection and death.  Then He asks us to do the same, it’s ludicrous!   Who wants to follow God who calls us to deny ourselves, die to our desires, pick up our cross and follow Him.  Anyone interested in signing up for that?  He promises us,” In this world you will have trouble.”  He calls us to suffer for His sake.  Why would anybody choose this God?  It makes no sense.

Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  NKJV

WE DON’T LIVE IN EDEN

We live in a hurting world.  No one escapes suffering, sickness and death.  It’s called life.  Innocent people endure injustice.  Good people get terminal illnesses and incurable diseases. Eventually we all have to deal with something.  When I was initially diagnosed it was necessary to examine my own beliefs. What do I know about God?  I learned this:   I don’t just know about God, I KNOW God. There is an attraction to this God.  He loves me.  He wants me to love Him back.  Incredible.  The God who created the universe knows what is best for me. I trust Him.  We have a relationship.  He promises to be with me.  I feel His presence and it is the most incredible promise. He gives peace that passes understanding. The blessing of His presence, His peace, and His joy make this journey worth it all.  Is it easy?  No.

Hebrews 13:5, “God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  NIV

LIFE ISN’T EASY

That’s why we all need a god.  Which one will you choose?

Psalm 115:5-9, “They have mouths but cannot speak, eyes but cannot see.  They have ears but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell.  They have hands, but cannot feel,  feet, but cannot walk.  They cannot make a sound with their throats.  Those who make are just like them, as are all who trust in them.  Israel, trust in the LORD!  He is their help and their shield.” HCSB