Thursday, 7 Jan 2021

LIVING THE LIFE WITH GOD’S SCENT
By: Pastor Mark Tan

2 Corinthians 2:14-17

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

Scents and smells can really change the mood of an environment. The smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning, aromatherapy oils, and freshly cooked nasi lemak are some examples of scents that could brighten our day. In contrast, the smell of rotten food, the “juice” dripping out of a garbage bin or a disposal truck, and diaper changes might “sour” the mood of one’s day, even for a moment, maybe even a day. How does the “scent” of God affect your life?

When the apostle Paul was in Troas to preach the gospel, he sensed that something was not right, since he couldn’t find his brother-in-Christ Titus there. This might not sound much in today’s context, but one must remember that the Christians were a persecuted community and a missing brother might spell bad news not only for the one missing but also for the rest of the Christian community. Later in the epistle, Paul mentions his delight knowing that Titus was fine, but that very moment of fear and worry could have affected Paul’s zeal and conviction to share the Gospel. It is then Paul gives us this encouragement: it doesn’t matter where we go, we bear the scent of God’s victory in Christ our Saviour King.

What does it mean to bear God’s scent? Paul describes it like a triumphant king’s parade going through the crowd. When one king and his supporters celebrate, it also means that another king and his supporters have lost and would not only be upset, but fearful because his life might be taken next. Likewise when a Christian bears the scent of King Jesus, some will celebrate alongside him as fellow believers while others might feel offended or even threatened because of his life choices and beliefs. Paul then asks this poignant question: who is equal to such a task? The answer depends on how you react to God’s presence and gospel. If you feel guilty and sad, then it means you should repent of your sins and get right with God, knowing that He is quick to forgive and celebrate in the return of His child. On the other hand, if you are energised and excited of the Gospel, then we are tasked to keep on sharing that the good news might save others along the way.

So how do we bear God’s scent?

  1. Be in the presence of God daily, in prayer and devotion, and let His Spirit dwell in and among you the rest of the day.
  2. Have the gospel preached to yourself regularly, seeing if there is anything that you want to make right with God and be in celebration of such good news.
  3. Let those around you know the difference God’s presence and salvation has made in your life. The more you share, the more you are encouraged to be in God’s presence.

Some questions to reflect on:

  1. What do you feel when realising Jesus has saved you from eternal punishment to eternal life?
  2. How do you think God’s scent is working in your life as well as in the lives of those around you?
  3. How are you ensuring that the Gospel is preached regularly to you other than Sunday services?

PRAYER

“Lord Jesus, You who promise to be with us always till the end of the age, be with us always and let Your presence be a scent of joy to those who love you and a scent of the grave to those who fear you. Give us the privilege to display Your image wherever we go, and through that, experience the joy of being in Your presence always. This we pray in Your Victorious name, AMEN.

星期四 (7/1/2021)活出基督的馨香之气
陈燕靖传道分享

歌林多后书 2章14至17节

14感谢神!常率领我们在基督里夸胜,并藉着我们在各处显扬那因认识基督而有的香气。
15因为我们在神面前,无论在得救的人身上或灭亡的人身上,都有基督馨香之气。
16在这等人,就作了死的香气叫他死;在那等人,就作了活的香气叫他活。这事谁能当得起呢?
17我们不像那许多人,为利混乱神的道;乃是由于诚实,由于神,在神面前凭着基督讲道。

香气和气味确实可以改变环境的氛围。早晨现煮的咖啡,香薰油和香喷喷的浆饭,这些香气是可以使我们的心情瞬间愉悦起来。
反之,腐烂的食物,从垃圾桶或垃圾处理车中渗漏出来的污水及换尿布的气味则会影响我们一瞬间,甚至一整天的心情。
基督的“香气”如何影响您的生活?

林后2:12-13先交代了保罗到特罗亚与马其顿的行程。经文这么说:“我从前为基督的福音到了特罗亚,主也给我开了门。那时,因为没有遇见兄弟提多,我心里不安,便辞别那里的人往马其顿去了。”

在今天,这种情况听起来可能并不多,但是必须记住,基督徒是一个受迫害的社群,而一个失踪的兄弟可能不仅对一个失踪者,而且对整个基督徒社群都带来了坏消息。 保罗在书信的后面提到了提多,他很高兴,他知道他很好,但是那一刻的恐惧和担忧可能影响了保罗分享福音的热情和信念。 到那时保罗给了我们这种鼓励:无论我们走到哪里,我们都带着上帝在救主基督里胜利的香气

何谓活出基督的香气?保罗形容这就像胜利的国王在人群中游行一样。当一位国王及其支持者庆祝胜利时,这也意味着另一位国王及其支持者的失去,不仅会感到沮丧,而且会感到恐惧,因为下一秒他的生命可能会被夺走。

你可以用哪些方式对人散发基督的香气呢?
对那些得救的人来说,在基督里的新生命带来属灵的活力;但对那些拒绝上帝之光的人来说,这香气却令他们反感。

然后,保罗问了这个棘手的问题:“这事谁能当得起呢?”

答案取决于您对上帝的同在和福音的反应。如果您感到内疚和悲伤,那意味着您应该认罪悔改,知道慈爱的天父必原谅并接纳祂的孩子。

另一方面,如果您对福音充满热诚和兴趣,那么你的任务是继续分享福音使更多的人得救。

信徒如何去彰显基督的香气。
1.每日与主同行,在祷告和灵修中经历主的灵同在。
2.定期向自己宣讲福音,看看有什么你想与神同行,并庆祝这样的好消息。
3.让你周围的人知道耶稣怎样拯救你、改变你生命的过程。你更多的分享,就越能鼓励你在神的同在里。

以下是需要思考的问题:
1.当您意识到耶稣已将你从因罪带来永远的刑罚中拯救出来并赐予永生时,您有什么感觉?
2.日常生活中,你如何散发出基督的馨香呢?基督的馨香在你周围的人的生活中如何发挥作用?
3.除了主日崇拜,您如何确保常常聆听神的福音,并在人群中散发因认识基督而有的香气?

祷告:

“主耶稣,你应许必与我们同在直到永远。愿你赐下你的同在和喜乐给爱你的人,而那些敬畏你的人都歸向你。
无论我们到哪里,使我们有福分来经历你同在的喜乐,并让我们活出基督的馨香来彰显你的荣耀。
我们这样祷告是奉耶稣得胜的名求,阿门。