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