Day 96: April 6, 2023

You Are a Fragrant Offering

Key Verse to Read and Treasure

Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.  (2 Corinthians 2:15, NLT)

For Insight

Beginning with Palm Sunday each day of the last week of Jesus’ life was filled with activity. The Monday following Palm Sunday Jesus went into the temple and turned over the tables of the money changers. That caused a lot of commotion and angered the religious leaders even more. Tuesday, he spent the day teaching a lot of controversial parables and caused a fig tree to shrivel up and die. Wednesday could have been a day of rest as he prepared for the remainder of the week since the Scriptures don‘t record anything. But later that day he was anointed with expensive oil by Mary of Bethany. That also proved to be very controversial since Judas threw a hissy fit about that. Judas did not see Mary’s anointing of the Savior as an act of love and preparation for his death, Judas fumed and fussed about how much they could have sold the oil for in the marketplace and put that money into the till to live off of. The real reason Judas did not agree with what Mary did was because he was not able to steal the proceeds since he oversaw the treasury.

I am blessed to possess a bottle of the pure spikenard oil Mary used to anoint Jesus. It was given to me as a gift, and I can attest to the fact that to say it is aromatic is an understatement. It is a fragrance like no other and when it is applied it fills the room. There is no denial that something special has been poured on you. You cannot help but breathe deeply and take it in.

Because I know what spikenard smells like, it is spiritually overwhelming to read that Paul say our lives are a Christ-like fragrance to the Lord. The Amplified Translation says we are a “sweet fragrance in Christ [which ascends] to God. The life you live in the Vine, as you remain or rest in Christ Jesus, the life you live through the Vine and under the power of the Holy Spirit is a sweet fragrance ascending to God.

No matter how good or great a person we are, no matter how kind or helpful we are to others, how loving, giving, and considerate, apart from Christ our life is not aromatic or a sweet fragrance ascending to God, it is a stench, and our good works count for nothing as Paul said do not think more highly of yourselves than you should (Romans 12:3).

Jesus said, “Abide in me because apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). You and I cannot be a sweet anything, a good anything, a great anything if we do not abide in Jesus, if we don’t blend our lives with his through Vine-living. To make our home in Jesus is to live now and eternally. It is the position our hearts of stone are softened, our motives become pure, our thoughts are transformed, and our attitude is elevated. It is the place we become a sweet offering to God. It is where we become beautiful, wonderful, awesome, amazing people. It is where we bloom and blossom, grow and mature. It is the life and place God looks upon us and breathes us in and is pleased.       

Father to be a sweet fragrance ascending to you is the only fragrance I want to be. By the power of the Holy Spirit keep me abiding in Jesus my Lord and Savior. Amen  

Ask Yourself

How do I feel to know as I abide in Jesus I am a sweet fragrance to God in heaven? Do Paul’s words inspire me to entrench more deeply in the Vine?    

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