The Fragrance of a ‘Living Sacrifice’

19 Dec

GreenPerfumeBottleOn Christmas Eve, Nathan thought it would be nice to buy his wife a little gift for the next day. Always short of money, he thought long and hard about what that present might be.

Unable to decide, Nathan entered Macy’s and in the cosmetics section he asked the girl, “How about some perfume?” She showed him a bottle costing $150.

“Too expensive,” muttered Nathan.

The young lady returned with a smaller bottle for $100. “Oh dear,” Nathan groused, “that’s still far too much. Growing rather annoyed at Nathan’s meanness, the sales girl brought out a tiny $24 bottle and offered it to him.

Nathan became really agitated. “What I mean,”  he whined, “is I’d like to see something really cheap.”

So the sales girl handed him a mirror.*

Whether expensive or not, I (Dawn) love a good perfume. Some people like the headier scents, but I prefer the gentler ones ~ a fresh, natural aroma.

That is how I want people to perceive my life. I read in 2 Corinthians 2:15, “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God.” In other words, our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God like sweet incense. The second part of the verse seems to say that this fragrance is perceived in different ways by those who know God and by those who don’t know Him and are perishing in their sins.

It is the same idea as we see in 1 Corinthians 1:18, when the Gospel ~ the message of the cross ~ is said to be “foolishness” to those who are perishing, “but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

It has been said that believers are the only Bible some people will ever see. When our lives are a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1)~ when we live in obedience to God and exhibit Christ-like, biblical behavior ~ then people will experience the fragrance of that sacrifice, Christ in us. He is the living Word, and people will know when they encounter God in us.

But we must expect that everyone may not like our fragrance. To some, it will seem as a stench in their nostrils, because they cannot (or will not) stomach the things of God. If a person hates Christ, and our lives manifest the Lord, doesn’t it follow that they won’t exactly like us either? Even as Jesus’ enemies mocked and persecuted Him, those in our society who reject Jesus and His truth will reject and mock (or at least ignore) us and our witness about the truth of the Word of God.

But that is not our responsibility. We cannot make people believe. We must simply become more and more like Christ ~ a precious perfume that delights the Father. So … how can your life be a sweet fragrance today?

* Adapted from “Mirror Image”


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