Wow, wow, wow. You know when the Lord wakes you up at 2am and wants to speak, it is going to be good! This morning he left me plenty to meditate on. However, I only want to share what he has spoken to me to directly share with you.
Let us focus together in 2 Corinthians 2:
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in Christ’s triumphal procession 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. Who is adequate for these things? For we do not market the word of God for profit like so many. On the contrary, we speak with sincerity in Christ, as from God and before God.” -2 Corinthians 2:14-17 CSB
If you have not figured it out already, we as Children of God, are not everyone’s cup of tea. Or as Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians, the aroma we give off is not always the most enticing to those who are perishing. Can you remember a time before you knew Jesus and someone was trying to talk to you about him? Yeah, me too. (Shout out to my Aunt and Grandma who never grew weary in planting seeds!!) During this time, I can remember what they were saying sounded unappealing and like a bunch of trash. I thought they were being annoying and “shoving their religion down my throat”. (Sound familiar?) To me, when I did not have a relationship with God, the truth in what they were speaking gave me the aroma of trash. It smelled bad, it tasted bad, and I simply did not want to hear anything they had to say.
Let’s flash forward to today now that I have a relationship with God… I am faced with the same situations my Grandma and Aunt went through with me. Friends, family, and other people I am faced with on a daily basis because they do not have a relationship with God are unable to acknowledge the truth I have spoken as something that smells good and gives life. Rather, because they are blinded by satan’s lies and are unable to see the truth due to the blinders he has put on, every word that comes out of my mouth gives off a stench rather than a beautiful fragrance.
What are we supposed to do as Christian’s in these situations?
Let’s look at the very first verse and the very last…
” But thanks be to God, who always leads us in Christ’s triumphal procession and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of him in every place.” –2 Corinthians 2:14 CSB
“we do not market the word of God for profit like so many. On the contrary, we speak with sincerity in Christ, as from God and before God.” -2 Corinthians 2:17 CSB
Heaven is our home and the world is fallen. Not everyone is going to agree with us and that is okay. It is of great importance to remember, our war is not against flesh and blood but against dark principalities in which we cannot see. People themselves, are NOT our enemy. The devil loves to try and trick us to make us think they are though. Be aware of his schemes. (You can read more on this in 2 Corinthians 2 as well).
But, in EVERY place we go, whether we choose to realize it our not, we are giving off a fragrance. Not everyone is going to like the aroma we give off. However, this should not stop us nor discourage us from living like Jesus and “spreading the aroma of the knowledge of him in every place”. There are many people we run into on a daily basis that have been given the wrong image of Jesus due to wolves in sheep’s clothing. After all, the devil does disguise himself as an angel of light right? I cannot put enough emphasis on HOW important it is that we are constantly bearing ripe fruit and imitating Jesus example. People want Jesus, they may not acknowledge it aloud. I know that I did not when I was caught up in worldly affairs. But this should not discourage us to not show the love of Christ and speak the truth. This is not a time for us to shrink back. This is a time to pray for boldness and courageousness, to speak the truth in love, and to spread the Good News!
In verse 17 Paul talks about people who speak the word of God for profit. Unfortuantley, there are many “pastors” that feed themselves rather than tending to the sheep. I want to be clear, I am not saying that Pastor’s should not get paid. In fact, Pastor’s should get paid, it is biblical! What Paul is talking about here is that there are people in this world, false prophets and teachers, or people who have gone astray and will tell you what you ear is itching for, rather than speaking the truth of God’s word. There are pastor’s in this world whose hearts are in the wrong place and are “pastoring” for the status quo and money, rather than tending to the sheep. I love how Michael Todd talked about being a “Lead Pastor” in his Marked Series. He said, “Rather than being called Lead Pastor, I should really be called Lead Servant”. Can I get an AMEN!? Paul states, that we are speak with sincerity in Christ. There is nothing worse than speaking from a place of hypocrisy and simply lip service.
This world NEEDS genuine faith, transparency, and vulnerability. As Christian’s, we do not have it all together. But we do have a God who does. We do have Jesus who has given us healing, wholeness, and freedom. The world needs genuine faith and a sincere heart.
If my Grandma and Aunt would have looked at me as the world does, for my misdeeds and sins or if they would have wound up discouraged because of my action, if they would have gotten weary in doing good and would have gossiped and complained rather than going to God in prayer… In all honestly I do not think I would be alive today. The devil was well on his way in trying to kill me with drugs and suicidal thoughts. In the end, as children of God, we know that we “triumph”! We are more than conquerors and victory is ours through Jesus Christ! Do not let people’s reactions to speaking the truth discourage you. Speak the truth in love anyways! We are to look at people as Jesus looks at them. Not through the eyes of sin, but through the lens of love. Pray and ask him to help you with this if you need help. I know that I need his strength to do this.
We as Christians need to remember that we have a responsibility to give people what this world does not even realize they are desiring, an opportunity to make Jesus the Lord of their life. We were all once lost and if you were anything like me, did not want to hear anything the “bible thumpers” had to say. But the seeds that my Aunt and Grandma planted, God gave the growth. Follow Holy Spirit’s leading in spreading the Good News. The world NEEDS love. We know that perfect love is GOD himself. If you are rejected, remember they are not rejecting you, they are rejecting Jesus. IMMEDIATELY go to God and intercess on their behalf. Prayer brings heaven to earth. Remember the one you are communicating with is the ONLY ONE who can change the heart.
Questions To Reflect On:
- What aroma am I giving off?
- Does my aroma smell like Christ or does it smell like the world?
- Do I need to pray and ask God for boldness and courageousness to speak the Good News?
- Who can I share the Good News with today? Who can I share what God has done in my life with?
- Who can I pray for today? (You can pray Acts 26:18 for the lost)
Truth To Chew On
- Matthew 28:16-20
- 2 Corinthians 5 (Specifically verses 20-21)
- Mark 16:14-20
- Psalm 96:3
- Revelation 12:11