Speaking to the Soul – January 31

God uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ

God uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. 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 2:14-15

Smells are powerful. I can still remember some of the smells from my childhood. Many of them are associated with summer holidays, when we would visit the Isle of Wight and smell the sea, the wildflowers and the beautiful fresh bread. Most of the smells I recall are sweet, although I can’t quite get over the boyhood memory of the smell of a French fish market!

I love the idea that, as we speak about Jesus, we are spreading around sweet perfume.

When a Roman general won a military victory, there would be a triumphal procession through the city. The general wore a crown of laurel and a specially- embroidered purple and gold toga. He rode a four-horse chariot through the streets with his army, prisoners and spoils of war. Along the route, perfumes were sprinkled – a sweet smell of victory for those on the general’s side and the smell of death and defeat for those he had beaten.

Paul uses this powerful picture to remind his readers that, as Jesus leads us in triumph, his fragrance accompanies us. It is the smell of triumph and joy for those who find salvation in him, and the smell of death for those reject him.

As we live for God today, our prayer must be that there will be many who smell the fragrance of Jesus through our kindness, understanding and compassion. We ourselves have no lovely fragrance to share but, as we live closer and closer to the Lord, people will not fail to pick up on the sweet smell of Jesus.

What are you going to smell like today?

Loving Father, in a world that so often smells bad, help me today to share the fragrance of Jesus. Amen