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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hanging flower basket on the Longenecker farm in Lancaster County PA
 A country porch scene at the Longenecker Farm
in Lancaster County.

"The Fragrance Of The Knowledge Of Christ"

Message summary: Today, we urge you to spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus. May this fragrance be pleasing to God as it releases the fragrance of spiritual light to those around you!

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"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).

Bath and Body Works Consider today how much most of us enjoy a pleasant fragrance. We have fragrances for our personal use such as perfumes, colognes, soaps and body lotions. Brooksyne is a big fan of Bath and Body Works and has recently purchased items at their semi-annual clearance sale, for herself and for gift giving. We have two of their stores here in Lancaster County but we occasionally stop by one when we travel which always seems to please her. And you men know how much we like to please our wives! Note from SCW: I tease Brooksyne about her "addiction" to Bath and Body Works and how I will look into a 12 Step Recovery program!

In addition to personal fragrances we have home, business and automotive air fresheners. If a company can make our little environment around us smell good it becomes big business!

Kleen-RiteKleen-Rite, is a wholesale distributor of products for the car wash industry. They sell a lot of auto air fresheners such as the hanging "Little Trees" you often see dangling from rear view mirrors. In fact they are the largest wholesale distributor of this product and other auto air fresheners. They have a buyer that determines what new products and fragrances will likely sell so since we are their chaplains we have been the recipients of many samples for testing including some interesting non-conventional scents.

Little Tree has developed a scent that we enjoy called heirloom tomato. It smells like the foliage of a tomato plant; the same kind of smell you carry on your hands after working on the plant such as removing the suckers or tying the plants up. BTW, we have our first tomato almost ripe enough to pick! This is about a month earlier than usual.

Christ's followers are called not only to be "the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14) but we are also called to give off a fragrance. Paul uses a rather unusual metaphor in our daily text to describe this aspect of ministry, "God … through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him."

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ." Fragrance, in the form of incense, was common at the Roman triumphal parade. In Paul’s mind, this fragrance is like the knowledge of God, which people can smell as the triumphal parade comes by.

God has ordained that His people spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. The Greek word for fragrance is "osme" and is the same word used when Mary washed our Lord's feet with expensive perfume and the pleasant fragrance filled the house.

Bible teacher David Guzik, observes that no sense remains in the memory quite like a scent. There is nothing we remember more strongly than pleasant smells, except perhaps unpleasant smells. “Thus the apostle wished that his life might be a sweet perfume, floating on the air, reminding me, and above all reminding God, of Christ.”

“A sweet savour of Christ! It does not consist so much in what we do, but in our manner of doing it; not so much in our words or deeds, as in an indefinable sweetness, tenderness, courtesy, unselfishness, and desire to please others to their edification. It is the breath and fragrance of a life hidden with Christ in God, and deriving its aroma from fellowship with Him. Wrap the habits of your soul in the sweet lavender of your Lord’s character.” (Meyer)

This fragrance is detectable to both the saved and the unsaved. However their reactions are entirely different. To the unsaved "
the fragrance of the knowledge of Him" is the stench of death, but to those who are saved it is the fragrance of life. This contrast is similar to a theme found in John 3 regarding reactions to light. Some love spiritual light while others hate it and seek to flee from it.

Paul's closing question in this passage is; "And who is equal to such a task?"  He was aware of the awesome responsibilities that this placed upon himself and other believers.

Today, we urge you to spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus. May this fragrance be pleasing to God as it releases the fragrance of spiritual truth to those around you!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I am thankful for the sense of smell. Depending on what I am smelling it can bring about a pleasant response where I linger taking in more and more of the pleasing scent. Today, I pray that the spiritual fruit from my life would emit such an aroma. First, I want to offer the sweet smelling sacrifice of a life fully surrendered to You. Secondly, I pray that those whom I see today would find my words and/or actions to be a very uplifting part of their day. May I bring encouragement through pleasant conversation and by taking a personal interest in others. Keep my mind and words from sinking in the cesspool of lies, jealousy, gossip, immorality and hatred. Instead I want to spread the aroma of the living Christ that others might seek Him. You will bring about divine appointments throughout my day if I make the most of every opportunity. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

This morning following a chaplaincy visitation we are heading north to explore some of Pennsylvania's waterfalls and covered bridges with a planned visit to Rickett's Glen State Park. From the website: "Ricketts Glen harbors Glens Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark. Hike the Falls Trail System and explore the Glens, which boasts a series of wild, free-flowing waterfalls, each cascading through rock-strewn clefts in this ancient hillside. The 94-foot Ganoga Falls is the highest of 22 named waterfalls. Old growth timber and diverse wildlife add to the beauty. Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania."

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Offering"  Video   Paul Baloche

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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