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The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Church traffic
Both of these vehicles are headed to church. Although Amish buggies are a regular sighting in our area and they're often out on the road early Sunday mornings we don't usually see tractors being driven on Sundays. (Most farmers still honor the Lord's Day as a day of worship and rest.) However a local church has "Tractor Sunday" and farmers are encouraged to drive their tractors to church, and they did!
Ester took this photo through our windshield.

"An Aroma From Life To Life"

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 truth to those around you. For some it is an aroma of life. But just remember to some it will be an aroma of death.

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"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).

Today Pat, Stephen's older brother and his wife Laverne, are staying with us for a couple of days while they attend a church conference in the Harrisburg area. Pat will experience two notable milestones this month as he turns 75 and they celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

Scratch and sniffThey live in a suburban area in the Lehigh Valley and are not accustomed to the various odors of the country, many pleasant but some not so much. I told him based on the Rye being harvested last Friday I expected an application of organic fertilizer soon, likely while they are here which is certainly not one of the more pleasant times to live in a farming area! If you click here and scratch and sniff the button you may be able to smell it.

When you have company you want everything to look and smell good. If we have the application we will deal with it and they'll know the source of the odor, unlike an experience I had about 15 years ago while staying with friends in New Jersey near the shore.

We slept in Jim and Dorothy Schmidt's guest room near Ocean City and during the night we awakened to a pungent odor that smelled like a faulty septic system. We both laid awake for awhile before one asked the inevitable, “Do you smell what I smell? What do you think it is?” The odor lingered so Brooksyne suggested that I shut the window. Yet the odor seemed to increase and I wondered if it might be coming up through their basement.

We debated as to whether we should say anything as we discussed the problem privately. If they didn’t smell the stench our suggestion of a foul odor might embarrass or even worse offend them, but on the other hand perhaps we needed to alert them to a problem they might be unaware of. Ahh, the sensitivity of being a gracious and appreciative guest...

As I visited with Jim over coffee I decided to touch on the “problem” cautiously. Jim started laughing and quickly called out to his wife, Dorothy. I wondered, “Oh no, what have I done now? We’ll never be invited to stay here again.” Jim explained, “Because we live next to the Bay, at low tide with the right wind conditions, this is a ‘normal’ recurring odor.” As we took an early walk the overwhelming odor smacked me in the face again and this time I chuckled about our faulty conclusion earlier.

Through the years we have developed several messages based on today's text, focusing on how we are an aroma of Christ. But today we would like to consider an aspect from today's passage that speaks of followers of Christ as being "an aroma from life to life".

Christ's followers are most famously called to be "the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14). Most of remember singing "This little light of mine". But in today's lesser considered passage we are called to spread a fragrance. I don't recall any song "This little smell of mine"!

Paul uses a rather unusual metaphor in our daily text to describe this aspect of ministry, God "manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place".

2 Corinthians 2:14The text begins, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph 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 could 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 aroma 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.

This "aroma of Christ" is detectable to both the saved and the unsaved. However their reactions are entirely different.

To "those who are perishing" it is the "aroma from death to death". David Guzek observes, "The scent of incense burnt to the gods in a Roman triumphal parade smelled wonderful to a Roman. The same aroma was a bad smell to a captive prisoner of war in the parade, who would soon be executed or sold into slavery."

But to those "who are being saved" it is "the aroma from life to life". The same aroma (the same Gospel of Jesus Christ) is wafted to all, but the effect depends on the heart of the "smeller"! It is like a poisonous gas to some, but the oxygen of life to others.

David Egner writes, "The bouquet of flowers that reminds some people of a pleasant spring garden reminds others of a funeral home. The message of salvation through Christ is the smell of death to those who do not accept Him. But to those who believe in Jesus, it is the wonderful perfume of life." (Our Daily Bread)

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 for these things?" He was aware of the awesome responsibilities that this placed upon himself and other believers. The same is true for us today and we urge you to spread everywhere the aroma of the knowledge of Jesus. May this be pleasing to God as it releases the aroma of spiritual truth to those around you! For some it is an aroma of life. But just remember to some it will be an aroma of death.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

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. I want to offer the sweet smelling sacrifice of a life fully surrendered to You. I pray that those whom I see today would find my words and 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 and know Him. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"May The Fragrance"  Video  Graham Kendrick

"Offering"  Video   Paul Baloche

Just for fun: Yesterday Brooksyne took this video of our kitten Gracie fighting our kitten Gracie in front of a mirror!

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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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