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HOW DO YOU SMELL BY NOW?
Monday, September 7, 2020 by Leona Choy

A Fresh Slice of Daily Bread

Smell is one of our five senses to which we are most sensitive in others. Prolonged close proximity to one another in a confined space carries its own signals. A smoker or an alcoholic doesn't need to announce his habit. It is evident. Body odor is distinctive. The smell of onions or garlic might signal a meal in progress. Perfume is an alert that there is feminine presence—at least it used to. A sweaty sports team running for the locker room...well...!

Emotions also have their identifiable scent, if not literal, than perceived. After a six-months-plus sheltered-in-place experience, is our scent one of complaint, anger, despair, impatience, irritation, desperation, hopelessness, dejection—or peace, acceptance, patience or other fruits of the Spirit? Each emotion has its distinctive aroma.

From time to time on special occasions I've received a dozen long-stemmed red roses. Exquisitely beautiful, their fragrance filled my home day and night while they were fresh. I wanted to preserve the petals by drying, fully expecting them to remain fragrant. I was disappointed when they totally lost their fragrance.

A friend reminded me that only fresh, living rose petals have a scent—not dead, dry ones. She suggested I apply a few drops of concentrated rose oil to them, zip them snugly in a plastic bag and let the petals absorb the fragrance as if it were their own. Voila! Fragrant again! And I was able to separate them into smaller baggies to bless friends with while sharing a spiritual analogy:

Christ Himself is The Supreme Fragrance. “Follow the way of love, even as Christ loved you. He gave Himself for us as an offering to God, a gift of pleasing fragrance” (Ephesians 5:1). Christ’s sacrifice was foreshadowed by the sacrifices in the Old Testament which were called “a sweet-smelling [fragrant] oblation [sacrifice]” (Exodus 29:18, 25).

We should bear the fragrance of Christ wherever we are, at all times, under all circumstances—times of uncertainty, adversity, and dark times of life (including COVID-19). We are to attract people to God and to His glory, not to ourselves. Primarily, we ourselves are to be a fragrance unto God, to lavish our love on Jesus like the expensive perfume Mary poured on Jesus’ feet as an expression of her love and gratitude for her sins forgiven.

Since only living roses share their fragrance, so only living Christ-ones can offer a fragrance to God and share it with others around them. Like the dried rose petals anointed with rose oil, we need to be “anointed with fresh oil” of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 92:10) so we can absorb His fragrance. We must nestle close (zipped up) to Jesus moment by moment, abiding in Him, spending time in His presence adoring Him, not only in our selective quiet times but “without ceasing” throughout the day and night.

On the flip side, other people will quickly recognize whether we give off a Jesus-fragrance from being zipped up close to Jesus or whether we smell stale from following afar off. Without our saying a word, others can know if we have been abiding in Christ. Our lives will draw others to Him. As Saint Francis of Assisi taught and demonstrated by the fragrance of the way he lived, “Preach the gospel at all times and, if necessary, use words.”

“Thanks be to God, who unfailingly leads us on in Christ’s triumphal train, and employs us to diffuse [spread, make evident] the fragrance [aroma] of his knowledge everywhere! We are a sweet fragrance of Christ for God’s sake, both [discernible alike] among those who are being saved and those on the way to destruction [perishing]; to the latter an odor dealing death, [a fatal odor, the smell of doom] to the former a breath bringing life [from life to life, a vital fragrance, living and fresh]. For such a mission [ministry] as this, is anyone really qualified [fit, sufficient, able]?” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16 Combined translations/versions)

Dear Lord, so may it be through my life. Help me to diffuse Jesus' fragrance however long I must remain sheltered-in-place. Then I won't need deodorizer or artificial air freshener to overcome the offensive spiritual odors that have developed in my life in confinement.


Comments

Roger Warda From Macomb Two. MI At 9/10/2020 3:31:46 PM

In reading the lives of the saints I am amazed that on many occasions after the death of one of these holy individuals there was not the usual putrid odor of decomposition, but rather the fragrant aroma of roses in and around their remains.

Reply by: Leona Choy

Thank you for your input, Roger

Linda Ann Fumea From Florida At 9/8/2020 5:52:20 PM

Apparently God, our Father, created the sense of smell not only for our enjoyment but also for His. "Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." (Psalm 141:2) Good message, thank you!

Reply by: Leona Choy

One of my favorite verses.

Patricia Barry From Bowie, Maryland At 9/8/2020 3:55:36 PM

Once again I am blessed by your message. It also reminded me of a prayer of Mother Teresa of Calcutta: "Lord, help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Your Spirit and Love." There is more to this prayer -- it is beautiful ....

Reply by: Leona Choy

Pat, your Jesus-fragrance reaches me as well. I thank God for your friendship.

Elaine From Minnesota At 9/8/2020 12:42:45 PM

Thank you, Leona for reminding me of the beautiful fragrance of the Word. My prayer is that He will use me as His living and fresh fragrance in action and words. I also pray for God to bless and encourage you as you continue to write these wonderful blogs for us.

Reply by: Leona Choy

Dear Elaine, “You know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of the Lord is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is far gone, the day of his return will soon be here" Rom.13 Pray that my posts will always be timely.

Pamela Lynn From At 9/8/2020 11:27:55 AM

Another winning blog Leona. Perfect words for all your readers who need a "Spiritual Shot in the Arm (or heart)". Your timing is amazing as well. I love every word you wrote because it spoke directly to my heart.

Reply by: Leona Choy

Pam, pray for me to hear the Lord clearly when He speaks to me which posts to write to reach the hearts of my viewers

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