A sweet aroma

A writer for Leadership Journal recounted the following story:

Deep-sea divers recently recovered a leather case containing 40 small vials of perfume oil from the wreck of the Titanic. The little bottles, which probably would have been sold in New York as the ingredients for cologne, belonged to a businessman from Manchester, England. When they pulled the case from the water, the fragrance of the oils filled the air, after almost a century.

“To smell something that smells the same as it did on the Titanic before it went down is simply incredible,” said Graham Jessop, an expert in the retrieval of such artifacts.

My wife would say that must be good perfume. A dab lasts a long time.

A good perfume is not the only thing that has an enduring, desirable scent.  So does a godly, Christ-conformed life.   Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians is really quite remarkable:

“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.” (2 Cor. 2:14; NASB)

God takes a person who is a God-hater and an idol-worshipper (Rom. 5:10a) and produces through that individual an eternal fragrance that is pleasing and delightful to Him!

The obvious question that I ask is perhaps that same one that you ask:  “What is it that remains delightful to God?”  Paul provides the following thoughts for our meditation.

God finds us to be sweet and victorious when we allow (i.e., don’t quench) the work (manifestation) of the Holy Spirit in our lives (v. 14).  This is simply another way of saying that God is pleased by genuine, willful and delightful submission to Him.

God finds us to be sweet and victorious when our lives are ordered by the Gospel (vv. 15-16).  That is, God is pleased when the Gospel overflows from our lives peacefully touching both those who have eternal life and those who need life.  All people — believers and unbelievers alike — are attracted to the gospel because of what they hear and see in us.

God finds us to be sweet and victorious when our lips sincerely and unhypocritically communicate the truth of this glorious gospel (v. 17).  In other words, God is pleased by motives that are pure — motives that desire to bring glory to God and Him alone (Rom. 16:27; 1 Cor. 10:31; 2 Cor. 4:5; Phil. 2:11; 4:20; 1 Tim. 1:17), and do not seek glory for self (Phil. 1:15-18).

Here’s another way to say it:  a fruity and fruitful life is the product of a heart that is rooted in an all-consuming desire to please God in all things (Heb. 13:15; Mt. 12:34b).

A sweet-smelling life to God is one that is joyfully obedient and in fellowship with Him.

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