It Smells Different

Those who know me well know that I often struggle with different types of smells.  There are times when I smell things that my wife does not.  For example, she will sometimes respond to my asking about a smell, “I don’t smell anything.”  At other times, she will then be made aware of a smell such as something spoiled in the fridge. Then there are times when we as boys, “Smell up the house.”

This morning I was reminded of this very subject as the Apostle John recounted the story of Jesus in the home of Lazarus in John 12.  Here we find Jesus, along with his disciples, gathered with a close family.  We know them very well.  There is the brother, Lazarus who has recently been raised from the dead.  Then we know the two sisters, Mary and Martha.  This family loved Jesus.

I imagine as one entered this home, the fragrance was different.  One could sense the love and fellowship that Christ brings into a family’s life.  On this particular visit, Mary does something amazing.  We actually could say, “She did something very costly.”  Mary owned  a very expensive bottle of perfume.  The value was as much as one years wages.  When Jesus sat at her table, she opened the bottle and anointed his feet and wiped his feet with her hair.  Here is John’s commentary, “The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume,” 12:3.  

As I read this text, I could almost smell the love. I honestly found myself inhaling thinking I could smell the fragrance.  Here we have before us a simple scene of love for our Lord.  Now, at this point I feel compelled to ask a question, “How do things smell in your life and mine today?”  Are you filled with love for God?  If so, your smell is so different from the environment you live and work in. Now, it may not seem significant to you, but people are noticing your smell.

Here is how Jesus described this to his disciples one chapter later, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” 13:35.   When we have God’s love flowing in us and from us, His fragrance will fill the world around us.

Now here is where it get’s really personal.  Our common enemy, knows this and he does everything he can to get you to stink up the place where you live and where you work.  Think about, what has already been thrown at you today, “People who have a negative smell, circumstances that offered you the opportunity to love or to become angry, and personal struggles that sometimes linger and become stagnate.”  These are only a few of the multitude of things that can destroy the fragrance of Christ in our lives.

I want to encourage you to do several things today: First, spend sometime smelling around in your life today.  Open God’s word to Matthew 5-7 and allow God to inspect your life.  Second, call someone you trust and ask for an honest opinion about how you smell.  Third, confess what smells bad as sin and commit yourself to loving Jesus as you should.  Fourth, forgive those people and those circumstances that have left you with the smell of bitterness.

Oh how I hope your day ends with the smell of God’s love!!!


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