Friday, May 1, 2009

What"s That Smell?

II Corinthians 2:15-17

When I opened the door of my truck in the western wear store parking lot, the smell from the Chinese restaurant next door hit me. Before I got inside, I felt like I was starving. As soon as I finished in the store, I went to eat. Later, a friend of mine said she hated to go to that store because the smell of Chinese food made her feel nauseous. That’s the picture Paul paints with the following verses.

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” (II Corinthians 2:15-17)

The cooks working in the Chinese restaurant produced a smell that was carried by the wind to the parking lot next door. God works in our heart and life, producing victory over the things of the world. He then causes the results to be spread out like the wind carrying the smell from the restaurant. It is obvious to everyone. We don’t have to act like a Christian, because we are one. It can’t be hidden. God makes it show.

The smell of the food created a sense of hunger in me, And I went to get something to eat. Seeing what God does in our life causes some people to hunger for him to do the same in their lives. They want to know more.

Just as the same smell that made me hungry made my friend nauseous, what draws some people to God in my life is unpleasant to others. To those who reject Christ, God’s working in us is the stench of death. It reminds them of their mortality and their sin. They can’t wait to get away.

Were the cooks in the restaurant to burn the food very badly, or allow some of it to spoil, even I would have felt nauseous and wanted to escape the smell. Christians who do not allow God to work freely in their lives corrupt what he is trying to produce and drive away the very ones who should be attracted. Instead they attract those who love evil, the flies and scavengers.

We are not able to do the job ourselves. We just mess it all up. We are to let God act in us so that we are not just acting like Christians but are Christians in reality. Our speech is to be directed and controlled by God so that we are actually speaking in him.

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