Tuesday, July 24, 2007


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... II Cor 2.14-16

… But you stink good, “a sweet aroma”! (had you going there for a minute, didn’t I)

We are the fragrance of Christ: it is another way to describe our influence or touch or presence in the world.

I always think of elk hunters when I read this passage. If you have ever gone hunting for elk or know someone who has, you know that elk are pretty wily prey. In order to have success in bagging that trophy bull a hunter has to make some preparations.

See, the problem is, he smells to, how can I say this… human. And to the sensitive nose of an elk, he smells like death. In addition, he looks out of place in the great outdoors.

The serious elk hunter will go to extreme measures in order to counter this aroma of death.

For starters they will not bathe with soap, shampoo or any other scented cleaning products; this will make them smell, well …“gamey”.

He will wear camouflaged clothing; will sometimes paint his face to camouflage it as well and will stick branches in his hat or leaves or whatever, anything that will help.

To top it off, some of them even apply scent that makes them smell like, well, lets just say, disgusting. Ha!

All this is done to make them blend in with hopes of bagging the big one.

The aroma of Christ

Unfortunately at times we do the same thing. Not wanting to stick out, to be offensive, we will try our best to blend in, sometimes going to great lengths to do so, even if it means we get a little “gamey”.

The Bible teaches that WE ARE light, WE ARE salt, WE ARE the aroma of Christ; what that means is that unless I intentionally try to conceal my new life in Christ I will by default illuminate, I will flavor, I will have the fragrance of Christ.

But in Matthew Jesus tells us:

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5.16

Did you notice He didn’t say make your light shine, just let it shine. Don’t hide it.

Perhaps for some of us it is time to wipe of the face paint and put of the clothing (Col 3.9-10), Take a cleansing shower in the water of the Word and go stand “on a hill”.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine –

Let it shine
Let it shine
Let it shine

Monday, July 9, 2007

Trusting God

A little follow up to the message on Sunday.

This idea of trusting God, not for a specific outcome, but just trusting Him… with my life, has a profound affect on my outlook on life.

It removes time expectations –
The concern of being “early” or “late” is taken out of the way because it is His schedule we are working off of and I really don’t know when He will act, if ever.

It removes expectations for specific results –
I may have some idea of what I would like to see happen, but “Father (really does) know best”. I am so glad He has not answered all my prayers in the affirmative. What if the Lord actually allowed me to marry that gal I prayed about in eighth grade… YIKES!

It removes disappointment –
Because I am not certain what He is going to do or when He is going to act, or, even if He is going to act, there is no disappointment. Disappointment comes from expectations that are not met and since the only expectation I have is that He will do what’s best, there will never be any disappointment.

This expectation that He will always do what’s best is called TRUST.

This opens the door for some other graces we are told about. For instance:

Peace that passes understanding –
Think of Steven’s countenance as he was stoned, that was a man who had left the results up to God. Or, better yet, Jesus; from the garden arrest to the trials and abuse and crucifixion He is the picture of perfect peace. Why? Because he had surrendered himself to the Father as He sweat great drops of blood.

Paul said, “I have learned to be content (Phil 4.11)
I believe it came from lessons he learned previously and passed along to the church in Galatia a decade earlier:

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Gal 2.20)

That is a life of trust… “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God

It is a sublte difference to make the leap from “I am am trusting God to ______(fill in the blank)”, to simply, “I trust God”

May the Lord help us to keep it just that simple and let Him take care of the big stuff.

Monday, July 2, 2007


I have been reading Revelation over the past few days and something struck me as I read again the messages to the churches.

These were literal bodies of believers john is writing to and as he writes to them about where they are, it resonates through the centuries to our church today. And because I am “the church” as well, there is an application in each message for me on a personal level.

The word that popped up was “perseverance” or “patience" in the KJV; it is found in 2.2, 2.3. The word means cheerful or hopeful endurance, patience or waiting… hopeful hanging in there.

Here is the text: (Jesus speaking)

"I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary."

Now perseverance is a commendable characteristic, good ‘ol stick-to-it-iveness. And some of us are real pit bulls when it comes to seeing something through to the finish line.

Jesus is commending the church of Ephesus for their ability to hopefully endure. That is not, "I hope we endure" but rather to endure with hope. Yet there is still more tothe message.

It was vs. 4 that grabbed me: (Jesus still speaking)

But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

It was the "but" that got me thinking. Perseverance IS commendable, but not at the expense of our love for Jesus.

Is it possible that while my head is down persevering, hanging in there, sticking it out; that I can loose sight of the One for whom I am persevering; that I can lose perspective while persevering?

It seems the Church of Ephesus did just that.

May nothing separate us from loving Christ; no activity, no ministry. Trials and difficulties can do that, so can abundance or smooth sailing.

May we guard our hearts and minds from being cluttered or overrun with stuff to the point that we loose sight of Jesus.

Seems like the church at Ephesus had its head down and their focus might have become only the grinding wheel they were pushing. Seems to me taht is if can at those times of just digging in, also look up; it will make the process endurable, enjoyable even an act of worship.

May we ever look up even when we are hopefully enduring and patiently waiting.