But thanks be to God, who always leads us in Christ’s triumphal procession
and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of him in every place.
For to God, we are the fragrance of Christ
among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
(2 Corinthians 2:14-15 )
THE FRAGRANCE OF CHRIST
In the above passage, Paul is talking about himself and Timothy, but I think we can also apply it to our own lives since we are God’s witnesses here on earth. Sometimes I feel very inadequate. After being touched by a documentary one night (about which I will share more below), my husband and I had a petty argument in the kitchen. I wondered how we could be a fragrance of Christ when we let some petty thing get us upset — but God knows our hearts and He knows we are weak, inadequate for the task.
If we read further in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, we see that he recognizes he is inadequate for the task.
It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.
He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit.
For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:5-6 CSB)
God uses our weakness to demonstrate His strength. We need not be ashamed of our weaknesses, because they show us how much we need Christ. He is always forgiving and loves us more than we can fathom. Even our chronic illnesses can’t stop God from working through us.
THE FRAGRANCE OF CHRIST EVEN IN WEAKNESS
All God’s children can be that fragrance of Christ as we keep our focus on Him and not ourselves or our circumstances. This was demonstrated to me in a very real way the night my husband and I watched The Long Goodbye: The Kara Tippetts Story.
For those who may not be familiar with the story, Kara was a woman who died of cancer a few years ago. She documented her life on a blog, sometimes using videos; she also wrote a book addressing the importance of showing love.
Kara was the fragrance of Christ to the world, even while she was dying. She did all she could to love people and share how God was her strength, while not minimizing her pain and discouragement.
Dear Heavenly Father,
So many of us are dealing with chronic illness, sorrows, grief, and other kinds of struggles. You have told us in Your Word, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a) Help us to look to You for strength. Show us how we can be the fragrance of Christ to You and to others. May we glorify You in all that we do.
In the name of Jesus,
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- Have you ever thought of yourself as being the fragrance of Christ? Can you think of one way you can spread His love today?
- Do you get discouraged with constant pain or weakness, thinking there is no way you can encourage anyone else? One way to be the fragrance of Christ is through intercessory prayer. Think of one person and then pray for them. When you are able, send a card or text to let them know.
- We all have weaknesses, but that doesn’t stop God from working through us. What is one way he has made you competent to minister to others?
Chronic Joy® Content Coordinator and Prayer Team
Gayl is a writer, poet, amateur photographer, artist, nature lover, crocheter, and seeker of truth and beauty. She and her husband, Steve, have 7 kids and 14 grandkids, some have chronic illness and one son is with Jesus. Gayl was a church pianist for years and homeschooled her children. She has published poems at Spillwords Press and an article in Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. Her desire in life is to glorify God and encourage others. Check out her blog: Words, Photos, and Art.
33 Biblical "One Anothers"
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