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. And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.
2 Corinthians 2:14-17
Today’s thoughts from today’s verse:
Today’s Scripture uses the word, “manifest.” One dictionary renders the meaning of manifest in this way: “to show something such as a feeling or ability, so that it is easy to notice” We are in a relationship with Christ and our relationship with him should result in our lives showing forth something that is easy to notice. It is very interesting that our passage speaks of a “sweet aroma” being manifest through us in every place. We know that somehow this “sweet aroma” is connected to our relationship with Christ but our passage is more specific. We are told that it is “the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him.” What is the “knowledge of Him” referring to and in what way is it a “sweet aroma?”
Our passage is not talking about having knowledge about Christ where we have the right understandings and doctrines associated with him. Rather our passage is talking about our “knowing Christ.” Factual knowledge is all about information. Experiential knowledge is all about relationship. Knowing and experiencing Christ in the intimate relationship he has established with us is the focus here. Evidently, the more we know and experience Christ in the intimate relationship we have him, the more our lives give off a “sweet aroma” that is easy for others to notice.
Think about walking into your home and smelling the “sweet aroma” of good food cooking. It makes you want to sit down and eat a delicious meal. As we grow in our relationship with Christ and get to know him better and better and experience him more and more, other people will easily notice the “sweet aroma” of our lives. They know something good is “cookin” inside of us that is manifesting a “sweet aroma” that is making them hungry for what they sense is happening to us. When our lives impact others in this way, we are a “fragrance of Christ” to them and the opportunities come to share the message of Christ as well.
One other thought. It would seem that not everybody likes the smell of good things “cookin” through our experience with Christ. There will always be those who are repelled by what is happening to us through our relationship with Christ instead of being drawn to him. This is a reality of life although a hard reality. But we can delight that we are a “fragrance of Christ” that wonderfully benefits some. We can see why the Apostle Paul began today’s passage with these wonderful words, “thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ.”
Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:
Lord, thank you for your faithfulness to me and the good things that are always “cookin” in me because of my relationship with you. Help me stay close to you so that there is always a sweet aroma coming forth from my life to others. Keep using me to draw others to you. Give me the opportunity to talk with others about what they “sense” is happening in my life. Please lead me in your “triumph.” Grant that my life will really count in all the days that lay ahead for me. Amen!