TOPIC: The Sweet Aroma of Christ
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: 2 Corinthians 2:14–17
KEY VERSE: We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. – 2 Corinthians 2:15
INSIGHT: Paul often used military metaphors in his letters to illustrate spiritual truths. He writes of our spiritual warfare and the weapons needed to secure victory (2 Corinthians 10:3–5; Ephesians 6:10–18). He describes his coworkers using military terms: “fellow soldier” (Philippians 2:25); “good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3). In 1 Timothy 1:18, he encourages Timothy to “fight the battle well.” In 2 Corinthians 2:14–17, Paul describes a Roman triumphal procession where the conquering general displays the captives and spoils of war in a victory parade through the city. Paul applied this image to himself in 1 Corinthians 4:9 and in Colossians used this triumphal metaphor to depict Christ as the victor over sin and Satan: “[Christ] canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross” (2:14–15 nlt).
Our Daily Bread 18 September 2021 Devotional Message
I knew a rancher who lived near Lometa, Texas. His two grandsons were my best friends. We would go into town with him and follow him around while he shopped and chatted with the folks he knew. He knew them all by name and he knew their stories. He’d stop here and there and ask about a sick child or a difficult marriage, and he’d offer a word of encouragement or two. He would share Scripture and pray if it seemed the right thing to do. I’ll never forget the man. He was something special. He didn’t force his faith on anyone, but he always seemed to leave it behind.
The elderly rancher had about him what Paul would call the sweet “aroma of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:15). God used him to “spread the aroma of the knowledge of [Christ]” (v. 14). He’s gone to be with God now, but his fragrance lingers on in Lometa.
C. S. Lewis wrote, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked with a mere mortal.” Put another way, every human contact has eternal consequences. Every day we have opportunities to make a difference in the lives of people around us through the quiet witness of a faithful and gentle life or through encouraging words to a weary soul. Never underestimate the effect a Christlike life can have on others.
REFLECT & PRAY
What do you think about the statement, “There are no neutral contacts”? What difference could it make in the way you view every contact and conversation throughout the day?
Fill me, Holy Spirit, with love, gentleness, and kindness toward others.
Read Compassion: Learning to Love Like Jesus.
Our Daily Bread 18 September 2021 Devotional Message. Our Daily Bread Ministries (ODB) is a Christian organization founded by Dr. Martin De Haan in 1938. It is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with over 600 employees. It produces several devotional publications, including Our Daily Bread.