Lesson Five • Devotion #4: Pleasing Aroma

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?” 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (NIV)

If you think about how many people you know and care about who are lost, the weight of it can be completely overwhelming. Just off the top of my head, I can think of many friends and family members who reject the message of Christ. The gravity of that is not lost on me and there are times where it is easy to feel like the weight of eternity is on your shoulders. Praise be to God, that is not the truth.  

This is a challenging passage for me, but in it, Paul tells the people at the church of Corinth that some people will receive the message of Christ as an aroma that gives life. Others will reject it, and therefore, will experience death and separation from God. How people receive the message of Christ is not up to us. What people choose to believe, or not, is not our responsibility. We are called to “spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.” What happens past that is beyond our control. The end of the verse asks “who is equal to such a task?” It is surely not you or me, only God Almighty is equal to such a task. God Almighty is the One who can open and change hearts. God Almighty is the One who can use seeds sown years ago to wake a dead heart and bring it into everlasting life. Let us make sure that we are a pleasing aroma to God by continuing to spread His message. The verbiage in this verse reminds me of the Old Testament. All through Leviticus and Numbers, the Lord would describe the offerings that would be received as a “pleasing aroma of Christ.” The Lord can see our hearts, He knows our intents. Let us offer Him our lives, let us spread His message, and let Him receive that offering as a pleasing aroma to Himself. Let us share the aroma of Him with the world so that He is able to use our imperfect selves and our inadequate words to bring life to many.  

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