Sensible Scents

Life-in-ScentsWhile I was reading in the Gospel of Luke, I began to think about the plight of the widow and the sacrificial giving of her mite. It occurred to me that worship can be expressed in cents as well as scents.  Like the widow, it’s possible to be nearly centless and still worship God.

There is another side to worship in which it is never scentless. When you approach God is the right way, your worship is the aroma of sweet-smelling incense that floats into His presence; and, it’s much like the scene in Revelation 5:8:

The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of fragrant incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

When your life mirrors the life of Jesus, you love as Christ loved, and your life becomes an offering and a sacrifice to God just like a sweet-smelling aroma:

Be imitators of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and has given Himself for us, as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma (Ephesians 5:1-3).

Based on the chart below, people are willing to spend their money to control their bodily odors. Shouldn’t we invest the same amount in time and effort to make sure we are as pleasing to God as we are to the rest of the world?

Company

Profit

Proctor and Gamble $999 million
Unilever $682.3 million
Lever Brothers $329.5 million
Dial Corporation $152 million
Colgate Palmolive $146.6 million
Revlon $79.7 million

Before you turn your nose up to my earlier question, consider it in the light of this verse:

Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and who makes known through us the fragrance that consists of the knowledge of him in every place.  For we are a sweet aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved        ~2 Corinthians 2:14

How sweet is your aroma?

 

Lion Kings

cecil-the-lionEven though it paled in comparison to the 897 million searches in November that focused on the terrorist’s attacks in Paris, I still find it interesting that the top story in July was the story of Cecil the lion and the 32 million searches for information regarding the death of this King of the jungle.  While some people saw the circumstances of Cecil’s death as being tragic, the death of another lion has been triumphant.

In the book of the Revelation, Jesus is referred to as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  His death on the cross was not a defeat; it was a triumphant victory, and people began to understand the significance of His death and the magnitude of His power when Jesus rose from the grave. lionj

As you move forward into the new year, I encourage you to:

  • Join ranks with the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and wave His banner high.
  • Keep your life in perspective by measuring the temporary with the eternal (Romans 8:18, 28).
  • Claim the promise that God gives you victory through Jesus (I Corinthians 15:7).
  • Find strength or you journey by walking in step with Jesus (Matthew 11:28).

I encourage you to join me in making at least this one resolution for 2016:  I will be a disciple who glorifies the Father by abiding in Christ (John 15:7-11).

The New Miss Universe… Oops!

CWzg_NMUAAENSNoThis past Sunday, Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez-Arévalo, went from ecstasy to agony in the space of a couple of seconds.  When she heard Steve Harvey announce to the world that she was the new Miss Universe, the radiant smile on her face dazzled the crowd and lit up the stage.

Then the funny man shared the sadness news, Harvey said: “I have to apologize, the first runner up is Colombia.”  Her crown was removed, and it placed on the head of Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Miss Philippines.

While Harvey took the blame for the epic blunder, FOX News has reported that there is a seven-second behind-the-scenes video of Harvey saying: “The teleprompter said Miss Universe – Colombia.”  The technology failed:  The cue card had the correct information, and the teleprompter was wrong.

To add insult to injury, when Harvey posted his first TWEET to apologize to Miss Colombia and all Colombians, he spelled Colombia with a “U” and not an “O”—Columbia.

While this crown meant the world to Miss Colombia, there are other crowns that are of greater importance, and they are found in the New Testament:

  • The incorruptible crown (I Corinthians 9:24,25): It’s also called the imperishable crown, and it will be given to believers who have lived a life of dedication and faith.
  • The crown of rejoicing (I Thessalonians 2:19, 20; Daniel 12:3) will be given to those who share their faith and encourage others to accept Jesus as their Savior.
  • The crown of life or martyr’s crown (James 1:12; Revelation 2:8-11) is the crown that will be worn by Christians who have endured trials, tribulations, and even death for the cause of Christ.
  • The crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8) is mentioned by Paul, and it is for those who live in expectation of the return of Christ.
  • The crown of glory (1 Peter 5:1-4) has been called the “pastor’s crown” by some and it appears to be reserved for ministers who have been faithful shepherds of the flock of God.

In the 4th chapter of Revelation, there are 24 elders dressed in white robes and wearing golden crowns, and they kneel before Jesus “who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

Worthy are you, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they existed and were created.

The crowns of heaven are not given because of a beautiful complexion or a pretty smile; they are given for a life well-lived—a life lived in honor of the King of kings and Lord of lords. 

May He one day say to each of us:  “Well done my faithful servant.”