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?

 

The Sweaty Truth

Don't sweat the small stuff

I’m not trying to raise a big stink about your sweat; however, I would like to share the sweaty truth about your perspiration:

  • Men sweat about twice as much as women, and both sweat less with age.
  • Your sweat contains an antibiotic peptide, dermcidin, that hinders the growth of bacteria on your skin.
  • Your feet have about 250,000 sweat glands that can produce up to a half pint of liquid each day.
  • You have two types of sweat glands: The eccrine glands which cover most of your body.  The apocrine glands are the second type, but they are only found in your armpits and genital region.
  • Fortunately your body produces very little apocrine perspiration: It’s the source of your stinky smelly body odor.

By now you may be asking yourself:  “What does Stan find so inspiring about perspiring?” Here’s your answer:  There is a correlation between the interaction of the apocrine sweat and the eccrine sweat and a statement that Jesus made.

  • Your body produces eccrine sweat in much larger quantities. This is good and bad.  It’s good because of its cooling effect; however, it is bad because when it spreads it mingles with the apocrine sweat and spreads it over more of your body; and, the smelly odor goes along for the ride.
  • The apocrine sweat has the same effect as the yeast that Jesus and Paul spoke of in the New Testament.

In Matthew 16, Jesus warned the disciples about the “yeast” of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  Paul taught the same concept when he wrote to the church at Galatia:   “A little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough.”

In the Bible, yeast is symbolic of sin, and Jesus and Paul used this symbolism to warn of the harmful effects of false teaching.  A little bit of it has a tremendous amount of influence.

What effect does the leaven of sin have on your prayer life? In Revelation 8, John likened the prayers of the saints to the sweet smelling incense that was burnt on the golden altar.  When they find their way to the throne of God, do your prayers have the smell of incense or do they have a stench?

The next time Mother Nature cranks the thermometer up to about 100 degrees and your shirt is drenched in sweat, you might want to give some thought to this stinking blog.

A Joyful Heart

Beautiful smiling cute babyMy concept of God might be different than yours.  I believe God is loving, caring, and full of joy.  God gave us our sight so we can have the pleasure of seeing rainbows,  butterflies, and majestic mountain ranges.

I thank God that He blessed me with the sense of smell, so I can enjoy the aroma of a freshly baked cake; and I am overjoyed that He created me with taste buds, so I can savor the flavor of apple pie topped off with a big dip of vanilla ice cream.

On my journeys into the wilderness, I’ve enjoyed the solitude of silence that is only interrupted by the chirping of a bird, the whistle of a quail, or the refreshing sound of a flowing river.

I’m glad that God wants His people to experience the wonder of joy and the fruit of happiness.  Solomon wrote of this in the Proverbs: “A joyful heart makes a face cheerful, but a sad heart produces a broken spirit . . . a cheerful heart has a continual feast (15:13, 15).”

A couple of chapters later, Solomon draws a contrast between the joyless and the joy-filled:    “One with a twisted mind will not succeed, and one with deceitful speech will fall into ruin. A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones (17:20, 22).”

Since a joyful heart is good medicine, here’s a medicine chest full of quotes:

  • The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things. ~ Henry Ward Beecher
  • I think I began learning long ago that those who are happiest are those who do the most for others. ~ Booker T. Washington
  • If we try hard to bring happiness to others, we cannot stop it from coming to us also. To get joy, we must give it, and to keep joy, we must scatter it. ~John Templeton
  • You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; this is why God, Your God has anointed you with the oil of joy. ~Hebrews 1:9
  • I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. ~John 15:11-12

The key to living a life of joy is found in the words of the Psalmist:  “You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.” ~Psalm 16:11

Three questions come to mind when I think of the verse above:

  • Since God reveals the path of life to you, why take a detour?
  • If abundant joy is found in His presence, what do you have when you refuse it?
  • If eternal pleasures are in God’s right hand, what is left? Temporary and unfulfilling worthless worries?

I’ll close with the words of Paul:  “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” ~Philippians 4:4