By Pastor Andy Plank
If it looks like Jesus and smells like Jesus . . .
January 16, 2022………
I read an interesting Bible passage the other day. II Corinthians 2:14-15 reminds us, "But thanks be to God who always puts us on display in Christ and through us, the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For to God, we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." There are some challenging thoughts in these verses. Summed up, if we belong to God through Jesus Christ, God is using our lives to show others what Jesus looks like (display) and smells like (aroma). Let's ask this question…When others look at our lives, who do they see? Unfortunately, they often see angry, bitter, cold-hearted individuals that are not only miserable themselves, but often, make others who come into contact with them miserable as well. Others see dogmatic, legalistic folks who would rather fight than eat. They will fight about most anything…God, Jesus, the proper name on the church sign in the yard, baptism, instruments of music, and who belongs to Jesus and who doesn't (the ones who don't are the ones who disagree with them), what to do with homosexuals, Muslims, druggies, drunks, women, and other "undesirables"…just to name a few. These folks have a display and an aroma alright and it isn't pleasant, and it certainly isn't Jesus. What does Jesus look like? What does Jesus smell like? These are good questions. The answer to both questions begins in Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control." We generally refer to these qualities as the fruit of the Spirit. Notice the first three...Love, joy, and peace. Do these characterize your life? Love is first. Scripture tells us God is love. Those Curmudgeon Christians will say, "God isn't only love; He is wrath and judgement as well." While that is true, God's primary quality is love. When we live our lives, the first thing others should know about us is the fact that we love them. Then, they should see the joy, peace, kindness, etc. that flows out of that love. Perhaps the reason we don't show love is the fact that we don't understand that everything we are and have, both physically and spiritually, stems first from God's love rather than from our perfect obedience. We haven't learned to live loved and to live forgiven so we don't know how to show love and forgiveness to ourselves and to others. May we all seek to look like Jesus and smell like Jesus in every area of our life so others will be drawn to Him and so He gets the glory for all that we say and do.
Be blessed and be a blessing . . . . Bro. Andy