The other day, I was working on some new Scripture memory cards and realized that I had never committed 2 Cor. 2:14 (the verse on which this blog theme is based) memorized. I looked up several translations on Bible Gateway, and was completely awestruck by how The Message phrases this Truth.
“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, He brings the knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance.”
Vs. 15-16 add even more depth to this Truth: “Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God which is recognized by those on the way of Salvation – an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.” (Yuck – on that last sentence!)
What struck me so was the phrase, “In Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade.” I started thinking about my life and the different places God has led us. Not geographical places, but spiritual ones.
Like all who walk with Jesus, my life has been marked by many peaks and valleys, sorrows and joys, times of ease, and times of troubles. But one thing has remained consistent – in Christ, there has always been victory! Always!
He has produced joy from every sorrow, growth from every valley, and peace through every trouble. No matter how painful or difficult the path, in Christ, God leads us from place to place on that path in one perpetual victory parade! I have tons of journal entries to prove it.
As God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade, He overflows from us onto those we meet along the way, and uses our lives to bring the knowledge of Christ everywhere we go.
Jesus Christ spilling out of us is an “exquisite fragrance” that is recognized by others marching in their own perpetual victory parades. We spill out on each other the aroma redolent with Life, rising to God and very pleasing to Him. I think it must be His favorite fragrance! (And consequently, that’s why the last part of vs. 16 tells us that if we smell pleasing to God, we will be offensive to “the world”. We’re probably safe to say that the aroma of Christ is the “world’s” most repugnant fragrance.)
My prayer and goal for my life is that I would be the sweet and exquisite aroma of Christ in every place of my life. Not just at church or while doing “spiritual work”, but everywhere in my life – at home with my family, on the phone with my friends, while I’m cooking and cleaning, or shopping at Wal-Mart, or driving carpool, or blogging, or volunteering at our children’s school, or looking for a job… I want Him to fill me and pour Himself and His fragrance out of me onto everyone I encounter.
I fail miserably at times. Sometimes I’m so full of self that I can hardly stand my own stink. But I praise God that He doesn’t let me stay that way for long – thanks to His sharp, active, and penetrating Word that cuts and convicts (Heb. 4:12). Hey… I just thought of this: God’s Word is His heavenly deodorant for us, for SURE! (ha ha ha!)
Because of His forgiveness and restoration, even through my failures, God brings victory!!! Day in, day out, through the highs and the lows, from place to place, I praise the Lord for letting me be a part of His perpetual victory parade.
How about you? Even if you never thought about it before, can you see your walk with the Lord as one perpetual victory parade? He delights in you. And because of Christ, God thinks you smell delicious! 🙂
“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us He brings the knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God…” (2 Cor. 2:14-16 The Message)