The Fragrance Of Life Unto Life

April 13, 2015

                              The Fragrance Of Life Unto Life

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.   For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:    To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?    For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ” (II Corinthians 2:14-17).

The Apostle Paul says that “We are unto God a sweet savour.” If we are a sweet savour to God, we should be the same to those we are around.  He says, however, that that isn’t always true.  To those that perish we are the savour of death unto death.  The word “perish,” used here, speaks of those who are destined to be destroyed.  We are a reminder to them of their destination.

We all have our preferences.  Not everyone likes the same foods.  The same is true with regard to odors.  To me, the odor of a barnyard brings back sweet memories of when I grew up on the farm.  City folks say a barnyard stinks.

A sweet savour produces a pleasant satisfaction.  It is the feeling we have when we are with someone we love.  The unsaved man feels comfortable in the company of his unsaved friends.  They have many of the same moral values.  They are all in the same boat headed toward the same destination.  In comparison to his friends, he measures up.

God, in his mercy sometimes changes our sense of smell.  In other words, what was a disagreeable odor can become a pleasant odor.  Take the case of a young man from the city who falls in love with a girl who lives on a hog farm.  He goes out to the farm to visit her.  They spend hours sitting and talking on the swing on the front porch.  All the time he is there he is breathing the air impregnated with the smell of the pig pen.  After a time he begins to associate that odor with the girl he loves.

Something similar to that happened to me.  I was an atheist when I arrived on the university campus.  I didn’t want anything to do with religion.  I was convinced that there wasn’t anything good in it for me.  I wasn’t on campus very long before I met some young men who made friends with me.  They had some qualities that I couldn’t help but admire.

In spite of what appeared to be an exciting future I had ahead of me, I was disillusioned with life.  I felt an emptiness within.  It was as though I was saying to myself, “There must be something more to life that I haven’t found.” These young people I met had a peace and purpose for living that I didn’t have.  I could see that their relationship with God was extremely important to them.  I wanted what they had and I thought I could get it and still leave God out of my life.  I thought it would rub off on me just by being around them.

I started going with them to evangelistic meetings they had on campus.  I rejected what I was hearing about God.  I wasn’t ready to accept that.  I enjoyed the attention these young people gave me.  Without realizing it, what at first was a bad odor became sweeter.  Going to spiritual activities with them wasn’t as disagreeable as it was at first.

A significant change took place in my thinking one day when my botany class was in a lab where each of us had a microscope in front of us.  The professor gave all of us a tree leaf that we were to look at under the microscope.  I was overwhelmed when I saw all the activity that was taking place in what I thought was a dead leaf.  I said to myself, “There has to be a God to make something that magnificent!” That was when I began to believe in God.

You may ask, “Did that feeling of emptiness go away then?”  No it didn’t.  That took place a few weeks later.  I took one of the Christian girls to a Valentines banquet that the student group sponsored.  I told that girl a lot about myself.  I stretched the truth on a number of things.  That night, when I returned to my room, I felt miserable.  I felt God was saying to me, “You lied to that girl.” I fell on my knees beside my bed, confessing my sins, and asking God to forgive me and save me.  The next morning the empty feeling was gone.  To this day it has never come back.  I was a new man.

What had been a savour of death unto death was transformed to a savour of life unto life.  Now God has made it possible for me also to be a savour of life unto life.  I thank God for those young people who were unto me a savour of life unto life.

Friend, how do you fit into this analogy?  What savour do you sense when you are around Christians?  If you are a child of God, are you giving off a pleasant fragrance by an exemplary Christian life?  Don’t be as some who corrupt the word of God, but be as of sincerity, as it says in verse 17.

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