Friday, May 4, 2012

50 Days of Holy! What's That Smell?


What's That Smell?    
By Kim Dent 

"Because of the Lord's great love,
we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23


As I was getting my coffee creamer out of the fridge this morning, my nose was assaulted by a disgusting odor! Ugh! I forgot to use the leftovers…again! This time it was a lone piece of chicken hiding behind the milk. I dug out the smelly poultry and held my nose as I flung it down the disposal, followed by a lemon to chase away the stench.

I love how the Holy Spirit uses object lessons to illustrate truths from His word. Today He decided the chicken incident would coincide nicely with my study of Malachi 1. I know what you’re thinking! Hang in there with me as I explain:

The temple had been rebuilt for almost a century and the Israelites were complacent about worship. Old patterns of sin reared their ugly heads. They were arrogant and hypocritical, showing contempt for God’s name, calling evil “good”, and withholding their tithes and offerings. To make matters worse, they were offering diseased and imperfect sacrifices on God’s Holy Altar: their smelly leftovers!


Before pointing a finger at the Israelites, we probably should take a look at our own lives:   
§         Do you get tired of waiting on the Lord?     
§         Have you been slacking in giving tithes and offerings?
§         Do you find yourself falling back into old sin habits? 
§         Has worship become stale; just another duty?
§         Is your time with God just an obligation?
§         Are you serving Him the leftovers of your heart? The stench of disobedience?

Are you dragging out the stinky leftovers of your life and flinging it before Him? Or are you operating in the fruit of His Spirit, keeping your relationship fresh, your spirit renewed? In 2 Corinthians, Paul describes the smell of a holy life:




Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life (2 Cor.2:14-16; 3:5-6NLT).”

WOW! Puts a whole new spin on life, doesn’t it? To think that every person we encounter every day can actually smell whether we are in a right relationship with Christ or not! "To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom." Christ living in us brings conviction to those who are living in sin. "But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume."

What a wake-up call!
We contain the living, breathing Spirit of God inside of us. If we ask Him to cleanse our hearts, we become a pure and acceptable offering before God. Everything about us is a witness to the life of Christ and the love of God…even our aroma!

It's time for breakfast!
Let’s serve our King an authentic platter of praise today by operating in the fruit of His Spirit. Seek His holiness! Surrender to His desire to make you holy. Ask Him how He would have you serve Him today. And don't forget to go to the grocery store of His Word, where His mercies are fresh, new, and always sweet-smelling!

Lord,
Forgive me for the times I have served you my leftovers. You deserve all of my praise, all of my heart, my total obedience.  I know that you long to revive me when I am tired; you are more than enough for me. I know that you desire truth in the inmost places; my authenticity is precious to you.  Draw me deeper so that every day can be a new adventure with you. Today, I am serving you a menu of praise!  I adore you. You are my King. May my life be a sweet smelling sacrifice to You. Show me how I can serve You by serving others today. 
In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.


____________________________________________

Kim has been married to her high school sweetheart for 26 years. She and Mark have two beautiful daughters, Kaitlyn and Emily, a rescued mutt named Otis and a pleasantly plump cat named Oscar.

A former social worker and real estate agent, Kim now serves full time as Women's Ministry Director at High Mill Church in Canton, OH. Her mission is to inspire women toward courageous authenticity and freedom in Christ. She desires to be a woman who lives and loves like Jesus.

She is a Woven Women: a Woman of Virtue!

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