LET’S BE A FRAGRANT OFFERING FOR CHRIST
Fragrances come and go, changing from moment to moment. But the fragrance of our worship and obedience to Christ last forever as we draw others to Him.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
A fragrant offering
During my gardening years, I kept a compost pile in my yard where I disposed of vegetable matter. The fragrance of my offerings enticed all kinds of critters. Raccoons, deer, foxes, and even an occasional skunk came to visit during the nights. Of course, the skunks added their own “eeyoo de cologne” to my compost. We humans are also used to outdoor fragrances that entice our sense of smell, such as wood smoke from campfires, barbeques, and the sweet aroma of pine needles. And who can resist inhaling the scent of imminent rain? Or of lilacs and roses and other blooms?
The Old Testament Israelites offered fragrant items to God for the atonement of their sins, such as the meat of lambs and other animals, certain types of bread, and incense containing particular ingredients. Wise men brought the costly sacrifices of frankincense and myrrh, fragrances that honored Jesus’ birth. Later, before His death during a Jewish Passover celebration, a woman also worshiped Him by pouring costly, fragrant oil on His head and feet.
The Old Testament prophets, however, had warned the Israelites that fragrant sacrifices alone would not please God. He desired true worship and obedience as well, as recorded in Psalm 40:6-8. “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; … I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.”
The most precious offering was God’s only Son, Jesus, who willingly “loved us and gave Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (Ephesians 5:2) Christians today honor Jesus, not necessarily with gold and fragrant spices, but with faithful worship and obedience. Our heartfelt songs and prayers become fragrant offerings. As well, God considers the words we share about Him and the deeds we offer in His Name as a sweet-smelling aroma.
“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.” (2 Corinthians 2:15)
Lord, thank You for allowing us the enjoyment of the fragrance of wood smoke rising heavenward and for letting critters enjoy the offerings of our food scraps. Thank You for taking pleasure in our worship and devotion, for rejoicing in our prayers, our love, and our obedience. May our daily thoughts, words, and deeds be an aroma leading to life in Christ for those around us. We want to be a sweet-smelling aroma to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.