“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.” 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (ESV)
The other day I walked into a room in our new home and was struck by the delicate scent of my wife’s perfume that lingered in the atmosphere. It made a pleasant change from the smell of electric motor and the carpet that I had just been vacuuming.
Usually you have to get up quite close to a loved one before you become aware of their fragrance because your senses have been accustomed to their aroma, so much so, it has to be quite strong before you perceive it. This is because our sensory system can be desensitized by a cognitive filter process known as Deletion.
Another example might be a sensory input, such as sitting on a chair long enough to be aware that the nerve sensation feedback of the act of sitting has itself disappeared, and there is no longer any sensation from that region – until we move!
For someone like me, who has been in the Kingdom of God for a long time, I too fall victim to a similar phenomenon of taking the presence of Jesus in my life so much for granted that occasionally I no longer recognize its distinctiveness. It is not that Jesus is not there with me; it is that His presence has become a familiar part of my life just long enough for me to think it might be a part of me, even after He has gone!
In my case this does not last very long because I am easily sidetracked by the world. Then, as I make a move, I am aware that there is someone missing!
Oh the joy of the refreshing presence of Jesus, clear and distinct to us once more as we come into His presence and ask forgiveness by His Grace.
LORD, do not treat us as our sins deserve but forgive us when we move on without You, taking it for granted that You might be bent according to our will. We rejoice to know the sweetness of Immanuel. May we once more come into a new day with You and Your presence pervade us. Amen.
“The Christian life is a battle,” our pastor reminded us. “Don’t let anyone tell you differently.”
Some days that battle is fierce. Some days growing like wheat among tares is stifling. The world constantly tries to press us into its mold. To enjoy its pleasures. To take our eyes off the invisible God. To give in and stop running the race.
And I keep forgetting the important truths of Scripture—truths that should be ready in my hand like a sword in the midst of a raging battle.
1. This world is not my home.
“Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20)
2. The Maker of heaven and earth loved me before He made heaven and earth.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
3. Christ died for me, so my slate is clean.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)
4. Christ rose again, assuring me eternal life.
“Because I live, you will live also.” (John 14:19)
5. I might see Him today.
“Looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)