The Fragrance of Worship

“But thanks be to God, Who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.” -2 Corinthians 2:14


I love the smell of coffee and oven-roasted bacon lingering in the morning, hours after breakfast. It’s an inviting aroma that says ‘Come and stay awhile’. When I was little my grandmother’s home always seemed to have a comforting aroma wafting through the house (usually fresh baked bread from scratch). Fragrances have a way of bringing to mind a memory or a person. They have the power to make us react with delight or a visceral response of disgust.

When I think about our sense of smell and the impact it has, it’s interesting to read in Scripture how Paul uses the metaphor of fragrance (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). Back up even further to the Old Testament and we see the first priests using sacred perfume in the tabernacle (Exodus 30:22-38).  It was not to be replicated for common use. Only priests were given the task of administering the perfumed oil to anoint the Tent of Meeting. Priests were also consecrated with this holy perfume, carrying around a specific fragrance.


Today believer priests are the aroma of Christ. As a Christian my witness is a fragrant offering of who I am in Him. Reflecting the heart of Jesus is my “scent”. It will smell like death to the unbeliever as my Biblical worldview always points to an eternal perspective, emphasizing life after death. It brings them face to face with their own mortality and eternity.

To the fellow Christian my life will be a familiar and welcoming fragrance, heavily perfumed with the glory of God. This is because the true Church is knitted together with the same heart. Jesus makes this our reality. Even though our personalities, preferences, backgrounds, nationalities, and cultural differences tend to separate us, in Christ we are One. God is at work in each of us not only reconcile us to Himself in perfect fellowship, but also to one another in the Body of Christ. This is for our sanctification and how men will know we are followers of Jesus (John 13:34-35).


The world seeks to divide people, but especially God’s people. May this not be so. We have a responsibility to love each other first, our faith family. Our love for others is a direct reflection of our love for the Lord (1 John 4:20-21). Gossiping, assuming the worst in another, quarreling and even hatred do not represent Christ. In fact, this dishonors His Name and grieves the Holy Spirit.

God desires for us to worship Him by offering a sweet-smelling sacrifice. Namely, how we relate to the people around us. What we say and do, even what we think of others, matters. Our words of kindness and truth, sincere love, humble service, self-control, a listening ear, and the ability to forgive quickly will diffuse the pleasing aroma of Jesus. When we choose to react like the world of godless rebels believers miss the opportunity to display their signature scent.

You are the pleasing aroma of Jesus Christ. What a privilege it is to put on the sacred perfume He bled and bought for you and me.


Grace upon grace,



Grow deeper: Exodus 30:22-38; 2 Corinthians 2:14-17; Colossians 3:12-17

Because I’m difficult too

It’s funny how we tend to think of ourselves as “normal” and everyone else as quirky characters. If we could be on the outside looking in, we might see it a little differently. The people in our lives: friends, co-workers, family (especially the people who live with us) either refine or bless us. But there is no getting around that God uses our different personalities for us to personally apply truth each day.

So I have a prayer for you and me as we head into today. Because whatever you do, I’m almost certain you’ll run into another human being which requires you to interact. If you’re like me, this can be challenging, but also a blessing. Usually when I have a perspective shift my attitude toward how I’ll view and treat others changes also. So here are words you might need to say back to the Father too.


Today will be hard because there will be people in it.

Let me use those opportunities to be refined like Christ,

practicing self-control over my tongue and heart.

Help me to be gracious in speech, slow to anger, quick to listen, supernaturally loving the difficult or hurtful.

Protect my thoughts from comparison, envy, or self-righteous judgment.

I ask to have the freedom to show compassion and patience no matter how different the person might be.

Bring me to my knees in prayer when I think wrongly of someone else- pray for blessings toward them and not an ill will.

Grant me a humble spirit and a love for You that overflows into my everyday life. 

Let Jesus be the reflection when I look in the mirror.

You cover me in Your grace when I fail and rejoice in those small spiritual victories. 

Thank you for choosing me, loving me even when I’m difficult to love- help me do the same when I meet another face today.

Grace upon grace,