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  Devotional Sample—The Letters  

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Samples:  Torah  •  Prophets  •  Writings  •  Proverbs  •  Gospels  •  Letters

 

Devotionals from the Letters of Paul, Peter, James and John are published on the sixth day of the week (Friday). These are often exhortative and spur us on in the spirit of the apostles toward a holy and godly way of life.
 

What Smells?

“But thanks be to God, who in the Messiah constantly leads us in a triumphal procession and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of what it means to know him! For to God we are the aroma of the Messiah, both among those being saved and among those being lost; to the latter, we are the smell of death leading only to more death; but to the former, we are the sweet smell of life leading to more life. Who is equal to such a task?” 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

The fragrance of salvation is absolute, distinct, unmistakable—and yet, salvation is often perceived in such relative terms that no two people smell it the same. How can it be that to one, it can smell sweet as flowers, and to another, the stench of sewage? Try sniffing a bouquet while standing in a cesspool—try seeing salvation, steeped in sin.

Our sin nature—the yetzer ‘ra, the evil inclination—can be activated externally by the seduction of our senses. Our senses, then, can be easily manipulated, representing one thing while deceptively covering another. Why else do we sin, except that it seems pleasing to us at the time? What else but the deception of our senses could convince us that Satan tastes like saccharin? Yet, not only can we be fooled into believing that doing evil is “sinfully delicious,” but the Deceiver masks our sensory input to lead us to believe that Life in the Messiah smells like the pit of hell.

But what do you smell like? It’s one thing if the sinner can’t smell the sweetness of the Savior because he can’t detect the difference between flowers and fertilizer, but it’s another issue altogether if the delivery guy stinks to high heaven! Have you been spending your time digging in the dirt, or are you cleansed, presentable, cologned with the perfume of holiness, godliness and purity? The messenger represents not just the message but the Sender of the message as well. If we are living in such a way as to erect obstacles that will keep the lost from the Lord, in whose lap will the blame be laid? If we are living in such a way that will cause the aroma of God to permeate the sinner’s senses, on whose head will the glory be placed?

When the Lord regenerates the snout of a false-smelling soul, let us be the first fragrance to please his nostrils. Let us strive to be anointed with the scent of righteousness to lead the formerly senseless to the aromatic gardens of glory, as we purify ourselves, not contributing to the foul stink of death, but to the stimulation of the spiritual senses to more plainly discern life.

P R A Y E R

Yeshua, wash me clean, that I will smell of righteousness and not the filth of my former self. I am new! I am cleansed! Make my purity a perfume for the lost, that my aroma will be pleasing to the senses, leading others from a path of sin to the road of life. Father, thank you for immersing me in your mikveh and anointing me with the fragrance of the Gospel. I savor the sweetness of your salvation....

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