Daily Devotion Nov. 15, 2023

Today’s Focus: Gratitude for a smell I enjoy

“But thanks be to God! For through what Christ has done, he has triumphed over us so that now wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Gospel like a sweet perfume” (2 Corinthians 2:14, TLB).

     My wife, Cathy, was the administrator at the Brice Christian Academy in Columbus, Ohio. Cathy wears a perfume called Eternity. Small children periodically gave my wife hugs and would say, “Mrs. Wells, you smell good!”

     Paul uses the human sense of smell to illustrate the impact that Jesus has upon the surrounding community through his people. People have the ability to detect up to 10,000 different smells. God has created the human race with the ability to both discern and be drawn towards pleasant aromas.

     This capacity to bring people into the Christian faith with the sweet smell of Jesus’ truth and love is Paul’s point. Every Christian has the capability to draw people to Jesus. Even small acts of kindness can spread the aroma of Christ far and wide.

     Isn’t it crazy to think that God can use people just like us to broadcast the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus to both believers and non-believers alike—especially when you consider the opposite truth that God’s people, the Body of Christ, can also exude (Shall I dare say it?) body odor? Perhaps the idea isn’t so crazy. Do you know from whence perfumes and colognes originate? The name is ambergris. Ambergris is another name for whale poop. That’s right, ladies. That au de toilet you are wearing at this moment is chemically extracted from the hind quarters of Moby Dick. The idea sounds crazy.

     Yet, if scientists can create a $280 ounce of Chanel 5 out of the waste of a sperm whale, how much more sweetness can the God who created that animal make of you? The scent of Christ’s truth and love infused within you is leading people to Jesus. So, never be afraid to open wide your spiritual pores because you sure do smell good.