29 October 2009

Are You an Aroma or a Stench?

I started reading in the Book of 2 Corinthians's last week, and I came to the second chapter where Paul said something that I found very humbling, and a privilege to be a Christian. He said "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. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ." 2 Cor 2:15-17. The Bible says we are the fragrance of Christ to this earth! Those around us at: work, school, our yards, on the streets, the malls, even at church!......... When a person (Christian, Born Again believer) is being faithful to the Gospel we are pleasing God with our actions and behaviour. Why? Because we are being obedient to the Gospel of Christ. He is the reason we live, exist! Nothing pleases Him more than His children praising His holy name among the earth. Think about for a moment. There are thousands of Christians throughout history, that have that fragrance of Christ: The disciples, Polycarp, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Spurgeon, Edwards, Whitefield, Aylward, Ten Boom, Graham, Carmichael, MacArthur, Piper, Mohler, Peck and the list is endless...... We have seen and heard about godly men and women who were, and still are faithful to the precious Gospel Christ (a fragrance, the hope of Christ to a world full of sin). There is much we can learn from these wonderful saints. One person comes to mind is a paper I wrote for missions class. It was about a man of great faith: a man who faced great challenges: a man who was determined to share the Gospel with as many people as he could; a man who desired to be that fragrance to this lost and broken world. This man is Hudson Taylor! He was an extraordinary man of God. He did many things we as Christians are all too afraid to do. He had the courage to do God’s will and not his own. This man relied on the Lord for all his needs. Hudson Taylor was born in Barnsley, England and came from a Christian family. What amazing things Hudson Taylor accomplished! From the prayer life of his mother and his conversion at the age of 17 to the missionary work he did in China. We all could learn much from Hudson Taylor. This man walked by faith and trusted in the Lord for all his decisions. He trusted that God would show him how he would be able to get to China, survive while living there, and learn the language. What an awesome God we serve! This man did wonderful work in the name of the LORD. He was an outstanding example of obedience and patience while waiting for Lord Jesus Christ to provide the open doors for him. His life demonstrates that there is nothing too big or too small that the Lord cannot handle. We as Christians of today could learn many lessons from the prayer life and the patience of Hudson Taylor. He showed great faithfulness even when circumstances weren’t looking hopeful. We tend to think if our prayers aren’t answered immediately, it will never happen. The Bible tells us (Mic 6:8) (Rom 8:4) (Eph 4:1) to walk with the Spirit of the Lord because, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Heb 13:5) also (2 Cor 1:24, 5:7). If we as Christians would understand and apply these verses, we also could walk by faith and not by sight. The Lord’s sovereignty is so amazing that we can achieve many great things through Him to reach the lost nations, if only we would put all our trust and faith in the Lord to, “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7). The time is now! We as a group of born again believers need to do the work of the Lord. If we don’t, the Lord will find another generation that will be obedient to his plan and purpose to do His will. Charles Spurgeon said “True prayer is not the noisy sound that clamorous lips repeat, but the deep silence of a soul that claps at Jehovah’s Feet”. It is so awesome to think we are given the permission to meditate in prayer to the very Lord that died for the whole world’s sin on the cross of Calvary. He is capable of doing such wonders through us as believers if only we would do what God’s Word (Rom 12:1-2) (Matt 10:38-29) (Ezra 7:10) tells us. John Piper says “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him”. Praise God for faithful servants! I’m so thankful that men like Hudson Taylor , a man used for the Lord Jesus Christ; He and others like him have paved the way for us to walk by faith, not by sight and to reach the spiritually lost and the perishing of the world by being a fragrance of Christ. What an honor and a privilege to be used by the One who saved us from our sins. To Him be the glory for such a great salvation in and through His Son (Jesus Christ).The question you need to ask yourself is...............What do you smell like?...........

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