When I was about 15 or 16 years old, I purchased or was given a bottle of cologne in a brown glass container shaped like a river boat. Its aroma was so good to me that I wore it on very special occasions. Today, I have that same bottle of cologne in my bedroom with about a teaspoon of the cologne left. Keeping this memento from my youth, with its enduring fragrance, its personal value and worth to me, has helped to inform my appreciation for today’s text through the years.
In Ephesians 5:1-2, we read. “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live A life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Our text reminds us that our lives as proteges of Jesus should be a sweet-smelling aroma to God as a part of our everyday lives. Our text also reminds us that the best way to make your life a sweet-smelling aroma to God is to walk in love as imitators of Christ Jesus.
The priest in the tabernacle burned incense in the Old Testament on the altar of incenses during morning and evening prayers. And according to Revelations 5:8, the aroma of the incense drifted up to God as a pleasing and acceptable sacrifice of their prayers and was stored along with the other prayers of God’s people in the vials of heaven.
We may not be called to lay down our lives as Christ did, but we are required to demonstrate acts of love towards God our Father, Christ Our Redeemer and Man our brother.
Jesus said it this way; “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Someone might ask, “What practical things can I do to follow the example of Christ and be an imitator of God’s love, honoring Him with a sweet fragrance? Let me first suggest that you live your life as a sacrificial offering through the following ways:
1. Your prayer life.
2. Your agreement and respect for the Word of God
3. Your worship and praise
4. Your promotion of justice and mercy
5. Your Love for God and humanity
6. And the delight in your life.
7. Your witness as a Protégé of Jesus
Again, what fragrance are you wearing?
Let us pray,
Eternal God, we come again to you this morning just as we are, with our hopes, concerns, joys and inner struggles, saying thank you for loving and caring for us all. We acknowledge you as our sovereign creator with the power over all things in your hand.
We come asking you to forgive us for falling short of your Glory in our thoughts, words and deed. We thank you for forgiveness as we forgive those who hurt us or have done wrong to us. We ask that you speak into their lives in a way that they find deliverance and healing through your love.
We thank you for the life health and strength you have blessed us with despite the sickness pain and uncertainty we might have about our situations. We thank you for being our healer and comforter. We ask Lord that you will look upon each of us this morning, and grant us the wisdom, courage, and strength so we can face the challenges of this day with a sweet fragrance you will enjoy.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen