My nose doesn’t work quite as well as it used to. Maybe the result of aging or a constant battle with allergies, but there are some smells that manage to get through. I can smell brownies or cookies baking a mile away. I love the smell of coffee brewing, or steaks grilling, or bread baking. I can still remember from my childhood the smell of bread baking at the “Rainbow Bread” plant near our home.
My wife loves the smell of lilacs in our yard and when we go on bike rides she is quick to recognize the smell of honeysuckle when we pass a patch along the trail. Those are pleasing aromas.
Did you know that God has a keen sense of smell? In the Old Testament God says that the various sacrifices, when offered properly with faith, were a pleasing aroma to Him (i.e. Genesis 8:20-21). On the other hand He says through the prophet Amos that the half-hearted religious hypocrisy of His people was a stench in His nostrils (Amos 5:21). I particularly like what Paul says about the Philippians in 4:18, about their gift to Him in His time of need – “I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.” Did you realize that your acts of kindness are a fragrant, sweet smelling aroma to God?
When we intentionally reach out to meet someone’s need we fill up the throne room of heaven with a fragrant smell. What kind of aroma are you putting off this morning? The stench of selfishness or the sweet smell of kindness?
Look for some opportunities this week to improve the air quality of heaven. You might even find that others around you may be blessed by your aroma. When Mary broke her box of perfume and poured it out on Jesus, it says that “the house was filled with the fragrance of perfume” (John 12:3).
Have a great week!