Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Litmus Test of Fragrance

UV 2166/10000 The Litmus Test of Fragrance
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour
Ephesians 5 v 2

Every step the manger leader or manager takes, he takes in love just as Jesus poured out His whole life on earth from beginning to end and beyond as an offering of love, an evidence of the love of the Father. When Christ dwells in our hearts by faith as King, Lord, Master, Saviour, Redeemer, Protector, Advocate, Intercessor, Helper, Wise Counsellor, Mighty God, we ought to be rooted and grounded in love. The roots as well as the soil around our faith grows best in a soul of love. The uni-verse talks about the kind of love that “bears all things, endures all things and rejoices in the truth.” The kind of love that is patient, kind, forbearing, hopeful. The kind of love that holds no bitterness that comes from a record of past wrongs and hurts.

“Love,” St Paul wrote in his famous chapter on love,” is not conceited, or proud or envious.” Love is a commitment to the well being of others and doing all one can to enhance their well being. Love is about sacrificing oneself, one’s ego, one’s time, efforts and resources to bless others as Christ sacrificed His life, once for all and made Himself a sweet smelling sacrifice to God. Love is not about self gratification but dying to oneself so that the savour or fragrance of our lives and deeds reaches the nostrils of God.

We need to constantly imitate Christ in His attitude, actions and words of love. The love of Christ is agape or in other words, His love is unconditional, unreserved and without expectations or demands on us. We should show our love without any hidden motive or agenda. The litmus test is to ask ourselves on every thought we think, every word we speak, every action we do, “ Is it pleasing and sweet smelling to God, to Jesus, to the Holy Spirit?” If the answer is “ No”, we should make amends and avoid that attitude or behaviour thereafter. Under the old covenant with Jehovah, the sacrifices of some people became a sweet savour to the Father. It was more the attitude of heart of the one who offered the sacrifice rather than what was sacrificed that created the fragrance. Abel’s sacrifice of a blemishless lamb was sweet smelling to God while his brother Cain’s sacrifice of sheafs of wheat was not. Many of our thoughts, words and actions set off a stench. We should be careful to avoid these. The fragrance of our thoughts, words and actions should spread like that of the perfume of Mary Magdalene as she emptied the alabaster jar of nard to anoint Jesus. She grabbed the opportunity of anointing God’s anointed one and got the recognition from Jesus as the one who prepared Him for sacrifice, as the one who had done a beautiful deed for Him that will be remembered in all generations of the faithful thereafter. We are to be both a living and a loving sacrifice to God.

Prateep V Philip

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