January 30, 2013

“The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”  John 12:3b

Odour Amour

Odour Amour (Photo credit: blentley)

Perfume is an odor that is difficult to hide from our senses.  It is made to draw our attention.  I think some use their perfume as a chemical weapon against my olfactory receptors.  I have known a few women whose perfume is so strong that it is a procession that heralds their arrival.  Everyone is aware when a perfumed woman hits a room but they can never really pin point when she leaves.  Strong perfume can pervade every nook and corner of a room until there is no possibility of escape.

I have developed a pavlovian- like response in the form of a dull ache in the frontal lobes of my brain based on the arrival of the strongly fragranced.  I am not a big fan of the fragrance of strong perfume in whatever chemical cocktail it might take.  It is one of the main reasons I avoid the center of department stores.  There is no masking the overwhelming scent of the perfume department.

There is an equally strong odor that comes from a factory that is along my normal freeway route.  It is a factory that transforms sugar beets into granulated sugar.  One would think that a sugar factory would produce a sweet aroma.  It most certainly does not.  That type of factory produces an aroma that has very biological fragrance; biological in the sense of digestion.  The only advantage of that factory is that it can mask other biological activity.  When my daughter asks from the back of the van, “what’s that smell?” it is very convenient to offer the  logically possible alternative of, “it might be the sugar factory”.

English: Newark Sugar Factory Low winter sun a...

English: Newark Sugar Factory Low winter sun and Newark Sugar Factory (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever thought about the fact that our actions as believers can be smelled by God?

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Eph. 5:1-2

Christ’s actions were a fragrant offering to God.  Just like the food offerings that the Israelites offered up:

“…a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.” Lev. Chapters 1-3

We are supposed to be imitators of God. That means we are supposed to be living in a manner that has a pleasing aroma to God.

I love the imagery of the Lord wafting air to his nose, taking a deep breath over us, and with satisfaction declaring “that is nice.”   I tend to believe that the most pleasing aroma in the room when Mary anointed Jesus for the day of his burial was not the perfume.  The most fragrant aroma on that day was the actions of Mary.  Mary had taken her bank account, the perfume was of great value, and did an action that demonstrated that Jesus was more important to her than any of those worldly possessions.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 26:10 that she did a beautiful thing.

When was the last time you have done something that the Lord would find beautiful? 

When was the last time you did something that God would find pleasing to smell? 

It is an incredible thing to be a pleasing aroma to the God of the universe.  It blows my mind that it is even possible to be a pleasing aroma to God.

It makes me wonder what I normally smell like, since I know I don’t always love like I should.  I fear that there are times that I smell more like the aroma emanating from a sugar factory.  Does it really matter that some folks smell worse than I do? It is not like their decidedly more unpleasant odor makes my odor irrelevant.  It is not like their larger sugar-factory odor masks my stench. God is not the bus driver confused as to the origin of that decidedly “un-pleasing” aroma originating unseen from the back of the vehicle.

God knows our personal aroma.

We have the opportunity to live in a manner that our fragrance will fill a room.  We have the opportunity to live in a manner that the fragrances we give off will actually precede our arrival and will linger after we leave.  Now, there will be some who may be offended by our odor.  There will be some that we may make “sick” by the very same aroma that God finds so delightful, but whose opinion are you more concerned about?  It really does come down to who we are trying to please.

I want to live in a way that Jesus looks upon me and says, “that is beautiful and he smells so wonderful.”

What face do you do think God will make when he gets a whiff of you?

PRAYER: Lord, thank you that it is even possible that I can be a pleasing aroma to you.  Thank you for making it even possible that I can do something through your Spirit that you will see a beautiful.  Father, thank you for that incredible opportunity.  Lord give me the desire to be a pleasing aroma.  Father, help me to care more about your opinion than anything else.  May you be glorified by how I live my life.    Amen


  1. […] THAT SMELLS GOOD! – Jan. 30 (boyslumber.wordpress.com) […]

  2. This is so funny…A friend of mine gave me some perfume this afternoon that I really like. I just sent her a message saying “I smell good. Thank you.” Then, out of many emails to read, I opened up this one! God bless. I am pondering 🙂

  3. This is a great analogy! I enjoyed reading this post. I hope I smell good to God today! 🙂

  4. Nice, particularly this comment: “I tend to believe that the most pleasing aroma in the room when Mary anointed Jesus for the day of his burial was not the perfume. The most fragrant aroma on that day was the actions of Mary.” Enjoy your posts.

  5. Love, love, love this! I never thought if my smell would be drowned by another’s or vice versa. Thank you for this well written uplifting post.

  6. I love your question: What face do you do think God will make when he gets a whiff of you? In Genesis it is recorded that God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. That should cover the odor too, shouldn’t it?

  7. As a mom of 3 teenage boys I get the imagery. So funny, but so true. Thanks, this one will make a great family devotional!

  8. Love the analogy! Great visual reminder or should i say olfactory reminder?

  9. Amen!!!

  10. You have a beautiful way of weaving an everyday event into a spiritual lesson. I am touched each time I read your blog. God bless you.

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