Born to Bloom

Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. – (2 Corinthians 2:15, NLT)

As far as God is concerned there is a sweet, wholesome fragrance in our lives. It is the fragrance of Christ within us, an aroma to both the saved and unsaved all around us. – (2 Corinthians 2:15, TLB)

We have become the unmistakable aroma of the victory of the Anointed One to God – a perfume of life to those being saved and the odor of death to those who are perishing. – (2 Corinthians 2:15, TPT)

 

As I sat here pondering this verse, the image that came to mind for me is that of beautiful, fragrant flowers. The gardener who tends to the plants to trim, water, fertilize and assure proper light, yields healthy plants that produce sweet scents. Contrarily, those who do not provide that which plants need, discover the scent of death and decay soon emit from the perishing perennials. People are comparable when it comes to our faith. If we invest time in our relationship with our Redeemer, we learn and grow and become more like Him. As we do, the love, grace and kindness we extend, become a sweet scent to our Savior, as well as to those who are seeking something more. However, when we neglect the need for investing time with the very One who created us, we begin to wither and rot, stuck with a stench of angst and impatience, anger and a serious lack of love. May we ever seek the nourishment of our Maker, as He provides the soil, water and light that we need to bloom and become the sweet scent of life to all those around us.

 

The sweet scent of life, born-to-bloom.jpg

Through hope and His grace;

Are what we offer,

As we seek God’s face.

A life invested,

In loving the Lord;

Is grown to produce,

Sweet scent that’s adored.

For loving kindness,

Goodness and His light;

Are grown within us,

As we choose delight.

With all that we are,

May we seek His face;

So, our lives smell sweet,

And extend His grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that a life invested in knowing and following You grows and develops us to give off the sweet scent of hope in You. Thank You that You cultivate this within us as we choose to seek You. Forgive us for neglecting time with You, as You are the One who removes the weeds and provides the water and sunlight. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would allow You room to come in and cultivate our lives into the fragrant offering You intended. Show us how to love those around us in a way that helps them breathe deeply from Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we delight in You, and allow You room to grow us so that we can bloom. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth (Moreno) Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19

Choose a Life of Love

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. – (Ephesians 5:2, NLT)

Live a life of love. Love others just as Christ loved us. He gave Himself for us – a sweet smelling offering and sacrifice to God. – (Ephesians 5:2, ERV)

Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us. Love like that. – (Ephesians 5:2, MSG)

 

When we choose to live a life of love, just as Christ loved us, we are a pleasing aroma to God. The idea of our offering being a sweet scent before our Maker is a remarkable reminder that our choice to love matters. Likewise, as we love others as Christ loves us, we are a pleasing aroma to people. When we observe or are the recipients of words or deeds that are not done in love, often the way we describe the situation is that it stinks. I imagine that before God, there is a stench when we are not acting according to His love. We have been given the greatest example that ever was to follow, and He equips us to go and do the same. The decision to choose to live out a life of love is ours, and the choice we make matters. May we each opt to live the life of love that God has prepared for us, and go forth as a sweet scent before both the Lord and those whom He places on our path.

 

The sweet scent of Christ, Love Made Known

Is one full of love;

For His sacrifice,

Grace, His true motive.

Christ’s own sacrifice,

Created the way;

For us to receive,

And give love away.

He did not withhold,

But chose to give all;

So we too could love,

And answer His call.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that a life lived out in love is a pleasing aroma before You. Thank You Jesus, for being the ultimate example of how to love without limits. Forgive us for the times that we opt to withhold love when we are called to extend that which we have been given. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would choose to love anyway, even when it is difficult. Show us how to love well, all those whom You have placed on our path. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to live a life of love. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28

To Be a Sweet Scent

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. – (2 Corinthians 2:14)

 

Thanks be to God is the easiest portion for me to unpack. Simply put, all thanks belong to Him. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him, as He alone deserves our thanks and praise.

 

The next portion, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ, made me pause a moment to ponder what that might look like in my life. Triumphal procession is a victorious forward movement, fueled, equipped and strengthened by Christ. Every time we choose to walk out our faith, even in the dark and dismal spaces, we are participating in a triumphal procession in Christ.

 

As we obediently walk out our faith, we spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For those who are ready to receive all that He has to offer, we are a sweet scent indeed. To those who deny the truth, we will not smell so sweet.

 

May we rise up and give all thanks to God, as He leads us in triumphal procession, spreading everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.

 

Give thanks unto God,Being a Sweet Scent

for He leads us on;

in triumph through Him,

to rise up, carry on.

He allows us each,

to spread His sweet scent;

the knowledge of Him,

leads lost to repent.

Each step we choose take,

forward for the Lord;

the fragrance of truth,

leaves darkness no more.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You lead us in triumphal procession in You, every time we choose to trust and follow You. Thank You that You allow us to spread the sweet scent of Your salvation through the way we live out our lives. Forgive us for not proceeding forward as You call, or for being an unsavory scent. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may boldly more forward in faith wherever You call. Lead us to love others in such a way, that Your truth cannot help but be recognized through us. May many come into a saving knowledge of You. Be glorified O God, as we rise up and give You thanks as You lead us in triumphal procession to spread Your fragrance wherever we go. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

Being a Sweet Scent

We are called and equipped,

image by Incredible Orchids

image by Incredible Orchids

the aroma of life;

sweet scent of salvation,

to set folks free from strife.

Yet to others, it seems,

the rancid stench of death;

when entangled in sin,

it can steal your last breath.

God has given to us,

His wisdom and Spirit,

not to glorify us,

lest the lost come to hear it.

For God will enable,

us to do so much more,

than we could on our own,

as He opens new doors.

So go forth in boldness,

take courage in the Lord.

Stand strong in your calling,

until heaven’s reward.

(Responding to 2 Corinthians 2:14-16)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have a plan and a purpose for each of us.  Thank You that You have designed each of us to reflect Your likeness and to be the sweet scent of salvation to those who are seeking You.  Forgive us for considering ourselves unworthy to do what You ask, and help us to remember that it is not by our strength or wisdom or power that we do anything, but rather it is by Your goodness and grace.  May we let You lead us and guide us, and may we be willing to follow wherever You lead.  Use our obedience to be the sweet scent of salvation to those who are seeking.  All glory and honor to You.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present