Preachers that smell!
Scripture reading for August 28th: 2nd Corinthians 2:9-17
Paul was a man sent by God to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had a personal encounter with Christ on the Damascus Road that turned his life around. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and sent out by a confirming prophetic word to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. He also loved his own brothers, the Jews, and preached in synagogues everywhere. He wasn’t always received with open arms and some were hostile to the message he presented. Others welcomed the message and were gloriously saved.
Paul described his ministry to the Corinthians. “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 Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.” (2nd Corinthians 2:14-17) Paul was led by Christ to the places he should preach. Even when it did not look like a victory, Paul knew the scope of his calling and that Christ would give him victory. Some would hear and receive and his message would be the fragrance of life. Others would not hear or receive and to them his message would smell like death and produce conflict. Paul’s job was to preach the message and leave the results up to God. He was only a servant of Christ, sent by Him to humbly share.
God has commissioned each of us to go into our world and preach the Gospel to every creature. (Matthew 28:18-20) Those who hear and believe will be saved and given eternal life. Those who refuse to hear and reject the Gospel will be damned. The call to us is to obediently preach, leaving the results up to God. Each person must respond! Who is adequate for this ministry? Christ works with us and He brings the fragrance of life to all who will hear! He wants none to perish in death, but all to receive His glorious gift of life! What a wonderful God we serve!