Google+ 05/09/13 Stink Up the Place!!!

2 Corinthians 2:14-17

 

But thank God!

He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession.

Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.

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.

To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom.

But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume.

And who is adequate for such a task as this?

You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit.

We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us. 

 

Do you know any hucksters?  These are people that sell things, often door-to-door, who will do anything to make a sale.  Some hucksters are good, as they sell their wares, telling the truth about them at every turn.  The hucksters that Paul was writing about were equivalent to "snake oil salesman."  They would say and do anything they could to make a dollar.  If we study carefully the 400-year period between the Old and New Testaments, we will discover that many of these hucksters ended up in positions of power in the church.  By offering "tribute," many hucksters became high priests.  They preached whatever the people wanted to hear, and exactly what would make them a great living.  Then, along came Jesus.  He taught the truth, and never for personal gain.  Today, Paul tells us that we are the ones that need to spread the news about Jesus.  When we do, it is like a sweet perfume.  The problem is that not everyone "smells" it the same way.  My ministry partner is also a Registered Nurse.  Because she is involved in the medical field, she often senses and "smells" things in a different way than I do.  She can often recognize the onset of a medical condition by how a person smells.  I don't even notice because I am not trained like she is.  Her "perfume" is honest and accurate and might very well save someone's life, if they are willing to listen.  If they dismiss this accurate "perfume," they might die an untimely death.  Paul is telling us that we should be able to do this on behalf of Jesus as well.  Unfortunately, not everyone likes or recognizes the same scents.  If people reject the name of Jesus, our "perfume" will smell like death to them, regardless of how pure the smell might be.  Don't change God's message because some dying people don't like the way it "smells."  Don't water-down your perfume.  Don't become a huckster.  As a disciple of God and Jesus, you have been commissioned and anointed to preach the gospel.  You have been saved by the blood of the Lamb, and you get to tell everyone about it!   Someone is waiting for you to arrive and tell them about Jesus.  Don't be shy.  Speak the mind of Jesus in love and sincerity, without any trickery.  If someone wants you to pay "tribute," buyer beware.  Be on guard if your church is always trying to sell you something that is not the free gift of salvation.  Jesus destroyed the temple then and He will again.  It is only a matter of time.  The personal profit you might receive, will be your demise.  So go ahead, in the name of Jesus, "Stink Up the Place!!!"