A Sweet Aroma
Theme of the Week: Bring Joy to the Heart of God
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
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Key Bible Verse: 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)
Dig Deeper: Ephesians 5:1-20
Genesis tells us that God created us. He made people in his image. We are his very image. That shapes my understanding of the intentionality of the life I experience. Do the very joys I experience in this life mirror the joys God feels and experiences? Do the things I value as good and wonderful and just mirror the things he values as good and wonderful and just?
[Now consider what the writer encourages in Ephesians 5:1:] to imitate God in everything we do because God considers us as his dear children. And because we are God's actual children, he wants us to live our lives filled with loving others. The model for us, the writer describes, is God's own Son, Jesus, because Jesus was offered as a sacrifice for us. He sacrificed his life for all of us. It is what is inherent in that kind of sacrifice, the writer says, that is the very "sweet-smelling aroma" to God (Eph. 5:2, NKJV).
What brings joy to God? What makes the Creator of the universe pause and say, "And that's why I created people"?
It is the love we share with each other and the sacrifice we make for one another. Beautiful.
—Rob Strong in The Big Guy Upstairs
My Response: What does it mean that Jesus's life was a "'sweet-smelling aroma' to God"? What does it mean that my life should also be a "'sweet-smelling aroma' to God"?
Thought to Apply: Joy is the echo of God's life within us.—Joseph Columba Marmion (Irish monk)
Excerpted from the book The Big Guys Upstairs: You, Him, and How It All Works by Rob Strong. Copyright © 2013 by Rob Strong. Reprinted by permission of Jericho Books. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2014 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine. Click here for reprint information on Men of Integrity.
Prayer for the Week
Lord, help me to carefully consider how I live my life before a watching world. Most of all, may the way I relate to family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers bring joy to your heart.
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