Fragrance is the word I think of when my friend Ellen comes to mind.

We’d shared life and laughter over lunch. I dropped her off at home, and as I continued my afternoon errands I noticed her fragrance lingered. We’d spent enough time together that the fragrance of her perfume remained after she left my presence.

Fragrance gave my biblical friend Mary a place in history. And every reference to her mentions one detail: she was always found at Jesus’ feet. Let’s take a few minutes to read her story.

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said” (italics mine).

“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’

“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her'” (Luke 10:38-41).

We see another glimpse of Mary when her brother became sick. By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus had died. In her grief Mary ran to Jesus and fell at his feet (John 11:32).

Another snapshot: “Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.

“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume” (John 12:1-3).

The fragrance of the perfume Mary poured out as an expression of her love and devotion to Christ had a far-reaching influence. The fragrance filled the whole house. Sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to his teaching surely gave her life his lingering fragrance.

The Lord asks a penetrating question: “who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?” (Jeremiah 30:21). He yearns for us to draw near to him, to know his heart, to walk with him in obedience.

Many people believe the Bible is a locked Book. They’ve read without understanding and lost hope of unlocking this treasure. I lived in that place for many years until God gave me such a thirst for him that I began seeking him with all my heart.

I wanted to know what he said and how he wanted me to live. I wanted to know him! As the Holy Spirit began teaching me, I understood the Psalmist’s reflection. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).

The Lord asks a penetrating question: who is he who will devote himself to be close to me? (Jeremiah 30:21). He yearns for us to draw near to him, to know his heart, to walk with him in obedience. Click To Tweet

What an honor to know the Lord intimately! As the Israelites prepared to enter the land of promise, Moses reviewed all the Lord had done. He said, “What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?” (Deuteronomy 4:7).

Spending time with the Lord causes his fragrance to permeate our lives as we go on with our day, pouring ourselves out as an expression of love and devotion to him. We’ve discussed six keys to unleashing the fragrance of Christ in our lives.

  1. Get to know the Lord intimately and put his teaching into practice.
  2. Conquer worry by casting every care on the Lord.
  3. Live in a state of continual forgiveness, forgetting the past, reaching forth to what lies ahead.
  4. Sing praise and give thanks—no matter what.
  5. Trust God in suffering.
  6. Surrender your life completely to Christ, no strings attached.

Now’s a good time to ask ourselves: does my life carry the lingering fragrance of Christ? Does it linger in my home? In my workplace? In all my relationships?

Now's a good time to ask ourselves: does my life carry the lingering fragrance of Christ? Does it linger in my home? In my workplace? In all my relationships? Click To Tweet

Listen to this precious thought. “Thanks be to God who leads us, wherever we are, on Christ’s triumphant way and makes our knowledge of him spread throughout the world like a lovely perfume! We Christians have the unmistakable ‘scent’ of Christ….” (2 Corinthians 2:14 Phillips).

Lord, let your lingering fragrance sweeten our homes and all our relationships so that our lives may be a pleasing aroma, a scent of satisfaction to your heart.

I’d love to know if this series, “Dispensing the Sweet Fragrance of Christ,” has touched your life. Please share your thoughts.

(Adapted from I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life)

© Dianne Barker 2018 (reprinted)

Scripture references from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

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