Wednesday, August 14, 2013

You Can't Mask Stink

Hubs and I were traveling through the state of Illinois and came across this smell that overwhelmed me. If I wasn't already sitting I would have no doubt been knocked off my feet. I said, "Oh, my gosh, what in the world is that smell?" Hubs replies, "It's the pig farm we are passing." This was no small farm. This was HUGE in every way. I soon seen the pigs, but I smelled them long before ever seeing them. I say to hubs, "How could anyone wake up to that each morning?" He says, "Well, you get used to it." I'm not so sure I would get used to that smell, but he was right. 

A foul odor isn't easy to mask. This had me thinking about the sin in my life. Sin is smelly. It has an odor that at times others can smell first. Think about it. If it's a sin we continue to hold on to we soon get used to the smell. We try to mask it with other things. Bottom line? You can't cover up stink. This is not an area in life that we need to be content in. Comfort isn't to be found in sin. 

We have pet sins. Let's be real honest. We think of the bad sins, (as if there is any difference in sin), and as long as we aren't murdering someone or stealing our way through Walmart, we are okay. We think the "small" sin in our life is okay. I mean, after all, who are we hurting? Sin is sin. There is no small or large sin. It's all ugly. A little sin goes a long way and the more we try to hide it, it seems the more it shows itself. 

God calls us to have a sweet smelling aroma. That sounds so nice doesn't it? It's inviting. It's pleasant. It feels like home. It's a place we want to visit again and again. 

Lots of things come to mind when I think of stinky. Think of those gym shoes that are owned by your twelve year old boy. Yuck! No matter how many times you spray them, the smell returns. On a humid day here in Missouri it can make you soaking wet in a matter of minutes. I would never think of showering and putting on my stinky clothes. Ewe! Would you ever eat your lunch sitting next to a dumpster? This is what sin smells like! 

We are to live in Christ's example. Check out this verse:

"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2

We are to imitate God as dear children. Our children seem to imitate all we do. I know my grand babes imitate me, not only in my actions, but in my words. What happens when we imitate Christ? It's almost as if a sweet smelling rose appears. It's lovely fragrance is inviting. You simply cannot pass by without moving closer to breathe in the aroma that is taking your senses to a whole new level. 

So, just how do we get the stink off and become inviting? We get close to Jesus. As close as possible. We allow ourselves to be washed in His grace and forgiveness. As He pours His mercy upon us something happens. A change occurs and that stink that was once overwhelming begins to remind us of home. We are now more aware of the sin in our lives. We no longer want to get used to that stink, but remove it and place it as far away from us as possible. Jesus does that for us!

"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12

To give off a sweet smelling aroma we need to wear the fruit of the Spirit. 

"I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering  bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4:1-3

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another." Galatians 5:23-26

It's not easy to wear the fruit of the Spirit if we are still living in a heap of stink. It just can't happen. We are to get rid of our old nature and accept the new that God has for us. It's amazing how He can open our eyes and ears to a new way of living. 

"But you have not so learned Christ, in indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the trust is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the Spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:20-24

It's time to toss out the stink. Totally get rid of it. It's like that rotten potato in the kitchen. Soon enough the rest of the house is smelling. It doesn't take long to find the culprit of the stench.  It doesn't make for pleasant living quarters and it's not a place fit for our Savior. Our bodies are the temple for the Holy Spirit. We are to always be in check and be on a continued course with Jesus. 

"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

We are to be holy and pure before God. Think of your home as your readying to have guests. You begin cleaning things that you have put off for a while. You change the sheets and place out new quilts. You fill the air with scented candles. You actually work very hard preparing for your house guests. When finished we stand back and realize just how stinky the place was becoming. You have renewed your home and have made it inviting.

Our bodies are the home for the Holy Spirit. We need to make sure we are up to date on our chore list and ask Him is there is anything we are leaving behind. Haven't we put it off long enough? It's time to freshen up the place.  Leave it to our Savior to guide us in this cleaning en devour. Pretty soon people are going to be saying, "It smells divine in here. What is it that you use that gives off such a lovely scent?" And this will be your invitation to share Jesus. 


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