There is a famous line in a song – “They will know we are Christians by our love.”
Questions 1 & 2: Is it really by your love that others know that you are a Christian? Or is it just because you are from a Christian family and because you go to church?
For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.– 2 Cor 2:15
Question 3: Do you smell of Christ?
In spite of all your sinfulness, weaknesses and failings, Jesus wants to draw you, and all of us, into an empowering and transforming relationship with Him, so that we can be instruments of His saving grace to others! This is how the Kingdom of God grows. If we allow for the love of God (think of the nature of water) to flow into us through a sincere prayer life, we become instruments for this same love to flow out and reach the people around us! Through the Holy Spirit given to us (Rom 5:5), we can receive the same love that Jesus enjoyed from the Heavenly Father! This is available for you and me today!
Question 4 to ask ourselves: Attitudes are contagious! Is yours worth catching?
here is a song many of us sing often at church. One of the lines is – “Make me a channel of your peace.” For Jesus to answer this prayer, an open heart is needed along with open hands. It’s very simple – To get this peace, you need to hang around with the Giver of the peace – Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6). To hang around with Him means to spend quality time with Him in prayer for some part of the day, and also in fellowship of the Holy Spirit for the remaining part of the day. Yes, Jesus longs to spend the day with you! Every day!
Say this from your heart – “Every day, every hour, Lord I need your cleansing Power!”
Your intimacy with the Savior inside you should overflow outwards to others. This is so important for the Christian life! If you are connected to Jesus, the “sweet smelling” aura of a sincere Christian disciple can have a wonderful and transforming influence on the people who cross paths with you! Desire for this to happen!
“Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.”– John 15:4
Jesus tells us this because He desires for us to share Him with others. His indwelling presence is a foundational element and an absolute necessity for this to happen.
There is a tendency to neglect the role of the Holy Spirit. Let’s keep in mind the strong exhortation of Pope Francis, “Don’t forget the Holy Spirit!” (Jan. 2015), because without the Holy Spirit, being an authentic witness to Jesus will NOT be possible! Jesus confirms this at the time of His Ascension.
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”– Acts 1:8
Pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! Only through Him can you abide in Jesus! Only through Him can you spend quality time in prayer, imbibe His attitudes and be the “Aroma of Christ”!
The urgent message of Jesus – take note of these words in the Bible:
On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. Asthe scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive.– John 7:37-39
Let’s close with Question 5: Are the Living Waters flowing out of you and reaching to others?
This does not mean that you need to be a perfect sinless being! This call can be lived out in any circumstance in life, and holds good even for very busy people! Take on your call as a disciple of Christ! Desire to inspire others to love Jesus! Seek Him, spend time with Him, follow Him, love Him, serve Him! Here then, you will be the “Fragrance” of the Savior!
Just a closer walk with Thee.
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea.
Daily walking close to Thee.
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
This article was published in Sangati, Goan Salesian magazine, June 2021