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The Fragrance of Christ

Manmin News   No. 142
April 12, 2009

"For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." (2 Corinthians 2:15)

It is said that the most fragrant original essence for perfumes of the rose is extracted from the roses that bloom in the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria. It is said that the coldest place where roses are still able to survive is in the Balkan Mountains. The roses are collected is at the coldest time of the day. It means the strongest fragrance is produced during the coldest and most difficult hours.
The roses of the Balkans are the best for their fragrance, and likewise Jesus is the original essence of the fragrance of spirit. 'The Fragrance of Christ' was also made while Jesus went through the most difficult and painful times in a physical sense. The original essence of perfumes is very strong even with a small amount. To give out the fragrance of Christ is required of those of us who believe in the Lord.
You who believe and follow the Lord Jesus Christ who gave us true life through the passion of the Christ, how thick and strong an aroma of Christ are you giving out? Through this message, I would like you to check yourself.

1. The Fragrance of Christ is the Fragrance of Humbleness and Service

Jesus performed countless signs and wonders with the power of the Holy Spirit. He healed people of various sicknesses and restored the blind, mute, lame, and the demon-possessed. In order to experience this power of God there were some people who would run to wherever Jesus was whenever they heard of His whereabouts. Jesus, who came to this earth with the duty to become the Savior to us, showed that He is the Son of God through manifestation of the powerful works of God. (John 14:11)
When people heard about Jesus, who did they think He was? Some of them thought that they might be able to feel the strong power and authority that came from Him since He was manifesting such amazing works that were impossible by men. Of course, Jesus had spiritual authority and dignity, but what people actually felt when they met Him was His humbleness and service.
It is just as Matthew 20:28 says, "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Jesus treated everyone who came to Him with His true heart. Because so many people came to Him, He sometimes couldn't eat or sleep.
Though He performed wondrous works, He did not exalt Himself but served others humbly. This kind of aroma of the humbleness and the service moved and changed the hearts of men. Namely, they received the strength to practice the word of life that Jesus was preaching.
He originally existed in the form of God, but to become the Savior and to save sinners, He came down to this earth and put on human flesh. He served the poor and He served to the point of giving His life as the atoning sacrifice. We gained eternal life through this humbleness and service. So, when we have accepted Jesus as our personal Savior and have become united with Him, we have to give out this fragrance of humbleness and service.
It shouldn't be done by force, or from good education, but we have to give out the fragrance of humbleness and service naturally from our hearts. Only then can we cause the hearts of others to open and gain trust from them. Only when we gain the heart of others can we also plant the gospel in their hearts. Once they put their trust in us, it is no longer easy for them to deny or ignore what we preach to them and they will keep it in mind. If we give out the fragrance of Christ with humbleness and service, even the unbelievers whom you meet in your work or other places will respect you. We have humbled ourselves and served others, and as a result we are respected and served. This is in the truth and the justice of God.
Suppose your husband, wife, children, friends, neighbors, or colleagues are saying something that you cannot understand at all. Then, in most cases, you may make a judgment on the basis of your understanding and point of view and reply. This is the case in which you put yourself higher than others, not humbling yourself. If you form a judgment this way, most of the time it is wrong. That is why feelings are hurt and quarrels may rise. If we humble ourselves and try to understand the hearts of others, then we will not have any conflicts.
To understand others well, it is very important to listen until the end of what they are saying. Then we will be able to understand not just the words spoken by others but also understand the heart behind the words spoken. If we can feel their desire to be loved, to be recognized, and their desire to do better, then we can give them the right answer.
Mothers understand their babies very well even though the babies cannot speak. Their expressions are limited to just some mumblings and crying. But the mothers understand what their babies want when they hear the sound of the voice of their babies. They understand whether they are hungry, or they want their mother to hug them, or they want the diapers changed, or they want to play. It's because the mothers only want to serve and care for their babies. The mothers do not insist that their babies understand their thinking. They don't try to be served by their babies as their mothers. They only try to serve.
If you just try to serve your husband, wife, and children, you will feel they are lovely even when they complain, fret, or even get angry at you. You might have had conflicts before, but now the heart of your family members will change because of your service and acceptance. It's the same with the family members in faith. If you think you have greater and better faith than other members, then serve those who have weaker faith with the generous heart of a mother. If you serve others that way, you will give out the fragrance of Christ, and this fragrance will touch the heart of others.

2. The Fragrance of Christ is the Fragrance of Love

Peter denied Jesus three times, but Jesus never forsook Peter. But rather, He understood his weaknesses, forgave him, and strengthened him again. This love of the Lord changed and renewed Peter completely. Paul at one time pursued and persecuted those who believed in the Lord Jesus. But the Lord Himself met him, forgave him, and made him His apostle. This love of the Lord changed the heart of Paul.
It was the love in the cross of the Lord that melted our hearts when we first met the Lord.
We shed so many tears with the thanks for the Lord who sacrificed Himself completely for us when we didn't even know Him or believe in Him. If this love of the Lord is shown through you, other people will sense the fragrance of Christ coming from you. It's the love that continually gives without sparing, but doesn't want anything in return. It is the love that has no envy or jealousy when others are well-off, but rejoices completely in the truth. It is the love that forgives even those who harm us, just as the Lord forgave our sins and iniquities. Through you believers who give out this kind of aroma, others can be touched and changed. Spiritual love can melt down even the hearts that are as cold as ice and also hardened hearts like stone.
Those who give out this kind of spiritual love will be loved by others, too. If you are loved by others because of physical attributes, it is meaningless love. If the conditions change, or when they see somebody else who looks better, then, their mind can change very easily.
Now, then, what do we have to do to receive unchanging and true love? Our spirit has to change to become lovely. If we have good hearts that have no evilness, hearts of spirit that have no fleshly character, and we have hearts that give out the fragrance of Christ, we will definitely be loved by others. Because the aroma of love that comes out from the heart of spirit touches everybody. They feel the gentleness, warmth, and the truthfulness, and they will naturally open their heart towards those who give out such an aroma. Then, they will also give the love from the depth of their heart. True love is to care for even the physical things of the other person because you love the spirit of that person so much.
God the Father loves not our appearances but our spirits. God didn't love the fleshly appearances of men of God and disciples of Jesus in the Old and New Testaments. He chose and used not only those who had upright and unchanging inner hearts and those who were honest and God-fearing; but, He used those who, though they were defiled by things of the world, were still worthy of being refined through trials by God and changed into people having truly beautiful hearts.

Dear brothers and sisters,
The fragrance of humbleness and service of Jesus was so strong that it has not been changed even for 2,000 years, and it's still strong enough to touch our hearts. We should be able to give out this kind of fragrance of Christ and lead the families in faith and the unbelievers in the world to have the eternal happiness along with us.
May you take after our Lord's deeds and save as many souls as you can with the strong fragrance of Christ, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I pray!




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