Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March 18, 2014 … The Sweet Smell of Sacrifice

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 77

Devotional Song: Go to this link …  Please go to this video link to hear Michael W Smith leading in the worshipful singing of a song of surrender in praise This Is My Desire, … reminding us that God desires our worship to be a sweet fragrance of love back to Him.

Highlight Passage – NKJV: 2nd Cor. 2: 14-15 [NKJV] …  
14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
Highlight Passage [Context] – NKJV: 2nd Corinthians 2: 14-17 [NKJV] Go to this link
Highlight Passage [Context #2] – AMP: 2nd Corinthians 2: 14-17 [Amplified Bible] ... Go to this link 

Reference Passage #1: Genesis 8: 20-21 [NKJV] …  
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. …” 

Reference Passage #2: Exodus 29: 25 [NKJV] …  
You shall receive them back from their hands and burn them on the altar as a burnt offering, as a sweet aroma before the Lord. It is an offering made by fire to the Lord. 

Reference Passage #3: Leviticus 26: 31 [NKJV] …  
31 I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas.

Reference Passage #4: Ephesians 5: 1-2 [NKJV] …  
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 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.

  Reference Passage #5: Romans 12:: 1-2 [NKJV] …  
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

My Journal for Today: As the attached photo obliquely refers, my focus today from my Our Daily Bread devotional was on the aroma of our worship to the senses of God. And having studied a lot of anatomy and neurology in my former healthcare career, I’ve learned that the olfactory senses (i.e., the sense of smell) is the one of the five senses that is most acutely connected to our long term memory system in the brain.

Have you ever walked into a space where there was a distinct odor and the smell immediately – and I might say, vividly – reminded you of some past event or maybe even a person in your life? Certain odors or aromas can trigger incredibly vivid memories of people or events, some producing strong emotions – either positively or negatively. A smell of a shaving cream can produce, for some men, a latent memory of their father who used to use a certain shaving cream; and the emotion produced could be a vividly positive one or maybe a fearful one if the father had been abusive. Walking in to a certain restaurant and smelling the food being prepared can bring vividly warm memories of a loving grandmother who used to cook certain favorite dishes, showing her love to the family.

And if you read/study the Bible, God’s truth is loaded with references about the aroma produced for God by praise and worship from mankind, which, for God, produces pleasure or joy when those sacrifices are from humble and obedient hearts. This is opposed to the pain and anguish which is produced for God by the stink of disobedience and rejection. If you’ve read the Old Testament passages above, you know that God created a whole system of sacrifices which He declared was a sweet aroma to Him when they were carried out with a humble and contrite heart by His beloved worshippers. And in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul wrote about the way New Covenant “living sacrifice” in worship produced an even sweeter aroma, blessing God, for the ultimate sacrifice of giving His Son as the sweetest smelling love offering of all. But I just know God is pleased when we, as His disciples, send Him the sweet aroma which comes from our being the “living sacrifices” offered in the reality of Romans 12: 1-2 (see above).

So, my quiet time today poses the question to this humbled disciple, “Will I be a sweet-smelling sacrifice of praise to my Lord in all I think, say, and do today?” And the answer to that will come in how I live to worship Him.

 My Prayer for Today … Lord, may I be a sweet aroma to you today by the way I live. … Amen

 Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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