Sweet Smelling Fragrance

In my garden I have a plant called a night blooming jasmine, it’s not a very beautiful plant it is just green and plain. At night however, jasmine (yes she has a name) burst with fragrant tiny white blossoms that fill my backyard with this sweet smelling aroma. On a nice warm night her fragrance reminds of me Samoa, a lush and deep smell that overwhelms you the minute you walk off the airplane. However, the sweet smell starts to get so overwhelming it repels me to I run back inside and close my doors and windows.

2 Corinthians 2:14b-16 NLT says “…now He uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this? ”

We are a sweet smelling aroma to God, but to the world our aroma can be sweet like my jasmine, whose smell draws you in to take a deep breath or it can repel people away. I remember a co-worker of mine mentioned how I tried to convert him; I was amazed because the conversation occurred 10 years ago. Unfortunately the fragrance I gave years ago was a repellent to him, because the smell to him was of death and doom, not the life-giving perfume.

I love the question in verse 16 “Who is adequate for such a task as this?” Well we are! He has equipped us through His word and the Holy Spirit to spread His salvation message. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says “the message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.” We have that power because we have Christ living in us. We have His salvation. Don’t be afraid to share the salvation message to those around you. Our fragrance carries life to those who accept or or death to those who reject His dying on the cross. Remember He has equipped us to share the gospel message, so sisters let your boldness and fragrance draw people to Christ.

Elsa D.

Our Time Is In His Hands

Our lives are governed by time. From the time that we open our eyes in the morning to the time we go to sleep at night we are surrounded by clocks, and calendars that dictate our activities. As each day goes by, we wonder where the months and years are going. Time seems to be speeding up and there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day. My son Nathan said a few weeks ago, “I wish I had a clone of me.” Funny thing is that a few weeks earlier I had thought the same thing. How many of us have thought or said, “I don’t have time to get it all done!” But the reality is that God has given us enough time in our days to do exactly what He’s planned for our lives. Maybe the bigger questions are whether we are using our time to do our will or the Lord’s will.

I was reading an article that states that a person is clinically dead in the following time periods:

Brain Damage Timeline

  • Within 4-6 minutes of clinical death, some brain damage is possible.
  • Within 6-10 minutes of clinical death, brain damage is likely.
  • After 10 minutes of clinical death, irreversible brain damage is certain

In light of that I was pondering the importance of time and how critical time is. Time is a gift from God, and He has given us the same amount of minutes in each day to use it to please Him and for His purposes. We each have 1440 minutes or 86400 seconds in 24 hours.

Since time cannot be taken back its important that we make the most out of every opportunity the Lord provides. Being mindful that interruptions are not bad, they may just be opportunities.

It’s important to seek the Lord early in the morning, not to fill our days with activities and just being busy. But that we are doing and spending our time wisely redeeming the time.

Jesus was given thirty three years here on earth and only the last 3 years to accomplish the ministry His father had given Him to do.

We see how beautifully He said from the cross. “It is finished!”  John 19:30

Even with the recent graduation to heaven of Pastor Chuck Smith, we all have been so encouraged by the godly example and how this one man truly did all that His heavenly Father had given Him to do in the time allotted to him on this earth.

Ephesians 5:15-17
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Rose H.

Be Specific

My mama was a prayer warrior. She not only believed in the boldness in prayer, but also in being very specific with her prayer, definitely following scripture. Joshua 1:9 TLB, “Be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I remember a story she shared with me as a young girl to encourage me to be bold and specific in my own prayers. It went like this: There was a man who had a crippled hand. He went into the church and prayed, “Lord, make my hand like the other.” He rose to walk out and shortly noticed that now both his hands were crippled. ….Be specific!!!

This story is not true, and it is not the way that God works. But it illustrated to me the importance of being specific in my prayers. It is not that God doesn’t know your heart. He wants to hear specific requests. He wants us to grow in our communication with Him. He wants to hear our words.

Emile Barnes shared how when she felt sick prior to a women’s conference she was to present at, her husband asked God for an 8 hour window in which she could share His word. That is exactly what God granted her.

I am sharing these examples because I would like to encourage you to pray in this manner. Don’t get caught up in elegant words, don’t be timid in our supplications. Begin your day, end your day with prayer. Make lists of those you want to pray for, ask for specific petitions that you can intercede and follow through with your continual prayer life.

Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Alex B.

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Taking the Dis out of Discontentment

You Got Dissed?

Being dissed is feeling disrespected or rejected by someone.

The enemy wants us to feel dissed and alone when we go through times of sorrow and discontentment. We must remember the promises of God when we go through trials. Psalm 30:5, “…Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”

Dis-Contentment

We must learn to turn our discontentment into contentment.

Times of discouragement and discontentment will come. It’s part of life but how you handle those situations will make all the difference. To really deal with this issue we need to understand how to avoid it and also what to do if we find ourselves stuck in the pit of discontentment.

Warning signs that point toward discontentment ahead

As I look back on times of discontentment, I recognize that more often than not discontentment crept in slowly and it was disguised as something a little more innocent. So I want to share 3 sneaky tactics the enemy uses.

Disappointment- Happens when your expectations are not met

Discouragement- Means: to demoralize, dishearten, dismay, dispirit, frustrate, unman, unnerve, throw cold water on. Discouragement can come from yourself, someone around you and also from the Enemy.

Doubt- a : to lack confidence in : distrust b : to consider unlikely

What makes you discontent? You might say it’s my husband or my kids, it’s my small house, it’s my job or maybe it’s your ministry.  It may seem like that is what makes you unhappy but it’s not true. This is hard to say but the cause of my discontentment is me!

The enemy will use disappointment, discouragement and doubts to bring us down, but ultimately it’s how we choose to handle discontentment that determines whether we joyfully endure or we allow these things to derail us and take us off course.

That being said, life can hand us some very difficult blows. There have been times when I felt justified in being discontent, like I had a right to be unsatisfied and unhappy. Maybe you feel like that right now! Will you trust God enough to let Him in so that he can bring healing and restoration?

Read 1 Samuel 1:1-8

Here we see a woman who had reason to be unhappy and unsatisfied. We read here of the trials and discontentment she faced and we will also see her example of how she dealt with her pain.

Hannah’s Discontentment

But Hannah had no children, The LORD had closed her womb.

And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb.

She provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.

Her Husband didn’t understand “Am I not better to you than ten sons?”

Read 1 Samuel 1:9-20

How Did Hannah Deal With Her Discontentment?

So Hannah rose up and prayed unto the LORD

Then she made a vow

She poured out her soul before the LORD.

So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad

They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD

She fulfills the vow she made to the Lord (21-28)

Conclusion

When Hannah was discontent she went to the temple and poured out her soul to the Lord. Take a few moments to spend with the Lord and reveal to Him the areas in your life were you have been discontent or unsatisfied.

Vow to change your attitude. With the Lord’s help you can change. Don’t continue in the same pattern of discontentment. Ask for the Holy Spirit to help you.  

John 14:16, He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth.

Now go and Walk in the Spirit with Joy

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Kim S.