In ancient times, whenever a Roman general and his soldiers returned from a great victory, they would be greeted by roaring and celebrative crowds. The parade would be led by priests carrying burning incense symbolizing the fragrance of victory. With this image in mind, the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.”
No matter the difficult circumstances before us or the obstacles placed in our way, the ministry of the gospel is always powerful and victorious. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, our victory is assured. With renewed peace and confidence, our journey through life does not have to be a burden, but a triumphal procession.
With joyful hearts rooted in Christ Jesus, we are able to spread the knowledge of our victory in Christ. With lives reflecting our thanksgiving and love for God, we can’t help but to spread the inviting fragrance of the gospel with all people whom God has placed on our path.
We can go to the Lord and pray; “Just as a person can walk into a home and be overpowered by the aroma of freshly baking bread, Oh Lord, may a person enter my presence and be overpowered by the fragrance of you living in me. May the joy and confident victory that I have in You, attract others to receive the fragrance of knowing Christ as Lord and Savior. Thank you for Your life. Amen.”
Only eleven disciples remained. Fearful, doubtful, perhaps still in awe over witnessing the resurrected Christ standing before them. Yet, with perhaps a knowing glint in his eyes, Jesus is going to challenge them far beyond their capabilities. He is going bring them on an amazing adventure.
Will this be a task too great? Absolutely! But not when God goes with you.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus says to his disciples, “Go into the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Jesus is commissioning them to carry out the adventure of spreading the news that He is the Christ to an unbelieving world. It is the same commission He gives to Christians.
A task too great? Definitely. But, Jesus promises us He will never give us anything beyond what we can bear or carry out.
So, what does He do?
First, he gives us the credentials of being saints in Christ Jesus. Next, he gives us the message to proclaim and the ministry to advance. Finally, He gives us the power. Salvation is only from God, and so is the message and the power to deliver it.
Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Accept Christ’s call to carry his message to the world. In doing so, we can pray;
“Dear Jesus. Just as you commissioned Your disciples You have also commissioned me. Empower me with Your Spirit to share Your message of love and life. How awesome to think that You created me – yes, me – just for this purpose! I’m ready to go!! Amen.
Coming to a saving faith in Christ Jesus usually involves a process. There is so much going on behind the scenes of one’s heart and soul that we don’t know or see. Someone could be praying for a friend or a loved over a long period of time. In what seems like a random encounter of sharing the gospel, becomes a divine appointment. The Lord uses a soul to answer a question, provide an example, or simply offers words of encouragement from God’s Word. That could be the moment where faith springs up from a dormant seed planted years ago.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
God can use many people to open hearts to the message of the gospel. There is a process of sowing and there is a process of reaping. We are not the only instrument of God’s work. Like a full orchestra, there are a variety of instruments needed to play the sweet song of grace. So, we should not exalt ourselves in our particular role, nor feel discouraged in our lack of reaping. We just need to be humbly open and willing to play any part of the process.
Our prayer can be, “Lord Jesus, as part of Your body, I work together with other Christians everywhere for Your good purposes and for Your glory. We each have different functions or roles, but it is through Your Spirit’s lifeblood working through believers that people come to faith in You. Remind me that I don’t work alone as You have made me part of Your body. Help me live this truth as I work together with all Christians towards Your common goal – bringing others to a life with You. Amen.”
Sharing God’s Word with others is a daunting task. Competing truths, busyness, and distractions add up to what seemingly is a disinterested public towards spiritual matters. When including our own fear and weaknesses, we must acknowledge our need to rely on God for His power and strength. Like the great Christian missionaries of old, we must rely on prayer to embolden us to be his witnesses. Through prayer, we take the focus off ourselves and place it entirely on God. As a result, our hearts respond with thanksgiving for all God has done and continues to do for us.
“Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.” (Psalm 9:11)
This outpouring of a thankful heart is like spring water falling over a rocky ledge. The law of gravity is a force beyond our control. A thankful heart is like spring water — it can not help but pour into our daily lives. This natural flow of words and actions becomes our witness as we communicate to all people the good news of God’s salvation through Christ Jesus. It’s an attitude of praise as we confidently make known to all people God’s great victory on behalf of us.
We can boldly come before the Lord and pray
“Lord, You are God Almighty! We love You and thank You for Your many blessings. We thank You most for Your love and salvation. May our thankfulness overflow from our hearts with songs of praise. Remove any obstacles that might hinder this flow, and may we share these songs with others through our lives and through our words. Thank you, Jesus! Amen.”