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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Fragrance of Christ

What we should be.

To Fill All Things (4)

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. 2 Corinthians 2.14

A pervading presence
It is not uncommon in our household for me to know the wholesome, earthy aroma of beef broth, wafting around me, greeting and delighting me. Or fresh bread baking in the oven, enticing me with its glorious fragrance. Or a fresh mirepoix simmering on the stovetop. Or a robust pot of chili stewing in the pot.

But I think the beef broth is my favorite.

It takes a while to cook beef broth just right—as many as 72 hours in a crock pot. As it sets up, that wonderful smell pervades the whole house, with its portent of cold days, warm tummies, and fortified bodies. We know our little pot is doing its job when the rich fragrance of its contents reaches us everywhere in the house, and delights us with the promise of tasty nourishment.

Paul says God is making us a fragrance of Christ. As our souls are filled with Him Who is filling all things, and as we capture and encode the spiritual air around us with unceasing prayer, the reality of Christ in us, which is our hope of glory, begins to waft out toward others. Like that faithful broth pot, we’re “cooking up Jesus” in the places we go and for the people we meet every day.

And Jesus is filling our world with Himself as we do.

Personal Mission Field
When Jesus was on earth His Presence was no secret. The gospel writers report that the knowledge and even the fame of Jesus spread throughout the land of Judea and beyond. Large numbers of people, catching a “whiff” of Him in the neighborhood, were drawn by the aroma of His Presence to seek Him. Just a rumor of Jesus being near would change conversations, heighten people’s attention, generate anticipation and excitement, and cause the sick and oppressed to move toward Him with hope.

Jesus was sent to the world to bring near the Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Everywhere He went the power of His personality, words, and works affected everyone around Him. Not everyone was pleased with His presence, it’s true. But everyone was affected by Him. Throughout His mission field Jesus left a legacy of good works and true words, setting up multiplied thousands of people for the ongoing work of bringing in the Kingdom of God which His Spirit would accomplish after Jesus had ascended to the Father.

And Jesus said that, in the same way He was sent into the world, He is sending each of us as His followers (Jn. 20.21). Jesus had a mission field which was specific as to people, places, things, and events. Each one of us also has a Personal Mission Field, to which we have been sent, like Jesus, to be a fragrance of Christ and a herald of the Kingdom of God. From His throne in heaven, Jesus is filling the earth with “spiritual broth pots” whose purpose is to waft the fragrance of the risen Lord into every place.

Taking the measure
The Personal Mission Field assigned to each of us is defined by the way we use our time. As we are going through the time of our lives, our mandate is to “make disciples” (Matt. 28.18-20). That is, wherever we are or whatever we’re doing, we are to employ our words and take up such works as will faithfully channel the overflowing presence of Christ from our souls, via our words and deeds, into the social and cultural arenas where we live, move, and have our being.

Your Personal Mission Field is a collection of places—places you go week-in and week-out, your home and neighborhood, workplace or school, community, and so forth. In the places of your life, you engage in cultural activities, such as working, holding conversations, eating and drinking, and so forth. The apostle Paul reminds us that all these cultural activities are fraught with opportunities for filling the spaces of our lives with Jesus and the glory of God (1 Cor. 10.31-11.1).

And, like Jesus, we must determine that this will be our mission; and then we must prepare ourselves accordingly if we are to fill the time and spaces of our lives with the palpable presence of our indwelling, all-filling Lord.

Your Personal Mission Field also consists of people, the people to whom God is sending you each week for the purpose of making disciples. Some of these people are Christians, and, in general, your wafting the fragrance of Jesus their way will be received gratefully, and will contribute to their growing as His disciples. Others, who do not know the Lord, will show a mixed reaction to your living like Jesus and speaking about Him or as He would. Some will appreciate it. Others will find our bringing Jesus into their space a fragrance of death, because the life of Christ in us illuminates the odor of sin in which they live. Some who are thus affected will sense in that fragrance an opportunity to escape their malodorous condition into the fresh world of forgiveness and the love of Christ. Others will simply harden themselves against the fragrance of Christ, and perhaps even against you.

No matter. As the Father sent Jesus to affect and fill everyone and everything around Him, so He is sending us, each one, into our own Personal Mission Field, to fill it by our words and deeds with the fragrance of our Lord Jesus Christ. So make sure you’re cooking-up some Jesus in your soul for the places you’ll go and the people you’ll meet today.

For reflection
1. How do the people you see each week—“as you are going”—know that you are a follower of Jesus?

2. How do other Christians emit the fragrance of Jesus to you?

3. What opportunities for bringing the fragrance of Jesus into your world will you have today?

Next steps—Preparation: If you have not mapped out your Personal Mission Field, do so today. Watch this brief video, download the worksheet, and get started right away.

T. M. Moore

Right now, from His throne in heaven, Jesus is filling all things with Himself. How is He doing that? Order a copy of our book, What in Heaven Is Jesus Doing on Earth? to learn more. Click here for the book or here for the PDF.

Support for ReVision comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from theNew King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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