Weekly message from Cypress Church: Be a fragrance

Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.

As I write this post I am sitting in my backyard on this beautiful spring afternoon. The sun is still warm, creating a just-right temperature. A bird just let out a short but pleasant song. A gentle breeze is causing my palm trees to dance and is wafting in that beautiful fragrance of my orange tree. I get a double blessing because my neighbor has an orange tree on the other side of my backyard and the wind blows down both sides of my house filling my back yard full of that pleasant orange blossom aroma. I love it! Sorry if you have allergies but I can’t get enough of this olfactory delight. This fragrance brings a smile to my face and causes me to pause and just enjoy the moment. Now, this is not always the case in my backyard. Like the time they fertilized the little park just one house away. Sure, I appreciate them taking care of the lawn. I love to go there and play with my grandkids on the well-maintained, luscious, green-grass park, but oh my, the stench was a bit much. I had arrived home in time to take in a moment, enjoying the beauty of my backyard, when I was hit with the offensive odor. I could not take it; my nostrils were burning with each breath. I went inside and shut all the windows. It still makes me shudder. Yet, I just wafted in that pleasant aroma of the orange blossoms and the bad memory is gone.

All this thought of fragrances and unpleasant odors makes me think of what kind of fragrance we are to others. I don’t mean the kind of cologne or perfume you wear, or the scent of your shampoo or deodorant or fabric softener, but what is the fragrance our actions? The proverb above (Proverbs 27:9) says that a friend’s counsel is like perfume and makes the heart glad. Friends do have a way of gladdening our hearts, helping us pull our minds out of our struggles, and bringing us joy.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
1 Peter 8-10 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Jesus of Nazareth of the Bible is an amazing example of one who wafted off a beautiful fragrance to humanity. He loved people and was moved with compassion to help them (Matthew 9:35-36, Matthew 14:13-14). Jesus helped a desperate father (Mark 9:14-27). Jesus went beyond social norms and touched a leper (Matthew 8:1-4) and spent time with delinquents (Mark 2:13-17). Jesus was an amazing fragrance, and we are called to be like Him.

2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,
Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

There is a lot of stench in our world today of people being mean, unkind, hurtful and self-centered. Let’s change that with the overpowering fragrance of Christ-like love. It will be a beautiful aroma and bring joy, like the scent of these amazing orange blossoms.

Church can be a great place to learn of the fragrance of Christ. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net.