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Thursday, 4 January, 2018

2 Corinthians 2 : 12-17

“Now thanks be unto God, who always causes us to triumph in the Christ and makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” -2 Corinthians 2:14

Apostle Paul very often gives us a clear picture of our condition before we came to know Christ and the changes that happen once we belong to Christ.  This is very important because it helps us in our difficult times— knowing who we are in Christ will give us the comfort required through afflictions.  He gives us a beautiful imagery of what awaits us beyond the prepared door that is Christ.

Our God leads us in triumph

Once we enter in through this door, God leads us from place to place in perpetual triumph for He has made us alive and “raised us up together and seated us together in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6), who is “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion…” (Eph.1:21)

Calls us to preach the Gospel in His prepared place.

When Paul arrived at Troas to preach the good news of Christ, a door was already opened wide for the successful proclamation of the gospel (Vs 12); all he had to do was walk through it.

Are comforted in our distress even when we do the unexpected

Paul had sent Titus to Corinth and arranged to meet him at Troas to know about their condition and their attitude to Paul after sending his letter of exhortation.  His great concern for the Corinthians made him leave this open door at Troas (when he did not see Titus) and travelled to Macedonia with the hope of meeting him.  In spite of leaving the open door of opportunity provided, God backed him as He comforts him through the word he receives from Titus who met him Macedonia with news from Corinth. Our God is a God who comforts. 2Corinthians 7:5-7:  “For indeed, when we came to Macedonia… we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, … also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.”

Become the sweet fragrance of Christ

In the olden days kings would celebrate the victory parade, by having the spoils of war following them along with the captives who were going to be executed. The prisoners of war were marched through the streets as fragrant perfumes filled the air. At the end of the parade, many of the captives were executed. Thus, the smell of the parade was sweet to the victors, but death to the defeated. In the same manner, God “through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.” Vs 14-16

Every word we speak is spoken in the sight of God

How we use our words matters. In Vs. 16-17 (MSG) Paul says “This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No—but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.”  

So let our lives always diffuses the aroma of Christ, the fragrance which is the Gospel of Christ (Vs.14-15), as the letter being known and read by all men (2 Cor 3:2). Let us not be tempted to change the message so that the fragrance is more acceptable nor change the way we live so that the smell of our lives is more acceptable to the world.

Thought for the Day - "But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.”(Romans 6:22 )

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