By Pastor Vinnie Cappetta
"Follow the Leader…..It Stinks If You Don’t"
Have you ever noticed how powerful smells can be? When you walk into a room, it may be the first thing you notice even before you notice how a place looks. My wife and I learned how smells can make a first impression. A pastor had requested that we share a testimony about the new congregation we were planting. His church was out by the ocean, so we were excited to go. When we arrived at the church, we thought it strange that the church had no parking lot. We parked on the grass in front of the church and stepped out of the car. We were immediately struck by the odd smell of the ocean. We grabbed our materials from the backseat and proceeded into the building. After being in the building for 10 or 15 minutes, my wife noticed that she had some dog stuff on the bottom of her shoe, so off she went to the bathroom to clean her shoes. When she returned she suggested that I check my shoes since the smell seemed to be permeating the room even after she cleaned her shoes. I was talking with the pastor and some of the key leaders in the church, so I was embarrassed to check. I thought for sure someone else must have stepped in the dog pile. Sure enough I had to visit the rest room to clean my shoes before we could start the church service. What a first impression we made at that church!
This verse tells us to walk in love, just as Christ did. It goes on to tell us how Christ did this. He loved us and showed it in visible, discernable ways. Often, we can view following God as some fuzzy idea we try to figure out. But according to this verse, following God it is an obvious action on our part. In fact, so obvious, God (and anyone else near us) should be able to recognize it instantly. Our "aroma" will be obvious to all. If we aren't following the Lord's lead, our life will "stink." If we are following the Lord, people will smell the fragrant offering… the aroma of Christ.
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
2 Corinthians 2:12-17
When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.