This is the third part in our “Rebuilding the Walls” series. This message focuses on Nehemiah’s efforts to scope out the damage and begin the process of rebuilding.
When Nehemiah received word that the walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed he was devastated. His first response was to worship, pray and seek the face of the Lord regarding how to rebuild his community. The first chapter of Nehemiah gives us powerful insight regarding God-inspired community transformation and the process we as believers should take when prompted to make a change.
2 Corinthians 12:14-15 - Take a moment right now to think about your favorite smell, whether it’s mom’s cooking, homemade cookies out of the oven, or freshly cut flowers. What place does that smell bring you too? Probably a good, happy and pleasant one.
It’s amazing how smells can help us remember people, places and moments in our lives. Often when I smell buttered popcorn, I think about school carnivals that I attended when I was in grade school. The favorite people in my life also have a recognizable smell, whether its their signature cologne, cocoa butter or the faint scent of their shampoo.
Honestly, there are some smells I would rather blank out. I will never forget the time my mother prepared chitterlings (chitlins for my soul food connoisseurs) in our home kitchens. Those of you who have experienced this process know how strong and pungent the smell is. Needless to say that was my first (and last) time tasting or eating chitterlings… all because of the smell.
Spiritually we also have a scent.
“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.” 2 Corinthians 12:14-15 (The Message)
Ask yourself this question; is my aroma pleasant and engaging? Are people drawn to the perfume of my conversation and attitude? Or are people repelled when they get a whiff of my negativity or hypocrisy?
Those of us who are believers in Christ should carry a sweet smell. We should be compassionate, caring and real with all people… especially those who may not believe the same thing we believe. The greatest commandment is summed up in loving God will all your heart, soul and strength, and loving you neighbor as yourself. The grace of God in our life should be attractive to those who are seeking truth.
Take a moment and take a whiff of yourself (it’s ok, no one is looking ;-)). Do you smell of life or death today?