Once a student gave me perfume. After I put some on the child told me I should have sprayed more on, so I did. My coworker watched and, after the student walked away, said, “You haven’t had real perfume before.” Then she explained that the authentic perfume should only be sprayed once.
She was right on many levels. The strong fragrance and I walked through the day together. The products I bought or received in the past were weak and didn’t last long. Authenticity lasts.
“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.” Ephesians 5:1-2
When I read this passage I think of the fragrance of perfume but Paul was talking about a fragrant offering and sacrifice.
The Old Testament makes it clear that God is holy. People are sinful. Only through a sacrifice can people come before Him.
“Then Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar on top of the burnt offering, which is on the wood on the fire; it is a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.” Leviticus 3:5 ESV
The sacrifice of Jesus more fully pleased God than all the offerings in history. Jesus is enough. He gave His life for you and me. That news should never be old. The aroma pleases God. It rescues us.
We are to imitate God. This means walking in love. What kind of love? Sacrificial love. True love is not self-seeking (I Corinthians 13). Authentic love lays itself down. It is an aroma pleasing to God.
Thank you for giving yourself up for me. Please help me to live for you. I long to love the way I’m called to. In Your Holy Name, Amen.
Questions to Ponder
How have you given yourself up and walked in Christ-like love?