Smelling Like Grace

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     But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 2 Cor. 2:14-15 (NLT)

Heavenly Father, these verses summarize how I want to live the rest of my life. May the fragrance of Jesus—the aroma of grace, be increasingly released through this fragile jar of clay that I am. I want to smell like your grace, no matter how hard or fun the circumstance, no matter how messy or merry the relationship.

Though I often resist, keep me in the place of humility, weakness, and dependence. It’s the best way (the only way) for the perfume of the gospel to be released through our lives.

Thank you for rescuing me from sin and death, guilt and shame, from the cult of competency and the myth of sufficiency. I needed a Savior, not a cheerleader—the second Adam, not a second chance—resurrection, not a redo.

Now, in response to your great affection for us in Jesus, intensify my love for you, my satisfaction in you, and my surrender to you. Indeed, Father, thank you for the unparalleled privilege of being loved by you. Only your love is better than life; only your love will never let go of us; only your love is enough.

Lastly, free me to love well—wherever I am, with whomever I’m with. As this passage states, some people will experience your grace as life-giving, others will respond with indifference—even opposition. Help me love one and all alike, and not give up on anybody.

The gospel can change anyone, anytime, and anywhere. I believe this is true; make it even more real. May the only offensive thing about me be the gospel. And when it’s otherwise, grant me quick repentance. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ wonderful and merciful name.

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