Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning November 4th, 2018.
We are still in our study series on the book of John. We have gotten to the place in Jesus’ ministry where he is bringing men to be with Him, to be students of His teachings.
Look at it this way:
Jesus - Teacher/Rabbi, Disciples - Students.
Today I can’t help but seem a little weird in naming our sermon and no matter how I try, I keep coming back to this title: What do disciples smell like?
So before I totally lose you this morning, let me get to the Text.
II Corinthians 2:14-17 NKJV
14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
I want us to dissect this passage this morning to gain a greater understanding of what God wants to do in us and through us.
This goes back to our study of John.
John 1:43 NIV
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
Jesus called out 12 disciples with the purpose of transforming them in to world changers. These disciples were not just learning what the Rabbi knew, He was transforming them into being and doing the will of God in their daily lives, in their walk, in their coming and their going.
Simply stated: Jesus said - follow me.
What did that mean? What was Jesus really saying?
Come, walk like I walk
Come, talk like I talk
Come, gain understanding and think like I think
Come, surrender your will to walk a new path and own path
Come, walk in the ancient way
Come, walk on the good path
Come, find the path of peace for your soul
Come, join God’s plan
Come, bring God's presence into the moment
Come, bring glory to God
Come smell like me
In 2 Cor. 2: 14 it reveals that this path always leads us in triumph in Christ
Triumph = victory.
This victory lies in two places:
1. When we die - we have a place with God because Jesus conquered death and the grave.
2. The present age:
1. When we live for God, walk in His Word, obey the Spirit of God and do not quench His power, our life focus and purpose changes.
2. The feeling of failure is so common in our thinking that it conquers us. We feel like we are not getting ahead most of the time. It’s like the demands from life control us, instead of us being the head, we feel like the tail.
3. Worry, doubt, fear, anxiety are the common symptoms of this problem.
4. BUT Christ died for us, was buried for us, is alive for us, sent the Holy Spirit to us and sits now at the right hand of God for us, interceding for us and is saying: Do the Father’s Will.
>He even taught His disciples to pray like this and it is still just as relevant now as it was then:
>Pray: May Your Kingdom come and Your will be done in earth (me and you) as it is in heaven.
>Victory looks like doing the Father’s will
>Leave the results up to HIM!!!
When we walk in the Father’s will on the path He’s laid out - in step with the Holy Spirit, we become a pleasing aroma to God. We smell like JESUS. For it is God’s will to change the atmosphere of the moment with His presence, with His love, with the fragrance of Christ and bring His peace.
Look again at Cor. 2:14-152
"and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing."
Fragrance is a powerful atmosphere changer.
>“According to some studies, yes, fragrance can both affect and change your mood. Not only does fragrance affect mood, but it can actually enhance work performance and behavior in various ways.”
>“Certain fragrances may trigger certain feelings and emotions for different people. What might bring peace and serenity to some, many not be the same for others.”
This past week Becky and I had the wonderful privilege of going up to Chattanooga to spend a few days with our dear friends that many of you know and love as well, Dwayne and Lynn Wilkerson. We attended the Ruach Leadership Conference. They so graciously put us up in a nice hotel for the time we were there. On Thursday night, Becky and I got back to the hotel at about midnight and when we walked down the hallway to our room, it absolutely stunk. I mean stunk! Then we opened the door to our room and it stunk. Somewhere around our room there was a strong stinking smell of cigarette smoke. Musky, nasty and not whatsoever pleasing aroma. That smell had moved from the hallway into our room. It changed my mood, and there by I changed my location to another room and a totally different floor.
>Smells can have a powerful effect on us.
>Certain smells carry us to another place and time.
Places of tranquility
Places of peace and nostalgia
Places of delight
We are now in the season of PUMPKIN SPICE Season.
>What is so special about PUMPKIN SPICE?
>Why do we love this scent s much?
Could it be that this particular smell makes us reminiscent of times with family, happy moments of love and laughter?
Verse 14 says:
and through us (The Holy Spirt) diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
God wants to transform us and work through us in such a way that we:
1. we bring His presence into the conversation, into the room, into the environment we are walking in.
2. God wants to be known through us - to reveal His love, compassion, comfort
>Isaiah 40:1 - Comfort, comfort my people
>2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV) 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
REJECTION: This passage also tells us that some will receive it and like it and some want. But it isn’t our chose as to where we bring it. We are simply to diffuse the aroma of Christ every where and not be people pleasers. Again, leave the results up to God. Be driven by love and obedience and not praise, plaudits or acceptance. Don’t be forceful. You never know the affect to are having because you don’t know what God is doing in a persons heart.
Who can do this? Who can smell like Christ?
verse 16: And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
Another words, who can do this? Who can smell like Christ? Who can be God’s voice in the storm? the love in the loneliness, the comfort in the pain? the companion in the wilderness?
That is an important question.
Who can? We can.
1. When we have experienced the love of God through Christ in our own lives and when we surrender our will, our walk, our ways to His Divine leading, allowing His love to prevail in our words, in our actions - then we are diffusing His love to those around us.
2. How do we get change to His scent?
>Surrender our life to His ways.
>In John and through the other Gospels, we see that Jesus called out disciples to come, walk/live as He walked and be what He was. Jesus showed us how to live in relationship with the Father and bring Him glory which absolutely was pleasing, like a pleasing aroma.
John 17:4 (NIV) 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.
We too are called to walk in Jesus ways. Be a true disciple - know and be what the Teacher knew and was. Jesus wanted to transform His followers and He wants to transfer you. Are you wiling to obey?
1 John 2:3-6 (NIV) 3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
Friends, the only way we can be and do what God has called us to be and desires us to do is:
>Surrender to His will
>Learn of His ways (Study, commit to the Text)
>Be who Christ sent you to be as His ambassador
>Walk in the leading go the Holy Spirt
>PRAY and earnestly seek His face, desiring His presence be ever powerful in you so that He will be known through you.
1.Whatever you are drinking from will pour through you.
Jesus said He was living water. (JOHN 7:37-39)
The Disciple drank and were poured out. He said streams of living water will pour out of you. They did… you and I are proof.
2, Whatever the atmosphere you are hanging out in will be on you and you will diffuse that smell - like SMOKE.
Be the fragrance of Christ. Get in the presence of God: the Word and the Holy Spirit working in you. Worship and pray… He will transform you and diffuse the scent of His presence everywhere you go.
Oh God, we love you. May Your Kingdom come and Your will be done. We need Your power and presence in this chaotic world. God, transfer me, use me and help me see the opportunities You lay before me each day to bring Your love and diffuse Your aroma of comfort and compassion.