12 when i came to troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, 13 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.
14 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. 15 for we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. who is sufficient for these things? 17 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. [2 Corinthians 2:12–17]
paul was consumed with the gospel of Jesus Christ. he preached it, conversed about it, made disciples in it, found his joy in it, and gave his life for it. there’s only one thing in the whole list you and i may not be called to do as well – preach. but, we are called to converse, make disciples, find joy in, and give our life for – the gospel. the question for today is…
what consumes your life?
- what do you converse about the most?
- what are you most trying to convince people to do, to be about?
- what are you most consistently finding joy in?
- what are you giving your life for?
i want to encourage us today to do some self-examination for a few moments. take a look at these four questions, pray, and then ask God to speak truth into these questions. i will give you one more way to examine yourself. ask a close friend to answer these questions concerning you. i think between these two assessments you will get a true look at what consumes you.
Jesus, his person and work should be what consumes our life. this is the gospel. Jesus and his gospel is our identity, our life, our purpose, our joy. yet, it is so easy to let so many other things consume us.
paul says in this passage that our lives are to be a “fragrance” of Christ. truth: we will be a fragrance of something to others. and, what consumes you will be your fragrance to others, whether your family, your career, your team, your passion, your boyfriend, etc.
i pray today that you and i would be honest. i pray we would allow the Spirit of God to search us. and most, i pray we would then submit to what God shows us. may these words of the LORD through david be our prayer today.
search me, o God, and know my heart! try me and know my thoughts! and see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! [psalm 139:23-24]
~ john ryan