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]


have you ever sacrificed something? no, not figuratively, i mean you actually went and got a bull for a sin offering? no, me neither. but we must understand the ancient practice of the jews, in order to know how we become a pleasing aroma to the Lord, and why Jesus’ sacrifice makes us so sweet to God. God is holy, so holy that he could not be among the people of israel without the practice of sacrifice. but, God so deeply desired to be amongst his people that he gave them the pentateuch (the first five books of the bible). within these books, are directions and laws for the israelite nation so that God could indeed live among them. the scent of sacrifice was so sweet to the Lord because it meant relationship with his creation was possible. now on this side of the cross, we have to believe to inherit the benefits of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. but, that doesn’t mean we get to skip the hard work. because of the work of Jesus Christ, we now get to die to self so that the fragrance, the sweet aroma of Jesus’ sacrifice can be experienced by those around us.

lay down your life, as he laid down his, daily take up your cross and walk.

greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. [john 15:13]

and he said to all, “if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. [luke 9:23]

“so imitate God,” as his dear children. we experience Jesus’ love through his sacrifice, and now God uses us. we are a part of God’s plan. as we die to self, the world gets to see Jesus.

set a timer. 5 minutes. that’s all i’m asking. and, pray. for five minutes, praise God and plead with God. for 5 minutes, right now, stop what you are doing and pray – that you may be a pleasing aroma to God and to those around you.


~ holly russell