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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sweet Aroma

And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD.
~ Leviticus 1:9 (NKJV)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
~ Romans 12:1 (NKJV)

Of all the appealing smells of summer, catching the sweet aroma of steaks on a nearby grill has got to be one of the most enticing. (Note to northern locales: spring is coming.)

The phrase "sweet aroma" appears forty-one times in the Old Testament, always referring to an offering by fire. The offering might be of an animal, grain, oil, wine, or incense. The sweet aroma of offering could not occur unless someone sacrificed something they owned.

In the New Testament, God asks for the living sacrifice of ourselves. It is a holy, acceptable, and reasonable sacrifice. It demands forfeiting what would otherwise be used to please ourselves to please God.

And though it may lack the distinct appeal of steaks on a grill, it is to God the most sweet aroma in the universe.

Dearest Lord, You are worthy of any and every sacrifice we might make to You. Whatever You ask of us, please help our hearts to see it as reasonable. Please help us to discern the great pleasure You receive when we give more than time or money, but give You our very lives.

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