How Sweet It Is
But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. ~Philippians 4:8
I enjoy coming into a kitchen or a home where there is a wonderful aroma of delicious food being cooked and prepared. There is something special about that aroma that arouses your taste buds and awakens your salivary glands to desire to sample what is being prepared. In the Bible, we have many instances when a sacrifice was burned on the altar, and God called the odor from that sacrifice a “sweet smell.” Paul spoke about a love gift sent to him by his friends at Philippi as being an “odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.”
There is the sweet-smelling odor of a DEATH.
“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour,” Eph. 5:2. The sacrificial and voluntary death of Christ for our sins was as the offering of a lamb without blemish and spot. Jesus was the innocent dying for the guilty. He was the just dying for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. Jesus gave all of Himself for our sins. When God’s demands for sin were fully accomplished through Christ, it represented an offering to God for a sweet-smelling savor. God was well-pleased! God said, “How sweet it is!”
There is the sweet-smelling odor in a DEDICATION.
“And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the Lord: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the Lord,” Exod. 29:18. The burnt offering was a daily offering that was made. It involved burning an entire animal on the altar. The blood was drained and poured out on the sides of the altar. The entire animal was cut up, placed in an orderly fashion on the altar, and then burned in the fire. This type of offering was a type of the dedication of the life of a believer. A dedication must be entire. A dedication must be without exception. A dedication is always an execution. The dedication of our life is well-pleasing to God. God says, “How sweet it is!”
There is the sweet-smelling odor of our DEPENDENCE.
“And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it…And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it,” Exod. 30:1,7. The altar of incense was where the high priest burned incense that was made from sweet-smelling spices every morning and evening. The odor from this daily burning was distinct and familiar. This special odor is a type of the prayers of every believer. Prayer is when we commit our total dependence upon God for every detail of our life. It is the voluntary worship of God and the complete expression of our faith and trust in Him. God is well-pleased with us when we pray. God is well-pleased when our praying is both morning and evening. God says, “How sweet it is!”
There is the sweet-smelling odor of our DOLLARS.
Paul received a financial gift from the church at Philippi. He was their founding pastor, but also their missionary-church planter. The offering Paul received may have been a sizable amount that took him by surprise. This gift was delivered to Paul by Epaphroditus. Paul spoke about how these believers gave to him “once and again.” God is well-pleased when we give of our dollars to the Lord’s work. It is a voluntary, sacrificial gift made to help support God’s workers and sustain the ongoing needs of the work.
God says, “How sweet it is!”
This morning, let us be sure that our life is giving forth sacrifices that are a sweet smell—a sacrifice acceptable and well-pleasing to God. May we perform so that God says, “How sweet it is!”
Have a sweet-smelling God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 3-4