KUCHING — EMPOWERED Ministry had a session on Lifestyle of Worship: How to Smell like Jesus Everyday on Sunday, 5 July 2020. Here is a highlight of the session:
Smell like Jesus?
2 Cor 2:15: “For we are the aroma of Christ to God”
We associate with God through our five senses, including smell.
The faintest aroma can evoke powerful memories or pleasant experiences; the smell of food can make you go hungry even if you’re not, and stench can repel us.
In this context, for the Jewish, a pleasing aroma of Christ would present an immediate association to burnt offerings at the temple where in the Old Testament the scent of burnt offerings was described as an aroma pleasing to the Lord. (Gen 8:20–21, Lev 23:18, Num 28:27).
For us today,this phrase suggests the scent of incense being burned as an offering to gods, for example, at a Buddhist temple, the scent of the burning of joysticks. In our Catholic church, there is also incensing at mass which many may miss that scent from being unable to attend mass during this COVID-19 pandemic.
How can we lead a lifestyle of worship in the face of challenges that secularism presents?
- Worship means giving something or someone worth. It comes from the Greek word “Proskuneo” which means “to kiss”. Therefore worship is something very intimate.
- It’s about having an intimate relationship with God daily, getting to know Him, what He likes etc, so that we can really imitate Him (Ephesians 5:1–2).
- It’s not about doing, it’s a state of being. Once we learn how to be God’s child, the doing comes later.
- It is an awareness of God’s presence in our everyday moments.
- Our lifestyle will be the fruit of our worship. We become what we love.
- What we say, what we watch, what we listen to, what we do, how we dress etc—these are also acts of worship unto Him, e.g. before I post anything on social media—is this Christ-like? Would God allow me to post such things?
- Every Christian is called to be holy (1 Peter 2:9) “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
- The Holy Spirit Himself will reveal to you and convict you on how to live a lifestyle of holiness and worship unto Him.
- Expect change when you want to live a lifestyle of worship or holiness, because there are things you need to let go. When Jesus comes into our lives, there will be changes. It will challenge our comfort, but God is more concerned about the condition of our heart than our comfort.
- Doing small things in holiness, as an act of worship towards God is like a fragrance towards Him.
Relevance to us today
In our secular world today, rather than imitating the world and being swayed by worldly things, we are challenged to lead a Christian life, to imitate Christ and walk in love (Eph 5:1–2), which takes a consistent and purposeful practice. We as Christians are filled with the Spirit, called to be the aroma of Christ, to lead a lifestyle of worship and holiness and to provide a powerful witness to the world.
By leading a lifestyle of worship, we produce a fragrance of life and therefore spread the aroma of the knowledge of Christ everywhere. It is not impossible. But to do it, we would really need to change the way we live and do things. And these are little ways, not a huge change in life, but these little ways will lead to big changes in our lives. Reading the Word of God, prayer, and community—having friends to journey with is essential to a changed and purposeful life.
Empowered Ministry Kuching