Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.Ephesians 5:2 (NLT)
Have you ever driven into an area of town where there are a lot of restaurants and gotten “the smell?” You know? The smell? OK, let me explain. Suddenly, the most wonderful aroma fills your nostrils. Maybe it’s the garlicy goodness from the Italian restaurant around the corner. Or maybe you can smell the grill from the steak place next door. Maybe it’s the smell of the French fries from the burger joint. Now you get it? The smell. It’s good. And, generally, it will make your stomach grumble for sustenance and your mouth begin to water. Maybe I’m a bit weird, but once I sniff something like that, I tend to really take a deep smell and then say something like, “Oooh, that smells good!” And, every single time, it puts a smile on my face. That smell transports me to thoughts of goodness, of good food, friends and family. It’s amazing how a scent can have such an effect on us.
Metaphorically, how we live our lives can produce a good scent, or a nasty one. I think we can all agree we much prefer that former – a good scent. I mean, who wants to take a big whiff of what’s in the dumpster, right?
That’s exactly what our verse today emphasizes. It states, “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” To summarize, when we live a life according to how God has built us, our scent is pleasing. It puts a smile on God’s face.
So, how do we live a life which is a “pleasing aroma to God?” We live a life of love. But, this love is a different kind of love than the world tends to teach. The Greek word used here is agape, which is a sacrificial love. In other words, when we put the needs of others first, it’s a pleasing aroma. When we show mercy, kindness, and demonstrate forgiveness, it smells good. When we lay down our life for others, the aroma puts a smile on God’s face. We’re living the life He built for us.
So, today, and every day, strive to be a pleasing aroma to God. Live to love others. Live the life God built you to live.