Learning the unforced rhythms of grace

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How do you smell?

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As I sit here this morning, sipping my coffee and thinking about the past weekend, I'm curious about how I smell.

I mean, as I met with old and new friends, sat beside them in church, drank coffee with them at friends homes . . . what kind of aroma did they smell coming from me? Or maybe Paul explains this better . . .

"In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse." (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)

So, depending on how we allow the Christ-life within us to seep through our pores, how transparent we are, how we give grace through our facial expressions, our actions or speak with a voice that reminds people of the heart of Jesus . . . is how others will perceive our aroma. Christ's risen LIFE is within us, but we can choose to let that aroma come out or hide it under our own self-protective ways.

One thought for you to consider this morning. As you have celebrated Easter this weekend, and enjoyed some good traditions of church services, dinners, chocolate and family reunions . . .  as you have wished each other 'Happy Easter' and celebrated this great event in our history . . . how is your aroma?

Can you also celebrate growth in your spiritual life? Have you allowed Jesus to lead and surrendered your heart to follow?  Have you opened yourself up to His plans, His ideas, His convictions? Have you followed through with things that Jesus has asked you to do or obey and experienced the joy of being His follower, his apprentice, his disciple?

Because, if not, then we celebrate Easter as just a tradition . . . separate from our hearts; a dinner, a stressful family reunion, a thing to do, rather than celebration of Jesus' risen LIFE that now lives within us - changing us, maturing us, growing us - so that we have NEW LIFE to celebrate each year in ourselves and in each other.

Don't let this Easter weekend pass you by without stopping to celebrate Jesus' LIFE within you and respond honestly to Him about what that looks like.

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He already knows - but He wants to know that you care . . . that you want His life to permeate through every part of You. He has so much to give you, so much love to heal your hurts and breathe hope into your daily life. Find time, make time to get away with Him this weekend and have a chat about your relationship with Him. Don't let this weekend just slip by. He longs to walk with you - like in the garden of Eden . . . just walk with Him. There is nothing to be afraid of.

He invites you.