Lessons from a Yankee

 He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30 (NKJ) 

Have you ever noticed that most houses have a distinctive fragrance?  It’s true.  Over the years my children have even been able to discern where certain articles of clothing have come from based on their smell.  “Oh, this smells like Jacob’s house mom…”

Usually it is only in the first few moments of entering someone’s home that you are even aware of their particular odor.  I have one friend whose home always smells like fresh clean laundry, another’s, fresh baked cookies and coffee. Other homes, although I am not quite able to put my finger exactly what the smell is…it soon becomes “their smell” and it is familiar each time I enter their home.   As to the fragrance of my own home I’m not really certain.   The funny thing is, is that we aren’t able to easily identify our own fragrance.  Because of our much loved four legged friends however, I’m fairly certain fresh clean laundry wouldn’t properly describe it.

Over the years I have developed a great fondness for scented candles.  And, although I am by nature more thrifty than not, I have found that when it comes to candles you really do get what you pay for.  It seems to me that there is one brand name that outshines all the rest when it comes to longevity and fragrance and when the delightful opportunity arises to choose that is always my first choice.

Any time I am preparing for someone to come over, somewhere between cleaning the toilets and vacuuming the dog hair off of the carpet, my preparations include lighting my candles.  Within just a short amount of time the simplistic yet enticing power of fragrance takes over and my house too can smell like fresh clean cotton or sweet warm cookies.  Upon entering my home others can be surrounded and engulfed by the fragrance of the Oceanside or immediately feel that they have been wrapped in a field of daisies.  The response of guests when they enter, take a deep breath and say “it smells so good in here” brings my heart great delight.

There is a price to pay however.  Each time I light one of my candles and they diligently burn, releasing the fragrance of all that is good that has been placed within them, they decrease.  They must decrease so that the wonderful fragrance that resides within them can increase, influence and infiltrate the atmosphere in which they burn.

2 Corinthians 2:15 tell us “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;”(NASB)

Matthew 5:16 tells us to “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Hebrews 12:29 tells us “for our God is a consuming fire.”

 Can you see the correlation?  As we allow the Lord to consume us with the fire of His heart changing, purifying love, the result from our lives will be the fragrance of Jesus that will influence and infiltrate the atmosphere in which we burn bright for him!

There is a price to pay however.   Just like my favorite candle, in order for this to happen, we must decrease in order for Him to increase. The more of me that is burned away by the consuming fire of who He is, the more the fragrance of Christ can be released through my life into the lives of others.

Like that brand name, you get what you pay for…and it’s worth the price paid.

Father, in this world, help me to be a Jesus scented candle that burns bright for you.  In all that I say and do let the fragrance of Christ pour out of me into the lives of others.


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