Am I the Only One?

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A Facebook friend recently started a post with the question, “Why do I feel like the only person left in this country who…?” The rest of the question dealt with an issue of morality and modesty. She sparked a highly opinionated discussion. One side argued the rights of adults to do whatever they want without concern about what others think. The other side argued for the right to be protected from a constant barrage of nudity and immorality in very public places. I whole-heartedly agree with the questioner and her supporters; our country is far too liberal and immoral and it is becoming increasingly difficult to raise children to be modest and moral in our society. However, continuing that Facebook argument is not the point of this post.

I want to address her opening phrase, “Why do I feel like I’m the only one?” It was, of course, a rhetorical question. The writer is fully aware that many others agree with her opinion. She is also fully aware, however, that she is in the minority in our society. Everywhere we look, we can see evidence that our society is increasing moving away from God and towards a more liberal, sinful society. It is easy to blame Hollywood, and certainly much of the blame rest of on the shoulders of Hollywood producers who have ‘pushed the boundaries’ of morality and acceptability since it’s inception. Hollywood claims to reflect society, but many of us recognize that Hollywood is, and has been for decades, a highly influential molder of society’s values. Christians and others who desire a more moral society are losing the battle.

In the Old Testament, we read a statement similar to the question in the Facebook post. Elijah was facing a desperate situation. The Jewish nation had turned its back on God and chosen instead to worship Baal. Elijah alone stood up to the 400 prophets of Baal and defeated them. Afterwards, Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him. Elijah felt like he was fighting the battle alone and ran for his life. God sent an angel to care for him. Later God questioned him about why he ran away. Elijah replied,

“I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 1 Kings 19:10.

God responded that Elijah needed to go back and continue the fight and that God would supply others to help him in the battle. In fact, God told him that there were 7,000 others in Israel who had refused to bow to Baal and were serving the Lord God.

It is easy to get discouraged when everywhere we look we see the decaying of our society. But, like Elijah, we must continue the fight. We must fight for a return to traditional values and standards of behavior that reflect the high value God places on each individual. But that is not enough. We must train our children to love the Lord God with all their hearts and souls and minds. God’s Word must be the foundation on which we base morality and standards of behavior.

Christians are in the minority in American society today. Yet, none of us are alone. There are millions of Christians fighting the battle against the darkness of this world everyday. And the Lord God fights with us, as He fought with the Israelites. Let us be inspired by the words Moses instructed the priests to use to send the Israelites off into battle:

Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deuteronomy 20:3, 4

No, my friend, you are not the only one.

Fragrance of Christ

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“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 – 17

When I think of sharing the word of God with others, I generally think in terms of speaking to people and touching them with God’s love. But here Paul is telling us that we can attract people to God by the fragrance we give off. Fragrances are generally considered to be pleasant smells, such as the scents of flowers or perfumes, or if you prefer, the aroma of your favorite food.

To diffuse means to disseminate or to spread in all directions. Close your eyes and think about the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting across the air and tantalizing your nose. You turn and breath deeply, trying to identify the source of the scent. Perhaps you follow the scent back to the source.

That is what Paul is admonishing us to do. We need to give off a pleasing scent that will let people know that we know Jesus. We are acquainted with Him and we have the knowledge of His Word in us. That knowledge diffuses and attracts the lost to Him. For those who reject Him, the aroma isn’t pleasant, however. Rather, it reminds them that they are on a path leading to death. That is, perhaps, why those who reject Christ are so hostile to His followers.

It is my desire to reflect Christ in all that I do. And that includes giving off the fragrance of Christ and diffusing His knowledge wherever I go.

Is your aroma enticing others to Christ?