A Rare and Sweet Perfume

We are called to share God’s Good News
Like a rare and sweet perfume
Whose fragrance gives life,
But–if rejected–
It becomes the stench of death.

As we share the news of God’s love,
With its rare and sweet perfume,
We spread fragrance where we go,
Leaving traces where we’ve been.

We are called to share God’s Good News
Like a rare and sweet perfume
Whose fragrance gives life,
But–if rejected–
It becomes the stench of death.

Who can truly tell of God’s love
And its rare and sweet perfume?
Only those who’re known by its scent
And by the life it gives.

We are called to share God’s Good News
Like a rare and sweet perfume
Whose fragrance gives life,
But–if rejected–
It becomes the stench of death.

About this Song:
This song is based on 2 Corinthians 2:14-17. I got the idea from an old church friend, Mike Motsinger.

Here are the verses in five translations:

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
New International Version (NIV)

14-16In 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.
16-17This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No— but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.
The Message (MSG)

14 But thanks be to God! For in union with Christ we are always led by God as prisoners in Christ’s victory procession. God uses us to make the knowledge about Christ spread everywhere like a sweet fragrance. 15 For we are like a sweet-smelling incense offered by Christ to God, which spreads among those who are being saved and those who are being lost. 16 For those who are being lost, it is a deadly stench that kills; but for those who are being saved, it is a fragrance that brings life. Who, then, is capable for such a task? 17 We are not like so many others, who handle God’s message as if it were cheap merchandise; but because God has sent us, we speak with sincerity in his presence, as servants of Christ.
     Good News Translation (GNT)

14 I am grateful that God always makes it possible for Christ to lead us to victory. God also helps us spread the knowledge about Christ everywhere, and this knowledge is like the smell of perfume. 15-16 In fact, God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone. For people who are being saved, this perfume has a sweet smell and leads them to a better life. But for people who are lost, it has a bad smell and leads them to a horrible death. No one really has what it takes to do this work. 17 A lot of people try to get rich from preaching God’s message. But we are God’s sincere messengers, and by the power of Christ we speak our message with God as our witness.
Contemporary English Version (CEV)

14 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. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 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? 17 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.
New King James Version (NKJV)

Have you ever smelled someone before actually seeing him or her? The scent might have been pleasant–perhaps a nice perfume or after-shave worn in moderation. Or it might have been the harshest and most offensive of body odors. Either way, however, you couldn’t help associating that person with his or her smell. If you liked the smell, you were apt to accept that person. Or to reject him or her if the odor was unpleasant.

We’re supposed to figuratively “smell for God,” if I may describe it that way. Sharing the Good News of God’s love is like walking through a room and giving off a pleasing scent that lingers long after we leave.

But not everyone likes the same pleasing scents. Some people are allergic to them. For one reason or another, some of the people who “smell” our sharing of the Gospel are going to, uh, turn their noses up at it–to reject the Gospel message. Because they have chosen eternal death in the process, our sweet smell becomes a scent of death for them, even though they don’t realize it.

Christian, is your smell sweet enough to be appealing?

Non-Christian, won’t you consider the possibility that God’s Good News might be worth sniffing at again?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Free lead sheets (lyrics, tune, and chords) are available for many of my songs. Click on the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page to see whether one is available for this song. Videos for many of my songs, some recorded at home and some at our church’s nursing home ministry, can be accessed at my website, RogerBruner.com, under the Listen tab.

Look for me again next Wednesday. Better still, subscribe to receive these weekly posts by email.

Best regards,
Roger

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About Roger E. Bruner

Seventy-four-year-old Roger E. Bruner is the author and publisher of eighteen Christian novels and the writer of more than two hundred Christian songs and choruses, a handful of musical dramas, and a number of shorter works. He sings, plays guitar and bass, and records his original songs in his home studio. He will be active in his church's nursing home ministry again when circumstances permit and in the church choir when it starts up again. In the meantime he'll keep playing bass on the praise team. Married for seventeen years to Kathleen, he has one grown daughter. Kathleen has two. Roger enjoys reading, moderate exercise, photography and book cover design (he's done all of his own except for Rosa No-Name), playing Snood, making walking sticks, and complaining about the state of the nation while continuing to pray for it.
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