Posts Tagged ‘2 Corinthians 2:14’

To come up smelling like a rose: what does it really mean?

February 10, 2021
To come up smelling like a rose: What does that commonly heard expression really mean from a spiritual perspective?

On February 10, 2021, instead of looking at the Verse of the Day, we are going to take a look at a common expression as the “Quote of the Day”:

“To come out/up smelling like a rose”

The Merriam Webster dictionary offers this definition:

“to have success or good fortune in a situation in which one was likely to fail, be harmed, etc.”

The Cambridge Dictionary has this to say about the expression:

“to have people believe that you are good and honest after a difficult situation that could have made you seem bad or dishonest”

I thought of all that Jesus Christ endured through his death, burial, and triumphant resurrection. Here is the account recorded in Colossians 2:12-15 (Amplified Bible):

12 having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God, [as displayed] when He raised Christ from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (worldliness, manner of life), God made you alive together with Christ, having [freely] forgiven us all our sins,
14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of legal demands [which were in force] against us and which were hostile to us. And this certificate He has set aside and completely removed by nailing it to the cross.
15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through the cross.

This passage inspired this poetic response:

Having. . .Having. . .Having. . .Having. . .Having. . .He made. . . 

Having forgiven all trespasses against us:
For every time we tried but failed and missed the mark,
When our flesh faltered, we received new strength within.
Christ, the Lord, washed and cleansed us from the stain of sin.
God made us to be lights that overcome the dark.
He set us free to sing on the wing, as a lark,
Having forgiven all trespasses against us.

Having wiped out the handwriting of ordinances:
The hand that records each failure to keep the Law
Graciously blots out each shortfall and each mistake
And releases us from the penalty, for Christ’s sake.
Through the eyes of love, He looked beyond what He saw
To decree that flesh should not be a fatal flaw,
Having wiped out the handwriting of ordinances.

Having taken it far from us, out of the way:
Guilt and shame removed and replaced with righteousness,
Transformed and fashioned with a new identity,
We stand in His presence, revealing the mystery.
Hurled and buried in the sea of forgetfulness,
The curse of sin has been replaced with blessedness,
Having taken it far from us, out of the way.

Having nailed it to the cross as a bold display,
Turning into triumph what seemed to be disgrace,
Symbolic sign displaying both shame and glory,
Dramatic unfolding of the greatest story.
To show his love for all, Christ took our place
To flaunt the victory right in the enemy’s face,
Having nailed it to the cross as a bold display.

Having disarmed principalities and powers,
Our triumphant warrior defeated every foe,
Crushing at once the head of the deadly serpent
To achieve our victory to the fullest extent.
To perform the greater works of Christ as we grow,
God enlightens and empowers that we might know,
Having disarmed principalities and powers.

He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
Coming attractions describe the Spectacular
Super-conquering show:
The captor has been made captive, a prisoner without parole
in his own prison,
The accuser of brethren, once idolized,
now the source of derision,
Stripped, crippled, toppled, and trampled
To be brought ever so low,
A foretaste of the day when every tongue shall confess
And every knee shall bow.
He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Yes, indeed, we recognize and celebrate all that Jesus Christ went through when he endured the cross, despising the shame, and now he is seated in heavenly places at the right hand of the throne of God. As believers, we are also seated with him, having triumphed over sin, sickness, and even death itself.

The expression “smelling like a rose” also reminds us that gardeners recommend fertilizing roses in early spring to prepare for a bountiful, fragrant display of floral gardens that delight the eyes and please the noses of those who pass by. Ingredients in some of the fertilizers include manure, compost, and fish emulsions that may give off an unpleasant scent when applied, but as these elements are absorbed, the foul smell is replaced with a sweet-smelling fragrance. Indeed, we come up smelling like a rose in every situation that appears to be negative and designed to defeat us.

2 Corinthians 2:14 (New Living Translation) reminds us

But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.

Michael W. Smith’s powerful song of worship refers to a rose to illustrate that Jesus Christ rose triumphantly “Above it All”:

Good News Day—Break it Down–What the Scriptures Say

January 2, 2021

 This is the day the LORD has made;
 we will rejoice and be glad in it.
 Psalm 118:24

As the New Year unfolds, I remind myself that I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I resolve that each day will hold “Good News!” I often recite the original poem “Good News Day” on birthdays and other occasions of celebration. I recall sharing the poem on my birthday when I happened to be part of a Bible study taught by Thamo Naidoo from South Africa. After hearing my joyful recitation, he remarked. “This isn’t just a nice poem, but it’s a prophetic declaration from the Lord.” Years later, I thought about his comment, and I decided to look at the poem more closely. Today’s blog post examines some Scriptural references that come to mind as we examine the poem line by line:

It’s a good news day

The title brings to mind the account of the four leprous men who entered the camp of the enemy and made a remarkable discovery:

8 When the men with leprosy arrived at the edge of the camp, they went into one tent after another, eating and drinking wine; and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and hid it. 9 Finally, they said to each other, “This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.”

no blues day

Psalm 30:11 (AMP)

You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
I have also composed some originals related psalms: “No Mo Blues” and “Little Boy’s Blues” which reiterate the same message.

new shoes

This line makes me think of “Parable of the Prodigal Son” the source of inspiration for “Homecoming” another original poem “Homecoming.” Here is a reference:

Luke 15:22 (KJV)

But the father said to his servants, bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

no way to lose

2 Corinthians 2:14 (AMPC) reinforces the same message:

But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere,

What a good news day!

It’s a great day

Psalm 42:8 (NLT)

But each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.
I have also composed a number of original songs from a collection: “Songs in the Night Sung in the Morning”

I can’t wait day!

We look forward to each new day with great expectations:

Romans 10:11 (AMP):

For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED [in his expectations].”

lift your voice

let’s rejoice

Philippians 4:4 (AMP) reminds us of this reality:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again, I will say, rejoice!
Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again, I say rejoice

Good God, a good news day!

Here are verses to remind us that we serve a “Good God!”:

Psalm 34:8 (NKJV)

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Lamentations 3:25

The LORD is good to those who wait [confidently] for Him, To those who seek Him [on the authority of God’s word].

It’s a payday

For those who serve the Lord, every day is a payday:

Psalm 68:19 (NKJV)

Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation! Selah

I often encourage believers to make every day a “Pay Day.” Although that’s sweet, I’m not talking about a candy bar. To illustrate what I mean by “get paid every day,” I often recite “Barter” by Sara Teasdale. Here is a definition of the verb barter: to exchange (goods or services) for other goods or services without using money.

Isaiah 55:1 expresses the same sentiments:

“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink— even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free!

goin my way day
no nay–all yea
what you say

When it comes to the promises of God, there is not yes and no, but this verse clarifies the matter:

2 Corinthians 2:20 (AMP):

For as many as are the promises of God, in Christ, they are [all answered] “Yes.” So, through Him, we say our “Amen” to the glory of God.

Such a good news day!

It’s a live it up day
overflowin cup day

This line brings to mind one of the most recognized lines from Psalm 23:

Psalm 23:5 (NLT):

You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.

It’s a bright and bubbly
doubly lovely

This line refers to our gracious, beneficent Father:

Isaiah 62:7

Instead of your [former] shame, you will have a double portion; And instead of humiliation, your people will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore, in their land they will possess double [what they had forfeited]; Everlasting joy will be theirs.

Show-nuff good news day!

 Mandisa offers a musical summary of  the celebratory poem with “Good News”

There may be other scriptures that come to mind when you hear “Good News Day. If you would be so kind, share them in the comments below, and may each day of 2021 be

‘. . . a bright and bubbly,
Doubly lovely,
Show-nuff good news day!’

Favored for Life

October 15, 2018

Recently a student asked how I was feeling, and replied in a similar manner as my sister and others I know reply when asked the same question: “I am blessed and highly favored and forever grateful.” The student went on to ask, “How do you know that?” I responded “That’s what the Word of God says, and I believe that.” Most providentially, “favor” was the subject of the message at Christian Provision Ministries in Sanford, NC this past Sunday, as Bishop Charles Mellette taught regarding “Favored for Life.” The objective of the teaching was to help believers live the life they were favored to live.” As members of the Body of Christ, the Church Triumphant, we express our gratitude to God for all He has made us to be, as 2 Corinthians 2:14 in the New King James Version tells us:

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.

As we examine the word “favor” more closely, we note the word has also been translated “grace.” God extends His grace, His undeserved favor toward His people. A previous blog post on the Quote of the Day had this to say:

“God doesn’t believe in favoritism, yet He shows favor.”

Another Quote of the Day proclaimed:

“The Favor of God is upon you; you will have victory.”

Psalm 5:12 (NLT) declares:

For You, O Lord, bless the righteous man [the one who is in right standing with You]; You surround him with favor as with a shield.

Although the Scriptures reveal that God is no respecter of persons, we find that God also states, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”(Exodus 33:19)

Indeed, we note that the word “favor” has also been translated “grace.” God extends His grace, His undeserved favor toward His people. In thinking about God’s grace and favor Ephesians 2:8-9 (AMP) come to mind:

8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;

One of the Points of Power emphasized by Bishop Mellette reminded us that the favor of God is always attached to the presence of God. His comments inspired this response:

Where Favor Forever Will Dwell

He who diligently seeks good seeks favor
and grace, but he who seeks evil,
evil will come to him.

Proverbs 11:27

Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word of God.
As the most ardent suitors will pursue their love,
We follow after to acquire the love of God,
For favor comes to the faithful who rise above.
As moths flying in darkness are drawn to the light,
So favor follows those who walk in righteousness:
His beloved always find favor in God’s sight.
Those who worship in the beauty of holiness
Are destined to know endless blessing and favor
As fullness of joy overflows in His presence,
Being transformed into a sweet smelling savor:
The favored life in the spirit of excellence.
We walk upright by faith while striving to excel
In His presence where favor forever will dwell.

In reflecting on God’s favor, we recall last year’s theme at Christian Provision Ministries: “unlimited goodness and unlimited favor.” In light of that, this year and every year should be a demonstration of that reality. The concluding remarks from Sunday’s message “The Favored Life” reinforced the message: as we observe what the Lord is doing daily in abounding His grace and kindness toward us, and as we look to see what lies ahead, we should be forever grateful for “the favored life” we are privileged to live.

We conclude with True Worshippers offering “Favor”:

Mirror image of “now” is “won”

October 2, 2016

 

2-corinthians-2-14

Rather than posting an entry on the Verse of the Day, I sometimes comment on the Word for the Day. Such is the case, for October 2, 2016, as I think of a word of enduring significance—a word for all seasons—“a right now” word—the adverb indicating time: NOW.

Years ago I recall a Bible study where I taught on this important three-letter word. I have long since lost my notes, but I remember asking the participants, “What time is it?” Several responses included the day and time, down to the minute and even the seconds as revealed on a stop watch. I then said. “The time is now.” I went on to ask, “What time will it be in 5 minutes, in 50 minutes, in 50 years, if the Lord tarries

To illustrate my point even more graphically, I had a poster board with the outline of a clock with minutes and hours marked out. On the face of the clock there were no hands, however. In the center of clock in bold block letters was “NOW.”

In the teaching were a number of references to scriptures that included the word now. 1 John 3:2 (NKJV) makes known this truth:

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Elsewhere believers are identified in this distinctive way:

2 Corinthians 5:20 (NKJV):

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

For past several years, I will sometimes give myself a morning motivational talk, as I look in the mirror and repeat an expression attributed to Kim Clement, “I see myself somewhere in the future, and I’m looking so much better than I look right now.” I go on to add this little quip: “But right now, I’m looking good!”

The word now recently came into play at my church, Christian Provision Ministries in Sanford, NC when the church displayed a new logo and adopted a new theme: “The Future is Now!” In thinking about that expression, I also recall this phrase from an original poem with the same title: “Now is the yet to be.” The essence of the timelessness of now is also revealed here:

The Eternal Moment

Redeeming the time because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:16

Now is always the time.

Though grains of sand

fall and form

a mountain

range,

Now

does not

add nor take;

the moment cannot change.

The time is always Now.

I made a remarkable discovery regarding looking at words in the mirror. What you observe is the mirror image of the word or the word is spelled backwards. What do you get when you reverse the letters of NOW?  The word WON: a reminder that as believers we have already won the victory through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Another verse that begins with “now” immediately came to mind:

2 Corinthians 2:14

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.

Graham Kendrick offers a song that make reference to this verse: “May the Fragrance of Jesus”

Now is the time

March 11, 2016

NOW

Once again, on March 11, 2016, instead of commenting on the Verse of the Day, we are going to take a look at the Word for the Day. In this case, the word that I have selected is “now,” an adverb indicating time. The word generally means “at the present time or moment” or “in the time immediately before the present, as in “just now” or “right now.” Used throughout the Bible, the word “now” often begins a statement that expresses the present moment or time, such as in the following familiar verses that reveal aspects of our identity:

2 Corinthians 4:7:

Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us.

2 Corinthians 5:20 (NKJV) reminds believers of their privileged designation:

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

We are also reminded of our ever-abiding position of victory in Christ Jesus, our Savior:
2 Corinthians 2:14 (NKJV):

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.

1 John 3:2 (NKJV) also makes known our relationship with God, our Father:

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Hebrews 11:1 (AMP) makes this powerful declaration about faith and its present application:

Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].

Recently I was given a watch as a gift from a dear sister in Christ, as a reminder of the time that God so graciously had given me, as each new day unfolds. Each time that I look at the watch and ask, “What time is it?” I respond by saying to myself, “Now is the time to praise the Lord and give Him thanks for another day of life.”

I also recall that many years ago I shared a teaching that focused on the word “now.” To illustrate that now is an ever-present reality, I drew a picture of a clock with no hands on it. In the center of the clock in bold capital letters was the word “NOW.” I asked the audience a series of questions, as they looked at the clock: “What time is it?” “In five minutes what will be the time?” “If the Lord tarries, in five years what will be the time at that time?” In each instance, the response was the same. “Now!”
With regard to time, Believers are encouraged to redeem the time. To seize each opportunity and “live in the now.” We are familiar with this statement:

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That is why it is called the present.

To follow up on that anonymous quote, we must learn to redeem the time, to seize the moment, and live in the now, graphically and poetically illustrated here:

         The Eternal Moment
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
                 Ephesians 5:16

Now is always the time.

Though grains of sand
fall and form
a mountain
range,

                   Now
does not
add nor take;
the moment cannot change.

The time is always Now.

Babbie Mason offers a lively reminder that “Now is the right time to praise the Lord.”