We sat around the table and talked for hours on the peaceful boardwalk in front of Angry Nates, a restaurant that served tasty dishes. We were quite the interesting bunch, a Mormon, a Catholic, two men of unknown conviction and me. While discussing politics and Army life, swapping stories and enjoying the balmy weather of St. Croix, we discovered many shared values.
Saint Paul wrote, “But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:14,15). Imagine replacing Christ with the word Cinnamon in those verses. “Display in Cinnamon . . . spreads the aroma of Cinnamon in every place . . . we are the fragrance of Cinnamon.” But if cinnamon only grows with cinnamon how will those perishing ever know it?
If it seems like our nation is growing increasingly secular, could it be true that Christians are growing proportionally isolated? Fellowships do not grow by like-minded people in safe cliques. They grow by like-minded people widening their circle of acquaintances. Joe called me and asked if I wanted to go out for dinner. John saw us as we swam in the Caribbean and we invited him to join us. Joe brought his wife Mary and I brought Greg, a Colonel from my organization.
An Army school brought over twenty of us to the Virgin Islands, but God is the author of divine appointments. Twice in two days I was able to share how He miraculously healed my oldest son Bryan of his brain-stem tumor. Over two separate dinners, I had opportunity to naturally proclaim the Most Fragrant Savior. J. Budziszewski wrote in The Revenge of Conscienceof five forms of witness:
First is the witness of conscience—Rom.2Second is the witness of Godward longing—Acts 17
Third is the witness of His handiwork—Psa.19:1-6; 104, Acts 14:17; Rom.1:20
Fourth is the witness of the harvest—Jer.17:10; Hos.10:12; Gal.6:7
Fifth is the witness of our design—Rom.1:26,27
If we will make the time to eat, drink and be merry for the right reason with those who are reasoning, we will find that the Lord will allow us to be a sixth form of witness—the witness that testifies to any and all of the previous five. Stories matter! Your story ministers if you are sincere and willing to be the aroma God meant you to be.
Psalm 67:7—God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear Him.
©2013 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)