Vol. 8, No. 8
~ Page 9 ~
Dorothy Steury of Calvert City, KY has divided 2 Corinthians 2:14 into four parts for her ladies' Bible class: "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of his knowledge everywhere."
1. "Thanks be to God." From ancient times people have been taught to "give thanks to the Lord, because his lovingkindness is everlasting" (1 Chronicles 16:41), and "give thanks to his holy name" (Psalm 30:4), and "At midnight I will arise to thank you because of your righteous ordinances" (Psalm 119:62) and "in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
2. "God leads us." He does if we want to be led, if we are of those who respond to Jesus' invitation: "Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). The principle is: "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life" (Revelation 22:17). On the other hand, the devil wants to leads us! Demas was led by the Lord when Colossians 4:14 and Philemon 24 were written (62 A.D.), but five years later, he had let the devil lead him, as Paul wrote in 67 A.D.: "Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me" (2 Timothy 4:10). But a woman like Mary Magdalene, how beautiful a life, being led by her Lord; she was among the last ones at the cross (John 19:25), and actually she was the first one at the tomb on resurrection day, "while it was still dark" (John 20:1).
3. "Manifests through us." God makes known through the lives of Christian men and women "the sweet aroma" of Christ! Each Christian becomes an example before non-Christians in his or her "speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity" (1 Timothy 4:12), and so leaves a pleasant fragrance wherever he goes. Indeed, each Christian is admonished: "Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you" (1 Timothy 4:16).
4. "Knowledge of Him." In the darkness of Gethsemane, Thursday night before the Friday crucifixion, you see the Lord "deeply grieved, to the point of death" (Matthew 26:38), "being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground" (Luke 22:44). He "fell upon His face and prayed, saying, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me, yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt'" (Matthew 26:39). The "knowledge of Him" in this agony shows how much he loved us!
Thanks, Dorothy, for writing! Admiration and love to you and Ralph. God bless! Hugo