Fragrant Living

Fragrant Living

Read: Philippians 4:10-20 | Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 10-12; Luke 9:37-62

I’m grateful that God has given us the sense of smell so we can enjoy the many fragrances of life. I think of how much I enjoy something as simple as the fresh and inviting aroma of after-shave lotion in the morning. Or the mellow smell of fresh-cut grass in the spring. I especially enjoy sitting in the backyard when the delicate scent of my favorite roses fills the air. And then there are the savory aromas of delicious food.

So it catches my attention when the apostle Paul says that our generous acts of love toward others are like a “sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God” (Phil. 4:18). When we think of helping those in need, we usually think of it as the right thing to do—or even the Christlike thing to do. But Paul says that our intentional act of reaching out to meet someone’s need actually fills the throne room of God with a fragrance that brings pleasure to Him.

We can please God with the aromas that rise from being a blessing to others! What an added incentive this is for us to perform deeds of kindness in His name.

Who might need your act of kindness today? Ask God to lead you to someone. Be a blessing. It’s a fragrant thing to do!

Here is what I hope to do for others today: ________________

Blessing others is a blessing to God.


Paul says, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content . . . . I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (4:11,13). Paul’s contentment came from the sufficiency of knowing Christ, not from the gifts he received from the Philippian believers (vv. 14-17). However, these sacrificial gifts were a “sweet-smelling aroma” to God (v. 18; see Lev. 7:12-15).