By Published On: November 28, 2023Views: 873.7 min read

“Also, if you are addressing as Father the one who judges impartially according to each person’s actions, you should live out your temporary stay on earth in fear”
1 Peter 1:17

My scripture reflection yesterday was on this verse. My immediate response was sober reverence. The day before was “become holy in your entire way of life since the Tanakh says “You are to be holy because I am holy.” God doesn’t rejoice in our declarations of being wretched sinners. That is what we were. But He gave us a new life and now he calls us to holiness. He’s saying remember who your God is. He is good and He loves you and you will be judged.

Some commentary mentioned that this word for what God judges is “work” and its use is singular. Meaning, God will judge what we have done with our life as a whole. Going further, God is not a respecter of persons so what he judges is really strictly based on the character of our work. What have we done and how we have done it. It matters.

As I reflected on this, I had this vision. I imagined God picking up my life like a garment, holding it to his face, and breathing it in. Or like his book of life, turned to my page, bringing his face close to smell pages. And I stood opposite of him and watched Him as he judged my whole life in this one swift motion.

Reminds me of that book in the Old Testament that is all about sacrifices and the different kinds of sacrifices. How it kept repeating “an aroma, pleasing to the Lord”… for some reason I liked that. The repetition of it was poetic and my Spirit cradled it like a baby. And here it is again, will my life be an acceptable sacrifice that pleases the Lord?

Yes, according to 2 Cor 9:15 where Paul says “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” But isn’t it an interesting thought? It leaves no room to argue about the intent regarding our lives and our actions. It’s just: “What is the fragrance of your life?”

I remember telling one of my dear friends, shortly after I was saved, who and what I wanted to be like when I got older. I wanted to be kind and loving. The type of person that people felt welcome in my presence. I wanted to be safe for people to be honest and be themselves and know they are loved. And in all of that, to somehow communicate this thing that is so beyond words that God loves them with an unending love. I remember her telling me: “You already are that.”

See why I bring this up is because that woman that I strive to be has an aroma. Like fresh baked bread or chocolate chip cookies cooling on the counter. She’s a grandmother with an apron and soft warm hugs. The problem with me being able to smell that clearly is twofold. First, when you live with yourself all of your stuff smells like you. Do you ever walk into someone’s house that has a distinct scent? They don’t know the smell because it is in them. Kind of like how a smoker doesn’t fully realize how strongly they reek of smoke.

Also, sin has a stench. Let sin into your house one time and spend the next week heavy in repentance, prayer, blessing and anointing your home. The stench lingers and sometimes you need to air it out. Being acquainted with my own sin, it’s been hard to realize the overall perfume of my life but I do believe it to be growing sweeter… and that is what we are called to.

It just occurred to me, how incomplete this thought was. Surly what the LORD would inhale would not be my own scent – my own deeds or motivations – but Christ. Of course, that is the acceptable sacrifice that pleases Him. I’m editing to add, in case this suggested anything otherwise. The spirit of this message is my deep conviction that we are able to live holy and righteous lives that please God. Ever increasing glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Only through Him and in Him, but still, we are not without help.

About the Author: Amber Rockey

Writer. Journal Creator. Web Developer. Saved by the power of the blood.