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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN


"A Scratch-N-Sniff Church"

Have you "scratched-and-sniffed" lately?! You know- the "scratch-and-sniff" ad's in magazines that use smells to attract us to their products! Now, believe it or not, an Oakland (California) based company called "Digiscents" is working on a process whereby you can go on the Internet, download a "scent" and play it back on a device known as an "iSmell"- a portable scent synthesizer which translates the electronic/digital smell back into an actual smell that can be smelled by you and your nose! No kidding! Soon you'll be able to download scents ranging from "Brute" after-shave to McDonald's french fries to the new car smell and leather seats in a Lexus automobile!

Did you know God has a nose? The books of Leviticus and Numbers contain approximately 40 references to God smelling a "sweet aroma" from sacrifices offered to Him (see Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17 for example). Ephesians 5:2 tells us God is interested in sweet smells- "And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma." Not only that, but 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 informs us God wants an odoriferous church- "God...through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life..."

A big problem in the church is that we Christians sometimes just don't smell very good. Since a scent can attract or repulse, entice or disgust, we must take care that the odor we emit is a pleasing one- first to God and then to man. We stink up the church when we are unloving, uncaring, and unforgiving. Anger, greed, indifference, pride, and profanity give us away as smelly Christians. Preachers (and other Christians) who engage in sexual immorality, and churchgoers who worship the Lord thy God on Sunday and the Lord thyself on Monday emit an offensive odor. In contrast to all this, God wants a "scratch-and-sniff" church! When people in the world bump into us, He wants them to be able to smell the scent of Jesus Christ through their encounter with us! We must be careful how we live. We are not only the only Bible some people will ever read, we are also the only Jesus some people will ever smell.

by Dan Gulley
Smithville Church of Christ