This week, I’d like to treat you to some encouragement from a friend of mine, Dawn Champagne. You seasoned subscribers to Encouragement From The Word may remember that Dawn has blessed us before with her thought-provoking and beautiful writing. Enjoy! – Jeff
THE SWEET AROMA OF SACRIFICE
Sacrifice does not always come easy. It’s interesting how God takes us through the most difficult and pressing times to learn and teach us the things His Word has to offer.
Most recently I was being harassed at work; not by management, not by my staff, but by co-workers. Setting limits, boundaries, and making resident care the focus instead of being staff focused was a difficult task. Missing breaks, and staying late on a regular basis to follow through on the standards set, was perceived by co-workers as not coping and poor management of staff. Being respectful to authority, and not participating in ungodly situations and conversations, only added to their own misperceptions.
Verse: Romans13:1,2 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
After an uncomfortable incident that left me with feelings of anger, I spoke with management. By using the gift God gave me the issue was openly brought forward. The support I received from management was incredible. It was an opportunity to learn as my Director shared how to handle myself in the situation, and gave me the encouragement to continue on in my position.
I was humbled by the support I received from the two managers, and the Director. In appreciation as a token of thanks and led by God I bought them each a Bible for Christmas. My Director was thrilled how beautiful the book was. As we met on the morning she opened the gift she shared with me a portion in Proverbs with the page # she had memorized. It had been the first thing she read when she opened it. As well, a manager gave me this thank-you note; “Thank you so much for the beautiful Bible. I will treasure it forever. I plan on reading passages regularly and I will keep it by my bed. You are an inspiration to us all, and remind me often to be a better person”.
It warms me on the inside receiving a thank-you note as such, knowing it has been seen that the Bible I believe in is what makes me a better person. I was further humbled and blessed that God would use me in the process of His blessing on others by sharing His Word.
It was a huge lesson in perseverance and not giving up in a world that longs to bring those who live their lives on the standards of being followers of Jesus Christ. It was a huge lesson on putting feelings aside, to continue on, and maintaining control because of needing to do what was right.
Verse: Romans 5:3,4 …but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulations produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
One recent evening after sitting in our bubble tub, my husband prepared the bedroom for me, as I was about to settle for the night. He lit a small candle in a clear red base with a red shade over top creating a warm red glow. In addition he sprayed a scent of perfume called “Dawn”, creating a sweet smell of aroma.
As I sat in the room meditating in thought, totally relaxed by the calming atmosphere created, I couldn’t help but think of the tabernacle in the Old Testament and its contents. Within the tabernacle was an area set apart by God. A Holy place where sacrifice was offered by bloodshed. There was a candlestick (light), and incense. God accepted and pleased when there was obedience to the offering…the pleasing aroma that filled the air.
Just as Denis had to prepare the room for my entry to partake of the pleasure, our lives also must have that ‘preparation’ period. Being taken through trials and circumstances are not nice things. But, as the fire engages the light, and the bottle is compressed to release perfume from the inside, it is only then that our sweet pleasurable offering can be sacrificed in His presence, and seen by those around us.
What comes to mind is that we as a church of God’s people in this land have become so focused on what we are losing. Yes, I do agree that we are losing some of our freedoms and quickly. But if we as God’s people are going to move forward with leadership, then we need to use what we already have.
While what we have is a land where people around us do not go to church (or in my children’s generation never gone), and do not have a Bible; what we do have is the freedom to still give the Bible out (which was a surprise to my daughter as she watched me do this), and an opportunity of sacrifice to offer…in His presence, and to those around us.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Offering the sacrifice of praise,