What’s your worth?

banknote-business-cash-currency-41526There is this fascinating account in Leviticus 27 about how the priest would place a determinate value on people, animals, houses, and fields. The whole chapter describes how the valuation process took place.

If it were a man 20-60 years old, their value would be 50 shekels of silver. If it were a woman of the same age, it would be 30 shekels (Vs. 3 -4) For the male 5-20 years old, their value would be 20 shekels. For the female of the same age it would be 10 shekels (Vs. 5) If the baby were male, then his value would be 5 shekels. If she were a girl, her value would be 3 shekels. (Vs.6) For the male 60 years old and above, their value would be 15 shekels. For a female of the same age, it would be 10 shekels. (Vs.7)

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A+ and I didn’t do the exam

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I don’t like going to these places – hospitals, police stations, exam rooms, driver’s licensing centers and airports. I don’t like going to these places at all. Whenever I go to these places for whatever reasons even legitimate ones, my body twitches, squirms, I breathe heavily, sweat, and I try to calm my nerves by reading through books that I have on my Kindle app. Something about these places makes me apprehensive and nervous.

And the long queues? Even if seats are provided, the long queues just finish me off. And what about this? You could wait that long and when you get to the counter to be served you are informed that you don’t have the documentation they need to approve your application. You have to go back and sort that out. Wow… Now my blood boils…

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“Church, let’s lift our hands in surrender”. Worship leader, here’s why that is not in view of the New Covenant.

 

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Photo By Chad Kirchoff

 

For many years as a worship leader I encouraged people during worship to lift their hands as a sign of surrender. During worship, I made it a priority to make sure that there will be a session where the whole church would lift up their hands. I actually loved the sight of it. Seeing lifted hands in worship is a sight to behold. It really is. I think the significance of that action is tremendous because we are doing it to our God.

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You shall not what? The Ten Commandments…naah. I don’t know what you are talking about.

 

30b1ee6ebca9910398a89b60ab7b93dfA lot of people of my generation don’t really know what the Ten Commandments are. Many of my generation can only recite parts of the Ten Commandments and most probably they heard about the Ten Commandments from a secondary source. Like from an old guy who wasn’t even sure himself or peers who are trying to figure it out. You will be hard pressed to find people in my generation that can recite the Ten Commandments in its entirety. It will be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Much of it is also caused by biblical illiteracy. Not many of my generation know what is in the bible.

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Hmmm that smells so good. I love that

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Photo by Eli Defaria Photography


When Jenny and I travel overseas, we usually stop by the Duty Free shops at the airport to try out some perfumes. Jenny especially loves to smell perfumes and to sample them. These shops, have fragrance testing paper strips that you can spray the perfume on and then smell to really experience the scents in the perfume. After that, these strips find their way to my carry-on luggage so that my bag can smell nice. Yaay.. or you might think ‘you cheap guy’ I know, I know 

It’s been our custom to look for perfumes we haven’t smelt before. Each perfume has its own scent combination. Some scents are subtle. Others are intense. Others are floral. Others are woody. Others are herbal. Others are oriental. And the list goes on. But once in a while, we usually smell a perfume that makes us go like, “hmmm that smells so good. It’s not so intense and not dull. It’s cool. It’s soft. It’s warm. Its floral.” Jenny is in perfume heaven when we go to these shops and because of that I’ve also learnt how to choose a good men’s fragrance for myself. With Jenny there’s never a dull moment.

At home, whenever Jenny makes a sumptuous meal, I usually bend over the plate to smell the food and I use my hands to draw the smell of the food towards my nose. At least I learnt that from the Masterchef programs. Hahahaha. There is something so appetizing that takes place when you smell good food. I am hungry just thinking about that.

In our world today, there is what we call aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is mostly used in spas and massage parlors. They use scents and oils to cause the customer to relax as they massage their feet, shoulders or body.

Scents and perfumes is big business. The global perfume industry is estimated to be worth $38.8 billion in 2017. People want to smell good. They want their homes to smell good. They even want their pets to smell good.

Jesus smells so good

So I’ve been doing my annual reading of the bible and currently am in the book of Leviticus. Leviticus highlights offerings that were offered by the high priest of Israel. These offerings are definitely types or shadows of our Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. Jesus became all those sacrifices for us. 

  • Leviticus 1 – Jesus our burnt offering – Ephesians 5:2
  • Leviticus 2 – Jesus our grain offering – John 18 and 19 
  • Leviticus 3 – Jesus our peace offering – Romans 5:1
  • Leviticus 4 – Jesus our sin offering – Hebrews 8:8
  • Leviticus 5 – Jesus our trespass offering – Ephesians 2:1

Now, the one thing common with all these sacrifices (except for the trespass offering) is this – they had a sweet aroma.

This phrase ‘sweet aroma’ first appeared in Genesis 8:21 after Noah had offered his sacrifices and afterwards the Lord made a vow that He would never curse the ground again for man’s sake nor destroy every living thing as He had done.

The phrase again appears in Exodus 29:18 after the whole ram (picture of Jesus) was placed upon the altar (cross) and burned with fire (God’s judgment against sin fell on Jesus on the cross on our behalf). The sacrifice became a sweet aroma to the Lord.

This phrase ‘sweet aroma’ appears 43 times in the Old Testament.

Now, I checked up the meaning of the Hebrew words for sweet and aroma. The word for sweet is niychoach, which means restful. Its root word is the word nuach, which means rest. The word for aroma is reyach, which means odor, scent, or smell. The root word for reyach is ruach, which means breath. See the picture that is developing here? The two words put together simply mean sweet (restful) aroma (breath) – restful breath. When God smelt the offering, He went like, “hmmm that smells so good. I love that.”

Accepted

In the Old Covenant whenever they offered an animal or grain as a sacrifice, the sacrifice made a sweet aroma. Who smelt the aroma? God did. The offering produced a sweet aroma that made God breath restfully. Picture in your mind the sweet aroma ascending into heaven and then God smells the aroma and goes like, “hmmm that smells so good. I love that. Who gave that offering? I want to bless them. I want to accept them. I want to favor them. I want to heal them. I want to prosper them. I want to restore to them all they’ve lost. I want to do good to them.”

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for us was a sweet aroma. It was aromatherapy (if you’d like) to the Father. And when God smelled the sweet aroma, He accepted or looked on us with favor. We are not accepted because we are good. We are accepted because of Jesus’ sweet aroma. (Ephesians 1:6) Now God wants to bless, accept, favor, heal, prosper, restore and do good to us. 

Blessed

Do you remember how Jacob was blessed by his father? (Genesis 27:27) When Isaac smelled Jacob’s skin covering, he blessed Jacob. Jacob wasn’t blessed because he was good. He was actually ‘stealing’ the blessing from his brother. He was blessed because he smelt good. 

We also are blessed because we smell good. When God smells the smell of His son on us, and because He loves His son so much, we become the beneficiaries or passive recipients of the love that He has for His son. We are blessed.

The same way scents and perfume is big business. Scents are also big with God. He loves the smell of His son. He loves what His son accomplished for us on the cross. That’s why Psalm 16:11 makes so much sense now. At God’s right hand are pleasures evermore. Jesus is at God’s right hand and His smell pleasures the Father forever. And as long as He pleasures the Father, we are accepted, forgiven, loved, blessed, healed, redeemed, holy, righteous, justified, royal priesthood, sons and daughters and much, much more.

This last time we flew out to Mauritius I bought the Estee Lauder Pleasures Fragrance For Men Cologne Spray. I now smell like heaven lol.. wink.. wink.. I also pleasure Jenny with my cologne. 

Guess what? You smell good too

2 Corinthians 2:15 tells us that we also have an aroma. You are a perfume of Christ to God. You also smell good. When you place your faith in the Lord Jesus as the offering for your sins, then the same smell that is on Jesus gets on you.

This means that when you are in any relationship, or working in any company, or married, or raising kids, or in a community or even in a country, the people around you should smell a sweet aroma from you. The sweet aroma should make people breathe and act with ease when they are around you. Chaotic situations are resolved because you are such a calming influence.

The world should be attracted to us not because we got all our act together. They actually know we don’t. And when we try to act all perfect, they flee from us. When they meet us they should go like, “hmmm that smells so good. I love that. I want that.”

Hey, you carry around with you the “hmmm that smells so good. I love that” aroma of Jesus. 

Imagine yourself being blessed by God not because you are good but because you smell good. 

Imagine being a blessing to others just because you smell good. It’s that easy.

That’s what grace looks like