Welcome Those with the Smell of the World

Snowy showcase

Snowy showcase

Where I live, the Bradford pear trees were spectacular this year.  Their coating of white clusters looked like clumps of snow that would easily turn the warming ground underneath into a frosty wonderland if given a good shake or two.

Bradford beauty

Bradford beauty

Their prolific flowers are beautiful, but they have a pervasive, putrid smell.  The odor is so offensive that it is one of the reasons I let others grow Bradfords.  I prefer enjoying them at a distance.

Beauty Lined

Beauty Lined

These photos are of the ones lining the parking lot of my church.  Although pretty during other seasons, when showcasing their floral display, they are particularly inviting.  Their snowy beauty welcomes, while the smell of the blooms, very easily overlooked.

Crossgates with Bradfords in bloomWhen welcoming others to our places of worship, do we open our doors as equally to those with beautiful lives as we do those with the smell of the world on them?  Are we as loving to those we think have it together spiritually as with those who still have the stench of issues?

Not that we should ever neglect to have truth in love clearly spoken from our pulpits, in order that people leave closer to God than when they arrive.  But if we shun those lost and broken, distancing ourselves from them because they still resemble the world, we fail to love like Christ.

Bradford Pear Cluster with blurred churchHe loves everyone, regardless of the condition of the heart.  It is His job to change sin-stained lives.  Following the Lord’s example, our assignment is to love and welcome whosoever will.

Clustered Branches

Clustered Branches

The reality is that we all reek of sin and are in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus to cover us with His beauty.  A beauty that through forgiveness no longer has the putrid smell of the world; rather the fragrant aroma of Christ.

 “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.”
Ephesians 5:2

© Sue Nash/ 2014

32 thoughts on “Welcome Those with the Smell of the World

  1. Karina Susanto

    Dear Sis Sue..
    As alwyas. .there is something in my mind after saw one of your picture..maybe one day I( once again) will use your photo into my post. .thank you for sharing, sis. Have a blessed day to you there..

  2. Rene Yoshi

    What gorgeous images and a wonderful analogy! Reminds me of 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 NASB:

    “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?”

    Some of your photos have a retro, vintage feel. Beautiful!

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      Thanks Rene. I love that verse, too. I suppose the reason some of my work looks retro is that I am someone out of touch with trendy. I’m not so much vintage as hopelessly sentimental. Must come out in what I photograph. Thanks!

  3. tsizzles

    Wow Sue this is an exquisite post. Love the illustrations and how you qualify them with an encouragement to seek Him more. This is an important thing to understand and remember and so thanks again for that reminder.

    Spending ourselves for Him is hard in this fallen world. Even more so when the church now tries to use the ways of the world to bring them into the church, only to be trapped into focusing on what pleases them rather than what pleases Him. Repentance, Redemption, Restoration is required in this regard.

    Your thoughts?

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      I absolutely agree. When we resort to gimmicks and games to bring in the lost, rather than simply preaching the truth in love, we must then continue to use gimmicks and games to keep them. My thoughts are that what ever happened to the gospel being enough? That said, and in keeping with my post, we must still be willing to welcome people ‘as they are’, just as Christ did us. Thanks very much for stopping by. Blessings

      1. tsizzles

        Yes very true as long as that mindset is maintained, even in these tricky times, it is more than possible to reach the lost and hurting. Thankfully for those who still apply it, the original way it was supposed to applied, the gospel is still enough.

  4. Mikey - LNC, USN (Retired)

    Great photos! Your message is one that speaks to the heart of the Gospel. Everyone needs to be cleaned by the Spotless Lamb of God. As you stated, “The reality is that we all reek of sin and are in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus to cover us with His beauty. A beauty that through forgiveness no longer has the putrid smell of the world; rather the fragrant aroma of Christ”.

    Blessings to you and family … Mikey

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      Thanks Mickey. I could never repay what Christ has done by redeeming me. The good news is that He doesn’t require that I repay; just surrender to love and serve Him and others. Blessings

  5. "light and salt"

    Such a beautiful post, in pictures and in words! Very nice job, thanks for sharing some of God’s beauty with us!


  6. greenlightlady

    Sue, these trees are gorgeous! If only we would remember that we all “reek of sin” so that we do not turn away a seeker of Truth. I love your words to us.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀


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