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     But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 2 Cor. 2:14

Dear Lord Jesus, this one verse of Scripture fuels great joy and centering peace in my heart—for it reminds me of your great mercy and your unparalleled might. You completely save those who come to you in faith; and the very faith we need for coming to you, you freely give us in the gospel—so great is your kindness and generosity. Hallelujah, many times over!

You are the great warrior of our hearts. You’ve come to overthrow the reign of sin by the reign of grace. You are the victorious King, Paul was thinking about in this passage; and I gladly take my place in the triumphant procession described here. I humbly assume the posture of both the conquered and the conqueror. I praise you for rescuing me from the dominion of darkness—a kingdom in which I was both a willing citizen and an imprisoned slave. Only the gospel was powerful enough to set me free. Thank you for triumphing over me and in me.

I’m also grateful to be among those set free for a life of announcing the triumph of mercy and grace. What more could I want for the rest of my life, than to be someone through whom the life-changing aroma of the gospel is released—the fragrance of forgiveness and freedom; the incense of joy, announcing the kingdom of reconciliation and restoration?

Jesus, how I praise you that the gospel doesn’t lead us to be preoccupied with the “victorious Christian life”, but to the occupation of knowing, loving and serving you, the victorious Christ! You are our loving master, not our private masseuse. Forgive me when my prayers reflect a greater commitment to my comfort than to your kingdom. Free me from “claiming” things you never promised. Forgive me for assuming the right to define what a “blessing” is, and isn’t. Give me much more joy in living for your glory than in living for my personal gain.

Wherever you take me in the triumphant procession of the gospel is the best place to be. However you want to spread the fragrance of knowing you is the best way to live. So very Amen I pray, in your glorious name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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