Word for the day by Christian Education Forum


(2 Corinthians 2: 12-17)
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in a triumphant procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from  knowing him.”(2 Corinthians 2:14)

In his second letter to Corinthians, St. Paul defends his life and ministry, pointing to the way that God has honored the call upon his life with great success and fruitfulness.  He also says that he is thankful to God, who helped him to overcome the great sufferings and persecutions he faced as a missionary. 
Today’s meditation passage tells us why we should be thankful to God? 
Be thankful to God, as God  leads us to triumph in Christ: 
The reason for thankfulness is that God is always leading us to triumph in Christ because we are in Him and  He in us.  In this reality, we own Christ’s triumph over sin.  The Roman military would hold a parade after a triumph on a foreign battlefield.  The commander led his army to the emperor in the capital of   Rome.  Officials led the parade, followed by trumpeters, a display of the spoils, a white bull for a sacrifice, prisoners of war, musicians, and priests.  The victorious general rode a richly decorated chariot followed by his chanting army. St. Paul compares this scene to a spiritual triumph. Christ is the commander, and God is the emperor who receives ultimate praise. Christ always wins, and we share  His victory. 
Be thankful to God, as we are the aroma of Christ to God:
A Roman parade of triumph always bore a distinctive aroma as incense was burned and flower petals were crushed underfoot. Paul says we carry the fragrance of triumph as we live out the Gospel. As Colin G. Kruse commented, "The knowledge of Christ is diffused like a fragrant odor through God's messengers in every place to all people."  Our lives in Christ are living sacrifices and a sweet smell to God. Our pursuit of Christ-like living is our offering to God. It also serves as a Gospel influence among the people whom our lives touch.  Christ alone is accepted before God. Through faith in Christ's perfect work of atonement, the Christian is justified and incorporated into Him. To be in Christ is not merely to be within the sphere of His influence, but is to be really in Him.  We thus become the aroma of Christ to God.

Be thankful to God, as Christ is God’s  indescribable gift to us : 
During this time of the year, we give gifts to those whom we care about, who have been kind to us over the past year, or who have given us a gift first. We don't normally give gifts to the person who has been slandering our name or to the angry neighbor who never has a kind word to say.   We are happy when we receive gifts from our parents, relatives, friends, etc.     The happiness and joy of receiving these gifts will fade away with the passing of time.   We can say it is momentary.

On the contrary, when God decided to give us the gift of eternal life, it wasn't something that He just thought of on the fly. Long before there was a town called Bethlehem, a garden called Eden, and a planet called Earth, a decision was made in eternity that God would send forth His Son, born of a woman, made under the law, to redeem those that are under the law.  2 Corinthians 9:15  Bible says “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift. “  Jesus Christ is God’s indescribable gift.  God, because of His everlasting love towards mankind (John 3:16),  loved us even while we were sinners,  and  reconciled  to  him  by the death of his only begotten Son,  and gave  us the gift of  eternal  life.  Bible says “We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have received reconciliation”(Romans 5:11).    

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18   


Heavenly Father : Help us to focus on the greatest gift you have given to us. Thank you for sending your one and only Son,  so that we might be saved through Him. Forgive us for letting other things get in the way of remembering what’s most important in our lives. Help us to radiate your love in our lives. Be with us and guide us,  Amen.

Thought for the Day
Are we thankful to God for His indescribable   gift of salvation freely given to us?  Salvation is free to us; but  costly to God.

      Philip Jacob
          The Mar Thoma church Staten Island, New York

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