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The Fragrance of Love

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Shulanda J. Hastings

Ambassador Shulanda

Ambassador Shulanda

Shulanda J. Hastings is an inspirational writer, Christian counselor and an ambassador to the faith-based community; helping them break mental health barriers. She is the author of the Beauty of My Thorns novel series and of the memoirs, Keeping My Faith While Saving My Mind.

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Answer to Bible trivia (2.14.11):  Love. Found in Song of Solomon 8:7

2011 Theme: Make GOD GREATER!

Greetings:

“At the moment I have all I need-and more!  I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18, NLT).

The Fragrance of Love: You have already had your first date. You have shared things about yourself; secrets and weaknesses. You even shared the overrated Valentine’s Day together and probably decided to share your greatest gift that you vowed to reserve for marriage. Now that its the aftermath, perhaps you should take the time to examine the effects. How do you feel? Are things the same today as before you invested yourself? Do you have a love hangover? Experiencing regrets?  What fragrance has the person who said they loved you left behind? We know there are sacrifices in loving someone. Even in Jesus ultimate sacrifice, He left behind a sweet aroma.  Although we do not always provide a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to Him, His is one that assures us of His love, acceptance and concern for us.  Love’s residue does not leave us stained. It isn’t abusive, it isn’t arrogant or ashamed. When people tell us they love us and leave us with an unpleasant fragrance throughout the day, we do not feel loved. Rather we feel rejected, violated and even dirty.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Spiritual Manifestation: Now that we have experienced how it feels to receive a “love hangover” we have a glimpse of how we treat GOD when we offer Him unpleasant gifts and expect Him to receive them in a spirit of love. We know love endures much, but do they (special person in your life) love you as Christ loves the Church? This is what GOD has instructed. And if you have been left with an unpleasant fragrance from your “Valentine’s Day Lover”; count it a blessing if you are able to see the warning signs and move on. Or if you are under covenant, review the Love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) with your spouse. More importantly, examine the fragrance that you are leaving for GOD. How can you make it sweeter? Rotten fruit does not taste or smell pleasant. We have tasted the goodness of GOD. In His presence, what do you taste and smell like? Make GOD Greater than a hangover!

With Love in the Spirit,

Evangelist SJ Hastings

Bible Trivia: What does the word ‘Ichabod’ mean? (5pts) Answer in next Spirit Realm message.

Black History: Dr. Charles Drew researched blood plasma that led to the first blood bank.

Sunday School: SS recap and application for women will be posted weekly on http://crawomenministry.wordpress.com/


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