Category: <span>thoughts by Bradley Andrew Stubs</span>

So, how do we put off an aroma that is pleasing to God and others in our life?


I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Romans 12:1

Nothing attracts or turns people away from someone or something more than smells. Think about how people are drawn to good smelling aromas coming from restaurants and then think about how people are reluctant to go into shops with a bad odour. All throughout the Bible, we are called to give a pleasing aroma to the LORD. This is an interesting concept, but, one we need to understand and seek after. When our lives “smell good”, it implies that we are living in a way that is attractive to God, and through this we begin to feel and embrace His presence near to us. We, likewise, draw others in with this unusual aroma not given off by the world with a chance of pointing them to Jesus. So, how do we put off an aroma that is pleasing to God and others in our life?

It means we become the living sacrifice the Bible calls us to be by submitting our time, talents, and ultimately our lives to Jesus. We become true followers of Jesus, not just church goers or Christian look alikes. We go all in and pursue Jesus with our whole hearts, minds, and bodies. We spend time in prayer, personal devotion, and serve the body of Christ to the fullest. When we do this, we naturally begin to put off love, joy, peace, forgiveness, and compassion to the world around us. This is a pleasing aroma to all people, believer or not, and something that will naturally draw people in. Even more so, this is a pleasing aroma to God. When we put off this aroma to the world around us, people will desire for their lives to “smell’ like this also and hopefully begin to crave the One whom ignites this aroma within us.

By Bradley Andrew Stubbs
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

Serving the Lord Wholeheartedly

Living Waters

•  Salvation Explained


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Stretch out your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me from the many waters, from the hand of foreigners,” Psalms 144:7

One of my all-time favorite movies is The Guardian. The whole movie follows a class of recruits on their journey into the United States Coast Guard. They met their instructor early on in the movie and are in for quite a treat. The instructor of the class was a famous rescue swimmer himself. His main role as a rescue swimmer was to dive into rough waters and save those drowning in the ocean or stuck on a sinking ship. This is an incredibly dangerous job, even life threatening. He would have to walk through fires, move barriers, and dive deep into the ocean to save people. One thing he told the recruits early on was that if you want to be in the United States Coast Guard you have to be willing to save people who do not want to be saved. Whether that person wants to be saved or not, their job was to do everything in their power to save them.

In real life, when rescue swimmers attempt to save people stranded in the ocean, many of those needing rescued fight with the rescuers, push them under the water, or refuse to move. We may think to ourselves how could this ever happen? Why would these people not want to be saved? I think there are several reasons for this. People are scared, they feel like no one can save them, they feel like they are better off not being saved, or they are too prideful to allow someone else to help them.

The sad reality is that people do not respond like this in only their physical lives, but they also respond this way in their spiritual lives. By ourselves, we are sinful, broken, and hopeless. People have tried for centuries to fix their own lives only to discover that they more they try to fix their lives, the more broken they become. We need someone to rescue us. We need a Savior.

The great news is that we have the perfect Savior. The God of the universe sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to come into this world and save us from our sins. He lived a perfect life, died on the cross for us, and rose again three days later. He is alive today, reaching out His hand for us to grab onto. All we have to do is let go of ours sins, fears, and pride. We turn to Him and ask Him to save us. When we do this, His mighty hand restores our brokenness, and one day He promises to bring us to eternal safety and peace in Heaven, away from the rough and dangerous waters of this world.

The sad news, however, is many people will never grab hold of His outstretched hand. No matter how deep the waters become around them, they will refuse to be saved. They may refuse this because of fear, pride, or doubt. They believe they are not worthy to be saved or they still believe the lie that that can fix all their problems on their own. When the storm ends for these people, instead of arriving in a perfect, peaceful place, a new storm in their lives will begin.

The truth, however, is that if you are still living, the Savior’s hand is still outstretched for you. No matter how many times you have pushed Him away, ignored Him, and tried to handle things on your own, He is still swimming after you. All you have to do is let go and let the Savior of the world rescue you and save you from all your sins. As soon as you give your life to Him, a new life in you will begin. The Savior has arrived, now it is your turn to allow yourself to be saved.

By Bradley Andrew Stubbs
Used by Permission


Are you willing to let the Savior rescue you?   Why don’t you ask Him to come into your life today, thank Him for forgiving your sins and ask Him to direct your life from this day forward. The following is a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

The rescue starts now


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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FURTHER READING

•  Now that I am a Christian, What’s Next? – Printable PDF file
• 
Reading the Bible – Where to Start?

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.”  Psalm 50:2

As I was driving into work, I noticed these beautiful white trees on my way. I stopped for a minute and marveled at God’s goodness and beauty. What struck me, however, is that I have been working at this place for almost 2 years and have never noticed these trees. Most days I am focused on getting to work, the many tasks I have to complete that day, and all the craziness happening in my life that I ignored all of God’s beauty and goodness around me.

I wonder how often in our lives that we miss God’s goodness, beauty, and blessings around us because our focus is inward. We are so worried about what we “need” to do that we miss what God has done and is doing for us. We are more concerned about what is happening politically, economically, or on social media than what is going on in our own hearts. We begin to blame God for all the evil in the world and for abandoning us when in reality we are the ones that have left God in exchange for our inwardly focused lives.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

God’s presence is all around us.

God earnestly wants to help us and guide us. His plan is to prosper us and give us hope and a future even in the midst of a pandemic, but we have to look to Him. We have to fully surrender our busy lives to Him, stop trying to handle everything on our own, and rest in His presence. Take a moment today to see God’s goodness and beauty around you and surrender control of the things that were never in your control in the first place. We need to pray, “LORD, here I am, use me,” and ask the Holy Spirit to give us strength to walk in the way that the LORD commands us to even when that way is away from the way we were walking.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

By Bradley Stubbs
Used by Permission

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Wisdom and Knowledge of God
God Provides Companionship

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“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Living in Tennessee, we usually do not expect to have a lot of snow in the winter. Sure, temperatures will get below freezing for a few days, but a big snowfall is, most times, out of the picture. This year, unexpectedly, a large winter storm covered multiple southern states. In just a few days, we now have snow everywhere. Walking outside, you cannot tell what was the street from the sidewalk or yard. Everything in sight seems to be turned to white. While this is a beautiful sight, it is pretty funny to see everyone going out to their cars to try and get the snow off before it piles up too high.

The reason this is so funny is because people have tried all kinds of tactics to get the snow off the windshields of their cars, but to many of their surprises, no matter how hard they tried to blow the show off or push it off, their windshields were still covered. See, what most people likely did not realize was that under all the snow was a thick sheet of ice. They could snow blow the snow off their cars all day long, but that ice underneath was not going to budge. This meant that their windshields would still be covered. It was only when people started attacking the ice first with the scrapper that visions of the windshields would start to come into focus. Because the ice was so thick, it would take quite some effort to scrap that ice off the windshield and it took some dedication.

Thinking back on this, the Lord taught me a valuable lesson. Many times, in our lives today, when we are struggling with something, we want a quick fix solution. We try and snow blow off our issues by taking some medication, reading some books, or just getting some extra sleep. Although these things are effective at helping the side effects of what we are struggling with, the root problem is still there. The ice will not budge.

The only way to break the ice and truly be set free from our sins and issues is to give them to Jesus and to ask Him to break the ice in our life.

This is not always a quick fix and may involve a good deal of scrapping. Jesus will dig down into root of our issue/sin which may be scary and take time to understand and handle. He will convict us of what we truly need to change in our lives and then lead us to the truth. This process of scrapping out the ice in our lives is not always fun or easy, but in the end, we are set free from our sins and our issues. Jesus restores our vision and guides us on the path to victory. We are able to move on from the ice holding us down and walk into the warm light of His grace and truth. Allow Jesus to scrap the ice out of your life today and be set free once and for all from the sins and issues you are struggling with.

By Bradley Andrew Stubbs
Used by Permission

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FURTHER READING

• Eternal Love
• Fully Surrender to the Lord

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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