"Sometimes while I'm talking to God, He'll show me something about myself in such a way that I have to laugh at my own humanity and how funny I must look to Him." - Donna

Donna...just found your blog...I absolutely love it! And I love your singing! I'm at work right now and it was just exactly what I needed to hear to help me make it through tonight! Thanks for your ministry here!
- Robert

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Sunday, July 08, 2012

Smelly Saints

(*First posted 1-2-05)

The Law appoints priests who have weaknesses. But God's promise, which came later than the Law, appoints his Son. And he is the perfect high priest forever. - Hebrews 7:28 (cev)

Have you ever burned popcorn in your microwave? Let me tell you, it’s not a good thing.

The other night my husband tried a new brand of low-fat popcorn. He misread the instructions, and the next thing we knew, the kitchen looked like a fog had descended, and the most obnoxious odor filled the air.

I’ve tried for three days to get rid of the lingering smell. I burned candles, but the sweetness of the candles couldn’t overcome the stench. I’ve tried lemon juice, vinegar – you name it. I didn’t realize how often we use the microwave. Every time we fire up the thing, we get a fresh wave of that horrible odor.

Throughout the Old Testament, the sense of smell often refers to a sacrifice. Every day, the Temple needed to be cleansed by the burning of incense and the sacrificing of animals. The burnt offerings were referred to as a sweet fragrance in the nostrils of God.

Do you know what stinks to God? Sin. In Genesis 19:13 (nlt), the angel of the Lord said of Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin, “For we will destroy the city completely. The stench of the place has reached the LORD, and he has sent us to destroy it."

Jesus became the perfect sacrifice for our sins. His blood and God’s acceptance of it makes it possible for us to repent and be saved when we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior. “Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.”Hebrews 7:27 niv

I thought I’d tried everything to rid my house of the odor, and then my husband said, “Oh, I forgot. I laid one of the cloths I used to wipe out the microwave in the laundry room.”

The laundry room is only a few feet from the kitchen. No wonder I couldn’t get rid of the smell. When we repent, we must repent of all our sins. As burning the candles couldn’t hide the bad smell, covering up sin doesn’t hide it from God. Only when we present ourselves as living sacrifices to God will true repentance become a sweet aroma to God.

In order to completely remove the odor, my husband wants to get rid of the microwave. Aren’t you glad God didn’t just throw us out? In His love, He provided the Way to save us.

I can’t throw out an almost-perfectly good appliance. I’m much too practical for that. I hope I can save it.

Prayer: God, I thank You that Jesus sacrificed His life for me. I pray I will be a sweet smelling savor as I sacrifice my life to You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Click here for the beautiful lyrics of “Broken and Spilled Out,” written by Gloria Gaither and Bill George. Copyright 1984 Gaither Music Co./Yellow House Music (ASCAP)

*This devo is also on Crossmap.com. To read more, click here!


Anonymous said...

I know exactly what stench you've had to live with lately. Fortunately for my family, we had an old microwave downstairs that we rarely used and that happened to be the site of our popcorn disaster. Time dissipated the smell and we didn't have to deal with it in the kitchen.

Excellent parallels to the spiritual world. I don't have the most sensitive nose, but those verses about fragrance in the Bible have always caught my attention. I'd much rather be sending beautiful smells (like my faves: vanilla, cinnamon and roses) up to God than something like burnt popcorn!

Hugs and fresh air,

Becca :)

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Thanks for stopping by, Becca. Yes, I have a very sensitive nose. *g*

I also like the idea of our prayers going up as a fragrance before God, too!

And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. - Revelation 8:3-5

But I'll write about that another time. :)

Queen Jaw Jaw said...

As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short. I'm just now getting around to reading some of the other devotionals and let me tell you, I'm so happy I did. I absolutely LOVE the audios. Course, I caught myself talking back to you. Hello?

I think we've all been there with the burnt popcorn and had to out live the smell (sin). But it's possibly to move on by letting God's love for us cover/mask the sin (smell) and everything is right once again. Thanks Donna, you never cease to amaze me with your insight into God's messages for us. I'm so grateful to have your devotionals!

Much love to you and yours in 2005,

Queen Jaw Jaw

Jan Price said...

Hey, Donna,

Sounds like something I would do, if I had a microwave. I walk away and leave things burn on the stove, instead. And I've gotten very good at that. Just threw out my burned to a crisp, whistle died from overwork teakettle.

Did you ever notice it's the mistakes and problems of life that make the best stories?

Keep writing,

Paula said...

I had this thought that the smell couldn't get rid of itself. The microwave couldn't clean itself. All it can do is surrender to your scrubbing.

Sometimes I try to overcome sin by my sheer will and end up discouraged and a failure. Ever so slowly I'm learning that God deep cleans. He doesn't just wipe away the stain, He takes away the root cause of my sins. I'm learning to surrender and rest in His perfect ability to change me.

thanks for the devotion, Donna. Good one.

Donna J. Shepherd said...

JJ, thanks for stopping by and 'talking' to me! lol!

Yes, I'm so thankful that even though we can't cover up our sin, Jesus' blood can..and DOES! Praise the Lord!

Janice, you sound dangerous. *g* You're right about how our mistakes teach us and make good stories. I make enough mistakes to have something to talk about for a long time! :)

Thanks for taking time to comment! - Donna

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Paula, I'll have to do a followup to this one called "Surrender to the Scrubbing." Good point!

Thanks! - Donna

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna, Good one! You've probably got a million tips already but try this.

If you haven't pitched the microwave yet, put a couple of spoons of baking soda in 2 cups of water and let it boil for a minute or so. Then let the oven cool down with the water still in the oven. When it's cool wipe the inside of the oven down and leave the door open for a while. I won't guarentee it will work completely but it will help. If you boil white vinegar and water that way it helps too.

Hugs, Doris

Donna J. Shepherd said...

I think the vinegar might be doing the trick. I boiled a half cup vinegar with a half cup water in the microwave. I then wiped down all the sides, top, and door, and then left the cup with the mixture inside. Tonight when we came in from church, I could hardly smell the odor. Or maybe I've gotten used to it. *g* One thing's for sure - I don't want any popcorn in the near future!

Thanks for stopping by and the tips. - Donna

Anonymous said...

I really like your audio blog it is enjoyable to hear your voice giving the devotion. I liked the text version, but nothing compares to the audio. Yes microwave popcorn is a problem. I am thankful I have a setting for popcorn on my microwave. The Lord is great and I want to send a pleasing aroma to him daily.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your last article, "Smelly Saints!"



Donna J. Shepherd said...

We do have a popcorn setting on our microwave, but my husband chose to ignore it. lol! Thanks for commenting on the audio. It's fun to do, but I didn't know how effective it was. I'm glad you like it.

Thanks, Sandi, for stopping by! - Donna

glenniah said...

Hi Donna,
Maybe we should swap microwaves as I have no sense of smell. I'm always afraid the house will burn down around me and I wont know until I feel very very hot. Thank God indeed He didn't throw us out and start again. The thought of being a sweet fragrance to God is lovely.
Love and blessings

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your devotionals. What a unique way to describe smelly saints.
The truth sure does make a person think. I loved the hint about clean up.


Paula said...


Funny--my last devotional for soul scents ended up being about surrending to the scrubbing. :o) Unfortunately I'm having server problems and it hasn't gone out yet!! You can view it on the archives (when the server is fixed) at www.soulscents.us

I wanted to ask a favor of you. I'm seeking input on a question I posted at gracereign. I'm curious what your response would be. Would you have a second to hop over there and give your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna. We share the same name and the same love for Christ. I'm a Christian and trying to get back into church. I'm pleased to have found your site. I will be linking to you so I can get "fed the word" so to speak. Thank you for offering this type of ministry!!
Take Care, Donna

Anonymous said...

Hey Donna, here's another thought.. sometimes something we are doing is ok, but sometimes it just takes one tiny thing to make it stink to God.. I thought of this cause Mike and I LOVE popcorn and love the smell of it - BUT.. I like to add parmesan cheese on top.. and Mike says that it stinks it up. too bad you don't want popcorn for a long time.. that was the next fellowship I was gonna arrange! ha ha. Diane W.

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna,

I haven't visited your site for a while. I've been very busy, but I'm glad I visited today. I enjoyed listening to your voice. I couldn't help but laugh. You have a southern accent. It's music to my northern ears.

I enjoyed this devotional, as well as the most recent one. As always, you do a great job. I admire that no matter how busy you are, you still take and make the time to pass the word of God.

Thank you for taking that time.


Nyambura Ngugi said...

Well said. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can remove the stench of sin from us. Our own efforts and good deeds cannot do so.

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