September 23, 2021

“A Sweet Aroma of Christ”

Bob Butcher

MRO Pastor/Chaplain to NASCAR’s ARCA Menards Series West

7085 Battle Creek Road SE, Salem, OR 97317

Email:   Cell: 503-910-9310

I don’t know about you, but I can easily imagine that you feel the same way as me when it comes to speaking out about your faith in God, Jesus, Christ, Holy Spirit, to another person. That may surprise you but guess what?  I’m human too!  But let me say that there is more to this whole contest of bravery for each one of us.  Let me be brief and back each piece up with scripture spoken through a human being by the admonition of the Holy Spirit; (i.e.: God, Jesus.)

I can say that I was born into a Christian home, but it took until I was 33 and my life in a mess before I really got to recognize God as real beyond any doubt.  But, all that is for another story. That day, October 22, 1978, God choose one of the foolish people on earth to serve Him.

1 Corinthians 1;27  “But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong.”  And believe me I was really living a foolish life then and He saw fit to call me  to Himself and also meet Kathy that day!  Hey, IF the Creator of this whole universe can graciously pick ME out who am I to say NO?

It isn’t long before I found out about His command in Matthew 28:18-20 which begins with the COMMAND to GO everywhere:  Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, GO and make disciples of all peoples of the world, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

So, Now, THE QUESTION  becomes: do you obey or not?  Then HOW, in a way that I’m real and not Phony?  Those are BIG questions.  All I can say is simply be yourself.  You will get better with time.  The biggest method is living it out in front of people in kindness, truth, and compassion building a relationship with them unless it is a one time meeting.  Then, you ask the Holy Spirit what to say and for an open door as you wait in faith.  As time goes on I’ve learned He directs the conversation yes or no.

There is a passage in 2 Corinthians 2: 14-17 that means a lot to me and anyone in Christ that loves Him enough to say yes to His command to Go.  Check this out:  But thank God! He has made us His captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now He uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. 15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume that glorifies God. That’s because we are not like peddlers who share for personal profit. We share the Word of God with love and  sincerity and by Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.”  (GBB)

Whether I am at the race track with you, or around Salem, OR, or anywhere for that matter, I try to live out what Paul would call the sweet “aroma of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:15). I want God to use me to “spread the aroma of the knowledge of Christ”  I want to have the privilege to stop and chat with you at the race track and the folks I know. I want to know you all by name and your story. (My big problem is I have a hard time with names and that drives me nuts!)  But I still want to  stop here and there and ask about a sick kid, a difficult marriage, or a deep and painful loss and hopefully offer a word of encouragement or two. IF the Lord leads me then I would love to share Scripture or pray if it seems the right thing to do for you. I never want to force my faith on anyone, but I always want to leave it behind.  That’s because I never see in the Bible where Jesus ever forced Himself upon anyone and I never have either, at least I hope I never have.

Sinclair Lewis wrote, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked with a mere mortal.” Put another way, every human contact has eternal consequences. Every day we have opportunities to make a difference in the lives of people around us through the quiet witness of a faithful and gentle life or through encouraging words to a weary soul. Never underestimate the effect of a Christ-life on others.”

I know that this is a big step for anyone.  And, I hope I haven’t intimidated you from wanting to share  your heart and faith.  All to often we as Christians look and see people we know and think “Oh, they are doing just fine.  But are they really?”  Compassion for people no matter who they are is a real challenge in this polarized world today as well as a race track’s past experience and maybe todays.  Romans 12 is a really great read and study.  That’s homework for you.

Hopefully, I will get brave enough to do a video of a great way for you to spend some simple time with God through an app that our other ministry hat has produced.  That’s a goal for me.  But in the mean-time there is always what I call the “Two Minute Pit Stop for Life” which is the Daily Bread Devotional booklet that has three months’ worth of two minute a day readings in it.

Spending two minutes a day in it will surprise you on how much you not only learn but feed your faith to help you be brave enough to share love, kindness, compassion and your faith with people, …even ones you think you would never try to or even WANT too!


Bob’s Personal Testimony

Thanks to David H. Roper – Our daily Bread – Sept. 18, 2021