I don't think too many of us would put the words "thankful" and "captives" in the same sentence. But Paul isn't like the rest of us. And he loved some good imagery. This idea of a triumphant, commanding leader with a train of all of the spoils of his victories behind him, would have been well understood by his readers. The Romans were busy conquering all the things in that day and age, and they often had these glorious parades showing off all they plundered-both things and people.
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere." 2 Corinthians 2:14 NIV
This idea offends our modern sensibilities-we are really not fond of the concept of subjugation or conquering in general. But here, Paul is using it in a positive way-we are joyful captives who have been redeemed and rescued, not slaves cowering in fear and defeat. The country we were taken from is one of death and destruction-we are being led to a land of life and rebuilding.
And the best part? As we are marching in this parade, we are giving off the incredible, tantalizing, mouth-watering scent of freedom! Everywhere He leads us, others are being enticed by this amazing aroma-and it is making them want to jump in line. We are enveloped in the sweet perfume of His love-and it is practically irresistible.
The next verse puts it so well.
"For we are to God the pleasing of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." 2 Corinthians 2:15 NIVWe have the smell of "rescue" all over us, and to those who are going under, that is exactly what they want to catch a whiff of.
How about being thankful that we have been "captivated"? His love not only holds us close to Him, it also covers us with the beautiful aroma of His love! That is definitely something to be thankful for.
We serve an awesome Leader who is at the head of our joyful, sweet-smelling parade. Are you thankful to be a part of that? How can your thankfulness add to the enticement of the aroma of the knowledge of Him and His love?
Looking for the printable scripture writing plan? Or another day of the "Thankfulness: From Hand to Heart" study? Find them here!