Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Joshua 24:15b As for me....(I) will serve the Lord.

Monday is one of my two "heavy" cleaning days. Generally, this work is done during school hours but last week I ran a bit behind schedule and found myself cleaning in the afternoon. Seeing me hard at work scrubbing countertops and floors, Hayleigh (11) asked me if we were having company over for dinner. I laughed as I responded that I was just cleaning to bless my family and no one else.

It was only a few minutes later when Hannah (14) walked through the kitchen and said, "Mom, what are you doing? Are we having company over tonight?" This time my laugh was more of a polite chuckle. Ouch! How did I give my children the impression I only clean up for other people? There are no more important guests than the five that already live here. Tonight I think I'll get out my fine china because the most precious company of all will be dining at my home - my husband, my children and our sweet Jesus.

This morning the passage is Ephesians 6. This chapter concludes Paul's letter to the Ephesians. His final topics include the relationship between parents and children, the relationship between masters and servants and spiritual warfare. It is tempting when I read a passage about slaves and their owners to skip through that section. The typical modern day application is to employers and their employees. I am neither since my full-time employment is as a wife and mother.

Today I allow my heart to linger on this passage, while I listen for God to speak His truth about this scripture into my life's situation.
  • Obey With Respect and Fear (Verse 5) - I have been known to write God in the blank for employer on various documents. Later I will smile to myself as I imagine the data input clerk trying to decide if she should actually enter "God" into the database. I wonder if that is the only moment in her day when she thought of Him or if she is a faithful follower who serves God not just her employer in her work. Indeed God is the ultimate employer of every person. Whether we realize it or not whether we acknowledge Him or not, He is the one providing our income and occupation. He has given me the opportunity to serve Him in my home. Do I obey my Boss out of respect and fear?
  • Serve With Sincerity of Heart (Verse 5) - My family is the recipient of my hard work. It is entirely possible to serve them with excellence and still not out of sincerity of heart. Do I serve to hear them or others praise what a fine job I do? Do I serve to gain the self-satisfaction of a job well done? Or do I serve with sincerity of heart, hoping only to please the Lord?
  • Serve From the Heart (Verse 6) - While the cat is away, the mice will play...or the employees as the case may be. Paul admonishes the servant to obey not only when their master's eye is on them. If we serve God, our Master's eye is always on us. Do I work hardest when others are watching or when I am observed by an audience of one?

Jesus, help me remember that it is You who sits at our table each night for dinner. Yours are the feet that trod my kitchen floor. May not only what I do here but how I do it bring glory and honor to You and abundant blessings to my treasured dinner party who gathers around my table every evening.

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