Yesterday we discussed how everything that we put into our bodies influences us. Today we will look at the things that we spend time with and how they influence us in return. Let us paint a mental picture to hopefully make a point.
Having guests for dinner can be challenging. You have to decide what to serve and when to serve and where to seat each guest. Being a good host and practicing good hospitality is a skill and a blessing to everyone, when it’s done properly.
Get it wrong, however, and you end up with embarrassed and sometimes unhappy guests. If you serve your vegan aunt a steak and your lactose intolerant friend a cheeseburger, they aren’t going to eat and will go hungry. Likewise, serving food that is overcooked or getting cold because it’s been sitting out too long won’t make anyone happy.
How about that seating arrangement? If you are fortunate enough to have friends and family where everyone gets along then you should be very thankful! Many people don’t have that luxury and must be very careful about who sits next to whom or there will be grumbling and complaining if not outright hostility. Some people just don’t mix well and it will be your job as host to make sure that anyone who causes a problem is asked to leave so that they don’t upset your other guests.
Do you remember all of those influences that we talked about yesterday? The ones you let in your house? They are now sitting at the table of your mind and your heart. If you are saved (and I pray that you are!) then Jesus is also sitting at the table of your mind and your heart.
How much time will you give each guest and how are you going to arrange them? Will there be any guests that you simply must ask to leave?
I hope we agree that Jesus must be first at our table. Jesus must get the best seat and the best that we have to offer. Jesus is patient and kind, however, and will not force us to listen to Him or to spend any time with Him at all. Jesus is the type of guest who brings more to the party than the host but will never force the host to take anything from Him. Jesus wants to bless our table, every single day.
Jesus wants to sit quietly with us, talk, and let us discover who He is through intimate conversation. Jesus will even feed us out of the good things that He has brought to our table if we will be humble enough to ask. Jesus delights in nourishing His children, and his gifts are always perfect.
As for those others who we have invited in and now sit at our table? As we make Jesus the head of our table and the focus of our gathering, it becomes more and more important that the other guests agree with our arrangement and support our effort. One bad guest can ruin the entire party out of rudeness or hostility. A good guest will recognize the guest of honor and defer to Him and not try to steal the glory or the spotlight. The best guests will even join in the celebration and help to honor and glorify He who sits at the head of our table. These types of guests are keepers, and should have a regular place at our table!
The moral is this: It matters what we see and hear. It matters who (Who) we spend our time with and what we spend our time doing. It also matters how we spend time with our Lord and how we order our lives around Him.
How much time did you spend with the Lord today? Did you do anything special during that time with Him?