What You Did for Jesus Today

mac n cheeseLet me just say right now that I’m not Martha Stewart. I can’t fold a napkin into the shape of anything (well, except a rotisserie chicken, but that’s another story), I don’t know how to arrange flowers, and my idea of a gourmet meal is when I not only prepare macaroni and cheese for my kids, but I also fix a vegetable to go with it.

But I served Jesus today.

I’m also not Michael Jordan (I’m definitely not talented at sports), Faith Hill (I sing well, but I could never make a living from it), or Bill Gates (I’m neither rich nor technologically astute).

But I served Jesus today.

I’m not Billy Graham. I don’t draw tens of thousands to a stadium (and millions more on television) to hear me speak. I will never have as much influence on the world as Billy Graham does.

But I, too, served Jesus today.

Today, I made sure Jesus had clean clothes to wear and a nice, filling breakfast to eat. I laughed with Him and played games with Him. I drove Him where He needed to go. I showed Him kindness, patience, and respect.

How did I do all these things, since we know that Jesus has ascended to heaven, where He sits on the right hand of the Father (see Acts 2:33)? It’s not like He’s down here bodily for me to do these things to and for Him.

Or…is it?

One of the most precious passages in all of Scripture involves Jesus telling His followers that whatever kindnesses or acts of service they showed to other human beings, they showed to Him (see Matthew 25). In other words, Jesus is saying (if I may paraphrase), “Whatever you do for another human being, you do for Me. It’s not just that I appreciate what you’ve done, but that I take it personally.”

Every time I consider Jesus’ incredible words, I’m blown away. Do You really mean that when I changed that diaper, cuddled that child, or read that story for the umpteenth time, I did those things for You? That you took it so personally, it was as if You were the one sitting here next to me while I read to You?

Of course he meant it. Jesus never says things He doesn’t mean.

The implications are mind-blowing. They lift the sometimes humdrum, routine life of a mom from seeming insignificance (at least in the world’s eyes) to a position of incredible glory.

Even Billy Graham, as much as he loves the Lord and as public a ministry as he has, is no greater a servant of Jesus than a mom who also loves Jesus and spends her days taking care of Him through her hands-on ministry to her children.

Did you ever think of it that way? That you have as incredible a ministry as Billy Graham does? Or as any Christian author who’s sold billions of books, or Christian recording artist who fills stadiums with people who want to hear his or her worship music?

That’s because the greatness of your ministry doesn’t depend on the world’s opinion of its significance. You serve Jesus Himself all day long, in some life-sustaining and very physical ways.

Stop and make a list right now (either on paper or in your head) of all the things you have done for Jesus today. Have you cooked for Him? Tended to His medical needs? Educated Him, academically or spiritually? Given Him a bath? Helped Him get dressed? Celebrated with Him?

Others may have served Him in more public ways today. But no one served Him more directly or intimately.

The following is a poem I wrote several years ago (back when I had two children instead of the five I now have) reflecting what Jesus showed me about serving Him. I pray that God will use it to change your perspective as much as He changed mine.

Loving Jesus

I started my day early,
Before the room was light.
I lifted my son from his crib
And wished it was still night.
But as I held him close and said,
“Hi, Kenneth, precious one,”
I knew that as I greeted him,
I greeted too God’s Son.

When my daughter woke up later,
Calling, “Mommy! Mommy! Down!”
I picked her up and hugged her
In her worn Elmo nightgown.
I know she felt the closeness
That a mother’s touch affords.
I welcomed not just Ellie,
But so, too, the Lord of Lords.

That day, I mixed some formula
And opened jars of peas.
I fixed some “pizza butter” bread
When she grinned and said, “Pleeeeease.”
I heated up some leftovers;
I had to nuke them twice.
And when I fed my children,
I was feeding Jesus Christ.

I made some funny faces,
And “played puzzles” on the floor.
I dressed kitties, ran around outside,
And played with them some more.
We laughed and jumped and tickled,
Making memories to be stored.
When I spent time with my children,
I spent time with my Lord.

I wiped up sticky cereal
And washed the dishes clean.
I straightened, picked up, put away,
And dusted in between.
I did six loads of laundry
And folded it like new.
When I cleaned for my children,
I cleaned for my Savior, too.

When my children were both crying,
I held them in my arms.
I cuddled them and whispered
That I’d keep them safe from harm.
I told them how their Father saved them
With His perfect Lamb.
When I comforted my children,
I comforted I AM.

Later on that evening,
I put them in the bath.
I washed their little bodies
As they kicked around and splashed.
I dried them in soft towels
And put their jammies on.
When I had washed my children’s feet,
I’d washed the Holy One.

I cooked and cleaned and rearranged,
Made beds and taught and played.
I made sure that we had food to eat
And that we often prayed.
I died to self. I made a home
From ordinary things.
But when I served my children,
I served the King of Kings.

To some, I have done nothing,
But to two, I’ve done the world.
I made eternal difference
To my precious boy and girl,
And to the One who watches over
Every pathway that I’ve trod.
For when I’ve loved my precious children,
I’ve loved Almighty God.

Matt. 25:40—“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (NIV)

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