Thursday, February 13, 2014
Acts 20:34 You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions.
Acts 20:35 In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Paul had never wanted to be a burden on anyone and so as he went about his ministry he tried to find ways of supporting himself. He was a brilliant and highly educated man but was very willing to work with his hands. He had learned the trade of tent-making and therefore often found himself among others of the same trade working side-by-side, earning an income, while sharing the good news about Jesus. It was in his work situations that he found great opportunity and we know that specifically he led Priscilla and Aquila, fellow tent-makers to the Lord.
Everything Paul did in life was about ministry. He wanted to make sure that he was serving Jesus Christ day in and day out through his life and work. He found this possible by using his hands, whether it was making tents, or by giving to others. Paul’s hands bore the scars of a man who had lived his life giving rather than receiving. Somehow this is eerily similar to the Christ whom he followed who eternally bears the scars of our salvation on the palms of his hands. Paul said, “follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” (I Corinthians 1:11) His life of service and self-support was his way of following Christ.
Lord, may I follow you today and every day, giving of myself in service to you, by way of service to others. Amen.