SATURDAY September 16, 2023
The Work of the Ministry
So, because he [Paul] was of the same trade, he stayed with them [Aquila and Pricilla] and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.
Paul and his friends were tentmakers. Did you know, Jewish young men were required to learn a trade? The Rabbis had this saying, “He who does not teach his son to work, teaches him to steal.” So from a youth, Paul would have learned the value of hard work.
In Paul’s testimony, he mentioned his Jewish heritage and education: ...circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee... (Philippians 3:5). He not only had a trade, but he was educated in the Law of God. Paul had a full work schedule. In the early morning hours, he worked his trade; from 11:00am to 4:00pm, he preached the Gospel. Although Paul completed his work day, he continued to minister to others in the evening hours. Even after a full week of work, on the Sabbath, Paul went to a synagogue to preach Christ.
Paul had a desire to work––to provide for himself and any needs for ministry. He preferred not to receive money from people, as he wanted to remain blameless; however, later God placed it on the heart of Timothy and Silas to give Paul an offering, so his ministry work could continue.
Some people who enter ministry do not like to work; instead, they like to live off the ministry. Where is their integrity? Years ago when we first began ministry, we all had full-time jobs. As pastors, we did not receive a salary until there were at least 500 people in the church. At times we lacked money, but we trusted the Lord to provide. Chuck Smith taught us, “Where God guides, God provides.” We found this to be true.
Some people are drawn into the ministry because they like to travel and experience a comfortable life. That is not the ministry. It is not a job, but a call from God. A person may say, “I want to be a pastor.” It does not work that way. God anoints a person, and they have a burden to preach.
If a man be truly called of God to the ministry, I will defy him to withhold himself from it. A man who has really within him the inspiration of the holy ghost calling him to preach cannot help it. He must preach.