Tent Makers

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Paul was a tent maker. That was his trade through which he supported himself while visiting distant churches as he traveled the world. He did not want his work for God to be a burden on the local church so he very graciously took up the needle, canvas and thread. He met others while traveling who were also in the trade of sewing tents.

Paul was a tent maker. That was his trade through which he supported himself while visiting distant churches as he traveled the world. He did not want his work for God to be a burden on the local church so he very graciously took up the needle, canvas and thread. He met others while traveling who were also in the trade of sewing tents.

Paul was a minister of God. He loved God and was helping to propel the church towards its final destination. Many would come along for the ride which would eventually end for Paul in the metropolis of Rome. He likened the Christian life to a Grecian Olympic race where only the ones who crossed the finished line were counted.

He also likened our physical bodies to mere vapors which were here one moment and gone the next. Our bodies he allegorized as tents that only temporarily housed our spirits while we waited to be clothed with our eternal attire. He was so sure of this eternal destiny that he even asked the sailors, on an ill wrought ocean voyage, to throw him overboard in order to save every man on the ship.    

Paul planted many seeds in good soil that eventually sprang up into mature fruit bearing Christians all around the Mediterranean basin. He lived each day to the fullest and never missed an opportunity to lay a firm foundation in someone’s life. He didn’t let his physical weakness keep him from speaking the truth.

Paul saw lives changed even in some of the roughest port cities of the known world. He never backed down when it came to the name and person of the Lord Jesus Christ. God was preeminent in his life and he suffered many stripes, beatings and prison for the sake of the gospel.

Paul had an eternal perspective. He knew where he was headed and he knew the way to get there. Personal gain was never a part of the equation as he selflessly worked to guide sinners to the truth. He continued to keep the law not because he had to but rather because of his love for God.

Even as his own authority was questioned, Paul only pointed out how he and others were merely fellow farmers who were jointly planting seed, watering seed and reaping the harvest but that it was always God who had caused the growth. Never did he feel the need for personal acknowledgement as he endured the marathon to its final conclusion.

He showed us how to stand and fight against the powers of darkness and that the battle is and always will be the Lord’s. He showed us each piece of our armor, how to guard our vulnerable parts and keep our guard up to ward off the fiery darts of our enemy. He taught us to use our swords to slay the giants in our lives.

Paul showed us a great mystery of the church being the bride of Christ. He encouraged us to remember the covenant that Jesus made with His bride; to drink the cup and break the bread of remembrance as we allow the Holy Spirit to renew and cleanse us for our marriage to the Lamb.

 He reminded men that they should lay down their lives for their wives while gracefully encouraging wives to submit to their husbands. He reminded us not to be too hard on our children and to never miss a teaching moment with them. Although possessing superior knowledge of the scriptures, Paul never forced it on anyone but gently allowed the Spirit to draw all men to Himself.

He encouraged and led, held up a mirror for us to examine ourselves while reminding us that he  hated it when he missed God’s higher calling. He taught that the gifts were a promise to all believers and instructed us on the correct way we should use them. He even showed us the greatest gift of love which can only be received from God.

This man was once a Hebrew of Hebrews but as God blinded him physically He opened his spiritual eyes forever. Paul lived and walked where ever he could to find the lost and gave everything he had to point them to Jesus. Seeing a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus changed him forever.

Paul would eat meat offered to idols, worship on Saturday or Sunday and once told Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach. He counted it all joy to suffer for the gospel and is rejoicing in heaven with the Lord at this very moment. For salvation is a gift from God and not of works because we would and still do boast about our accomplishments. It’s all about what Jesus, our eternal tent maker, accomplished.

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