Paul's Provision

Political ambassadors going abroad on behalf of their home countries may end up a long way from home, but they are not simply turned loose and forgotten about. They are not sent off with a parting gift and wished well. Though they live in the places that they are sent to, they receive ongoing care and provision from their sending countries. The country they are being sent to is not expected to pay the ambassador, nor is their fate entrusted to the foreign nation. They still belong to the sending country, so the sending country accepts responsibility for them.

Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles on the way to a life of missions is willingness to relinquish many comforts of “home” to go where we are sent. Our perspective changes drastically, however, when we remember that though we are ambassadors to the earth, we are provided for by our “home nation” of heaven. This is something Paul understood first hand.

The apostle Paul was a tentmaker. It was even supposed that he continued this trade well into his missions and would speak to those who gathered as he did his tent making. It was clear from his writings, however, that he did not see his tent making as the source of his provision. He did not see himself as a tentmaker who preached on the side. He saw himself as a man completely dedicated to the work of God who may have happened to make tents as he did it. He saw his heavenly sender as his provider. Since he was an ambassador for heaven, he trusted heaven entirely for his provision and the provision of the churches to which he tended. His focus was on heavenly treasures rather than earthly ones. His currency was not money but souls.

Scripture reminds us of this in several places. Paul himself wrote, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) and “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). Matthew reminds us, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 6:26). The psalms sing of it as well: “I, the LORD, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10), “The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing” (Psalm 34:10).

Whom do you trust for your provision; your sender or this world? What is your economy; money or missions? You have been given skills, education, talents, or a vocation. While you may be using them, ask God if there is a way they can be applied to further His kingdom. If you're looking for an opportunity to use your professional skills to further God's kingdom, contact us! We may be able to help.

Sanders, E. P. “St Paul, The Apostle”. Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Paul-the-Apostle. 28 June 2018.