“After Athens, Paul went to Corinth. That is where he discovered Aquila, a Jew born in Pontus, and his wife, Priscilla. They had just arrived from Italy, part of the general expulsion of Jews from Rome ordered by Claudius. Paul moved in with them, and they worked together at their common trade of tentmaking.” Acts 18:1-3, THE MESSAGE
Paul made tents. Or as most understood in the Jewish craftsmen trade, tallits. Non-Jews, Gentiles, would know these as prayer shawls. These are the large head coverings used in prayer and sometimes, when needed, as protective clothing against the wind and rain. For those who have had the joy and honor of going to the Western Wall (the Kotel) in the Old City of Jerusalem, it is good seeing the men (and some women) praying in earnest with their tallits covering their heads.
Here in the USA, most synagogues have them available before entrance into the main auditorium for gatherings, should you not have your own with you. As a Gentile, I never do, though I have one at home.
How do I know that the English word used here in Acts 18, “tentmaking” in Hebrew would be “tallit”? Because a Jewish man explained this verse in Acts to me. This good friend, a Messianic Jew who Love For His People ministry assists with monthly provision, also labors in a trade in Israel. Being indebted to the Jews for what they have given Christians also (Bible, Messiah, Prophets), we consider it our privilege and duty to bless his work in the Land of Israel.
As several of you may know, who have read my books or have known of my history, I served with three ministries in the USA for 24 years, as Director, Administrator, and/or Accountant. Usually, it was both the administration and the accounting positions at the same time. Each of these three organizations had a primary interest in Israel and the Jews. One organization’s founders resided five miles west of Jerusalem, with an American office that I ran for 5 years, prior to beginning Love For His People in 2010.
As one very attuned to the vast financial and operational cost of these ministries, I made a commitment that when I started a ministry, our income would come from resources other than the monthly mass appeal letter choice, which is very common with large (and small) ministries. And yet I had a difficult time justifying all the time and expense, needing paid staff and constant volunteers, outside contractors for specific portions of the job, and just the overall expense of scheduled monthly appeals (“opportunity letters” as one called them).
I personally committed to not do that and would trust the Lord with other means of provision.
Being I had left the $70,000 job in 2010, with full benefits, medical, vacation and more, one simply does not cover that income loss by trusting in family and friends to “come forth”, even though a good handful did. I had to get part-time work to pay our personal house mortgage, car payment, and everything in between. With my good wife’s income from her daycare job. The Lord did provide and give some great ways to cut expenses at the same time. It is amazing what you think you need but don’t when you really don’t have that extra to shell out.
But in all of this, and even if it took a while, the Lord has shown me that I too can be as Paul, and be a “tentmaker”, which in turn would bring in provision for the ministry work He has called us to do.
And thus, through my accounting contract jobs, the funds came, and continue to do so. Right into the ministry’s bank account, too. No personal taxes deducted. Nothing.
We are grateful for the ones who have joined alongside us in sharing their financial gifts, seeing the need, knowing the work that is done – provision for those we do support with extra gifts, along with with the outreach through social media, book publication, and teaching opportunities given to advance the Kingdom of God.
I wanted to write this testimony to let you know that there are more than the “usual” ways most ministries operate in having income to fund the mission.
As the Lord has given me the skill in accounting to do it, you too may be wanting to have a ministry outreach, and He will have you use your years of experience, training and skills developed, to also have a service or trade in order to provide for your ministry work.
And yes, Love For His People ministries does accept and receive all gifts, small or large, with thankful hearts! https://loveforhispeople.com/donate/
As one closing thought, here is a word from the Word, that I practice very often, because I believe it, and found He is true to His Word.
“But the generous person devises generous things, and his generosity will keep him standing.” Isaiah 32:8, Complete Jewish Bible
Now think on this.
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Founder/President Love For His People, Inc.
SPECIAL NOTE: Our ministry’s new mobile app is available for iPhones and Androids is available. These are free app downloads! Look here: Love For His People free phone app
COMING July 10-11, 2020
You are welcome to help support the work of this ministry, including the assistance we give to families in Israel: DONATE online now. You can also send checks to: Love For His People P.O. Box 414 Pineville, NC 28134
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Now Think On This #491 – in the year of our Lord 03.18.2020 – “How It Will Come – The Lord’s Provision for Ministry” Wednesday, 6:30 am in Charlotte, NC USA