“And because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.” (Acts 18:3)

Usually, when we need a spark of encouragement, a scriptural vitamin-­B shot to extinguish our physical or spiritual malaise, we plunge into the poetry of the Psalms. Surprisingly, and where we least expect it, God often uses a seemingly mundane portion of Scripture to bolster our courage.

Tucked into the fabric of Acts 18 is a principle that can strengthen our resolve. The chapter focuses on Paul’s obedience, his life of surrender to the cause of Christ, and his unflinching abandonment to the Father’s will. Intertwined in this passage is a succinct job description of a disciple of Christ. In verse 3, Luke notes that Paul was a tentmaker by trade. The famous apostle did not hold the office of an important politician or prestigious professional. He wasn’t part of the religious elite or the wealthy aristocrats but was simply a craftsman.

God’s bold witness for the Gospel, who radically affected the world for Christ’s sake, made ends meet by stitching tents. Looking at Paul, we learn that God’s requirement for faithful service is not an impressive career or exalted occupation. The tentmaker teaches us to pursue obedience and a surrendered will.

As we maneuver through our regular routines, fulfilling God’s agenda, Paul’s life is a reminder that ordinary is okay.

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