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Posts Tagged ‘occupation’

Mark 6:3 [“]Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” so they were offended at Him.”

My oldest son is about to embark on his first post-graduate job in his chosen field. Up to now, he had a job at a concrete fabrication plant. It was hard work, but it demonstrated his work ethic and provided a decent paycheck. He knew God had a carpenter’s job for him, though…it was what he wanted to do. He has good gifts for it, and graduated from our local technical school with a degree in it. Now he’ll get to fulfill his love of carpentry. I always told him that, among other benefits, carpentry is one occupation that can’t be “offshored” to a foreign country. Whenever I take that 2 week break to travel with our Carpenters for Christ, even though I’m primarily a videographer, I do pitch in and help where I can. It’s such a sense of fulfillment to see a building rise from an empty foundation, and by the time we leave, a structure for a church body is sitting on that site. You get a great sense of accomplishment.

Jesus is a builder. Of course, in the verse today, the scoffers were referencing the fact that Jesus was a carpenter, having learned the trade from his human father, Joseph, also a carpenter. That is why they couldn’t understand the wisdom and teachings he was preaching. “But, he’s just a carpenter”, they said. No, Jesus is THE Carpenter. He is the Master Builder who can take destroyed lives and fix them. He is in the business of building up, not tearing down.

Have you put your life in the hands of the Carpenter today?

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Verses 2-3: “And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.”

Today I heard a news article about a Hollywood star accepting an award and using the traditional “thank you” speech to “throw some shade” (to coin a current phrase) on a newly-elected politician. At first, I wasn’t too happy, because we had heard so much negative political news this last year, I really didn’t want to hear any more. But the Lord reminded me, that sometimes, there are people who use moments in their professions (like actors at award shows) to thank God for being with them in their lives. Both these moments, negative and positive, are part of the freedom of speech we enjoy in America. Sheepishly, I asked God’s forgiveness, for He was right, and I regretted my attitude at the time.

More than that, though, He got me to thinking regarding today’s passage. I felt God leading me to this set of verses, because it is here that we learn of Paul’s occupation…he was a tentmaker, he worked with leather. In my studies in my Bible and Holman concordance, I discovered that rabbinic teaching of the day urged religious teachers to learn a trade to help support themselves. Though Paul did depend on churches for support, he also always tried to support himself through his given trade when the opportunity presented itself. This he did here with Priscilla and Aquila, themselves tentmakers.

More than that, it points to a major principle I read about in the Holman New Testament Commentary on Acts, page 303: “there is no secular duty for a Christian; everything we take on, from changing diapers to governing a state, becomes a form of service to Christ (Col. 3: 23-25)”. This means in our daily lives, we are to serve Christ, no matter what we do. In our daily jobs, we serve Christ…we pursue excellence in our jobs to glorify Him. In our recreation and leisure time, we might be the only Jesus some people see, so we need to glorify Him in our walk and in our talk. Did Paul quit serving Christ just because he was making tents temporarily? Not at all. I think of the example of the athlete/commentator Tim Tebow; he has unashamedly stated he is a Christian, whether he is on a mission trip, praying for someone, scoring a touchdown in football, or trying out for minor league baseball. Being a Christian isn’t something we do just on Sundays. We do it every day, no matter our station in life, no matter what we do for a living. We serve Jesus whether we are a pastor or a teacher, an athlete or announcer, a homemaker or office professional…and yes, whether we are an actor or a politician (believe it or not, some of them are Christians too! And they should act like it!)

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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