Acts 20:33-34, “I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.”
It is amazing how Paul often wrote about the Lord providing for his personal needs. In these verses today, Paul was relaying to the church his financial policy. Realizing how God miraculously provides for us to minister on His behalf is a wonderful reflection. Whether you receive remuneration from the Lord’s work here on earth is not the question. All of us are called to be full-time Christians. All of us have opportunity to earn rewards in heaven. These rewards will not come by accident. They only come because someone purposes in their heart to follow the Lord. The purposes that you and I have are clearly revealed through our hearts and our hands.
Look at my Heart
Paul had learned that. He basically says, “Look at my heart.” Once he had trouble with coveting, so he told the Romans (Rom. 7:7). But he had long since moved out of Romans seven into Romans eight. He could now confidently tell the Ephesian elders that his own financial policy was to abstain absolutely from coveting other men’s wealth. He did not look to men. He looked to God. It would be easy for me to become covetous of other ministries as I travel. I could easily spend time thinking of ways the money could have been used, in my opinion.
Look at my Hands
Paul was not afraid of work. Paul was certainly quite willing to roll up his sleeves and work. We must keep our hearts pure of covetousness, and keep our hands busy in the work that God has for us to do. Paul did not even look at his job as something to benefit him only, but those that were with him also.
It was clear to me as I read, dissected, and defined this passage that when one has a proper heart putting his hand to the plow, that Christ enables him for that work, and the results can always be seen with the weak being supported (v 35). My heart was moved by the end of this chapter (v 35-38) as in my mind’s eye I saw a group of people hugging the Apostle Paul for the very last time, watching him board a ship and sail away with only the hope of seeing him again in heaven. In October, it will be 2 years since my friend, Bro. Steve Curington, went home to be with the Lord. I can assure you that in the moment, that event seemed to pass like rapid fire, but now that I have reflected for almost 24 months, it seems as if I can view it through slow motion. I am thankful for those who labor in Rockford and have seen over 140 chapters of RU open since his homegoing. This has resulted in hundreds, yea thousands, of weak people now being supported.
Who will you support today? Will you make a phone call to someone showing weakness? Will you get up and do your daily journal, asking God to prompt you on who needs your help? Will you say a word of encouragement to that fallen soldier? As God’s people take on His heart, we need to feel the way He feels, think the way He thinks, and I can assure you that the result will be our hands helping those who need support because they are weak.