Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 342

Gospel Tentmaker, December 2

Acts 18:1-3; Acts 20:34

1 Thessalonians 1:6-9

In all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. 2 Corinthians 11:9.

Paul was a tentmaker, and he supported himself by working at his trade. While working thus, he spoke of the gospel to those with whom he came in contact, and turned many souls from error to truth. He lost no opportunity of speaking of the Saviour, or of helping those in trouble.3Letter 107, 1904.

The history of the apostle Paul is a constant testimony that manual labor cannot be degrading, that it is not inconsistent with true greatness and elevation of human or Christian character. Those toilworn hands, he deemed, detracted nothing from the force of his pathetic appeals, sensible, intelligent, and eloquent.... Those toilworn hands as he presented them before the people bore testimony that he was not chargeable to any man for his support.... At times he also supported his fellow workers, himself suffering from hunger in order to relieve the necessities of others. He shared his earnings with Luke, and helped Timothy obtain the necessary equipment for his journey.4Letter 103, 1900.

Paul set an example against the sentiment, then gaining influence in the church, that the gospel could be proclaimed successfully only by those who were wholly freed from the necessity of physical toil. He illustrated in a practical way what might be done by consecrated laymen in many places where the people were unacquainted with the truths of the gospel. His course inspired many humble toilers with a desire to do what they could to advance the cause of God, while at the same time they supported themselves in daily labor....

While some with special talents are chosen to devote all their energies to the work of teaching and preaching the gospel, many others, upon whom human hands have never been laid in ordination, are called to act an important part in soulsaving.... The self-sacrificing servant of God who labors untiringly in word and doctrine, carries on his heart a heavy burden.... His wages do not influence him in his labor.... From heaven he received his commission, and to heaven he looks for his recompense when the work entrusted to him is done.5The Acts of the Apostles, 355, 356.

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