Women of the Bible Series
Tabitha (Acts 9:36–37)
Acts 9:36–37, Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
Joppa was about 10 miles farther northeast of Jerusalem than Lydda, and it was on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The church at Joppa was incredibly blessed by the ministry and service of Tabitha. Two names are given for her: "Tabitha," which was her Jewish or Hebrew name, and Dorcas, which was her Greek name. Her name means gazelle. Gazelle’s are known for their graceful nature. And certainly everything said about Tabitha (Dorcas) speaks about her grace and beauty as a Christian woman! She manifested spiritual beauty by her gracious good works and generous giving to those in need. She was deeply committed to Christ, a very faithful and devoted disciple, full of "good works". She was a doer of good deeds touching the lives of many people who humbly worked behind the scenes.
Tabitha had a positive impact on the lives of so many others who were in need. She was known for her deeds, her devotion, and for her donations. She was very charitable and full of good works. Tabitha used her skills to help make coats and garments for the widow women. She was a servant who was an industrious woman and an involved woman. Praise the Lord for servants like Tabitha who uses their talents for their service to the Lord! She was generous to the poor and those who were facing difficult financial conditions. She was a woman compassionately moved by the needs of the widows, orphans, elderly, etc. She wanted to bring pleasure to the Lord by her profession and practice. As God worked through Peter to heal (Acts 9:33-35) and to raise the dead (Acts 9:40), he also worked through Tabitha with her acts of kindness and love. Acts of love that help those in need are also an outward display of the Holy Spirit and are just as important as physical healings or other miracles.
She was determined that her life was not going to be miserable, pitiful, or idle. When Tabitha died, she was remembered as a disciple who did compassionate works. She was a wonderful example of Proverbs 10:7, “The memory of the just is blessed...” Servants of the Lord are characterized by their steadfastness to the saints, to the Scriptures, to supplication, and to their surrender. It’s been said, “The greatest use of your life is to use your life so that the use of your life will outlive your life”. God is always at work behind the scenes. He blesses and uses people who are surrendered, sacrificial, and servant hearted. True love not only involves our devotion to God, but it also involves our kindness to man. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction...” James 1:27. Dorcas was most faithful to this duty. Not all are called to preach, or teach, or sing, or play an instrument at church, but everybody can be compassionate to others.
What the Bible says about of good works?
We are created for them (Ephesians 2:10).
We are commanded to do them (Psalm 34:14).
We are equipped to do them (II Timothy 3:16-17).
God knows our works (Revelation 2:2).
The Christian is rewarded for doing them (I Corinthians 3:13-15).
Points to Ponder:
Just as there was only one Tabitha, there is only one you. You are unique and irreplaceable.
The things that we do and the lives that we touch will be remembered for good or evil.
What we give and do for others today, will be what we are remembered for tomorrow.
Every day of our lives, whether we realize it or not, we are building up a reputation by which we will be known.
Do all that you can right now, and do it in a way that pleases and glorifies the Lord.
Questions to Consider:
Are you living for yourself or for others?
What do we have to show when we leave this life?
What kind of impact are we having on the lives of those around us?
When you die will others be able to testify of your good works?
What kind of memories will you leave in the lives of others?
PRAYER: Lord, make a difference in me. Make a difference through me. Make me a difference maker. Each day You give me opportunities to reach others with the Gospel. I ask You to use me as one of Your instruments to restore one who has fallen in this broken world. In Jesus name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.