Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
God builds people. He builds people of strength and character. He is also building people for service to Him. He builds us in order that we may be used of Him. It is all about being God’s servant.
Today, we will look at Tabitha (also known as Dorcas).
A servant of The Lord Jesus Christ must be able to show that it is not about him or her, but all about Jesus. The primary thing that people should see is the reflection of Christ in one’s presence.
If you were to reduce the Christian’s job description to a phrase, it would be “reflect God’s glory.”
How does this occur?
“He (Jesus Christ) must increase, but I must decrease.”
1 Corinthians 3:7
So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
Only God Himself can transform the heart of a person.
I am Yahweh, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another
or My praise to idols.
In Acts 9:32-42, Dorcas is pictured with the apostle Peter. She is ministering to people in her own way–not as a healer or as a preacher–but through sewing.
She was able to bring things together.
She was able to mend and repair
It takes a keen eye and a sturdy hand–a skill–to sew.
Dorcas had the heart and mind of service in everything she did because she saw the need before her.
32 As Peter was traveling from place to place, he also came down to the saints who lived in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed,” and immediately he got up. 35 So all who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
Dorcas Restored to Life
36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. She was always doing good works and acts of charity. 37 In those days she became sick and died. After washing her, they placed her in a room upstairs. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples heard that Peter was there and sent two men to him who begged him, “Don’t delay in coming with us.” 39 So Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they led him to the room upstairs. And all the widows approached him, weeping and showing him the robes and clothes that Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40 Then Peter sent them all out of the room. He knelt down, prayed, and turning toward the body said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. 41 He gave her his hand and helped her stand up. Then he called the saints and widows and presented her alive. 42 This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.
God uses great men like Peter, but He also uses those who have the gift of kindness. People who are willing to make use of gifts that God gives are always doing good–always helping to glorify God (v. 36)
Make the use of the gift God has given to you.
Dorcas had a mind and heart to minister to the apparent needs of people. Do you see the needs that people have before you? Some people genuinely do not know what to do unless they are taught how to do it correctly. Some people do not feel appreciated, cared for, or believe they are altogether left out. Our prayer should be, “Lord, open my eyes so I can see who is in need. Help me to have a spiritual way of seeing things for you.” Pray also for a zeal to serve Him, as well.
Romans 12:5-8, 11
5 in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. 6 According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts:
use it according to the standard of one’ faith;
7 if service, in service;
if teaching, in teaching;
8 if exhorting, in exhortation;
giving, with generosity;
leading, with diligence;
showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
11 Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord.
Note that Satan will sometimes whisper things to you that will diminish what you are doing for The Lord. Know where that is coming from.
As we are not to do things to look for a pat on the back or for recognition, Dorcas was not seeking recognition from others.
Spirit-led people go to work for The Lord.
Dorcas ministered to the rich and to the poor. (Where did her material come from? She was able to meet provisions because of her involvement with everyone, and used what was given to her to serve everyone.)
People will see your faith in action by your deeds and your work.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him?
For God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you showed for His name when you served the saints—and you continue to serve them.
1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 So whenever you give to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be applauded by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! 3 But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for everyone.
What temptations do we face when we do kind things for others?
- They will not appreciate it. (If it is not appreciated, we will stop serving Him.
- It’s going to cost you too much. (This makes for a cheap ministry.)
- How much time will it take? (I don’t have time to do this stuff!)
Dorcas’ reward for ministry…her ministry touched many people, and it was evidenced by the number of people (all of the widows) who cherished her life, her work and her ministry. She was healed and raised up before them all, and God was glorified…once again, she was used by Him for the praise and testimony of Jesus Christ. (v. 36-42).