11 February 2011

Life is all about Love

“Love means living the way God commanded us to live.
As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: Live a life of love.”
– 2 John 1:6

Today I want to introduce you to a very special woman. She was a woman of a “generous spirit.” She goes by the name of Tabitha or Dorcas. Here is her story:

“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”

Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.

Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.” (Acts 9:36-42)

What type of person was Dorcas? A believer and follower of Christ

What type of deeds did she do: Good works... helped the poor – v.36, helped widows – v. 39, sewed clothing – v. 39. Her good works represented Christian faith in action.

What type of Fruits of the Spirit do we see in her: love, kindness, goodness, faithfulness

The story of Dorcas tells us that she was “always doing good.” Do you ever feel like those three simple words are hard to live up to? I sure do. Fixing a meal for someone, volunteering in the community, listening to a friend, serving on a committee, running errands for a neighbor, taking care of a sick family member.... the list goes on and on. Yes, God does call us to do good works, but we have to remember that God took time to rest (Genesis 2:2). And Jesus spent quiet time in prayer (Matthew 14:23, Mark 6:46, Luke 6:12). All too often, when we devote all of our time to “always doing good,” we fail to recognize our limitations, fail to renew our spirit. Remember that our “good works” come from the overflow in our heart! Why not ask God to refill and restore you today!

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle... Action Required... Dorcas made a huge impact on the people of Joppa and inspired women through-out history. Today her example is kept alive by The Dorcas Society. It is a local group of people, usually based in churches, with a mission of providing clothing to the poor.

The original society was founded in 1834, as part of the community's thanksgiving for being spared from an outbreak of cholera. The poorer families in town had their clothes and bedding destroyed as part of the effort to prevent the disease. Today there are Dorcas societies all around the world.

What can we learn from Dorcas? Why not spend a few minutes today and take a personal inventory of your “good works.”

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers”. – Galatians 6:10
Fact: God calls us to do good works.
Personal Inventory: What “good works” have I done lately?

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” - James 2:26
Fact: Our good deeds reflect our faith.
Personal Inventory: What are my good deeds saying to others about my faith?

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” - Matthew 5:15
Fact: Our good works bring glory to God.
Personal Inventory: Do my good works bring glory to God, or are they self-centered?

With Valentine’s Day only three days away, what better time to set out to do “good works,” not only for those we know and love... what about the poor, the sick and the widows? Feel free to share your “good works” with us .... your response might just encourage another reader.

Coming soon: Meet a joyful encourager, some people who love to write notes of encouragement, and even a few anonymous encouragers. Can’t wait to spend time with you again next week.... have an awesome weekend!

Until Monday...
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
- Aesop

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