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Friday, August 10, 2007


Tabitha, whose name in Greek is Dorcas, was a woman with a servant's heart. She lived in Joppa, which was one of the earliest Christian cities. Dr. Luke in the book of Acts calls her a disciple or a “learner” of Christ. She was known by her good works, she sewed clothing, she helped the widows and the poor. But she also suffered with an illness. Now let me pause here.

Here was Tabita a woman known for her good works, and she suffered from an illness. We don't know what illness she had, but it was enough to kill her. If you will allow me to read between the lines-here was a woman who had her own set of problems. I am sure she had some form of pain, but each day with whatever strength she had, she was serving others. I get a sore throat and I am in bed, and wondering why others are not serving me! I am joking, but what is our attitude when we suffer from an affliction? Is it one of pity? Do we sit there wondering “where is everybody?” I know I have been guilty of that attitude in the past.

Tabitha did die (Acts 9:37) from her illness. And there was great mourning, many of the widows she helped stood around crying (Acts 9:39). Other disciples heard of her death and sent two men to retrieve Peter. They knew God used Peter to perform miracles, and they could not bear to lose Tabitha. Peter came to see Tabitha, and he sent everyone out of her room. He got down on his knees and said simply, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes and sat up. Through Peter, God used His power to to lead many to Christ (Acts 9:42). This began what is called the Dorcus-Society, a society known for charity work.

Now works do not save you, only accepting Christ as your personal Savior is the only way to salvation. But through Tabitha many people benefited from her servant's heart, and God used her in a mighty way to bring glory to Himself.

How is God using your life to bring others to salvation? If someone never spoke a word to you, but watched you from afar, would they know there is something different about you? Would they see a servant's heart?

Acts 9:36-42

In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. 37About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38Lydda 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!"

39Peter 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.

40Peter 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. 41He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. 42This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.

Father help cultivate a servants heart in me. Amen.

You can visit me at my personal blog: Laurel Wreath

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Blogger Sharon said...

How great would it be if God would tell us we could ask for one thing and He would give it to us.
Lately I have been thinking I would ask for Him to give me His heart.
That would cover everything I think.

August 9, 2007 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Bless you dear Laurel.

August 9, 2007 at 11:04 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Wow you brought that story alive!! I'll never forget the details now. What a great example this woman was. My sister's nickname is Dorcas, after this woman--I never knew why.

August 9, 2007 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Oh, one more thing... I love that you pasted a big chunk of scripture to go with it. That's meaty.

August 9, 2007 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

Ah, yes, that's one of my have a servant's heart.

Like you stated, works DO NOT save us, but isn't it fascinating to witness those that when they get saved, HOW much they want to work?

Wonderful grace!

August 10, 2007 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

This was a great post! Thanks Laurel for sharing this, it brought the story alive for me too!

August 10, 2007 at 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...


Father help cultivate a servants heart in me. Amen.

I am praying this along with you. Great post as usual. Thank you!

August 10, 2007 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

I, too, want to be recognized as a servant. However, I am afraid it won't ever be for my sewing skills. My Home Ec teacher still has tremors after having me in class..:)

Thank you so much for this writing about a woman we hear so little about!

August 10, 2007 at 10:04 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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