Lord, Give Me a Giving Heart

Dr. Marlin Hotle

Dorcas has always been a Bible character of intrigue to me. She was not an apostle. There is no record that she ever preached a sermon. But her worth to the Church at Joppa was so great that the apostle Peter raised her from the dead. Peter was ministering in nearby Lydda when the heartbroken people of Joppa sent an urgent request to him pleading that he come to them because their friend had died.

When he arrived, all the widows came to Peter weeping and showed him the robes and clothing she had made for them. The Greek construct indicates that she must have been a woman of some means and the poor widows were the benefactors of her charitable heart. Whatever the case, Peter was so moved
by the stories that, even as she was being prepared for burial, he restored her life to her again.

I am aware that people will soon forget my sermons, but it is the cups of cold water given in the name of Jesus that will live on in the hearts of others long after we are gone. As I penned this devotional I immediately thought of six or seven people in our church whose acts of compassion make such a difference in the lives of the older and the needy both inside and outside of our church family. It causes me to wonder what difference it would make in the lives of others should my life end tomorrow. One of the things I am praying for during this month is that God will open my eyes and heart so that, like Dorcas, my actions will make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

Acts 9:36-42 -  At Joppa there was a certain disciple named [a]Tabitha, which is translated [b]Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. 37 But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38 And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. 39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41 Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.