The way to get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others.We know the life of Christ. We learn about the life of all his friends. As he lived and died he made sure they all learnt to devote their lives to others. You know, everyone in this world knows they are going to die. But the sad thing is no one believes it. If you know you're going to die and you're prepared for it, then you will be more involved in your life while you're alive. That's the story of Tabitha or Dorcas. In Greek it means a "gazelle". Her life teaches to value the life of Jesus.
36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas ), who was always doing good and helping the poor.
37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.
38 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!"
39 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.
40 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.
41 He 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.
42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.
It talks about Tabitha and that "she always did good", "she always helped the needy'. Sometimes we read this, feel good and then just move on to the next scripture. I thought -She ALWAYS did well? It doesn't say SOMETIMES but ALWAYS. Now if you are mothers and you have children at home can you ALWAYS be patient? Be Always good? It doesn't seem possible. You are married. Are you ALWAYS good to the husband, always respectful, ALWAYS loving? How is that possible? You live in a neighbourhood. Are you ALWAYS good to the neighbours, ALWAYS good to the landlord, ALWAYS good to the tenants? How can you be like that? If you're a mother-in-law or a daughter-in-law - Always good to each other? It seems impossible! But this woman "always" did good. It made me think. The first thing we learnt about her is:
1. She created a family
It's not clear if she had a family of her own but she did create a circle of loved ones around her. Now it became quite clear to Tabitha that she needed a family because she knew she was going to fall sick. Family is not about having kids, a husband - it's not about that. Family is an experience. Tabitha was so accommodative in her life. She was the most respected person among the Christians in Joppa.
And that's what the bible talks about in Ephesians 5:21-33. If you are not going to love and. respect the other person you're going to be in a lot of trouble. It's very important in marriage to have a common set of values and convictions. And what do I think is the biggest value? Biggest value is 'your belief 'in your marriage.
Do you have belief in your marriage?Do we value our family, our children, and our spouse? Who will be at your bedside, wanting you to live even after you die? Everybody missed Tabitha. She died. But then the sisters just couldn't let her go. They wanted her alive. How many of our people will want us alive after we are dead? Will your loved ones miss you after your death? We've really got to think -are we creating those memories. That's exactly what Tabitha's life was all about.
2. She put all her
energy into people
Did you notice how devoted to people she was?Peter was a great apostle. He was in Jerusalem. But this woman was so important to her church that Peter had to come down from Jerusalem. They wanted Peter to see what a great Christian they had in their church. She valued unconditional love. That's probably the only thing she believed in as a Christian. And imagine what times those were in the 1st century church. Many were being killed for being a Christian,their properties, snatched, many taken as prisoners to Rome. It was dangerous to be a Christian. In the middle of all that she said "I should live for others".
Love is very different. No negotiations. Love is when you are as concerned about others situation as you are about you're own.
What does Christ say in John 15:9-13 ?
Offer others what you have. It's not about money but about time. It means concern. It means your sharing ability. Entertain others. Devote our lives to something that has purpose and meaning. Tabitha didn't keep anything for herself. She only gave.She just had an open heart to give to people. Sometimes we wonder why should I listen to others problems I have enough problems of my own. But you know it's worth it. To make them smile when they have a problem, to listen to them it's really worth it. When they don't have hope and you open the bible and teach them a few things - there is a meaning to them.
3. She needed others to survive
Even though she built a community of people she loved, she still was very needy of people.She had no regrets in her life. There was no self-pity in her life. That's why when she died people really missed her. Then I thought if she was a bitter, resentful, angry person do you think people would have wanted her back alive? It would be interesting to know what people think of us when we are dead. I would want to open my eyes for a minute and see and hear what people think of me. That would reveal a lot about our life.
Sometimes we don't want people in our lives. We become resentful and unforgiving. Sometimes we don't forgive others because we can't forgive ourselves. What are some things we need to forgive ourselves for? We need to forgive ourselves for the things we didn't do in our lives. Or for the things we didn't do better in our lives.
Death ends a life but not relationships. Today inspired by Tabitha, Do you realize that you may have wasted your time worrying and doubting?People act as if death were contagious. It is but natural to die. All that we have to do is make peace with life as long as we have it in us, and then create that memories-leave this world after having touched and nurtured people's hearts with our love inspired by Christ.
Specifically encourage your family today. Take out time this week to encourage 1.a colleague. 2 a neighbour 3. a relative 4. a friend 5. a stranger