The Legacy of Dorcas

We don’t know much about her—she is mentioned in only one brief passage in the New Testament (Acts 9:36-42). But everything we know about Dorcas is good.

1) She was a disciple.

The word disciple means learner. She had learned to live the life of a Christian. She was not simply someone who did good deeds—she followed the example of the One who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).

2) She did good for others consistently.

“…this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.” For Dorcas, doing good was not occasional, but a way of life. Those who do the most good in this life find a way to serve, and then they keep doing it.

3) When she died she was sorely missed.

Perhaps you’ve heard this illustration: To show how much difference you make, put your hand in a bucket of water and then pull it out. The water immediately rushes in where your hand was as if it had never been there.

Although this illustration was designed to promote humility, it goes too far. Christians ought to live such lives that when they die, their loss to the church is keenly felt. Because of death, they can no longer do the works they once did. They do leave a noticeable vacancy. And like Dorcas, they are truly missed.

For Dorcas, doing good meant using a needle and thread—and lots of time. For you and me, it may mean using our car, our kitchen, our phone, our computer, our cash—and lots of time. There are so many needs out there. We can fill some of them.

So, like Dorcas, let’s do it!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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