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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Thinking Ahead

When our belongings start to crowd us

It would be interesting to know how many more storage units there are today, compared with 40 years ago.

Most of us are so abundantly blessed that we are running out of room to store all our stuff.

One of the benefits of Bible study is that it reminds us that material things are not what counts most.

A far better investment

Since possessions are so vulnerable to loss, Jesus reminds us that we can have treasures that are moth-proof, rust-proof, and theft-proof (Matthew 6:19-21). Heavenly treasure is the way to go!

The rich young ruler was unwilling to accept Jesus’ challenge to sacrifice his earthly wealth for heavenly treasure, by giving to the poor. So he walked sadly away (Matthew 19:16-22). Big mistake!

Better glad than sad

People keep making that same mistake. They can’t bring themselves to take Jesus’ word for it.

If we prudently lay aside an amount every paycheck for retirement, we are operating on the principle that we’ll benefit eventually. Someday we’ll be glad we planned ahead and made whatever sacrifice was necessary.

Small children usually don’t think very far ahead. They want it NOW! As we grow older, ideally, we mature to the point where we are willing to defer gratification.

Laying up treasure in heaven by giving to those in need is the ultimate extension of this principle. God promises us that if we’ll do His will and depend on His grace, we will be glad someday. Very glad!

If it’s wise to plan for retirement, how much wiser to plan for eternity!

Retirement lasts a few years at most. But eternity . . . .


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