Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tabitha "Gazelle"

Rosalyn Smith
Tabitha, The Serving Disciple

About Tabitha
Tabitha’s story can be found in Acts 9:36-43
Tabitha is actually the Hebrew translation of Dorcas.  It’s important to know the meaning of Tabitha’s Greek name,Dorcas, because it helps us to understand her nature of beauty and graceful servanthood.  Dorcas means gazelle.  Gazelles are known for their beauty and grace.

Tabitha’s story
Tabitha was known for her charity work for the poor and the coats and garments she made for widows. She gave and served from a pure, unselfish heart. Tabitha was a disciple and served God through her work and servanthood.  The bible emphasized that she was full of good works.  She didn’t serve to be seen, she served because she loved God. Because of her reputation and the good works that she did, she was well-respected and well-known.  

Tabitha became sick and died. She was washed and laid in an upper room. The disciples sent two men to a nearby city called Lydda where Peter was and asked him to come quickly to Joppa where Tabitha had died.  Peter was in another city, but got right up from what he was doing and went with the two men that asked for his assistance.  Peter was brought in the upper room where Tabitha was laid.  The widows that were there when he arrived were standing around him weeping and showing him the coats and garments that Tabitha had made while she was alive.  

He told all of the mourning widows to leave the room, knelt down to pray and then told Tabitha to get up.  She immediately opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.  Peter then gave her his hand and lifted her up.  He called the believers and widows in and presented her to them alive.

Tabitha’s resurrection was known all over Joppa and started a revival.  Many people believed in the Lord because of it.  Because of this, Peter stayed many days in Joppa, preaching the gospel.

Power Points: Tabitha’s example, Our story
Point #1: Tabitha was a servant of God first
We are first called to serve God and then people.  When our hearts are pure before God, it’s impossible not to do good and serve others.  It’s in God’s nature to serve (John 13:5), and therefore if we are one with him our desire is also to serve
God sees our hearts above our talents and good works
Lord help us cultivate a pure, servants heart before you.  Don’t allow selfishness or a self-centered heart deter us in our well-doing. I Timothy 1:5

Point #2:  Tabitha was a disciple
I’m sure she was even more committed and dedicated to God as His disciple after her resurrection.  When we follow Tabitha’s example, ware unashamed disciples of Christ.  Being a disciple means that we are servants of Jesus Christ and our fellow man. We are to follow and worship Jesus and we point people to Him. 
God help us to be unashamed when sharing the gospel and empower us to make disciples for your glory. Matthew 28:19-20

Point #3:  Tabitha didn’t talk about doing good, she just did good.
She was so committed to doing good that she died while doing good works. Never ceasing to help others.  While doing good is not always recognized by man, it is always recognized and acknowledged by God.  Our job is to do good whether it’s recognized or not.  Don’t get weary in doing good.  God will reward you.
God give us strength as we go about doing good.  Help us to have patience while doing good because in due season you will reward us. Galatians 6:9

Point #4Tabitha became sick and died
Life doesn’t always go as planned.  I’m sure that Tabitha was not expecting to get sick and die right in the midst of her servanthood.  Sometimes things have to die in our lives in order for God to resurrect something new for His glory
God help us to see when you have allowed something to die in our lives so that we can recognize it and let it go.  We give you praise for every new door that you open and thank you that no man can shut it.  Revelation 3:8

Point #5Tabitha was well-known because of her good works
Tabitha used what she had to serve and do good for God’s sake.  She was a seamstress and so she made coats and garments for the poor and widows.  She used her talent to help and give to others. The word about her spread because of what others said about her.  She didn’t have to say anything about what she was doing, she just did it.
God let our lights shine before men so that they may see our good works and glorify You. Matthew 5:16

Point #6: The mourning widows 
Tabitha was loved very much, but it was important that the widows left the room while Peter prayed. I dare to say that he needed to have fully committed faith while he prayed for Tabitha.  They were in mourning and not in prayer mode.  Sometimes we encounter well-meaning and loving people in our lives who will mourn the death in our lives with us.  We do need these people but when it’s time to be resurrected, we need Peters who will pray for life and not wallow in death.
Lord we’re thankful for the people who love us when we’re down but thank you Lord for people who won’t let us stay down.  Thank you for anointed prayer warriors who will pray for new life. Romans 6:4

Point #7Tabitha was resurrected
God thank you for resurrecting new areas in our livesNew assignments.  New Missions. New Prayers. New Revelation.  New Commitment to Make Disciples for your Glory. 

Point #8New beginnings for Tabitha and the city of Joppa
Revival broke out in the city of Joppa.  Because people heard about Tabitha and how she was alive again, people gave their lives to Christ and started to follow God.
2018 is a year of new beginnings.  God is going to use your resurrected life to revive the people around you.  Don’t fall back to old ways of doing things. Embrace the new things God is doing in your life. Once God has removed something/someone from your life, don’t go back and try to revive again.  Let it go.  Move forward with momentum.  You don’t have time to look back or resuscitate old dead things. They won’t fit in with the new things that God is releasing into your life.

In conclusion, 
Tabitha’s story is a short passage in the bible, but it is a very powerful one.  It’s interesting that her story unfolded in eight verses, eight representing new beginnings.  Tabitha certainly had a full and impactful life before her death and definitely after she was resurrected. God made her name great.  She didn’t have to say a word.  
God wants us to live full lives while we serve Him and others.  The more we serve, the more we realize that our problems are not as big as we assume.  Serve with gladness and watch God make your name great.
Lord help us to have hearts like yours.  Help us to see everyone through your loving eyes and serve with heartsfull of loving kindness. Let others see your beauty in usand let us shine in the light of your glory.

Rosalyn Smith is the founder of RozRock Media, LLC.  She’s a mentor, teacher, and an avid reader who loves Jesus Christ, helping others and spending time with her husband and three boys. You can find her on her website at www.rosalynsmith.com


© 2018 by Rosalyn Smith. All Rights Reserved.