Acts: Day 18 The Practical Acts of Dorcas

Event(s): Aeneas is healed; Dorcas is restored to life
Today’s Text: 
Acts 9:32-43
Tomorrow’s Text: Acts 10:1-23 


Luke now begins to record the spreading of the Gospel beyond Palestine. Our attention shifts back to Peter, who was actively going through all the parts of the country. The next scene takes place at Lydda, which is modern day Lod, the site of Israel’s international airport.

Acts 9:35 all who dwelt….saw him and turned to the LORD” All it takes is one act of the kingdom – one healing, one miracle, one answered prayer, one encounter with God – and like leaven, it spreads and results in multiplied impact. When we experience our “drop of leaven”, let’s be sure to let it be seen by others (Matthew 5:16).

Acts 9:36 a disciple…full of good works and charitable deeds” Jesus went about doing good, and His disciple Dorcas, filled with His nature, did the same. Everything Jesus did and taught was with the intent of destroying the works of the evil one (1 John 3:8b) in whatever form, whatever shape, whatever fashion. Here, we see the good works and charitable deeds of Dorcas reaching the disenfranchised. Her ministry to the poor and the widows communicated that God saw them, that He cared, and that He was making sure their practical needs were taken care of.

Acts 9:39all the widows stood by him weeping” The grief displayed at the loss of such a loving, giving disciple speaks to the esteem in which they held Dorcas. Her acts brought great value to the community. It’s safe to assume there were probably other seamstresses in this area; but it’s the love with which Dorcas served that left a love mark on the hearts of those she impacted.

Acts 9:39showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made” Such a practical gift, used to make such a huge difference. Notice, it’s not recorded that Dorcas taught, preached or evangelized. She instead put her Love in Action and used what was already in her hand – what she was gifted at doing – to minister the love and care of Christ to others.

She sewed garments.

Just let the simplicity of that set in for a moment. Not all work in the kingdom has to be “spiritual” in nature to have supernatural impact. But when it’s done from the right heart – a heart that seeks to express the care of a loving God to others – even serving a cup of water in the name of Jesus can take on spiritual significance (Matthew 10:42). Our acts become signs that point to a greater reality.

Personal Takeaway:

Today’s passage reminds us that even the most simplest of acts can result in multiplied impact. The heart behind it is what makes the difference. It’s not just “what” we do, it’s “how” we do it. What is motivating and energizing force behind our actions?

Today – let’s consider two things:

First, what practical acts are you doing everyday that could use a little more “love” in them? It may be something as simple as doing laundry or making dinner. It could be balancing the checkbook or packing lunches for loved ones. It could be answering emails or voice mails at work. Today, ask the Holy Spirit to “soften the edges” of how you do these simple, practical, everyday acts. Ask Him to give you a revelation of how to do these things in a way that communicates His love and nature.

Secondly, What practical gift has God given you that you’re either not using, or that you’ve maybe never connected to having kingdom significance? Who could be blessed by what you can do? How could you put your love in action and serve others with the gift(s) God has given you? Here are some practical examples:

Do you enjoy cooking? Maybe there’s a family dealing with an illness right now and a warm, home cooked meal could really bless them.

Are you great at organizing things? Maybe there’s a single mom who just moved into a new home and could desperately use some help unpacking and finding the right place to put everything.

Are you good at spending time with people? How about serving at an outreach or volunteering at a retirement home and spending some time talking and listening to the elderly?

What are some practical acts you can start doing right now that would make a difference in the lives of others? The Holy Spirit can show us what to do, and He can lead us to who He would like us to do those things for.

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