Acts 9:36-43 contains the story of what had to be one of the most unusual funerals in history. A woman named Tabitha, also known as Dorcas, a Christian in the town of Joppa, had died. Her Christian friends heard that the great apostle Peter was not far away so they sent for him. I kind of like to imagine him coming to conduct the funeral. When he arrived Luke tells us “All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas (Tabitha) had made while she was still with them.” As they shared with him the theme of Tabitha’s life emerged. What was she most known for? Verse 36 says she “was always doing good and helping the poor.” The theme of Tabitha’s life was doing good for other people. She had such enormous impact on people that they weren’t really asking Peter to lead a memorial service. They couldn’t bear to let go of Tabitha and despite the fact that she was dead they wanted him to do something about it. What an outlandish idea! As absurd as it might have been, Peter responded. Peter prayed for her, ordered “Tabitha, get up,” and she did! This astounding event is recorded in Scripture precisely because it was so extraordinary and unique. It was hardly the norm. That says to me we should pay attention.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We were created by God to begin with then we have been re-created as new people in Christ. God’s aim in creating us and giving us new life is not that we can be happy or please ourselves. No his goal was that we would live with the theme of doing good to others. What a difference we can make if as we start out each new day we make it our aim to do good to others at every opportunity during the day. How different we will be if we go through our days asking God to open our eyes to opportunities to bless those we live with as well as all those we encounter as we go through our life. How great will be our effect if we live with the goal of simply bringing good to other people in this world. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). The most powerful way we can spur others on is through giving them an example!