From Comfortable to Committed - Part 5

Opening Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, once again I thank you for your word and the opportunity to hear from you. As stated in 2 Timothy, may this time be used for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that I may be made competent and equipped for every good work. May I hear your word clearly and may it be forever stamped in my heart. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.  

 

Read: Acts 9:36-39, NIV

36In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”

39Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.

 

Reflect: 

In these verses, we see that serving the Lord is not a “one and done” thing. I guess it could be if one lacked commitment. However, both servants mentioned here certainly don’t lack commitment. The first person we see demonstrating faithful, sustained service to others is Tabitha. It says she was “abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.” In Greek, the root word is pletho. It implies, “filled to one’s individual capacity”. This woman’s life literally was filled with kind deeds; there was no room for more. She could not provide an ounce more of charity. Simply put, this girl was maxed out when it came to serving with a heart like Jesus’. She was most definitely committed. Scripture doesn’t tell us, but I wonder if she may have compromised her health because of her level of service??? In an indirect way, I believe it’s possible she may have been so committed to serving those around her, she ended up giving her own life.

Next, we read about Peter. We read about his faithful service. In the text, it simply says, “Since Lydda was near Joppa” as if it were just a hop, skip, and jump away. The distance between Lydda and Joppa was roughly between 12-14 miles….not just a “Sunday stroll”. This was definitely not an easy trek. Without hesitation, we are told Peter “arose and went to them.” He didn’t complain or say he was busy with something/someone else even though we know, “the fields were ripe for harvest. There was certainly no shortage of ministry opportunities. Remember, after the resurrection, Peter was on fire for Jesus and was preaching incessantly. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he was a busy man saving souls left and right, performing miracles, healing the sick, and so on….just as Jesus did (John 14:12). Regardless, Peter wastes no time getting to Joppa where he knelt and prayed and spoke life into Tabitha. What a beautiful picture of Peter’s faithfulness and continued service to those around him. What a beautiful picture of Peter’s faithfulness and continued service to Jesus! Peter was busy “building the church” one life at a time!

 

Apply: 

In today’s world, as back in the 1st Century, there are plenty of opportunities to faithfully serve and demonstrate our commitment to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength and with all our mind;  and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27). Find an area non-profit and serve. Go to a nursing home and visit those who have no family. Make sandwiches and take them to the homeless once a month. Mow your neighbor’s yard, stop for that person walking down the road, buy lunch for a friend. Call (don’t text) someone and tell them you’re thinking about them. Hug your child, tell your spouse you love them, call your mom and/or dad and thank them, etc. As Christians, we are commanded to love those around us…EVERYONE. In Matthew 25:40 Jesus tells us that “whatever we do to the least of these, we do for Him.”  Like Peter, DO IT NOW. Don’t hesitate. Don’t “be busy”. We never know when our final moment will come. The time we have is borrowed so get out there and let the world see Jesus through your word and through your actions. Let the world see Jesus through the love you show.

 

Closing Prayer: 

Oh Heavenly Father. I thank you for another day to serve you. I pray for endurance and strength to never put off serving those in need. I pray Lord that my on-going service to others reflects your on-going service to us. Bless me Father with an undying passion to love the world as you love me…through all of my failures and shortcomings. Your love never ends, it never gives up, it never runs out. Thank you God!!! I pray and give thanks in the name of Jesus! Amen.

Terry Schneider