Let Your Light Shine Before Men – My Daily Bread!
Our hearts are called to God today from Matthew 5: 14-16, NIV, where Jesus said:
“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
This scripture draws my attention to the story of Dorcas, a woman of faith in the early Christian Church. She let her light shine for Christ and because of her faithfulness and good deeds was blessed with being raised from the dead! This story is not only about Dorcas, but also about those who loved her and the message of hope they left for us today some two thousand years later.
What we know about her is recorded in Acts 9: 36-43, NIV. She was known for “always doing good and helping the poor.” She lived in the city of Joppa and apparently was a seamstress that was noted for the “robes and other clothing” she made for widows and the poor. She gave of herself and her talents without reservations as she followed God’s commands to take care of those less fortunate than her.
Her life had a profound impact on her fellow believers, for when she got sick and died, the other disciples in Joppa sent for the Apostle Peter who was in a nearby city and asked him to “come at once”. They knew that God was able to raise her up and they boldly sought out Peter, God’s man, to have him seek the Lord on their behalf.
She must have been someone special for Peter came right away and upon seeing the widows and disciples mourning for her “sent them all out of the room, then got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead women, he said ‘Tabitha, get up.’ She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. Peter took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive.” God answered their prayers and the prayer of Peter and Dorcas was returned to those who loved her!
What rejoicing there must have been, no doubt their faith in the Lord was strengthened that day and more importantly “this became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.” She surely let her light shine and God was glorified in a big way! As I reflected on this story, I realized that another miracle had already occurred before Peter raised her from the dead. I almost missed it, focusing on the significance of her resurrection and the glorious hope we all have to share in that same joy when Christ comes again.
The other miracle was the act of faith by her fellow believers. The Word says that they “washed her body and placed it in an upstairs room”. These simple words coupled with Peter’s action of taking her hand and helping her to her feet after he raised her up indicates that they had not wrapped her in the traditional burial sheets as they waited for Peter to come.
What is significant about this? They desired that God raise her from the dead and, believing that He could, they acted in accordance with what they believed God could do and did not dress her for death, but dressed her for life as they waited on God’s response to their petition! What faith they had in the Lord! Saints when we bring our petitions before God we must believe that “ He rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, NIV) and we must from that point forward act in accordance with what we believe God can do until He tells us otherwise!
Dorcas’ story is one of hope, faith, blessing for obedience, and believing and trusting in God. For when we believe and trust in God, we will shine for him and bring Him honor and praise that reaches to the Heavens!
Copyright© 2011-2012 Colleen Holton All Rights Reserved