Women in the Bible IV: Day

Dorcas: the lady with the pretty name


Today's Text: Acts 9:32-43, Proverbs 31:20, Ephesians 2:8-10, Philippians 2:14-16, Matthew 5:16

Text: Acts 9:32-43, Proverbs 31:20, Ephesians 2:8-10, Philippians 2:14-16, Matthew 5:16

Today we are looking at a lady with a name we have probably all wished was our own. Well, maybe not; but Dorcas is an example of somebody living out the gospel, and we should strive to live a life like hers.

Have you read her story yet? Go do that if you haven’t yet.

How are you doing at living out the gospel like Dorcas?

If you die today, or when you die, what will their words be?

   “Full of good works and acts of charity.”

   “A disciple.”

   “Mourned by ALL the widows, each holding garments she has made for them. “

Scripture speaks often about how works do not equal salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10), but how we must live lives filled with good works in order that people will praise God (Matthew 5:16).

How are you doing at that?

If that question discourages you, don’t let it! Instead of wallowing in your lack of good works, sit up straight, friend, and make a change! Look to Jesus, the ONE who is good, and ask for His aide to live out the purposes and plans He has for your life.

And since one call we have as Christ followers is to love our neighbor, as Dorcas demonstrates well, we can know that He will help us to do that.

Dorcas was not known for grumbling, but for good works (Colossians 4:5-6), not for her pride, but for her generosity (Proverbs 31:20), not for any arrogance, but for much wisdom.

So today, tomorrow, and every day following, let’s live in such a way that others praise our Father in heaven.

Special thanks to Nadine Schroeder for contributing today’s guest post.

  • Matt Wilkinson

    interesting subject and some interesting comments about dorcas!

  • tabithahannasmith

    I found myself wondering what happened to Dorcas in that short time that she was dead in her physical body. Did she meet the risen Jesus face-to-face? What did he say to her? I wonder how she lived the rest of her earthly life in light of her brief foray into paradise?
    I guess all of us who are believers have also met the risen Jesus, maybe not visibly face-to-face, but in a real way. How much do we long for that day when we meet Jesus? It's like what Paul said when he was torn between needing to stay alive to complete his work, and desiring to depart to be with Christ (which is better by far). That's pretty liberating when you think about it.
    I can't wait to meet my namesake in heaven one day. I reckon Dorcas will have some pretty interesting stuff to say!

  • Wow. This woman was beautiful! Stacey, I loved your comment about how nurturing your relationship with Christ includes spending time with Him and with His needy. Whenever I hear the word "needy," I often think of a homeless man or woman- which is definitely true, but in reality, his "needy:" are more often the people in our lives that are emotionally needy. Reading this devotional and studying the end of Acts 2 today has really spoken to me in that it is important to reach out to those who are downtrodden and burdened; it's also reminded me to be a more compassionate, forgiving friend. Lord, help me to give more, in order to glorify you. Help me to remember that you want your church unified as a body of believers for you, and that where there is a need, I am called to fill it- or rather, to point to the One who can. Thank you, father!

  • Jesus I pray that you fulfill the plans and purposes you have for my life. I pray that I would do all things without grumbling and complaining and that I would be a blessing to all the people with whom I come in contact today, that they may see my good works and glorify YOU. All things are possible with you.

  • Thank you Nadine for the Devo. I always check out the guest poster, and I really appreciate that you are all about the gospel being woven throughout your blog.

    These past three weeks, I've been serving my sister as she has gone from cancer diagnosis straight to surgery and now recovery. I was with her every step of the way, after surgery came scheduling meals, showing up daily to assist with home care. I'm not saying this to toot my horn, quite the opposite. I felt convicted, "For if you love those who love you, what reward to you have?" My sister and her family are not saved, my prayer would be that they would see my service through Christ, NOT just sisterly love. Many of their "friends" have been a let down to them with their "whatever you need", but then they didn't even bring a meal.

    I want them so badly to see that I'm loving through through Christ and not myself. I want them to praise God and not me.

    • AnnaLee

      Valanne, I completely understand your feelings with this. Know that your works for God's glory are not going unseen by Him, and that He is in control when it comes to ministering to your sister and her family through you. Trust that He's speaking through you, even if His name is not being mentioned directly- all things express his praise and all of his creation praises His name (Psalm 19:1). If you love and serve someone, you can't help but richly express God's glory. Be encouraged. :)

    • Sarah

      Praying for your work to be the example of His love and care for them. You are just responsible for your obedience. He will do the rest.

  • Janee White

    I love the path this devotion went down. From a woman using her gifts and talents to serve God, to not grumbling while doing it, to shining our light for others to see so that THEY may glorify God.

    Both of the environments I work in are filled with 'complainers'. It is challenging for me to not be affected by that. But this encourages me that if they see my responses to things, knowing that I am a Christian, that they may see the Light. I long to be the 'child without fault in a crooked and warped generation'.

    I pray for us all, that we see the ways in which we can use the gifts and talents given us, and use them to His Glory alone. That others may see the results of our good works and give glory to God and not to man.

    • Valanne

      Janee this, "That others may see the results of our good works and give glory to God and not to man." sums up my heart in what I just wrote!

  • Carolynmimi

    I am having two surgical procedures today so I am requesting prayer for good outcomes and also for my sweet husband who will have to take care of me and all things Carolyn for a little while. That's ok, he may be a guy, but he is good at service. THANKS SRT Sisters.

    • Heather

      Praying for you today, Carolyn!

    • Valanne

      Praying for you Carolyn. It certainly a time when you are to sit back and be served. May you do it well so complete healing can come. Praying for you dear husband as he does double duty :)

    • jesusgirl71

      Praying for you today.

    • Candacejo

      Praying for you right now Carolyn! And for the better half…he will need it! Blessings friend!

    • Diana

      Just prayed for you and for your husband. May God guide the hands of the surgeon and may you have a rapid and complete healing. May your husband be filled with joy as he cares for you.

  • I’ve never studied much on Dorcas before, but I felt so encouraged after today’s reading! Specifically in Matthew 5:16, it is so important to be salt and light in a fallen world (just like Dorcas) I was recently talking with my mom about a big change my husband and I are going through, and as excited as we are, it’s still a little scary to leave everything you know and experience something different, however, my mom made the great comment that “darkness can never put out light” and how true is that?? It may be a room full of darkness, but the light is always seen! I hope that this small statement will minister to some of you the way it did to me. It seems simple but it was revelational to me during this time. Be blessed today, ladies!

  • BekatinaK

    I think the key to Dorcus is she didn't do what she did for the praise. She probably didn't even realize how much she was blessing others. She just went about her life living for her Lord. I pray that my service to Him would be so natural and humble before Him and the recipients as well. What a different would we would live in if everyone lived as she did!

  • DrShanWalks

    I love that today’s devotion is on service. One of my co-workers died last week and I had the pleasure of going to her funeral. It was so beautiful because she lived a life of service to God. Person after person got up and talked about her service. When I got home I posted about the funeral and a friend commented in how she has been so inspired by my co-workers death. She explained that over the past week she has been handling a number if real estate properties for different women who own assistant living homes including the one my co-worker owns. At first my friend did not realize that all these women were talking about the same woman as their mentor. As my friend continued to do the work she pieced it together. In fact until the day she died my co-worker was signing papers and making sure all the people in these assistant living homes would be cared fir. Even her pastor spoke about how when they visited days before she died my co-workers focus was on making sure everyone was taken care of. I want to leave a legacy of service to God as she did. She reminds me of Dorcas. May this good and faithful servant rest in peace!

  • amykelly213

    I recently completed a study of Max Lucado's book "Outlive Your Life"… If was definitely a call to service like Dorcas's– and a book I highly recommend!! Got me thinking of a multitude of ways I can serve The Lord by humbling myself and taking care of the needs of others.

    TODAY IS THE DAY!! Link up your story of praise to our Heavenly Father on my blog today for "Monday Praises"! Hope to see you all there!! http://walkhumblywithgod.wordpress.com/2013/08/26

  • tabithahannasmith

    It IS my name! Well, the Greek version anyway!

  • LOVE Dorcus! :)

  • Amen!
    And a further proclamation that NOTHING is impossible with God! Dorcas’ time on earth was not finished. He saved her for His glory and more good works. He had a plan. He always has the perfect plan at the perfect time. Even when all seems lost or circumstances appear to be hopeless, He is still God. All things are possible with our Father.

  • charmaine fritz

    Wow good works huh? Well I know I need much help with that! My life had been so wrapped up in my medical issues and daughters life there’s no time for anyone else. But praise God that’s about to change! Married daughter off to a good man, my health will take care of it self or should I say God will take care of it. I need time to help others and not be so wrapped up in myself, child or grandchildren. When I tell my daughter that I need some time she calls me selfish. Not realizing I do have a life separate from her. But I asked God to fix it and he has so now it’s time for me to take care of his business, by ministering to others and i can’t wait!!!

    I have ministered to my children and grands for the last 30plus years. And they are all doing well,yes it could be better but I can only do so much. Now it’s time for me to back off and let them live. I know that any work I have done or will do will not get me into heaven. But the work I do will help someone else get there and that’s important! It’s what I was called to do so Lord give me my assignment. Awesome timing for this devotional!!!

  • charmaine fritz

    Ok nevermind… I found my place… been kind of spacey lately. Back on track now. . sorry

    • Carolynmimi

      Boy! Do I understand spacey! So wrapped up in other concerns and so many things pulling on me. Hang in there, Charmaine, He's got hold of you! and me, too! and I am a handful all by myself. Ha Ha Ha.

  • charmaine fritz

    I am so confused and lost! I am not reading or seeing the same scripture. I just read about the women with the issue and it said that was day 9 of 10. Can someone please help me find where you all are? I’m reading from you version…Am I on the correct women series?
    I hate being lost… lol

  • mindykim

    God has been pointing out '"good works" to me today. At kids team and also here, I see that again.
    Recently my conversation and relationship with my mom has completely changed in a way that I won't be able to go back to how it used to be. He has clearly allowed this to happen in my life at this specific time. She criticized me for serving at church too much (she is not Christian) and I felt like I don't spend much time on myself, moving onto pursuing what I'm called to do after college, instead I'm serving and serving..for people who are in need of help. Somehow I'm always around those ppl.

    I don't want to be discouraged for doing good works that He gives me to do, because I believe all these works will build up for his purpose to be fulfilled, which is for his glory and also my good. PTL.

    Thank you God for your perfect timing in never failing to show me that you are indeed sovereign and loving!

  • Simple and sweet message, reminder rather of how we need to be living. It is always hard to remember doing good deeds does not get us into heaven rather its those deeds that help others get into heaven. This also reminds me of Deacon's Homily this Sunday. He spoke to us about cultivating and keeping our most important relationship alive with our Lord Jesus. How can we do this? Spend time with Him…spend time with His needy, Those who need loving and comfort.

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