Acts 9:36-39 “Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.”
I Corinthians 10:11 “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition.”
When writing about the events surrounding the lives of God’s people, Paul tells us that many things were “written for our admonition.” The word “admonition” means for the purpose of calling attention to or warning. The Word of God records for us the lives of individuals for the purpose of serving as models or examples; one such lady is found within our text. Upon close examination of “a certain disciple named Tabitha”; it becomes evident that she served as a living memorial.
Within the text we find a Christian life. She is declared to be “a certain disciple.” She would have been worth noting if the emphasis was upon the fact that she was converted, but that’s not the case. The fact that she is called a “disciple” reveals that she has taken her relationship with Christ seriously. She has assumed the place of being a female pupil or learner. After making the offer of salvation, our Lord said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me” (Matthew 11:29); saints are to be student!
Within the text we find a consistent life. The text tells us that she was “named Tabitha” but, “called Dorcas.” What is interesting is that while the two names are two different Greek words, they carry the exact same meaning; gazelle or Christian female. She is living up to her name by living a consistent life void of pretense.
Within our text we find a comforting life. What did others have to say of her; “this woman was full of good works.” She lived in such a manner that her life was abounding with an abundance of profitable and useful deeds that contributed to the lives of others.
Within our text we find a compassionate life. The word also emphasized her “almsdeeds.” The thought here is that of a compassionate spirit that exhibits mercy which becomes part of one’s character. Jesus declared, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).
Within our text we find a complete life. Please note the little phrase “which she did.” She didn’t just talk about it, she did it! Her life was complete; she lived a life that spoke for itself. When called to the upper chamber they didn’t have to look for words; “Her life had already spoken” and “spoken well!”
By means of a Christian life, a consistent life, a comforting life, a compassionate life, and a complete life; this lady is placed before us in God’s Word as “A Living Memorial.”