by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Acts 9:32-43
I. In our text we find two stories.
A. The great miracle that God performed through Peter to raise a woman who had died.
1. This event brought many to the Lord - Acts 9:42
2. We don’t have access to miracles today; yet, we can learn how to lead people to God.
B. We also have the story of how a simple seamstress made a huge impact in the lives of widows.
1. Tabitha is the reason these events occurred.
2. When this good woman died, the disciples sent for Peter.
3. When Peter came, they showed him the things Tabitha had made and the impact she had. They mourned her passing.
II. A light for all to see
A. Matthew 5:14-16 - People see our good works and because of the works, they glorify God
B. We don’t do good deeds to other will praise us. We don’t do nice things to show off - Matthew 6:2-4
C. However, expects us to do good - Titus 3:8
D. Tabitha’s faith wasn’t just a statement. It was life lived in deeds that glorified her God - I John 3:18
E. It was faith working in love - Galatians 5:6
III. A way of life
A. Tabitha was abounding in good deeds. This was just the way she lived her life -Galatians 6:9-10
B. She certainly was just good on Sundays.
C. Every congregation needs people who have the knack for doing the helpful thing– a cup of cold water, a kind smile, or a soothing word.
D. People were devoted to her because she was devoted to them - Proverbs 31:20
E. It is interesting to note that nothing is said about her family or relatives. It was the people, God’s people, whom she helped who loved her.
F. Death comes eventually to each of us, but our deeds follow us
1. God remembers what we’ve done - Hebrews 6:10
2. Even small, simple deeds - Matthew 10:42
3. The garments Tabitha made and the people she impacted were witnesses to the life she lived.
IV. Individuals matter
A. When she died, people sent for Peter. Peter was a busy man. He was an apostle. He was working in another town. Yet, he didn’t delay going to Joppa when they asked for help.
B. God cares about each person, no one is insignificant.
1. Jesus showed care for a leper - Mark 1:40-42
2. He showed concern for a tax collector - Luke 19:5-10
3. He even granted mercy to an adulteress - John 8:10-11
C. Tabitha’s work was significant. She focused on help those who were less fortunate.
D. Peter probably didn’t know Tabitha personally, but he knew that she was important
V. Prayer works
A. Peter didn’t stage a show when he arrived. He didn’t call for a healing service. Instead, he sent everyone away and prayed.
B. There is power in prayer. You might be limited in other ways, but you can pray.
C. Can’t sleep at night? Use that time to pray for others
VI. People believed
A. People knew Tabitha. They knew her lifestyle and her good deeds. They knew she was a Christian
B. They heard about Peter and what God did through him. They listened to the good news as a result
C. What does it take to bring people to Christ?
1. It isn’t a new ministry program or analysis of the latest demographics in your community
2. It is based on real people living real faith in front of the community
3. It is servants of God seeing the value of every person and treating them with dignity and respect.
VII. We will live
A. If Tabitha remained dead, the story would still have been a happy ending. She would have been with the Lord in Paradise.
1. Though absent from the body, she would have been at home with the Lord - Philippians 1:21-23
2. Her death would not have been a bad thing. She would have escaped this sin-filled world
3. There was a crown awaiting her - II Timothy 4:8
B. But God chose to raise her to remind us that He is able to raise the dead - John 5:28-29
1. Those who are asleep in Christ will rise to live with Him - I Thessalonians 5:9-11
2. We will rise with an immortal body - I Corinthians 15:50-55
C. Are you ready for that day? Are you storing up true treasure? - Matthew 6:19-21