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Living at the town of Joppa, an important seaport town located on the Mediterranean coast 30 miles east of Jerusalem, she was in the mainstream where Peter came and preached the good news to Gentiles. This account is sandwiched right in the middle of Saul of Tarsus’ conversion and the account of Cornelius calling for Peter to come and speak to his family. Later this was followed up by Paul’s ministry to the Gentile world.
Dorcas was a disciple who was strategically placed in the right place at the right time to minister to needs that she had been gifted to handle.
In this scripture, you will notice that she is called by two different names--The Hebrew name was Tabitha and her Greek name was Dorcas. Both names meant “gazelle.”
The gazelle is used symbolically in the Bible in three specific ways. Gazelles were symbols of grace, beauty, and swiftness and speed.
I think Dorcas’ name was appropriate because she was a person who showed the grace of God in action toward needy people. She was a beautiful person in spirit toward others and she was swift to meet the needs when she saw them.
You, too, have been strategically placed here at this time in history to in very practical ways carry the good news to needy people in both word and deed.
2. Too Overwhelming to Make an Impact: You might say, “There are so many needs surrounding me in the 21st century that I don’t even know where to begin. Whatever I do is just a drop in the bucket let alone making an impact.” Sometimes we are tempted to feel this way; and as a result of overwhelming needs, do nothing.
Story: A mighty warrior riding a magnificant horse was coming down the road and everyone made sure they got out of his way.
He noticed, however, directly in his path in the middle of the road was a sparrow. The bird was lying on its back with its feet sticking straight up in the air.
The horsman stopped and got off his horse and went over to the sparrow and asked, “Are you dead? And if not, what are you doing in the middle of the road with your feet in the air.”
“No,” answered the bird, “I’m not dead, but I heard the sky might fall down and I’m helping to hold it up.”
The warrior shook with laughter. He rolled on the ground and at last he wiped the tears from his eyes and said, “You silly bird. Even if the sky did fall down, what difference could you possibly make with those puny, spindly legs?”
“Well,” explained the sparrow. “You do what you CAN DO.”
Dorcas probably did not solve the financial problems of these destitute widows in her community, but she made life a whole lot better for them. She did what she could do. She helped them to feel better about themselves as they wore their new clothes, it helped to raise their self esteem, it helped them to know that someone cared enough for them to do something practical rather than just
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