Summary: Divine Appointments/Time
1. THE SITUATION
• Tabitha was a Godly woman v36
• She was full of ‘good works’ v36
• We need to ask ourselves ‘Do works provide salvation?’
• No: Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
• Works do not provide our salvation; they do, however, prove our faith
• James 2:18 “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
• No doubt that by v36 Dorcas proved her love for the Lord BY her faith.
• James 2:17 “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”
• Dorcas would be a woman in today’s society with a ‘good reputation’
• Dorcas became ill and ultimately died
• The sickness is unknown; could have been a number of things
• As was custom, she was cleaned, and anointed her and placed her in the upper room
i. Mark 16:1 “And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.”
• They probably laid her in the upper room in the hope that one of the disciples could come and perform a miracle (I Kings 17:19; Elijah took the widow’s son into the loft ‘upper room’)
2. DIVINE LOCATION/TIME
• Peter and other disciples were preaching in nearby Lydda
• God’s placement of people, though we may not always understand it, works so that His will can be fulfilled
• John 4:6-7 “Now Jacob’s well was there, Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.” “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me drink.”
• What is significant about this encounter?
• Jesus was thirsty, weary from His journey
• The woman was thirsty (her soul)
• Due to the Divine Location/Time Principle she was saved (thirst quenched) and not only her but many of the Samaritans.
• John 4:40 “So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.”
• God often times calls us to a specific place and time as to encounter one in need, it is up to us to respond and discern this opportunity
• Peter was in proximity to the woman full of ‘good works’
• God’s divine appointment was about to happen
3. THE CONDITIONS OF OBEDIENCE
• Peter had obviously obeyed a call by the Lord to minister in Lydda
• How can we know this?
• He was spreading the message of God and healing the lame (9:32-35 Healing of Aeneas)
• This placed Peter close to Joppa
• When we are obedient to God, peoples lives are changed and God is glorified
• Titus 2:9 “Exhort servant to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again.”
• Not answering again or don’t ask questions when God calls us to a work
• I Peter 1:13-14 “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:” “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.”
• Can we be holy? If so, how?
• How can we ensure that we will be at our Divine Appointment/Time?
• James 4:8 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…”
• When we seek the will of God and do His will, ‘draw near to him’ then we can be sure we will be in the ‘right place at the right time’
4. WHAT ABOUT DISOBEDIENCE?
• What if Peter had been disobedient and not went to Lydda?
• Romans 5:19 “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners…”
• By the disobedience of Adam and Eve, sin entered into the hearts of man
• I Peter 2:8 “And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”
• Disobedience causes people to stumble
5. WHY CALL PETER?
• VS 38
• It was by Peter’s WITNESS that the people called him
• It is by our past obedience and works that God can rely on us to accomplish his work
• I Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”