Thursday, March 29, 2012

Acts 9:36-39

Summary retelling of Acts 9:36-39

In this section we meet a woman named Tabitha, who is a very faithful woman to God and her community.  She dies.  Her friends – and probably family – prepared her body according to their custom.  Then they heard that Peter is hanging around Joppa, so they sent for him to come.  Peter decided to go to Tabitha’s friends.  When he arrived, those who were there spent time talking to Peter about all the great things that Tabitha had done in her life.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
This story has a bit of added emphasis – more than we would experience today.  Remember that in those days there was no source of governmental aid.  Orphans and widows often had to rely on the benevolence of friends to survive.  Clearly, there was a group of widows who were dependent upon Tabitha.  With her dying, a large portion of their support network may have just vanished.  For the people in Joppa this may be a sad day because of death, but it certainly is a day where everyone knows that from here on out life was going to get substantially more difficult.

Who do you depend on in this life?  How much of your life is spent working towards independence?  Do you think that is ultimately a good thing or a bad thing?

Second Thought:
When Peter hears of the request to come and be with them, he goes.  We don’t know if Peter knows what he is going to do when he gets there or not.  But Peter does go.  If he does know how God is going to use him, then clearly this is a story of obedience.  If Peter doesn’t know, then this story becomes a story about making oneself open to God.  Either way, Peter is interested in being used by God.

Are you open to what God might be calling you to do?  Are you obedient to what you know God is calling you to do?

Third Thought:
The widows take time to show why Tabitha was important in their life.  This is a tribute to Tabitha’s generosity.  It is also a tribute to God’s generosity.  It is a sign of love, trust, and community.  It is evidence of what God can do among us if we are obedient to Him and His ways.

How do you honestly think people would react if you were to die?  Would people talk about your faith?  Your generosity?  Something else?  How much do you think they would talk about your relationship with God?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 9: 40-43
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