Message summary: Today we issue three challenges.
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“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, ‘Please come at once!’ Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them” (Acts 9:36-39).
“Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true” (3 John 1:12).
On Monday afternoon a 65 year old man died of a heart attack after collapsing at his jobsite in one of the companies we serve as chaplains. Tom was a thirty-five year employee and a key part of the company’s tech support team, an expert in providing advice to car wash owners at Kleen-Rite.
Yesterday we walked through the company to provide comfort and support to the employees, many of them deeply grieving over his sudden death. Tom was clearly a well-loved man and we heard many stories of how he went overboard to extend kindness to fellow workers. If someone needed gas, their car was broken down or a tire replaced Tom was there. If an employee was fearful of driving in inclement weather he picked them up. A fellow employee’s mom died who lived several states away and Tom handed him a wad of cash and insisted on not being paid back. One young lady told us she and some friends were out on a motorcycle ride when her bike broke down. She tried to call her dad but couldn’t reach him, so she called Tom. He drove over to where she had broken down, loaded the bike on his truck and told her to continue having a good time with her friends. Every year Tom presented every female employee a red carnation on Valentine’s Day. We heard moving stories like this over and over.
Today we use two lesser considered Bible texts that are examples of people who lived their lives in such a way that they made a difference in other people’s lives. We can learn from their example as part of the Holy Scriptures according to 2 Timothy 3:16,17.
Dorcas was a disciple in the early church who lived in Joppa along the Mediterranean Sea (near modern day Tel Aviv). She died and Peter was summoned. Dorcas’ grieving friends, “stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them”. I wonder how patient Peter was as each of the women showed him the well tailored robes and clothing made by Dorcas, since most men are typically not all that interested in tapestry or clothing designs! However what her friends did, because of their love and respect for Dorcas, was similar to our experience yesterday as fellow employees gave tangible examples of how they remembered Tom’s personal expressions of kindness and generosity toward them.
Demetrius is an obscure Bible character whose brief but very informative reference is found in 3 John: “Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true”. What a great blessing the words, “well spoken of by everyone”. Some people can be described in this way.
We will end today’s message with three challenges:
1) Consider people in your life like Tom, Dorcas or Demetrius. Let them know now how they have enriched your life.
2) What will people say about you when your time of departure comes? Especially consider those words, “Well spoken of by everyone”.
3) Everyone’s time of departure will come. Have you made things right with the Lord?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber