What Will be Your Legacy? {Acts 9}

10:30 PM

By Sue Desmarais

What is the legacy you’re leaving to those who come after you? Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever wondered how you’ll be remembered after The Lord calls you home? I think of that every time I read about Tabitha/Dorcus in Acts 9:36-39,

“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.(emphasis mine)

Here is a woman who used what she had to help others, especially widows who once were solely dependant on their husbands to survive, and now found themselves at the mercy of their children or others to care for them. I discovered that there are over 50 verses in the Bible that speak or refer to caring for the poor, widow, orphan and stranger or refugee. I was surprised to see how often these groups of people were lumped together, but that’s for another day. It’s safe to say today, that looking after the widows was very important to the Lord and Tabitha took God’s command very seriously.

Seeing these widows weeping; holding up the articles of clothing she had made for them always makes me wonder what others would say or hold up that would testify to how I had faithfully followed the Lord’s command, and this time I didn’t just stop at Tabitha, but decided to look at the legacy of all those listed in chapter nine.

There was Ananias, who the Lord called on to go to Paul, and I wondered why The Lord choose Ananias from all those living in the area? I suppose it was because He knew He could count on Ananias to go and do exactly what He commanded him to do. Ananias is only mentioned once more in the Bible and that’s in Paul's speech in Acts 22. Paul describes Ananias as "a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews" that dwelt in Damascus (Acts 22:12). I’d be honored if I could be described in the same way one day!

We know Paul, according to Ananias, had caused tremendous harm to God’s people and, had come there with authority from the chief priests to arrest all believers. Yet, Paul went onto be probably the greatest missionary in all of history, and write most of the New Testament!

Aeneas  lived in Lydda, and had been crippled for eight years. When Peter said to him, "Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat," he was healed immediately and got up and went onto praise God. God used him and his illness as a light to others to cause others to place their  faith in Christ Jesus.

Finally, there’s Peter, who at one time seemed to be famous for saying or doing the wrong things, yet after being filled with God spirit at the Day of Pentecost went onto to be used tremendously by God as we can see right here in this chapter alone!

There is something I think fascinating in how Peter brought Tabitha back to life. Notice both these scenes from Scripture. The first was Jesus bringing Jarius’ daughter back to life:

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.  He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).  Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.” Mark 5:40-42 (emphasis mine)

The second is Peter bringing Tabitha back to life:

Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.  He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive.” - Acts 9:40-41 (emphasis mine)

Did you notice only one letter is changed in what both commanded? I think this proves Peter was definitely paying attention to the Master while he walked with Him on earth!

In this one chapter we have some amazing example of people of great faith! ALL used by God, though some more so than others, yet  each possessed an equal opportunity to one day hear their Master say, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your Master!' - Matthew 25:21

Our God is an equal opportunity God and I pray each of us will hear those very words one day, and leave a legacy that others will desire to follow.

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