Have you ever noticed how there’s some people from the Bible that we tend to name our kids after and there’s some people that we don’t? We would never knowingly name our kids Jezebel or Judas or Cain. My wife thought that Mara was a nice name until she learned the biblical meaning and setting meant “bitter”. How many people do we know that are named after the heroes of the Bible like Paul, John, Matthew, Jeremiah, David, Abigail, or Esther? There are plenty of people named after the courageous spies Joshua and Caleb, but nobody names their kids after the other 10 spies who invoked fear in the hearts of Israel (Numbers 13). Most Christians can’t even name one of those other spies!
Tabitha from Acts 9 is one of those people whom many have named their kids after. She is an exemplary person of faith and the only woman in the Bible to specifically be called a disciple (not that there weren’t many others!). Last week, I mentioned how we need more Barnabas’s in the church – his name means son of encouragement. I did devotional a while back on “Being a Barnabas”. But I think it’s safe to say that we could certainly use more “Tabitha’s” as well. She was known for her continual deeds of kindness and charity. She was abounding in them! If there was a care ministry in her church, it certainly seems like she was all over it! She was serious about showing the love of Christ in practical ways. She was willing to give her free time and energy to helping others – being willing to step outside of her comfort zone – no doubt crossing social barriers that others weren’t willing to cross. She got her hands dirty to see hearts washed clean in Christ!
Her continual deeds of kindness and charity remind me of the book of Titus that we studied not too long ago. Titus is all about adorning, or beautifying, the gospel by the way we live our lives (Titus 2:5, 10). Just as we decorate a Christmas tree and adorn it, so our lives can adorn the gospel. Our lives either support or supplant the gospel. Either prove salvation or doubt it. People are more willing to hear about our Redeemer when they see the power of a redeemed life. Tabitha’s life was one that supported and beautified the gospel. Christ had served her and now she was serving others. Check out these great verses from Titus:
Titus 2:14 says that Jesus, “…gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
Because we live in a fallen and sinful world, there are many today who are broken, hurting, and needy. Since we have experienced so much of God’s grace and provisions for our own hurts and brokenness, let us be the ones who stand out by the way we help others in theirs. We have been justified and renewed with the life of Christ so that we can help bring that same hope to others (Titus 3:4-8). Below are all of the challenging verses on good deed in Titus. Do these describe us?
1:16 – Be fit for good deeds.
2:7 – Be an example in good deeds.
2:14 – Be zealous for good deeds.
3:1 – Be ready for good deeds.
3:5 – Remember, deeds are not the basis of salvation. Christ’s cross-work is!
3:8 – Be carful to engage in good deeds.
3:14 – Meet pressing needs and be fruitful.
Praising God for the “Tabitha’s” in our church!
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