Acts 9: 36 -43 – ‘At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But …‘
At the close of this scripture passage, I found myself returning to verse 39 : ‘And all the widows stood by her weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made …’
Dr. Paul M. Elliott writes: ‘The Biblical definition of “good works” is not merely “good deeds”. Biblical “good works” encompass every aspect of our thinking and conduct before God. The Christian’s good works are rooted in Christ, and have cosmic purposes that God ordained before the world began’. Jonathan Rea & Keith Getty penned: ‘God of Grace who knew and loved me, Long before the world began’. May our lamp continue to burn brightly in the fields of the hungry, our love pour out as an offering lighting the dark, empty and hurting lives of those in despair, loneliness. May the lamp of our devotion light the way to commune as friend with friend. Matthew 5: 16 – ‘Let your light shine before men’ in such a way ‘that they may see your good works …..’ In the light of all of this, I feel so inadequate to serve yet know deep within my heart there is a sensitivity and awareness of ‘others’. How do I know the true requirement(s) – simply obedience to the ‘promptings’ – striving to attain His goal, not my own – serving with a whole heart and a humble heart.
Without being repetitive, I am overwhelmed, astounded by the great provision sent by the Lord for Child Life Romania – hence my opening scripture. Sisters who serve as an offering – whose heart is ‘set on mission’. Attention to every detail in design and colour! An elderly lady comes into a shop in Belfast asking the proprietor, ‘Would these 10 Baby Blankets be of use for Child Life Romania?’ Another lady (in conversation), ‘I have knit one hat every day since January’. The email received from Coventry from two elderly ladies, not only knitting but arranging transport with the Pastor’s wife who is accompanying her husband to a September Conference in Belfast. I quote: This week the two ladies in the church asked me to call at their homes to collect knitting they had done for you – what a surprise!! One large case and two large bags for you, absolutely full of knitted garments for babies to teens, plus new shoes. Some of the garments do not need to be ironed so they have put a photo of an iron on them saying DO NOT IRON.
Sister Sheryl Williamson (Portstewart B.C.) a mountain of baby clothes, Sister Pauline Doherty – Designer Teddy’s, Scarves. A lady from Kings Chorale making children’s cloth bags. And the end is not yet: Dr. Moore was reporting on the ministry on Saturday night in Carnalbanagh – we returned home with just about enough room remaining in the car for Mrs Moore to ‘slide in’. Preaching again Sunday night, this time in the Deaf Fellowship Church in Belfast; as we entered, we were directed to a ‘collection corner’ for Child Life Romania – Buggy / Car Seat / High Chair ……..to be continued!
The above scripture from the record of the early church in the Acts of the Apostles demonstrates that such caring works (the garments provided by Dorcas over which she had so lovingly toiled) are not only known, but noted by God. Not just the ministry of a Peter or a Paul, but this thoughtfulness and care is special and pleasing to him – like the cup of cold water of Matthew 10v42.
I call to mind the memories of mercies past – what return can I make for mercies so constant, so sure! In the stillness of a ‘submitted’ heart, I lay all at His feet to love and to serve. Heaven’s Child, Jesus the Saviour, Calvary’s Lamb, the Holy One, the Mighty One – He is my Lord, my King, whose heart is always thinking on us! Yes, I do stand amazed!
Love and Blessings to all our faithful supporters
Shirley, July 28, 2015.