The Measure of Our Love by Linda Hull

Posted: March 22, 2012 in Devotional Christian
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“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ”  Ephesians 1:3

Have you ever heard or said the words, “don’t you love me”?  I guess we all banter these words around, if not aloud, in our thoughts.  We think it of those we are closest to when they seem preoccupied with everything and everyone but us.  We even think it of our Lord when life has too many ups and downs.  I wonder if He ever wonders that about us.  Who but God can accurately measure the depth of our love?

While doing a Bible devotional, I realized that even we can measure the depth of our love by how much we are willing to sacrifice.  Think about it.  Loving others requires some sacrifice from us.  None of us are able to love anyone as much as we love ourselves.  Therefore, it stands to reason that loving others requires the greater effort.

I am reminded of a woman in the Bible called Tabitha, aka Dorcus.  We don’t know too much about her for there are only six verses in the Bible to tell us who she was.  They are found in Acts 9:36-42.

Dorcus’ story:

“Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcus:  this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.  And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died:  whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.  And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.  Then Peter arose and went with them.  When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber:  and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.  But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise.  And she opened her eyes:  and when she saw Peter, she sat up.  And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.  And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.”

This dear lady was greatly loved.  It is obvious from this brief account that she had quite a reputation for doing good works.  Many must have been blessed by the coats and garments she had made.  Their weeping tells the depth of their loss.  She clearly had demonstrated her love for the widows by her acts of kindness in helping to provide much needed garments for these women who had no one to care for them.

Dorcus had surely fulfilled the command found in James 2:8, which commands us to love with these words:  “If ye fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well.”

James 2:17 reminds us that “…faith if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

What can we learn from Dorcus?

1.  Good works are a demonstration of God’s work in our heart and mind.

As sinful humans, it is unnatural for us to even consider doing something for someone we don’t know.  It just isn’t in our nature to put ourselves out for someone we don’t care about.  Only when our hearts are changed through the sanctification process, do we develop a desire to reach out to others without thought of a return.

2.  Good works are a demonstration of our faith in Jesus.

Since we have received the forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life with Him in Heaven, we have a desire to please Him.  We look for ways to show our gratitude and love for what He has done for us.  Our good works serve as indicators of our love and faith, as He uses us to accomplish His will in the lives of others.

3.  Good works area demonstration of our love for others

Jesus gives us the desire to serve Him by serving others.  When we perform a good work on behalf of another, it is because the love of Jesus is in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit prompts us to love and teaches us effective ways to demonstrate our love.  Good works demonstrate the measure of our love.

The story of Dorcus ends with the happy news that Peter has come and after prayer, she is raised from the dead to live again.  Many believed in the Lord as a result of this great miracle.  She is remembered today for the measure of her love as demonstrated by her good works.

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