What do you wish to be remembered for? Those who are remembered for good things done while they were in this world are people whose lives truly counted for God. God wants our lives to count for Him and that is His reason for saving us (Isa. 43:21). It is clearly stated in the Bible that although we are not saved by good works, we are saved in order to do good works (Eph. 2:8-10; Matt. 5:13-16; Tit. 3:1, 8, 14; cp. 1 Cor. 10:31).
One Bible character whose life counted for God is a woman named Tabitha. From the record of her life, we have the following to learn about a life that will count for God. First, such a life must be prompt in its response to the will of God. No life can count for God if it is not prompt in its response to God. A life that will count for God must be prompt in its response to God’s offer of salvation.
Dorcas started out life as an unbeliever but as soon as she heard the gospel, she did not procrastinate but immediately repented of her sins and accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour. Second, the character of such a life must be that of a disciple of Jesus Christ. Tabitha is described as a disciple. A disciple is someone who seeks to pattern his life after another person who can be described as his master or teacher.
A disciple of Christ is a follower of Christ who is committed to becoming like Jesus Christ Himself in thought, word, and deed (Luke 6:40). Third, a life that will count for God must follow the example of Jesus Christ by being committed to doing good to others. This was Jesus’ preoccupation when He was on earth (Acts 10:38), and it is expected of every born-again Christian (Eph. 2:8-10). Tabitha had the reputation of “always doing good and helping the poor” (v. 36).
This is something that every believer in Jesus Christ can be anointed by the Holy Spirit to do, but which very few do because they are not filled with the Holy Spirit (Heb. 13:16; Luke 6:35; Psa. 37:3; 34:14; Tit. 2:11-14). Four, anyone whose life will count for God must be ready to lay it down if it is the will of God for him to do so. Many believers have had to give up their lives in order to demonstrate their loyalty to God. But while not everyone is called upon to be a martyr, we are all called to hold nothing back, even if it be our very life, in our effort to serve the Lord and do good to others (Acts 21:10-14).
Tabitha worked so hard until she became sick and even died in her effort to do good and help the poor (v. 37; cp. Phil. 2:25-30). Five, a life that counts for God is a life that people find it difficult to part with. Tabitha was such a blessing to the people around her that they refused to bury her. They wanted to have her raised to life again. It is a life that people pray to and praise God for (2 Cor. 9:12-14). Six, a life that counts for God is a life that God does unusual things for.
God raised Tabitha back to life through Peter. Her good works to the poor and widows rose up to heaven like a sweet-smelling fragrance before God and led to God’s intervention in bringing her back to life (cp. Acts 10:1-6). Seven, a life that counts for God is one that will bring others to faith in Jesus Christ. God used the occasion of His raising Tabitha back to life to bring many souls to faith in Christ.