Lesson Four

“Famous Dressmaker”

Scripture Reference: Acts 9:36-43

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Dorcas means gazelle (a gentle deer) – an emblem of beauty.


(Acts 9:36) – Dorcas was a believer who lived at Joppa, which was about 35 miles from Jerusalem. Joppa was the seaport for that region. Dorcas was known for her good works and kind deeds. The word “almsdeeds” means works of mercy. Dorcas was very skillful in using the needle and thread. She was content to stay at home and use her talent of sewing for the Lord. She rejoiced in her ability to serve God. She used her needle for the Lord. She did what she could. God never asks you to do something that you cannot do. Do you do what you can?


(Titus 3:8) – From the room where Dorcas did her sewing, she could see the poor and needy people pass by her door. She had great compassion on the fatherless and widows. Dorcas knew what she could do and she did it. She made coats and garments for the ones in need. Dorcas had a loving heart and giving hands. The Lord supplied for Dorcas as she willingly gave to the poor. As Dorcas shared the garments she made, she also shared Christ. People knew she was a true believer. “I will shew thee my faith by my works” (James 2:18b). In the midst of a busy and useful life, Dorcas became sick and died. The ones that she had helped now washed her body in preparation for burial and laid her body in an upper room. Perhaps this was the room in which Dorcas sewed and made the garments. Some of the believers that were there knew Peter was preaching in Lydda, a town near Joppa. Two men were sent to Peter to ask him to please come quickly. When Peter arrived, they led him to the upper room. There the widows showed Peter the coats and garments Dorcas had made for them. They missed Dorcas and mourned (wept) for her. Peter asked everyone to leave the room.


(Acts 9:40) – Peter kneeled and prayed to the Heavenly Father. Then arising, he spoke to the dead body and said, “Tabitha, arise.” (Peter used her Hebrew name.) She opened her eyes, saw Peter and sat up. Peter helped Dorcas stand up. Peter then called the mourners to come and see what God had done. The people were so glad to see Dorcas alive again. They were comforted. Dorcas could now return to her life of showing compassion and mercy on the poor and needy. Many others believed in the Lord when they saw the miraculous power on the life of Dorcas. A changed life attracts others to the Savior. “And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord” (Acts 9:42).

A Thought to Remember – What opportunities do you have? Use your talents and opportunities to do all the good you can in all the ways you can. You life will be a blessing to others, and God will be glorified. “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me” (Matthew 25:40b).

Lesson to Learn – God only wants you to do what you can. God did not ask Dorcas to build an ark because she did not have the ability to build the ark. Not every person is called to be a missionary, but God can use every person. God can use deaf ladies. Name some things you cannot do. Name somethings you can do. When life is over, the Lord will say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

Everyone can be a good servant.