June 22, 2021

The Grace of Goodness

Acts 9:36-42

She was always doing good and helping the poor.

—  Acts 9:36

The fruit of goodness arises from the amazing grace of God. It seeks to help and to right wrongs where it can, providing benefits to others and leading them to give thanks and praise to God (Matthew 5:16).

As we have read in our text for today, Tabitha (Dorcas) “was always doing good and helping the poor.” And when she suddenly became sick and died, the apostle Peter asked God to bring her back to life. And God did that! Tabitha could then continue with her acts of goodness, and because of this miracle “many people believed in the Lord.”

Barnabas, who gave generously to the church and helped Paul (Saul) when he needed a friend, “was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith” (Acts 11:24; see also Acts 4:36-37; 9:27-28).

Cornelius, one of the first Gentiles (non-Jews) to believe in Jesus, was already “devout and God-fearing,” and “he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly” (Acts 10:2). God sent him a vision, telling him to invite Peter to his house. God also sent Peter a vision, telling him to go and visit Cornelius. So Peter did that, and he shared the good news of Jesus with Cornelius and with a crowd of people who had gathered at his house. And all the people there received the gift of the Holy Spirit that day and were baptized (Acts 10)!

Lord Jesus, thank you for the good people in this world. Holy Spirit, breathe your goodness into all your people so that others may see and give praise to the Father in heaven. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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