Extraordinary Women Of God[8]: Lydia’s persistence

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Read: Lydia was listening; she was a seller of purple fabrics from the city of Thyatira and a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.  Now when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us. Acts 16:14-15

Examine:  Lydia in the Bible was originally from Thyatira but was living in Philippi when she met Paul on his second missionary journey. She was a seller of purple cloth, which Thyatira was famous for. Who is the first recorded convert to Christianity in Europe? The Bible records her conversion and subsequent baptism (Acts 16:11–15).

Lydia was also a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14), and, when Paul found her, she was honoring the Sabbath, which means she was likely a Jew. The account of Lydia’s conversion says that she was gathered with a group of other women on the Sabbath at a place of prayer near the river outside of Philippi.

Lydia heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Bible says that God opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying (Acts 16:14). After she believed, Lydia was baptized, along with the rest of her household. After Lydia’s conversion and baptism, she insisted that Paul and his friends come to stay at her home, Luke says that “she prevailed upon us,” which indicates the fervency of her desire to be hospitable. The missionaries did indeed judge Lydia to be a true believer, and they stayed at her home while in Philippi. Lydia’s conversion marks the start of a new epoch in the Bible.

Application: Lydia was a worshiper of God but had not yet heard the gospel. God rerouted Paul and their friends and also ensured that Lydia would be in the right place at the right time to encounter Paul and hear the good news of Jesus.

And, as Lydia heard the gospel, God opened her heart so that she received the life-giving message. In this story, so full of divine intervention, we see the sovereignty of God in salvation; as Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” (John 6:44). We also see the immediate bond that a new believer has with other believers in Christ—Lydia showed hospitality to those who brought the good news, and she wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

Decision: Oh Lord, help us to be like Lydia, have my heart opened by the Lord, to be honest even in our jobs, need to show hospitality and be a temporary home for many missionaries.

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