Lydia: Planting a Church
Today’s Reading: Acts 16:11-15 and 40; SOAP: verse 15
Lydia, is said to be the first known convert to Christianity in Europe. While Scripture introduces her as a God-fearing woman (v14), it wasn’t until listening to what Paul was saying, which would have most certainly been the Gospel message,1 that her heart responded in belief. Lest we think that Paul and his companions knew all the right words or amazing presentations, don’t miss that it was the Lord who opened her heart (v14). The general consensus of the commentators I read believed, that because there weren’t enough Jewish men to have a Synagogue, Paul and the others with him traveled to the shore where they found Lydia and a group of women praying. Because of this, and the fact that Paul had a vision that led him to Macedonia in the first place, – Lydia and her household were saved and baptized. Following her baptism, Luke writes, she “persuaded” them [the disciples] to stay in her house.
And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. Ephesians 6:191 An example of what Paul would have been speaking to those listening to Him in Acts 16: 14
I believe it’s important to not miss the underlying fingerprints of God throughout the Scriptures, as seen here in the story of Lydia. I believe they are best captured by this statement from the writers of Gotquestions.org:
God rerouted Paul and 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. https://www.gotquestions.org/Lydia-in-the-Bible.html
For more insight into Lydia's story visit this link at Bibleref.com https://www.bibleref.com/Acts/16/Acts-16-15.html
How Then Should We live?
There are many take-aways from this one little passage. Including but not limited to the underlying but obvious fingerprints of God or the disciples persistence in looking for a prayer gathering when there was no synagogue to be found. However, what stands out to me as worthy of imitating – is Lydia’s willingness to listen to what Paul was saying, her heart yielded to God, positioned to surrender and respond to the message He had sent. On top of that is her obedience to follow in believer’s baptism and to make sure her household had the same opportunity; equally worthy is her immediate desire and persuasiveness to open her home to other believers, both to the disciples and others – as is evident in verse 40.
Father, as the old hymn says, “take my life and let it be ever only all for Thee”. Help me to be a faithful disciple of Your Word and an obedient daughter, following as and where You lead, my life and home always open to Your work in reaching the world – for Your glory and for the reputation of the Gospel.
What’s your take away from the story of Lydia?
Lydia wasted no time in serving the church after she was saved.
- How did her hospitality bless the early church?
- What example was she setting to those around her?
The next LGG study, “Choosing God Instead of the World”, will start August 8 …. I shared details with you over the weekend for the study – here’s more for your encouragement to join us for a six-week journey with Jacob and Joseph.
Our choices can be simplified into two categories: the things of God and the things of the world. Choosing the things of God is often challenging, but it yields the best long-term results. Choosing the world can be much easier and can appear to be the best way to avoid pain, but these choices often lead to our destruction.
Choosing God Instead of the World studies the lives of two men, Jacob and Joseph, their families, and the choices they faced. Both Jacob and Joseph were given a specific promise from God, but they lived out their faith very differently. As we study their lives, we will see the importance of choosing the things of God and the way God rewards those who walk with Him. We will also discover how, even if God’s people often made a mess of things, His promises to them never failed.excerpt from – https://lovegodgreatly.com/announcing-our-next-study-10/