“One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying.”Acts 16:14
Paul continued traveling throughout the Mediterranean sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone who would listen to them. On this journey he meets a young disciple named Timothy. He wanted Timothy to join him on the remainder of the trip so Timothy can learn from Paul directly.
Along their journey they met some women outside the city of Philippi who were God believers. By the riverside Paul, Timothy & Silas shared the Gospel with them. Lives were changed that day. In that group of women was a business woman who received the Gospel and was baptized. In fact her entire household was baptized.
Paul, Silas & Timothy’s job was to preach the Gospel in each city as the Holy Spirit led them. How the seeds of faith took was not necessarily their responsibility. Each person who hears the Gospel can receive it or reject it. Their hearts are open by the Holy Spirit to be transformed by the Gospel.
Lydia teaches us having an open heart when being taught by God. She was an accomplished business woman who probably had great influence in the city. Selling purple cloth was not a small time business. Who could blame her if she thought she did not need God in her life. She had everything she ever could need in life.
In life today we have many creature comforts that can falsely lull us into believing that we can do everything on our own. We do not need God because we have everything that we need. We can take care of ourselves. But that is not true.
God reaches out to everyone in love. While God desires everyone to be in a growing relationship with Him it is not forced on anyone. Lydia is an example of receiving the Gospel message in one’s heart. She received the Gospel as the Holy Spirit opened her heart. Lydia did not push God away falsely believing she could do things on her own.
Lydia teaches each of us this importance of learning from God. She sat with Paul & Silas learning from them about Jesus Christ. She led others in her household to come to know Jesus for themselves. We can do the same in our lives when we gather together with other followers of Jesus to learn from Scripture. We can share the Good News of Jesus with those closest in our lives by sharing how Jesus is changing us.
May we all be like Lydia learning from Paul & Silas receiving the Gospel freely as the Holy Spirit opens our hearts. Before our eyes God will change the world one changed life at a life.
This Week’s Challenge
In your prayer time this week ask God where there is an area in your life that is closed to the Gospel. Learn from God how to freely receive God’s teaching.