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Scripture Reference here
Lydia isn’t a popular person in the Bible. She seemingly doesn’t do much. However, her actions and attitudes saved her house and helped the servants of God. Lydia was a merchant lady visiting Phillip (Acts 16: 12). Paul and Silas happened to be in the area and went to the river to teach on the Sabbath (13). She heard their message and worshiped the Lord and her heart was opened to the Lord (14). Like Cornelius in Acts 10, she had respect for and relationship with God. However, God wanted her to come into the New Covenant with Him. She attended (listened) to what Paul (the messenger of God) had to say. She was open to hearing from God and His messenger. She received the message and did something about it(was baptized with her whole house; 15) .
She went beyond just the experience of salvation, though. She offered Paul and Silas (the servants of God) shelter (16). She knew the dangers the city posed to godly people.Sure enough, Paul and Silas found themselves in trouble. They were arrested, humiliated, beaten and imprisoned. God delivered them and they went right back to Lydia’s house before moving on with their mission (40). They knew they could trust her. They received comfort in that home and strength for the journey ahead.
Lydia came to God before Paul ever came to her. She had committed herself to living a Godly life even though she was from a city that was known for idol worship and immorality(Rev. 2:18-29). Phillip was a similar place. Yet she had maintained some level of connection with God. It shows us that no matter where you live or what is around you, living for God is possible and God doesn’t forget you in those situations. The question is, when God comes around, will we notice enough to come and connect with Him? Or will we get too busy with everyday life or the circumstances that surround us? Lydia didn’t let her work or her situation prevent her from engaging with a person speaking Truth.
God sent Paul to the exact place Lydia was at. He started to preach things that were familiar to her, but with newer information. He talked about God, but also about a Savior named Jesus and New Covenant that anyone could be a part of. She didn’t reject this information, but received it and was baptized. It may not be as foundational as salvation, but God does want to speak some things into our lives. The reality is, though, a lot of Christians have a certain level of understanding that they aren’t open to receiving new information. We have things figured out and we are doing just fine with it. However, God wants to give us something deeper. Something more. Something new. Lydia could have rejected Paul and stayed with what she had already. However, her current relationship with God and desire for greater relationship with Him drove her to listen when God’s messenger showed up.
Lydia did something about what she heard. She was baptized and so was her entire family. This was the primary action for what she had heard. When God shows up and has something to say, there will always be an obvious and primary action for us to take as a result of His word to us. It may be to seek salvation. It may be to start a fast. It may be to give of our money or resources. It may be to get involved in a ministry or to connect with a person who needs God. Whatever the action is, God will make it plain and simple to understand. Will we do that task?
Lydia did more than just the obvious, though. She took Paul and Silas in to give them shelter, fellowship and comfort. Even after these two men were made fugitives and convicts, she welcomed them in to her home. She wasn’t concerned about what the public thought, she wanted to help the men of God. Nothing of what she heard from Paul at the river side indicated she do this. She just felt it within herself to do it. There is a deeper level of action to take some times. An action that isn’t even expressed directly by God. However, he has put things in us from birth that we are naturally drawn towards. When we start listening and doing the will of God, those innate things start to conform to where our heart and mind is being led. What talent, gift or affinity do you have? Will you let that be given over to serve and act for God when you start to listen and obey Him? You might find that God has a plan to use you in special and unique ways that only apply to you.
If we will start to come to Jesus, He will find a way to come to us. Once we have connected, God will speak exactly what we need to hear so we can progress in relationship with Him. When we take those obedient actions, though, we may feel a pull to go beyond for Christ. Will we be like Lydia and go the extra mile? It might not even feel like it’s much to us, but it will be to God and those he leads us to help.
We hope you have been blessed by this installment in the Come Hear Do series. Until next time, God Bless and Keep Searching.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.