God's Heart for Women Part 1
This will be number one of three in my series called, God’s Heart for Women ~ Lydia
Our recent tour of Greece was packed with wonder. Most of all it revealed once again, the overwhelming, redemptive love of God. There was “Power, power wonder working power,” packed in to one trip. I came home forever changed and more on fire to be the best version of me. God created me. He loves me. He loves you, all of you. He wants the very best for us.
We meet Lydia briefly in Acts 16:14, in the midst of Luke telling us of Paul’s call to Macedonia. Philippi was a city in the Roman governed, Macedonian region. The Via Egnatia, a thoroughfare built by the Romans leading from Constantinople (Turkey) to Rome, traverses Philippi. Paul traveled this road to Philippi from Neopolis, a port city.
On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 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. She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed. ~ Acts 16:13-15 NLT
If you follow or subscribe to my blog, you have heard Lydia’s name before. She is only mentioned twice in the bible. Once, in the above verse. The second, when Paul and Silas are released from custody by the Romans and they go to Lydia’s to rest and encourage the believers for the night (Acts 16:40).
Lydia was likely a widow, “she and her household were baptized.” This meant she had children and owned slaves. If her husband was alive, he would have been mentioned. She was self-employed, “a merchant of expensive purple cloth.”
Here it is! Philippi was the first church established by Paul in the western world. Lydia’s house was the first home church in western culture. God didn’t say, “Uh oh Paul, there is no synagogue, there are no men by the river, you better go somewhere else.”
Just like He used Rahab, Ruth, Esther, and many other women, He used Lydia. It’s not a man thing. It’s not a woman thing. It’s a, “who is willing to be used by God?” thing.
“There is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.” ~ Galatians 3:26-29
Paul saw a vision in his dreams and went to Macedonia. Paul trusted God and obeyed.
Lydia and her friends went down to the river to pray and then open her house. Lydia was obedient!
Do you trust? Will you drop everything?
Awed by God’s love,