Lydia is best known as the original convert for the gospel in Europe. She was the first person on record to respond to the message of Christ during Paul’s missionary journey into Europe.
Lydia was a businesswoman, she sold purple dye and fancy purple cloth. She was a Gentile, an active worshipper of God. Although she met regularly with the Jewish women who gathered to pray on the Sabbath, she had not yet become a convert to Judaism. It was here she heard the message from Paul.
Acts 16:14 speaks of Lydia hearing, listening intently to the word of God. She didn’t merely hear the word, she absorbed it. She was attentive to the meaning of each word. Her heart was open to receive. God was drawing her, she had ears to hear. The word says “The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul” (16:14)
Lydia’s faith was immediately shown by her actions Acts 16:15 says she and her household were baptized. She was baptized then and there, her household could have included family and or servants…but who ever it was immediately came to Christ as well. She was already leading others to Christ.
Many do not realize that faith is a gift as well to believers. God truly opens our hearts to believe.
Lydia also hosted Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke and perhaps others in her home. I’m sure it was no easy task. Yet her eagerness to host strangers possibly put her in danger. Remember that Philippi was also where Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail. Preaching the gospel was deemed a jailable offense. Lydia was exposing herself and her business to possible trouble.
Her hospitable act opened the way for the church to reach Europe. Paul and the missionaries stayed with Lydia for a long time.
Lydia’s hospitality was as remarkable as her faith. She played an important part in the spread of the gospel. Everything that made Lydia great was the result of God’s work in her heart.
Allowing God access is the most important part! We must be eager to hear God’s word and quick to repent and heed God’s word!
Do you seek after God with a fervor and tell others about what He has done for you?