And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. ~Acts 16:14
Lydia is one of many special women whom God used in a great way. Her name means “travail,” which implies hardship and difficulty. She was a successful business woman who was from Thyatira. She thrived in the mercantile business, selling purple garments. However, what God calls our attention to is not the fact that she was a successful business woman, but that she was a woman whose heart the Lord opened. This morning, let us see the importance of having a heart that the Lord opens.
We see the key.
“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us.” The key to having a heart that the Lord will open is found in this opening phrase. First, she was tender in heart to the things of God. A tender heart is good soil which, when the Word of God is sown, brings forth much fruit. Even before she got saved, Lydia worshipped God. She was taught early in life the importance of fearing God and worshipping Him. Parents, we can never begin too soon to emphasize the importance of worshipping God. Second, the Bible says that she “heard us.” Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. An open heart is always preceded by open ears.
We see the conversion.
Lydia was present at a location by the river where women assembled for prayer. There, Lydia heard the gospel for the first time and she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. This basically means that she listened and received Christ by faith as her Saviour. An open heart for salvation is critical for being saved. I am thankful for many people over the years to whom I have given the gospel who accepted Christ because of an open heart. Then, she followed the Lord in believer’s baptism to show her identification with Christ. Her open heart resulted in her being the first convert, the first baptism, and the first member of this new church that was started in Philippi.
We see the concern.
“If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.” An open heart is marked by a concern for living for and serving God. She was conscientious about her faithfulness. She knew that faithfulness is a criterion for credibility. As the church was starting, she recognized that they needed a regular meeting place. She volunteered her house as the first meeting place! She also made this a lodging place for Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke. Then, we read, “She constrained us.” She compelled the preachers to accept her offer. This church got off to a powerful start because its first convert was consumed with a concern for the things of God. She desired to honor God by using what she God blessed her with to be a blessing to others.
We see the congregation.
“And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.” Lydia had the privilege of seeing the church at Philippi grow and have a powerful influence in her home. Her home was the place of refreshing fellowship, encouraging preaching, training of servants for God, and many more salvations. Her open heart established a powerful pattern for new believers to have.
A heart that the Lord opens is vitally critical for God to use us and to grow a church with a permeating influence. Let the Lord open your heart through His Word, His service, and His people.
Have an open-hearted God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Job 14-16