Whose Heart the Lord Opened
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
Some people’s names are associated with their deeds. For instance, Abraham Lincoln will always be associated with liberty and emancipation. The first woman, Eve, will always be associated with having eaten the forbidden fruit and bringing sin into the world. Clara Barton will be associated with the Red Cross. The Wright brothers will be associated with aviation and flying. This morning, we want to consider a special woman whose life inspires all of us to live triumphantly in spite of challenges. This woman is Lydia of Philippi.
We see her troubles.
Lydia was a woman whose origins appear to be from the city of Thyatira. She was one of many who learned the fabric dyeing business. It could be that she made the arduous journeys from Thyatira to Philippi and other cities for her business. Her name means “travail.” Travail is associated with the pains of childbirth. It is a word that is used to describe tribulation and hardships. We are not told what her hardships were, but it could be that her hardships began at birth. In addition, Thyatira means “city of affliction.” Lydia speaks to us about the troubles that we have in this life. As Job said, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble." She may have carried many burdens that weighed her down.
We see her trade.
She was a seller of purple from Thyatira. She was a businesswoman. She made her living by selling purple-dyed fabrics and garments. She worked hard. She built a loyal clientele. She took care of her clientele. She developed a good name for what she did. She was a reputable woman and is not depicted as someone who had a questionable lifestyle. I think what stands out, however, is that she worshipped God! She was not so involved with her business that she did not have time for God. She made time for the public worship of the Lord.
We see her trust.
What stands out is her faith. She is spoken of as a woman whose heart the Lord opened as she heard the things spoken of by Paul. She had a tender heart. On that day she heard Paul speak at the riverside, she had faith to receive the Lord Jesus as her Savior. She opened her heart to the Lord and got saved. Her faith walk began when Jesus came into her life. Her trust was not in her business: her trust was in the Lord! Her Master was the Lord Jesus Christ.
We see what she treasured.
As the first convert at Philippi, she demonstrated that she was faithful. She saw that Paul and his team needed a place to hold public worship and the preaching of the gospel. She made her home in Philippi available for this. She loved the Lord, the Lord’s people, and the preaching of the gospel. Her priorities in life dramatically changed, and she sought to do everything that she could to be a blessing to her church. Her treasure was Jesus and His church. Her heart for the things of God was the catalyst that helped propel the new church at Philippi into being one of the great churches of the first century.
God uses Lydias: people who open their heart to Him in spite of the hardships that they have. God is looking for a Lydia. Will you be someone with an open heart to the things of the Lord?
Have a helpful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 18-22