By Brooke Holt
“One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.’ And she prevailed upon us.” (Acts 16:14-15 ESV)
Paul and Timothy followed the Lord to Macedonia, down to a river in Macedonia, and now to Lydia’s house. What an adventure! Who could truly say following God is boring?
What is significant to note in this passage is the work of sharing the gospel came through Paul, but the Lord did the work within the heart. It is not man or woman’s eloquent words that change hearts or minds. Instead, God’s Spirit works within them to bring about transformation.
Lydia was a woman whose heart God prepared to receive the salvation message. She heard, received, then moved into action by being baptized and having her household baptized. While not every conversion happens quite so easily or quickly, it is amazing to join in the work God is already doing. Joining God makes the work much lighter and certainly more fruitful!
What if each of us prayed to see people through the eyes of the Lord each day? Lord, show me the people you are working in; guide me to those ready to receive your Word. The work of evangelism is the most exciting, especially when we join God in that work and do not try to jump ahead of him or do it for him. When God has been preparing hearts to receive him, we do not need to be coercive or winsome. Instead, we offer up ourselves, our testimonies, and the simple message that Jesus loves them and wants to be in a relationship with them. In fact, his Son made the way for that to happen through his death on the cross and his resurrection.
There is hope, joy, and eternal life for those who would look to Jesus as their Savior. And there is no better news than that gospel message for those who God has prepared to receive it. May we join the Lord in this glorious work today!
How did the Lord prepare you to receive the good news of salvation? Who do you see him preparing to receive this good news today? We would love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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