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Lydia-An Influential Businesswoman

In my last post I shared another instance where God’s servants were imprisoned for teaching God’s truths, and God sent an angel to miraculously free them. Once again, the ‘brethren’ had been together in one accord, praying fervently for Paul and Silas. This time, they were together in the home of a woman named Lydia.

Acts 16:40 “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 came from Thyatira, a city in the western province of Lydia in Asia Minor. Her name originally might have been the designation of her home, “a woman of Lydia.” At the time Lydia met Paul, she lived at Philippi, a leading city of Macedonia on the European continent.  As a wealthy and influential businesswoman, Lydia sold articles dyed purple, a prized color made from certain mollusks–a respectable and lucrative trade. She had a spacious home that could accommodate many guests and servants to meet their needs. This had to be a rare achievement in her day. I would say that she was indeed a hard-working, bold, and intelligent woman to have achieved the success that she enjoyed. She also was a true child of God who understood that everything she had was a blessing from the Lord, to be used for His glory.

One Sabbath day, Lydia went to the river’s shore that had been designated by the Roman authorities of Philippi as a place of prayer and worship for the Jews. There she met Paul and Silas, who had been in Philippi only a short time. While others along the river may have rejected Paul’s words about Jesus, Lydia accepted them and became a Believer. Once she believed, she made a confession of her faith to her whole world through baptism and then, she assembled her entire household, told them what had happened to her, and she asked them to believe. After her entire household accepted Christ as Saviour and were baptized, Lydia invited Paul and Silas to stay in her home. When Paul and Silas were thrown into a Philippian prison, Lydia visited them and attended to their needs. Her house became the meeting place of the first European church.

Lydia was quick to understand that what had been hers before her conversion–home, business, and possessions–now belonged to the Lord. She had a new partner, the Lord Jesus; a new purpose, to serve Him; and a new satisfaction in seeking to be effective and successful in order to glorify the Lord. Her career aspirations did not hinder her sharing the gospel with family and friends. She was not too busy to take time for hospitality – Acts 16:15 “And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.”

Lydia’s name appears in Scripture only twice. She was seemingly the first Gentile convert in Europe, the first Christian businesswoman, and the first Believer to open her home as a worship center for European Christians. Not only to Paul and the early church, but also to the generations to come, Lydia proved the importance and influence of a woman of determination, foresight, and generosity.

What a wonderful, Godly example! Oh, how we could use more like Lydia in our world today!

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2015 in Godly Women

 

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The Healing Process

Over the past several months God has brought a series of books, “The King’s High Way,” by Chuck and Nancy Missler my way. I was blessed more than words can say by their book “Be Ye Transformed.” I took it with me when I went to stay at my sister’s during my mother’s illness. My sister requested to read it, so I left it with her.

Since my mother’s passing, I noticed another book on my shelf in the series, “Faith in the Night Seasons,” that I had forgotten about. God’s timing is always perfect. In the book, they share about their loss of a son at his young age of 39. Someone sent them a card with this writing on it. It has comforted me so, and is something I could hear my Momma say. I must pass it on in hopes that it will comfort others:

“When I am gone, release me, let me go. I have so many things to see and do. You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears. I gave you my love, you can only guess how much you gave to me in happiness. I thank you for the love you each have shown. But now it’s time I traveled on alone.

So grieve a while for me if grieve you must, but then let your grief be comforted by trust. It’s only for a while that we must part, so bless the memories within your heart.

I won’t be far away, for life goes on. Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near. And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear all of my love around you loud and clear. And then, when you come this way alone, I’ll greet you with a smile and say ‘welcome home.

I believe with all my heart that my sweet Mommie is indeed in Heaven with our Jesus, and I look forward to eternity with them and others who have gone home before me. In the meantime, I have many wonderful memories to keep me going on. When I hear a wind chime (she loved them so), I hear her loving voice saying, “God Bless You my daughter. I love you soooo much.” I whisper back, “I love you too, my Momma. See you in a little while.”

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in God's Love

 

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