Bible devotions for women continues with the study of Lydia from the Bible. There are only a few verses in the Bible regarding Lydia, but what insight they give us!
On the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us. . . . So they went out of the prison [Paul and Silas] and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.
Acts 16:13-15 and 40, NKJV
Lydia from the Bible
Lydia Worshiped God
Lydia is one of my favorite women of the Bible. I don’t know if that’s because I love purple, or it is the name of my daughter-in-law (Lydia, I’m dedicating this devotion to you! By the way, Lydia and my son Nason just blessed me with my first grandchild who they named Glorianna!)
We know very little about Lydia from the Bible. The only verses in the Bible written about Lydia are shown above. Did you notice that this mention of Lydia starts out with a prayer meeting? Not only that, but just because these women worshiped God, it didn’t mean they were necessarily Christians! What changed? What is it that Paul told Lydia that she hadn’t understood before?
Lydia from the Bible
Lydia Becomes a Believer
We are told first of all, that the Lord opened Lydia’s heart. Make no mistake; it is God who saves us. Yes, we make the choice, but not without God changing our heart first! Do we understand that completely? No, we don’t. Men have been arguing that point for centuries. Don’t waste your time haggling over the little things; spend your time working for the Lord, and showing His true love to those around you!
What exactly did Paul tell Lydia? Let’s use Paul’s own words to explain this.
”Men of Israel, and ‘you who fear God, listen: . . . . From this man’s seed [David], according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus. . . . And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead. . . . For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
So, what is it that Lydia from the Bible now understood? Believing in God is not enough! The Bible tells us that the devils also believe and tremble in fear. Yes, God is God and our belief begins with Him; but, if we truly understand God, we know that our sins keep us from being able to fellowship with this Great and Holy God. Therefore, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to live on this earth, and die on the cross to pay the debt to God for our sins.
Yes, believe in God; but you must believe also that Jesus died for your sins, was resurrected, and lives in Heaven with God to intercede for us. Our hope is in Christ and His resurrection.
Because He lives, we can fall before Him asking Him to forgive our sins, and rest on Christ alone for our true salvation. Now, the door to God is opened for us; God does not see our sins, but instead sees the blood of Christ shed for us. That is what Lydia understood!
Lydia from the Bible
Lydia Opens Her House for the Brethren
How did Lydia react to her conversion? First, she and all her house came to the Lord and were baptized. Then, no more prayer meetings by the river; instead, she opened her house to Paul and Silas for their ministry. Actually, the Bible says, She begged us. Verse 40 tells us that when Paul and Silas were let out of prison, they entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed. God did not forget Lydia from the Bible; as a matter of fact, her story is included in His Word for all of us to read. She opened her house for all of the brethren in Christ to meet and to worship Him.
The most important lesson for us to learn from Lydia, however, is that believing and worshiping God is not enough. The true saints of Christ are those who have confessed their sins, and claimed the blood of Christ as payment for those sins. Then, the true worship and fellowship of God begins because the way to this Holy and Perfect God has been opened to us.
Praise God for Lydia from the Bible! Praise her for her faithfulness in being a part of a prayer meeting by the river, her acceptance of the true gospel of Christ, and her generosity in opening her home for the ministry of Christ.