“After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them.” Acts 16:40
Luke tells us in Acts chapter 16 that Lydia was a dealer in purple cloth. In other words, she was most likely a wealthy businesswoman. Purple was the color for royals and dignitaries because its cloth-dying process was the most costly. She probably reigned fairly high in society in this metropolitan, commercial city in Greece called Philippi. Yet, she also worshipped the One True God. Her wealth had not made her vain or arrogant. She acknowledged God’s blessings and offered them to others.
She opened her home to Paul and Silas after they had been released from prison for inciting a riot. This act of hospitality was undoubtedly a risky gesture for a wealthy, renowned businessperson to make. But I think she’d heard their preaching, knew they were men of God, and obeyed God’s prompting to give them food, shelter, and most likely a bath! Then she let them use her home to meet with others and lead them to Christ.
Because of her, the church in Philippi was established and grew. The Philippians were Paul’s model church. He says in his letter to them: “Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only…” (4:15). Lydia had set the example for others to follow.
I admire her greatly. She was not only a woman of deep faith, but she gave joyfully to the missionaries. She knew God had blessed her, and she openly served Him in return. By serving, she encouraged others to do the same. I want to become more and more like Lydia.
Father God, You provide my every need and so many of my wants. Teach me, by Lydia’s example, to openly share my faith, my home, and my blessings so others may come to know Your Son, our Savior, Jesus. Help me to continue to prayerfully and financially support missionaries, and offer them rest when they are in my town. Amen.
If you are not prayerfully and financially supporting a missionary, ask your pastor to suggest one or two. Open your heart, your wallet, and if need be, your home. You will be doubly blessed.
Did you know you can be a missionary right from the comfort of your home? Consider becoming an online mentor.