What can you say about…Lydia?

Only five verses contain everything there is to say about Lydia, and they tell us so much about her:

and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. And 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 and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.” (Acts 16:12-15, 40)

She was:

  • from Thyatira (a Greek city)
  • a hardworking and industrious merchant (her name happens to literally mean, “travail”) in Philippi (a major polytheistic Greek city)
  • a religious worshiper of the one true God (although not yet a Christian)
  • desirous of the truth and tender-hearted to God’s word
  • influential to her family
  • a baptized believer
  • devoted, hospitable and brave

Lydia stood out amongst those in her culture in the past as any woman of God stands out from her culture today. She was in the world, but not of the world, and it only takes five verses to see that Heaven was in her heart.

What about us? EA

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

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