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)
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)
Everything that can biblically be said about Matthias is basically found in Acts 1:20-26, that being:
Matthias had a great interest in spiritual matters, since, although not mentioned by name, he was present all throughout the various situations we read about in the gospels, and if not anything else, that alone shows great dedication.
Along with the other apostles, Matthias was also a man of great faith in God and in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world.
Additionally, Matthias’ life was greatly affected by prophesy when he filled the vacancy created by Judas’ betrayal of Jesus.
And finally, Matthias (as “God’s gift” – the literal meaning of his name), as an apostle, had a sincere interest in the spiritual lives of others.
These few words don’t add up to a lot of space on a page, but they say a lot! EA
“He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” (Ephesians 4:10-12)
Well, the woman mentioned twice by name in the scriptures (Exodus 6:20, Numbers 26:59) was born in Egypt and bore three children, who grew up to become some spiritually heavy-hitters as well. She made tough choices, she knew the providence of God and her faith must have been a topic mentioned at her funeral (Exodus 2:1-9,Hebrews 11:23).
This is why Jochebed stands as an example to every woman who knows the value of fearing God despite the feelings of the culture that surrounds her. EA
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)
What can you say about, Jabez? Well, there’s the place (1 Chronicles 2:55), and then there’s the person (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)…the person is a lot more interesting despite the fact we’re told very little about him biblically speaking.
But in light of what we’re told, here are a couple of things you could say about him: One, something about him reminded his mother of great sorrow. Maybe his birth was costly, physically speaking. Maybe it was a family situation. Regardless of the cause, the name of sorrow (the literal meaning of Jabez) was given at his birth, but it would be a name that he would outgrow because the second thing we can say about Jabez is that he became a faithful, a praying, a blessed and a protected man of a God.
We can’t honestly say much else, but what we can say is worth being listened to. EA
“Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)
Ever noticed anything unusual about the typical image of the Devil drawn by artists during the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?
Let me give you a small clue – the snake has no legs!
Why’s that an issue? Because his legs were “kicked out from under him” in God’s judgment after the sin had taken place, not before.
Now if the average person misses something so obvious right from the beginning, what else do you think escapes our attention?
That’s why proper Bible study (2 Timothy 2:15) helps to keep the apples with the apples and the oranges with the oranges when it comes to biblical knowledge. EA
“So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”” (Genesis 3:14-15)
If asked why it took approximately 1,800 years after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the book of Mormon to be revealed the Mormons will respond by saying that the world was not ready for the truth. But is that true? Was the world living without the truth, the whole truth of God’s revealed word until the “hidden” books that make up the book of Mormon were revealed in 1827? Contrary to what the Mormon Church teaches, the answer is a resounding no!
The Bible itself testifies that the entirety of God’s truth for all of mankind was going to be revealed, and that in fact it had been entirely revealed, proclaimed and received before the end of the first century A.D.
And how can we be sure that this happened? Because Jesus told his apostles that “…when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth….” (John 16:13) and this is why:
Jude, in the first century, told his readers to contend earnestly for the faith which had been once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3)
Peter, in the first century, told his readers that God had provided all things that were necessary for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)
James, in the first century, told his readers that they had been born again by the word of truth (James 1:18)
John, in the first century, told his readers that they knew the truth, were filled with truth and were walking in the truth (2 John 1-4)
Paul, in the first century, told his readers that they knew the truth of God’s grace and word through the gospel which had been preached to all under heaven (Colossians 1:5-6, 23-28)
Jesus kept his promise, and the Holy Spirit fulfilled his mission by the end of the first century as the testimony of God’s true apostles and prophets testify within the Bible’s pages which were recorded and preserved by the providence of God many centuries before some supposed “angel surrounded by light” ever uttered a word (see Galatians 1:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
The book of Mormon is not needed to know the truth of God because the truth of God is not found in the book of Mormon, for the truth of God’s true kingdom is only found in one testament – and that’s the books which make up the New Testament of Jesus Christ in the Bible, a testament that has no need for any “other” testament, hat’s down!
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)
The problem doesn’t come from not knowing whether or not we have “a direct line to the divine” – it’s that people are ignoring what they hear when they pick up the phone! EA
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)