February 25, 2016

God’s People at Work: Lydia

Acts 16:11-15

The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

—  Acts 16:14

The book of Acts is a fast-paced book of the Bible. The church was on the move! It grew quickly as the early apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, traveled throughout the urban centers of the Roman Empire. The main human characters in this book are people like Peter, John, and Paul. And it’s exciting to see how the gospel message transforms thousands of individuals who respond to the gospel while continuing to serve God in their vocations.

Lydia was one such example. She was a business woman who made a good living working in the fashion industry by buying and selling luxurious cloth. Lydia gathered with other women from her community to pray, and Paul came to share the good news of Jesus with them. The Holy Spirit opened her heart, and Lydia believed!

Lydia then used her position and wealth to show hospitality to Paul and his companions. And we can assume that after they moved on to other cities, Lydia continued in her work and calling as a textile merchant.

The gospel doesn’t usually lead us to abandon our jobs in order to enter full-time ministry. The pattern in the early church is that the gospel transforms ordinary people, with ordinary jobs, into people who use what they have available in service to God.

Lord Jesus, thank you for opening our hearts to your message, and for changing us so that our daily work can become a tool in your hands. Help us to use whatever we have in service to you and others. Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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