July 28, 2015

Lydia and the Philippians: Take Initiative

Acts 16:13-15

When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.

—  Acts 16:15

Paul and his companions visited Philippi on their journey to share the good news of Jesus. At the river outside the city gate, they found “a place of prayer” where Lydia and some other women gathered for worship on the Sabbath.

Lydia was a dealer in rare purple cloth, an entrepreneur with her own business. It took initiative and drive for her to thrive as a merchant, and she applied those same qualities to worshiping and serving God.

When Paul shared the gospel that day, the Spirit opened Lydia’s heart to respond. She and her household were baptized. Lydia then took the initiative to invite Paul and his fellow travelers to stay at her house.

This fellowship became a ­refuge for Paul and his companions. When he and Silas were wrongfully jailed and later released, they went directly to Lydia’s house (Acts 16:40). The church in Philippi also gave generously to care for Paul’s needs as he traveled to other towns (Philippians 4:14-16).

These believers in Philippi took the initiative and built an active community of faith. And Paul thanked them for their “partnership in the gospel,” confident that the Lord would carry on the good work there “to completion” (Philippians 1:5-6).

Mentors take the initiative in blessing others. Follow the Spirit and make the first move, opening the door for another’s benefit. When you feel God’s urging, take action!

Lord, help us to see your working among us. Embolden us to follow you in action. Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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