Daily Devotional

April 17th 2024


One woman, Lydia, was from Thyatira and a dealer in expensive textiles, known to be a God-fearing woman. As she listened with intensity to what was being said, the Master gave her a trusting heart—and she believed!—Acts 16:14 (MSG)

Lydia was a businesswoman, a dealer in purple dye, from the city of Thyatira. Lydia was living in Philippi temporarily, in a large home that was suitable for entertaining Paul and his associates.
Lydia was a proselytized Jew but she was committed to learning more about God’s plan for her life. So, she made herself available to God by being in the right place at the right time, surrounded by the right people. The Holy Spirit was preparing her heart to receive His message and directing Paul and his companions to move in her direction.
Paul was a Pharisee by training, and Pharisees didn’t think too highly of women. Pharisees would pray daily, “God, I thank You that I’m not a Gentile, I’m not a slave, and I’m not a woman.” But now Luke records, “on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside…to a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled there.” God had changed Paul’s heart. So, the converted Pharisee preached the Good News of Jesus Christ to the proselytized Jew woman. The resurrected Christ was operating through them both.
Lydia hung on every word Paul preached. The Lord opened the heart of Lydia as she “was listening.” Literally, “she kept a sustained attention.” And because she kept her heart in a spiritual posture to receive from the Lord, she wasn’t just in the right place at the right time with the right people, but she received and responded to the right message. The Lord opened her heart and she believed. She and her household were baptized.
There is power, progress and purpose in hearts that are open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Paul was open to the leading of the Holy Spirit in where to preach and who to preach to, and Lydia was open to the truth of the Gospel when she heard it from the man of God. And as a result, not just one person, but an entire household was saved.

Prayer: Eternal Lord, we can know that we have a need, we can be willing to make a change, but nothing will happen unless we have hearts that are open to Your leading. Thus, our simple plea today is that You would open our hearts to You. In the name of Jesus, our Christ, we pray. AMEN!

(We invite your comments. Feel free to share this devotion with your friends and invite them to subscribe by forwarding their email address to the Pastor at: fredjeffsmith@gmail.com.)


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