Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

Walking with God – Day 15

Walking with God in business: Lydia

Bible text(s)

14One of those who heard us was Lydia from Thyatira, who was a dealer in purple cloth. She was a woman who worshipped God, and the Lord opened her mind to pay attention to what Paul was saying. 15After she and the people of her house had been baptized, she invited us, “Come and stay in my house if you have decided that I am a true believer in the Lord.” And she persuaded us to go.

Acts 16:14-15GNBOpen in Bible reader

Being an entrepreneur and owning your own business is close to the hearts of many people in the world today. It can be a good thing through which you can grow and use for the benefit of many – it is what you do with it that matters. We saw how Peter prospered by following Jesus, immediately leaving his fishing business when He called him. Today, we will look at the effect of the gospel on the life of a businesswoman in Philippi.

On Paul’s second missionary journey with Silas, he had a vision of a Macedonian man begging him to go over to Macedonia to help them and concluded that God was calling him there to preach the gospel (Acts 16:9). He set out for Macedonia with Silas, Timothy and Luke, and stayed several days at Philippi. Early in his preaching there, Paul made a convert, who was in fact the first European convert, whose business opened the way for further ministry in that region, because of the effect that the gospel had on her.

Lydia, originally from Thyatira, was a merchant of purple cloth and a worshipper of the Jewish God. She was one of a group of women who gathered on the Sabbath to pray outside the city gates, where Paul and his companions had also gone in the hope of finding a synagogue. (An unrecognised religion was not allowed to be brought into the city.) Paul preached the gospel to the group, telling them of Jesus’ victory over sin and death through His own death and resurrection, and Lydia believed.

Although she already believed in God, she had been searching for a deeper understanding of him and he met her need through the gospel. This message transformed her life. Not only was she baptised, but she brought the other members of her household to be baptised too. Then, overflowing with joy and gratitude to God, she invited Paul and his companions to stay at her home while they were in Philippi, in a manner that could not be refused: “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” (Acts 16:15)

They accepted her generous hospitality and afterwards, the new church continued to meet in her house (Acts 16:40).

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