“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us. ” Acts 16:14-15
When studying the woman Lydia, I noticed that the scripture notes two things about this great woman: her heart the Lord had opened and her home was open to house the saints. These are two things that we should all desire to adorn our lives in Christ. The first being one that I hope the Lord has already done to us in salvation and continues in us more every day. And the second being one that we as young women should especially seek to cultivate, so we can practice it in our future homes as well as encouraging it in our present homes.
“...whose heart the Lord opened...”
The scriptures speak much about being open to the Lord, in Isaiah 42:6-7 it prophesies of how Jesus Christ, the Massiah would do this: “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” And also in Isaiah 22:22 “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he will open, and none will shut; and he will shut, and none will open.” In Isaiah 50:5 it speaks how that the Lord can open us so we will not resist Him “The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” And David asks the Lord to open his lips and eyes to the Lord: Psa 51:15 “ O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” Psa 119:18 “ Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” It is important to know that being open to the Lord is not in or of ourselves, it is God that must touch our hearts, our eyes, our mouths to open to Him and believe in Jesus Christ, and glorify Him. Just like he opened Lydia’s heart. But even when we are believers there are sometimes when we grow cold and closed to the Lord, in these times also we should look Christ to cleanse of that sin and turn to Him. We must continually seek the Lord through prayer and reading God’s word, even when we do not feel like it, we must ask the Lord to make us be open to Him for He has promised “..every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”(Matthew 7:8)
“If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.”
After our hearts have been opened to the Lord that he may dwell therein, we should then love the brethren, and even strangers, and want to open our homes to them through hospitality. Lydia thought hospitality very important. Notice how she invites Paul and those with him “If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there.” And then Luke says that “she constrained us.” Lydia would not take no for an answer she felt that being hospitable was being “faithful to the Lord”. And that for Paul to abide with her was to commune with her and her house as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. The tie of Christianity brings us together as a family, and to share our home with the brethren in Christ, is the same as shareing it with family. But hospitality is not just something we should want to do but that we are commanded to do. 1Peter 4:9 “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.”Romans 12:13 “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” 1Peters 4:9 “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” 1Timothy 3:2 “A bishop then must be...given to hospitality...”, Titus 1:8 “ For a bishop must be...a lover of hospitality...”. As women we play a vital role in hospitality, we must make the home a comfortable place to entertain “angels” , and provide wholesome meals to bless others with. Our attitudes must be open to those coming into our home and willing to give up any comfort to afford them more. Also by being hospitable to those who are in the world we can show them what a Christian home should be and what love Christ can bring into our lives. Most of you that read this are daughters still in living at home, so we don’t always have the chance of be hospitable, but we can encourage it and ask our parents if we can have more people over, or suggest taking someone in who is traveling through the area. And when we have our own home we should be happy to receive who ever our husbands wish to bring home and always have a happy open home to welcome them to.
So, dear sisters, I hope we will learn from Lydia to open our hearts to the Lord and our homes to all, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you.