Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Women: Defenders of FaithActs 16: 11 -15
V14 b – “The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.”
The Bible portion Acts 16: 11 – 15 speaks of the conversion of a woman by the name of Lydia in Philippi. It’s quite interesting to think that Philippi was not in his travel plans when Paul decided to go to Asia. It was purely God’s plan that made him take a detour and be in Philippi. In verse 10 of the same Chapter, we read of God’s calling to Paul to preach the gospel to the people in Macedonia.
It was not a conventional scene to see men preaching to a group of women. This too was not a planned meeting. When Paul and his companions were searching for a place to pray, they happened to come across this group of women on the river bank. Lydia was one among the women. She is introduced as a dealer of purple cloth. She was a prominent businesswoman who sold fine cloth and not everyone could afford cloth with purple dye. She worked as a dealer of cloth in a time when women were only confined to their kitchens preparing food for the family and taking care of their children.
It is written about her that she is a worshipper of God. She was ready to receive the message being spoken by Paul. This is why the Lord opened her heart to respond to the message. This must be food for thought to all of us. How prepared are we when we listen to a message being delivered from the pulpit? Do we listen to respond to the message or evaluate the message? As soon as Lord opened her heart, she responded encouraging her family members also to get baptized. Her faith life didn’t end there. She was generous enough to share her time and home space with Paul and his companions. Her response to Paul’s message was not limited to the ritual of baptism but it got extended to other areas of her life.
Lydia’s life must be a model for us. In spite of her busy schedule as a businesswoman, she found time to be in a place where she could listen to the Lord’s word. Her preparedness and readiness enabled her heart to be open to the message.
Thought for the Day
Listen to God’s word to respond, not to evaluate.
Mrs. Preena Mathew W/O Rev. Mathew Samuel
Mar Thoma College of Special Education,