Text: Acts 16:11-15, 40
We see successful women every day in every area of life. There are women who lead countries, run international companies, make scientific breakthroughs, and tirelessly serve as mothers. We all have the privilege of knowing successful women. Nonetheless, Lydia shines in the pages of the Bible. We don’t know if she was married or widowed, but we do know that she was a pioneer businesswoman, a seller of purple goods. What I admire most about this woman is not her entrepreneurial spirit, but her hospitable heart. As soon as she hears the good news of the gospel, she begs Paul and Silas to go to her house and spend a few days there.
We meet important women every day, but it’s not often that we have the pleasure of meeting a hospitable woman. Our busy lives don’t allow us the time to do so; but Hebrews 13:2 reminds us to not neglect showing hospitality to others. When was the last time you invited someone to your home to share a meal? We always think to invite people to our churches, but have you considered inviting someone to your apartment and sharing the gospel with them in the intimacy of your home? Lydia opened her house and as a result her whole family accepted Jesus as their Savior and soon a new church community was born.
I find it fascinating when studying the stories in the book of Acts how often one person and then her/his entire household will come to faith in Jesus. For instance, in Acts 10, Cornelius and all of his relatives believe and receive the Holy Spirit; and in Acts 16, Lydia and her entire household are baptized at once. Even though under the New Covenant, each person must come to Jesus on their own and is not saved or condemned based on their parents' actions (Jeremiah 31:29-34), in the book of Acts we still find the Spirit bringing whole families to faith at the same time. Maybe it was God's desire to grow the early Messianic movement or His commitment to remain the God who keeps "steadfast love to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" (Exodus 34:6). Whatever God's reasoning, I desperately long to see these types of "all household conversions" in our time and in our city. What a joy it would be to see not only one of my friends turn to Jesus, but also her family; not just one of my relatives come to faith, but every single one of them. What made Lydia's newfound faith so compelling to her friends and family? Why were they instantly convicted to the point of wanting to be baptized? How can we become these types of women who accept the gospel so completely that our families cannot help but seek Jesus themselves?
Today, let's join together and ask God to pour His steadfast love out on our families to the thousandth generation. Let's claim spiritual dominion over our apartment buildings and ask God to bring our "whole household" to saving faith in Him. He is the same God yesterday, today, and tomorrow, so let's pray His promises back to Him and ask Him to do the works He did in Lydia's life in ours as well. May we see God birth fledgling churches in every apartment building across this city!