The Lord opened her heart ...

On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. She was baptized along with other members of her household, and she asked us to be her guests. -Acts 16:13-15 NLT

Philippi was the first city that Paul and his companions visited after they heard God call them to Macedonia. This passage recounts their first experience with the folks who lived there. Interesting how folks gathered by the river to worship God. It must have been so encouraging to get such a great reception to their message. Fascinating how it says that Lydia was one who already worshiped God. Most likely she was one who worshiped with the Jews on the Sabbath.

The phrase "the Lord opened her heart" speaks to me of how God often tenderizes our hearts and opens our eyes. It reminds me that it only took an instant for my first wife to respond to the gospel and eight months for me to bow my heart - sometimes the heart tenderizing process is longer for some than others. I love the radical nature of Lydia's conversion. She was not satisfied with a mere Sabbath Day experience but insisted that these strangers stay with her.

Open out hearts once again dear Lord that we might disciple and be discipled in loving communion and community.


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