Lord, Open My Heart to Respond
Day: 18 | Plan: Acts
Today's Reading: Acts 16
Acts 16:13 (NIV) “On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.”
The apostle Paul was eager to make his way to Macedonia after joining two new travel companions, Silas and Timothy, and receiving a stark vision from God. Setting sail they eventually arrived in Philippi, which was a leading city of the district of Macedonia.
On the Sabbath day, Paul and his companions went outside the city and down to the riverside for a prayer meeting. Approaching a group of women who were gathered by the shoreline, Paul joined them. Scripture doesn’t tell us how many women were attending the prayer meeting, but it does highlight one woman: Lydia.
“One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.” (Acts 16:14)
We can learn so much about Lydia from this single verse in Scripture. Lydia came from Thyatira, which was a city in the province of Asia. The same territory that the Holy Spirit forbid Paul to go into and preach the gospel. (Acts 16:6)
Thyatira was famous for their expensive purple dyes and being a dealer of purple cloth would have required a hefty cash flow. Lydia, being a successful business owner also understood the importance of intentionally setting aside time to pray and worship God. Paul finds her honoring the Sabbath, instead of working like some of her competitors. Lydia had the gift of hospitality and enjoyed inviting people into her home. (Acts 16:15, Acts 16:40)
As Lydia sat with the other women listening to Paul share the good news of Jesus, Scripture tells us, “The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message” (Acts 16:14b). I absolutely love this statement! Oh, let’s not breeze past and miss its significance.
The word opened in the original Greek is dianoigō, which means, “to open thoroughly what had been closed. To open one's soul, to rouse in one the faculty of understanding or the desire of learning.”
In those priceless moments, down by the riverside, God opened Lydia’s mind to understand a fresh revelation of Jesus. He deposited a desire in her heart to learn more about the gospel of grace that Paul was generously sharing.
Friend, let this be our heart’s greatest desire—today and every day!
Let’s ask God to pry our hearts wide open so we can receive a fresher revelation of Jesus. No matter how much we think we know about Him, let us long to know Him more! To yearn for a deeper understanding of His character and attributes. To wake up every day saying, “Good morning, Jesus” and sense the strongest urge to spend time with Him before anyone else.
To discover His truths, memorize His precepts and rejoice in His promises. And in those quiet moments as we slowly flip through the pages of our Bible, let us whisper ever so sincerely, “Jesus, pull back the veil so I can see You more clearly and hear You more distinctly.”
Prayer: Lord, soften my heart and open it wide to receive all the love You have for me. Give me a greater desire to spend time with You. Teach me Your ways and help me understand Your attributes as I read my Bible. I want to know You more. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Lydia responded in faith and was baptized along with her entire household. Then she invited Paul... Read More
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