Acts 16:12-15 (NIV) From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days. 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. 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. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
Lydia was from Thyatira. She was a prominent business woman in that pagan city that worshipped the god Apollo.
The water in this area, produced wonderful dyes. Red for fabric used to make Fez hats. Unique purple dye that was very expensive and Lydia sold it and made a good income. She made much money at her business of selling the purple cloth, and was a clever and resourceful woman, who had a large home and even servants.
She still made time in her busy life for God. She went to prayer meetings by the river with other believers. She was not a Christian. She wanted to know God and have a spiritual walk with Him, but did not know how.
When Paul came to preach and teach, she learned the truth, God opened her mind to understand, and Lydia put her faith in God. She was baptised as a Christian believer and was the first European convert to Christ.
Her business did not suffer when she became a Christian, and she used the money she made to further spread the word about Jesus.
She taught her household the truths about God and she opened her home to others.
When Paul and Silas were released from prison after being beaten, Lydia took them in and treated them and sheltered them. Lydia showed her faith by what she did for people outside the kingdom of Christ and also other Christians.
She knew there would be persecution ahead, but she stayed close to God.
Lydia’s house was always open to other believers. People met there for meetings and maybe her home was the first “church”
Lydia was not lazy: her business prospered because she worked hard and put all her effort into what God gave her to do. This was not for herself…
She kept her eyes on the Lord Jesus, and she maintained the “spiritual glow” that made her stand out from other people. She was devoted to God and all her life showed it.
Lydia kept her business going so that she could support the work of God and help the message of NEW LIFE to be preached and shared with other people around her. She made money so that it could further the spread of this message. Lydia became a new person when she trusted God, and turned from her sins. Her life blossomed as the Holy Spirit purified her life and made her more like Jesus.