Written By: Lory Ruiz
Scripture Reading: Acts 16
In Acts 16, we read about Paul and Silas’ journey to Macedonia though it was not part of their original plan. But because Paul had a vision one night of a man from Macedonia urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us,” Paul and Silas immediately received the vision as the Holy Spirit guiding them to preach there. While in Macedonia, they met a woman named Lydia who became the first convert in Europe.
But who was Lydia? She was a successful business woman and entrepreneur who was well known for selling purple cloth, a color worn mostly by the wealthy. This type of business brought in great wealth for her and her household. Though a single woman, she made a name for herself through her business dealings and hard work. The Bible also says Lydia was a worshipper of God. She did not miss an opportunity to worship and pray with others. As we read in Acts, Paul and Silas meet Lydia while she is at the river outside the city which was known to be a place of prayer. Her decision to go to the river that day changed her life for eternity. Paul begins to preach the gospel and Lydia receives the message of salvation! Thus making her the first European convert to Christianity.
Because of her great influence, her whole household is immediately saved and baptized. Can you imagine this woman, who already had great influence, using her new found devotion to the Lord for impacting those in her home and those she conducted business with? People trusted her, and now they would see the love of Christ in her as well. What a woman of influence! She eventually convinced Paul and Silas to stay in her home, which made her house the meeting place for the first European church. Uncommon for women to have such position in the community, Lydia demonstrates the influence we can all have as women.
No matter where God has called us, He has purposed extraordinary moments of influence for each of us for His kingdom. Your influence is not determined by your time nor your resources. Lydia made room for God and used what she had, her home, to see a nation know the truth of Jesus. Your choices today with what you have in your hands will be the story of your vision coming true. When you choose to make room for Jesus, your influence can be as powerful for God’s kingdom as Lydia’s. This month take time to make room for God moments.
1. What are some areas of influence God has placed you in? (job, family, neighbors, etc)
2. How can you use what’s in your hands or where you are to impact others for the Lord?