And a certain woman named Lydia . . . heard us: whose heart the Lord opened” (Acts 16:14).
When Paul received a call from God to go to Macedonia and preach the gospel, he and his missionary companions immediately set sail. One of the first major cities they came to was Philippi. They found a group of women meeting beside a river, so they sat down with them to tell them the good news about the true God.
One of these women was Lydia. She lived in the city of Thyatira and made her living by selling purple cloth. The Bible tells us that Lydia “worshiped God.” She was interested in the Jewish God and tried to worship Him in her own way, but she had not yet become a believer in Christ. Acts 16:14 says that Lydia heard Paul’s preaching because the Lord had opened her heart. Lydia’s heart was not hard and cold, nor was it doubtful and questioning. She had a heart that was open and ready to receive God’s Word because of a work that He had done inside of her. After hearing Paul’s preaching, she and her entire household were willing to show the world publicly, through baptism, that they were believers in Christ.
Is there someone you would like to share the gospel with? Pray for that person, asking God to open his heart. Maybe you have a neighbor that you have tried several times to witness to, but she has never been willing to listen. Ask God to open her heart. Perhaps you have a family member that is not saved, but you feel a little fearful to talk to him about the Lord. God can open his heart too!
God wants us to share the gospel with the unsaved people around us, but salvation is His work, not ours. The story of Lydia reminds us that God is the one who makes people ready and willing to receive the good news of Jesus Christ. Each time you hand someone a gospel tract, write a letter to someone explaining how to be saved, or talk to an unsaved person about Jesus, remember to ask for help from the God, Who opens hearts.
In salvation, God does a special work of opening hearts and making people ready to accept Jesus Christ.
» Am I making an effort to tell unsaved people the good news of Jesus Christ?
» When I do that, am I depending on the power of God to open their hearts?