Pastor Christopher Brock
October 28, 2023
Acts 16:14, New International Version 1984
“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.”
Throughout the Bible we see many examples of Godly women and in Acts chapter 16 we are introduced to one of them. One of the women who had gathered in the place of prayer was a woman named Lydia. There are several things that we can learn about who Lydia was. First, she was a woman of means. A dealer of purple fabric would have needed to have financial resources as purple fabric was very expensive and required a tedious process to produce. Second, the name Lydia is not of Jewish heritage; it was instead a Greek name. Furthermore, from what we will read in verse 15, Luke also indicates that she was the head of her household. A woman was not considered the head of a household unless her husband had preceded her in death. From these details we can safely deduce that this woman was a widow who had become a successful gentile business woman.
Luke also describes her as a “worshiper of God”. This description would have been used to describe an individual who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, lived their lives in accordance with the moral and ethical principles of Judaism, but did not go through the process of complete conversion to Judaism. All of these details paint the picture that Lydia would have been a pretty impressive woman.
Luke also writes a description of the process by which Lydia comes to accept Christ. He uses the Greek words “Dianoigo kardia prosecho”, which is directly translated to “opened her heart to respond”.
Dianoigo - is defined as to open by dividing or drawing asunder, to open thoroughly (what had been closed), a male opening the womb (the closed matrix), i.e. the first-born, of the eyes and the ears, to open the mind of one, i.e. to cause to understand a thing, to open one's soul, i.e. to rouse in one the faculty of understanding or the desire of learning.
Kardia - is defined as the center of a person, the source of their vigor, their spirit, their will, and the innermost part of their being.
Prosecho - is defined to apply one's self to, attach oneself to, hold or cleave to a person or a thing, to be given or addicted to, to devote thought and effort to.
This description is a beautiful picture of the process of salvation. Our heart is at the center of the picture. God begins to reveal Himself to us and open our heart to recognize who He is. We then can respond to that revelation and choose Him, attaching ourselves to Him. We cannot find salvation without the revelation of the Holy Spirit, but we must also make a conscious decision to respond to this revelation by either holding to Him or rejecting Him. We cannot find or earn salvation on our own, nor does God dictate who will be saved and who will not. He already knows with perfect clarity who will accept the revelation of Himself and who will reject it. If you do not know Jesus today as your Lord and Savior then delay no further. When you feel the call of the Holy Spirit respond to Him!