Acts 16:11-15: God’s business.
11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we travelled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district[a] of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days. 13 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. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptised, 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.NIV UK.
Salvation is God’s work. It is all of God. That is not to say people are not involved, but it is still God’s work through them. Today’s story illustrates the point.
• God guiding (9-12). Paul and his team moved in the direction of Philippi as a result of the night vision gifted to Paul. So the gospel ‘car’ moved forward with God Himself at ‘the wheel’. If, in all our ways we acknowledge Him, He will direct our paths.
• God responding. God is at work in people’s hearts before they are converted. It seems Lydia was a prayerful woman even before she become a full Christian. She was certainly ready to respond gladly to the gospel once she heard it (13, 14) Could it be that the ‘’man of Macedonia’’ seen by Paul, begging for help, in some way represented the heart cry of these people by the river?
• God opening (14b). The work of conversion is a sovereign activity of God. It is a divine miracle. Lydia was a business woman, but the Lord had business dealings to conduct with her. How beautifully the story is told with economy of words
THOUGHT: The book of Acts has 28 chapters; you are Acts 29! (George Verwer).
Prayer: Lord, I thank you that the Acts of the Holy Spirit have not ceased. The adventure continues. Please will you graciously allow me to be part of the story. Lead me in your right paths to people you want to save.