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Weekly Devotionals

Compelled To Connect

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 worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 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.  

Acts 16:13-15

Here we come to a part in the Book of Acts where apostle Paul is traveling with Silas and Timothy in Macedonia, modern day Greece.  As they are preaching to a group of women at a place of prayer (church), one of the women named Lydia becomes a believer of Christ. PTL! In fact, “she (Lydia) and the members of her household were baptized”.  What an amazing story of conversion!

This is a nice story of God opening Lydia’s heart to become a believer of Christ through Paul’s message.  I wanted to share this passage with you today because I found this to be more than just a nice story of one becoming a believer.  Let us explore the latter part of verse 15.  “come and stay at my house.”  So what is so special about this?  We could just easily presume that Lydia is being a nice host to invite apostle Paul, Silas and Timothy to her house to rest.  Nonetheless, we see Lydia being pretty convincing in verse 15 to ask them to come and stay at her house when she says,  “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,”  But why? What led her to offer her house to them?  I believe she understood the importance of community and sharing her resources with other believers.

One of my mentors once told me that if you’re convinced of an idea or belief, you should be compelled to act upon that idea or belief.  She was convinced and compelled to act.  She was convinced of who Jesus Christ is through Paul’s message.  She got baptized and became a Christian.  But she didn’t stop there.  I believe she was compelled to connect with other believers.  There’s something very vulnerable about opening up one’s home to other people.  At the same time, something very warm about gathering at one’s home.  I believe this is what we are to do with other believers and non-believers.  Connect!  As we continue to explore the 2023 theme of “communion” and begin to unpack the 2024 theme of “becoming family”, let us be compelled to move to CONNECT with others!  As we continue in chapter 16, we see Paul and Silas taking refuge in Lydia’s home again after they are released from the prison.

40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them. Then they left. Acts 16:40

Let’s take Lydia’s example of hospitality and moving to connect with fellow believers by offering her resources (house).  Let us take a deep dive this week on how we can move to connect with our community and fellow brothers and sisters.