Summary: Third sermon in series encouraging the home.
This is the third sermon in the series where we have been looking at the biblical word "household". We’ve looked at Aachan’s household and King David’s household. Today on Mother’s Day let’s consider a household spiritually influenced by the woman of the house.
Her name was Lydia.
While in Asia on a second missionary journey, God gave Paul a vision of a MAN saying, "Come over into Macedonia and help us."
Interestingly enough, however, the first European convert to Christianity through Paul’s ministry was a WOMAN, not a MAN.
Now there might have been some MEN in Lydia’s household, but IT WAS A WOMAN WHO OPENED THE DOOR.
Not only did she open the door of hospitality to the traveling missionaries, but spiritually speaking, she opened the door to her household. Other members of her family came to know Christ because of her willingness to accept Him first and lead the way.
Men, like the Philippian jailor, would come to know Christ in Europe, but the women were first.
Think of how often in scripture it is the woman who is the catalyst for spiritual things, especially in home life.
The first witnesses to the resurrected Savior were women.
Women ministered to Christ during His public ministry.
I don’t believe it’s recorded that a man ever annointed the body of Jesus is it?
Who makes up the majority of the population of most churches today? Women.
Yes God gave Paul a vision of a MAN in Europe who needed Christ but that man was only representative. In this case, a woman opened the door.
On this Mother’s Day we should thank God for the spiritual sensitivities of women.
Notice HOW Lydia opened the door to her household and learn how you can do the same for your household whether you are a man or a woman, young or old.
THE DOOR TO OUR HOUSEHOLD CAN BE OPENED TO GOD BY SMALL GROUP PRAYER.
Acts 16:13 - "And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there."
Looking for people who already had an interest in spiritual things, the missionary team went to a place by the river in Philippi where people customarily met to pray on the Sabbath day.
Lydia was among those who met for prayer.
Why is meeting together with others to pray so important? Reconsider what Jesus taught in Matthew 18:19,20:
"Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
Christ spelled it out for us. Prayer has even greater force when we unite! We can meet the challenges of life with much more confidence and spiritual success if we are part of a prayer group.
It has been said we live in a culture addicted to "anywhere/everywhere" communication. We have cell phones, fax machines, fast access Internet service...you name it. We are a generation that wants to be in touch with one another at the drop of a hat and we’re willing to pay for the expensive gadgets that help us stay "connected".
Can you imagine how our lives would be blessed if we applied the same investment to staying in touch with God and one another by praying together?!
Technology cannot take the place of prayer.
Our families need intercession more than they need the Internet.
They need supplication more than cell phones.
They need more fasting than faxing.
Last week we asked the mid-week prayer group to pray for our youngest daughter Bethany to somehow obtain the second half of her summer missions support to go to Japan. With several going from our church this summer and our having two graduate from college and one getting married next week we couldn’t give her the money ourselves.
Bethany called from the college library the other night to report a friend’s church had written her a check for the remainder needed.
God answered the prayers of our mid-week prayer group and Bethany’s friends’ prayer group.
Sunday night we had special prayer for Jean Tucker who was afraid she would have to have gall bladder surgery and was worried her already frail body would suffer greatly. Well God heard the prayers of our Sunday night attenders and she doesn’t need the surgery now!
You say, "I’d like to see God do things like that in my life." You are more than welcome to join with us in prayer. You just might be the door to opening up the blessings of God on your household!
Lydia was the open door to her household because she prayed. She got together on a regular basis with others to pray.