Summary: Lydia was a person who found her true place in life, an accomplishment that many people throughout the years have tried to achieve.
YOU CAN FIND YOUR PLACE IN LIFE
Her name was Lydia. She wasn’t your everyday ordinary woman, at least not in her day! Today she would fit right in with so many women becoming more and more prominent in the work place. But in her day it was almost unheard of for a woman to work out side of her home. It just wasn’t her place!
After all, everybody back then knew that a woman’s place was in the kitchen, cooking, and cleaning, and doing household chores and stuff like that. But as I said, Lydia was more than just a little different! You see her place wasn’t in front of the stove, it was in front of the stall where she sold fine purple linen. An out of the ordinary color for an out of the ordinary person! Lydia was a person who found her true place in life, an accomplishment that many people throughout the years have tried to achieve.
Some people have gone to drastic lengths to find their “Place In Life.” Leaving their friends and families, selling their homes and moving to different areas trying different jobs, always wondering why they can’t seem to fit in or find the joy they know they are supposed to have but can never seem to experience. If that describes your life then you need to know that there is hope!
Lydia found her place, and in turn shows us our place, and it’s in front of the Lord, where all women and men should be!
Chapter 16 starts out describing Paul’s second missionary journey. In verse 9 God gave Paul a vision of a man of Macedonia saying, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.”
I don’t know about you, but it just fascinates me sometimes how God works, the call comes from a man, yet the first convert to Christianity through Paul’s ministry was a woman! That says a lot about a woman’s place. Even today with the ERA amendment, and the great strides that women have made in equality, and the efforts of women’s organizations, some people still have a problem with following a woman. I can remember when I worked at the mine and they proposed making one of the women on our crew a supervisor, several of the guys, and even one of the women, said they would quit first! Not because she wasn’t qualified, but simply because she was a women!
But I think that women have a lot to show us, I truly believe that there is a lot we can learn from a godly woman like Lydia.
For instance, think of how often in scripture it is the woman who is the vehicle for ministry.
Who prompted Jesus to perform His first miracle? A Woman!
Who ministered to Christ during His public ministry? The women!
Who anointed the body of Jesus? The women!
Who stayed with Jesus throughout his trial and crucifixion? The women!
Who were the first witnesses to the resurrected Savior? The women!
Who makes up the majority of the population of most churches today? The women!
Yes, God gave Paul a vision of a man who needed Christ but that man was simply symbolic of those in need. It was the women who provided the ministry.
We should thank God for the spiritual strength of women like Lydia, and their willingness to show us our place, in prayer, in church, and in good works before the Lord. If you have your Bibles please open them to the Book of Acts, chapter 16 and lets read verses 13 to 15.
I. YOU CAN FIND YOUR PLACE IN SMALL GROUP PRAYER.
Do you want to know where your place in life really is? Look at verse 13 again and understand that you can find your place in small group prayer.
“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.”
By Jewish law, there had to be 10 men in order to start a Synagogue, and evidently there either weren’t ten Jewish men in the area or the ones who were there weren’t interested in Godly things, because there wasn’t a Synagogue for Paul, and his companions to worship in. So they did what many people in a new place do, they went sightseeing and they discovered a place by the river in Philippi where people customarily met to pray on the Sabbath day. Among that group was a young gentile woman named Lydia. She loved God, so she met with those who also loved God 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.”