"Lydia, O Lydia,
O do you know Lydia?
O Lydia the tattooed lady!”
Wait a minute…wrong Lydia! That Lydia is from a crazy 1930s song that sometimes gets stuck in my head. No, the Lydia I want to introduce you to is our sister found in Acts 16:13-15.
Sister Lydia was an awesome woman! Intelligent, hard working, inquisitive, resourceful and sincere; she was a leader among her family, community, and eventually church.
The Purple Lady
Lydia was a businesswoman who dealt in the color purple. You may love or hate purple, either way it was a VERY special color in Lydia’s day. Purple dye was created by a complex process involving Mediterranean sea life. The hard work required to make fabric purple was so expensive it was the color reserved for royalty and the extremely rich. I assume Lydia made quite a bit of money in her profession.
But it wasn't Lydia’s wealth or social status that make her special. Our sister had a yearning for deeper things. Although she wasn’t born into a Jewish family, she was drawn to God. She was referred to as God-fearing. She worshipped the one true God and sought to learn with the Jews in her community.
Lydia was at a prayer gathering when Paul, a powerful preacher and missionary, came to share the good news of Jesus. He preached Jesus’ incredible love and explained Jesus’ death on the cross was meant to set all people free that believe and accept his gift. Lydia eagerly accepted Jesus’ gift of love and eternal life. In fact, her whole family accepted and was baptized with her!
Lydia couldn’t wait to share God’s love. She immediately invited Paul and those traveling with him to come and stay in her home. I’m sure they welcomed a roof over their heads and a home cooked meal after their long travels. Later she invited Paul and Silas back to her home after being imprisoned for talking about Jesus. Lydia also actively supported and participated in the church formed in her community.
In that period of time, being a Christian could have meant people would look down on Lydia and her business could suffer. But she didn’t allow these negative possibilities to distract her from her faith and love for our awesome God. She just kept encouraging, serving, and caring for Christian missionaries.
Let's Chat About it
1. How can we look past what others think to do what is right and serve others?
2. Lydia responded to the yearning inside her for something deeper, for more. God has created all of us with a desire for God’s love and relationship. Lydia sought after God in prayer gatherings, synagogue, and others. How do we explore those yearnings and tugs from God?
3. God has created us to be complete only when in relationship with God. Still, God never forces that relationship. We are given the choice to accept or reject it. When Lydia finally saw and understood who God truly is, she accepted God’s gift of grace, love, and eternal life. Where are you at in your relationship with God? Is there anything holding you back?
4. If you don’t have that relationship God is so excited to give you love. Are you ready to accept it and begin an incredible journey with and AWESOME God?
5. Lydia used her belongings, home and money to support Paul. How do we use our talents, knowledge, skills and even our belongings to do God’s work? How do we encourage others and help them when they may be down and out?
6. Lydia was a leader. She inspired her whole family! You don’t have to be outgoing or at the top of your class to be a leader. You can lead by example with out saying a word. How can you lead by example at home, school, band, sports team, or next slumber party? At times it can mean doing what is right solo. But girlfriend, you are not alone! God is with you always and will also send other to encourage you!
Meet the Author: Katie Sparks
Katie Sparks contributes to Samie Sisters and has a passion for helping girls discover they are God’s masterpieces! Katie was outdoors like Lydia when she chose to commit to journey with Jesus Christ accepting the gift of grace and eternal life. She was at church camp sitting on a picnic table under the stars chatting with a counselor. She got it and is so glad. The journey is not always easy, but it is an adventure she will never regret!