Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke are headed to Macedonia – first by boat then traveling over ground a few days until they end up in Philippi. The city at this time was a Roman colony – a predominately Gentile place so when they arrived they just scouted out the scene for a few days.
There was no synagogue to visit but they show up on the Sabbath, outside the city by the river where they find some Jewish women gathered to pray. The guys were able to speak to this group. One of those women was Lydia, a worshipper of God. The lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. She was baptized and all her household. (Wonder why there are no Jewish men mentioned who had come down to the river to pray? I vaguely remember they needed a certain number of guys to have a synagogue and I guess they didn’t mix with the women – their loss.)
She invited them to stay at her house which it seems they would have declined. But she asked in a meaningful way: “if you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” She is sort of asking if she has qualified to be with them. The answer was yes.
Now at this time there was a slave girl possessed by a spirit who made money for her owners by fortune telling. She was following Paul around shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” Of course it was true and I guess he tried to ignore her but after a while it was really annoying to Paul. So, he reacted and cast the spirit out of her in the name of Jesus Christ. (Interesting isn’t it? The demon is trying to make a mockery of the message.)
When their source of income was cut off the owners were ticked. Grabbing Paul and Silas they drag them in front of the rulers and charge them with being Jews who are disturbing the city and advocating unlawful practices.
Clift hanger…stay tuned to find out what happens to P&S tomorrow!
A couple of thoughts:
The Lord opened her heart – it’s the only way a person understands the gospel.
A story of two women: one who is faithful and one who is deceived. Both have position and influence – one for good and one for ill.
He is the only one who can open hearts.
How will I use my position and influence?
About the World?
You cannot serve two masters – for you will love the one and hate the other. Mt 6:24