Friday, October 3, 2008
Lydia: A Woman Gifted in Business
13On 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. 14One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. 15When 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.
Ever read Proverbs 31:24 "She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes." When I read this scripture, I think of Lydia.
Lydia was an artist- skillfully gifted with the ability to make the most beautiful scarlet cloths. Her purple cloths were the ones she was most popular for. Purple represents royalty and her using such a color meant she was brilliant and knew she would draw a crowd. Her cloths were unique and brought her city universal renown (Lockyer, 84). People came from afar to give her business. They had to be stunning! They had to be worth the trip!
She started off as a very talented non-believer, but later come to the Lord by hearing the teachings of Paul. She then made a profession of faith and accepted Christ in her heart. But, Lydia's successes didn't dwindle because of her souls eternal change. "Becoming a Christian did not make her less of a successful business woman. Now she had Christ as her Senior Partner and with Him we can imagine that trade remained good and that much of her profit was used to assist His servants in the work of the Gospel."(Lockyer, 85)
Let me share this with you. It is possible to be very successful and a follower of Christ!
Lately, a popular topic of interest in church is 'our purpose'. Although I'm sure you understand that we all do have a purpose in the Lord, the question is: Do you know what your gifts are? And if you do, do you use it for the glory of the Lord?
You may not sow or dye cloths like Lydia, but somewhere deep inside of you there is something burning on the inside, waiting to let out. It's waiting to be used and more importantly, used for Gods glory.
One thing I greatly admire about Lydia is her submission to God. It's obvious she already had a top of the line cloth business going on, but what's even more fascinating is how she surrendered it to God once she came to Him.
She was a very dedicated woman- dedicated to her skill, dedicated to God and dedicated to the service of others. Her spiritual transformation was evident. She had an anointing.
Because of her very successful business, she dedicated herself to give missionaries the hospitality of her fine home. She opened up on many occasion to make sure other saints were comfortable and cozy.
Have you ever met a 'Lydia' before? Someone so talented and gifted in their abilities and yet so caring and giving of themselves? You would think after so much hard work and commitment to her profession that she wouldn't have the time.
How do you find the time to walk in your purpose and still serve others? Can you serve others in your gifts?
"Lydia always had "open house" for the saints of God and her home became a center of Christian fellowship in Philippi with perhaps the first Christian church being formed therein." (Lockyer, 85)
To answer my question, I believe you can. I believe that just like Lydia was an inspiration to others by her servant-hood, that today we women can be the same way.
Let me encourage you.
If you are a business woman who is seeking growth, I encourage you to submit your talent to God- daily- and watch how he will put his blessing on it just like he did for Lydia. God will bless you so that you can be a blessing in return. And not only monetarily.
I heard someone once say, if you have a big house, use it to glorify God. If you have a small house, use it to glorify God. If God has blessed you with a big car, use it to glorify God. Whatever the case may be, use it for the Lord's glory. That's our purpose.
Ultimately, our purpose is for God to be glorified in our lives. And we glorify God by being of service to others.
Allow Lydia to be an inspiration to you today. She was the perfect example of God's model of a virtuous woman. She was very hard working and diligent. She consecrated herself to God first then was a conscientious business woman who continued to sell her purple dyes for the glory of God. (Lockyer, 85)
Let God be Glorified in All that we Do!
I pray this has encouraged you today! Thanks for stopping by!
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Excerpts taken from All the Women of the Bible, by Dr. Herbert Lockyer (Zondervan)