When Faithfulness Bares Its Throat (Part 1)

Scripture:  Acts 16:14-15 - "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyratira, WHICH WORSHIPPED GOD, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized and her household, she besought us saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there. And she constrained us."  
Acts 16:25 - "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. "

The Book of Acts is good for modeling [actually perfect]. If one needed to know what a true human being looks like in action, and particularly a Christian, all it takes is to look at the changed lives of ordinary people, meeting God. Interestingly, it seems at its best, to have nothing to do with one's capacity to fit religiously. You have persons who keep their personality and let their 'Yes' shine through who they are, and who they are meant to be. Each is a traveller in life, and a student of life, possessing much, as well as pursuant of much. Each, as an active, and reactive influencer is accepting of an imperfect world whereof one's better choices,in liberty, can be had, and as an act of worship, ought to be [discovering through yielding 'What would Jesus do?'].

All of it is about process, and cultivation, and nurture, and yes, transformation and none get to skip steps, as all are works in progress, no matter how tore up the outside is, no matter how flashy the paint job. Substantially we all start out 'dead', and with new life are called upon to grow.  The start is a changed heart, [not a refreshed old heart], but a new heart coming from a predestined and readied 'soil', to have met and received, as seed, the eternal word of truth, in history.

Lydia cast her ballot for Jesus. With scant information, we know her to be a 'woman' [no ambiguity here], who, having 'her household', we might assume her to be single, or a widow maybe, who is into local business, 'a seller of purple', who is likely metropolitan [of the city of Thyatira]... hearing the word of truth and becoming a believer... she 'worshipped God', and 'was baptized'.
Her faithfulness led her to invite two out-of-town preachers to stay in her home.  FAITHFULNESS, upon God's faithfulness.
It was Paul's faithfulness to be where he was to share the word that stirred her: "Lydia...heard us, whose heart the Lord opened..." FAITHFULNESS, upon God's faithfulness.
Because of her faithfulness, and that of Paul and Silas, her household was saved: 'she was baptized and her household'. FAITHFULNESS upon God's faithfulness.

Along the way, Paul and Silas encountered a woman with a spirit of divination, following them. She was delivered of that spirit. FAITHFULNESS upon God's faithfulness.

They get arrested and jailed [after a 'beat-down'] for disturbing the business that profited by the occultic practices of the woman. [Not all bling is a God-thing!]

Paul and Silas go on blast, with a concert duet of praise and worship ... the jailers and the inmates are moved... the 'mic drop' to come - God Himself opens the enclosures, and unshackles the shackled! And I know they heard the gospel in that praise! And we know HIS word will not come back void. [Isaiah 55:11]

Again, FAITHFULNESS upon God's faithfulness.

There's more... [fasten your seatbelt]

Prayer: Dear Lord. Thank You for Your faithfulness which has saved, is saving, and shall save me from the penalty, the power, and the presence of sin. Thank You for such a faithfulness that has within it's range Your express desire to justify me, to sanctify me, and to glorify me - to bring me into the fold with such as Paul, Silas, Lydia, and so many who go nameless in history, but who shine tremendously before and within the heavenlies, because of Your grace.
Help me to grow, and be as these, more faithful, even today.  Let my living be as a faithful throat unloading worship and praise. Let my living be as a song.

(by Dr. McNeal Brockington)

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