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A Godly Woman - Lydia (Acts 16:11-15)

Sermon on 10 May 2020 by Pastor Justin


Introduction


Today we continue part 2 of the women’s series. What makes a godly woman?

The bible records many godly women. There was Ruth, who was caring to her mother-in-law in a strange land, and the Lord granted her a new husband and son. She was the great-grandmother of King David (Matthew 1:5). Another godly woman was Abigail, who sacrificed her own life to protect the life of her husband even though he was an evil man (1 Samuel 25:3). A third godly woman was Elisabeth, mother of John the Baptist who was one of the greatest evangelists of all time (Luke 1:24-25). Another woman of faith was Dorcas, also known as Tabitha, who did many good works especially for the poor. Her resurrection was used by the Lord to bring many to Christ (Acts 9:36-42).

Message

Today we look into the faith of Lydia, who sold purple dye in Thyatira. She is believed to be the first European convert to Christianity.

Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. 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. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshipped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptised, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us. - Acts 16:11-15

Here, the apostle Paul was led by the Holy Spirit to go to Macedonia to preach the gospel. Although it was Paul who spoke, it was the Lord who opened Lydia’s heart. Let us look at the attributes of a godly woman.

1. A godly woman is a woman of prayer

We read this in verse 13. On Sabbath day, by the river, the women were praying. Lydia was one of them, praying for her family and friends. A godly woman knows that God hears and answers prayer. She believes in the power of prayer and is always in the presence of the Lord. A godly woman is not ashamed to let her family know that she is a Christian and that she is praying for them.

Prayer is about pouring out our hearts to the Lord. It is more than mere words. It is about opening up your whole being to Him – the union of your spirit, soul and mind through your voice. Pray according to His will. We touch the will of God in our prayer; God will answer our prayer. He will hold you up.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. - 1 John 5:14

Prayer is about your faith. Your prayer must not originate on earth. It is not about your desires on earth; it is about God’s will. What is God’s will? It is God’s word. Read His word.

2. A godly woman is a woman whose heart has been opened by the Lord

We read this in verse 14. The Lord who opened Lydia’s heart to hear the words of the apostle Paul, resulting in the salvation of the soul.

I am talking to you now as if you truly were my very own children. Open your hearts to us! Return our love! - 2 Corinthians 6:13

For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; - Proverbs 2:6

But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him. - 1 Corinthians 8:3

A godly woman is a Christian woman. A good woman alone is not necessarily a godly woman. Only Jesus Christ makes a godly woman. A godly woman is not concerned about outward beauty. She has inner beauty and a gentle spirit.

Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. - 1 Peter 3:3-4

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. - Proverbs 31:25

3. A godly woman seeks and hungers for His righteousness

She will seek first the kingdom of God and make alive Matthew 6:33.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. - Matthew 6:33.

A godly woman has a childlike faith in believing what the bible teaches. God opens the hearts of the humble and reveals the truth to the humble.

At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.” - Matthew 11:25

In order to have revelation, you need light from God. You also need God to open your eyes so that you have the spirit of understanding.

4. A godly woman is a woman of worship

She worships God in good times and also in difficult times. She gives glory to God for all that she has. We must seek God diligently through prayer and reading His word. A godly woman will always see God as Father who will never forsake us. We are safe in His presence. A godly woman also sees God as the almighty God. A godly woman has reverence for God. We need to fall humbly and worship Him.

By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. - Hebrews 11:21

5. A godly woman is a woman of obedience

Lydia listened attentively to the teaching of Paul and was willing to obey him.

Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit. - Hebrews 13:17

Because of Lydia’s obedience, God used her for spreading the gospel. She was the founding member of the Philippian church.

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. - 1 Corinthians 12:11

If you want to be filled with the Spirit, obey Jesus’ teaching.

“But why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord, and not do the things which I say’ - Luke 6:46

If we are not faithful, God will look to the next person to fulfil His will. Let us have absolute obedience in doing His will. This is the only way the body of Christ can submit to the Lord.

“Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them – the children of Israel. - Joshua 1:2

“If you love me, keep my commandments – John 14:15

6. A godly woman is a woman who opens her home for the Lord

Lydia not only brought her family to the Lord, but also had an open home for the Lord. A godly woman shares about God with pre-believers.

Closing

Let us humbly surrender to the Lord, by doing these four things faithfully every morning:

#1 Reach out to your bible first thing in the morning.

#2 Praise and communion with Him, giving thanks to Him.

#3 Read a bible verse.

#4 Pray.

May your home be a home of praise.

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