Acts 16:14,15 – A woman named Lydia was listening; she was a seller of purple fabrics from the city of Thyatira, and a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. Now when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

I have been pondering the people the Lord picked and used to change our world back in the beginning days of the Christian movement; apparently He liked to work with the least likely to shock the world. Today’s verse talks about one of these least likely candidates, Lydia who was a business woman in Philippi. If you think the business world is tough for women today try going back to Europe in 50 AD. You would have to agree, the chances of Lydia being a world changer was very slim. Apparently Lydia was a successful business woman who became one of Paul’s first converts in Philippi. This was the first church planted in Europe and would prove to be the prototype of many more to come.

If you read Acts carefully you will discover the important role Lydia played in opening Europe to the gospel. First, her expansive home became the headquarters and the gathering place for this historic church. She began to see herself from a historic perspective. Her life was about more than just making money so she could be comfortable, she was successful for the advancing of the gospel. Apparently Philippi became the main financial support base for Paul’s ministry. Lydia, and possibly others following her lead, began to support Paul financially. Why was this important? Paul was able to give himself completely to the ministry no longer needing to continue his tent making business. The gospel in Europe was being funded primarily by a European business woman, how likely was that to happen?

So maybe, just maybe, we are entering into one of those least likely seasons in 2023. Maybe people you have written off are about to have a divine encounter. That day beside the river in Philippi changed everything. That prayer meeting birthed a church that changed our world. Maybe there is a Lydia in your world that you have written off. Don’t be surprised if this is the year she steps into the game.

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