A Powerful Female Merchant

Acts 16:14
One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God.

This woman, Lydia, had a heart for God. She wasn’t homeless or poor, but rather a merchant. We know she sold cloth to rich people because poor people didn’t buy expensive purple cloth. Lydia had to be bold in order to be successful as a merchant. She heard Paul speak about God’s love, and she welcomed the men into her home.

I think “welcomed” is not what she did. She challenged them to stay at her house. She made the men decide whether she was a believer or not. If they considered her a believer in the Lord, they had to stay with her. If they didn’t, then she might consider them hypocrites. Her tenacity in the invitation was an affirmation of her faith. The men, by staying at her house, confirmed to her that God had not overlooked women.

During that period, it was a common thing for men to be important and women to be overlooked. But Lydia was a seller of purple cloth, and she wasn’t going to allow herself to be overlooked. The men accepted Lydia and showed other women that God’s love is big enough for everyone, even bold female merchants.

How do you and I show people God’s big love?

When a friend asked me to pray for her healing, I saw it as a challenge. I’d prayed for others, but this was a new opportunity for me. I’d never prayed for a pastor’s wife before. Not with her standing there waiting on me to start praying. Was my faith big enough for that?

I remembered that God was the one being challenged, not me. I wasn’t able to heal anyone, but God heals people all the time. My friend’s boldness caused me to confirm to her that God’s love is big enough and powerful enough even through my prayers.

And, yes, she received total healing that day. God is enough.

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