Lydia – 10 Key Points for Bible Study on March 14, 2015

Lydia – A Woman of the Bible

by Lisa Jones

Our Lesson on Lydia comes from Acts 16:6-40 in our main text Women of the Bible by Jean E Syswerda. Here are some important points. These points may not directly answer the questions on pages 219-220.

  1. Her name signifies that she was a woman of Lydia, a region in Asia Minor.
  2. She was a Gentile adherent to Judaism.
  3. She is described as a successful businesswoman; because she was a dealer of purple cloth. Purple cloth was expensive and valuable as a sign of nobility or royalty so she was a wealthy businesswoman.
  4. As head of household she was either widowed or single.
  5. So strong was her faith, that her entire household followed her example and was baptized.
  6. She extended hospitality to Paul and his companions, even after their imprisonment.
  7. From the city of Thyatira. This small city was known for its commerce in Asia Minor. It was in an area noted for its abundant crops and the manufacture of purple dye.
  8. A worshiper of God. This term was used for Gentiles who believed in the Jewish God, Yahweh. Although they believed in God, they were not yet believers in Christ.
  9. A woman whose heart God opened. Paul shared the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and through God’s divine work, she believed. She apparently was baptized right away along with the members of her household. Lydia’s household probably included children and servants. Whether the entire household believed or not, they now lived in a Christian home.
  10. A willing servant. When God opened her heart, she believed wholeheartedly. She became a servant, tending to the needs of the missionaries. Later in Paul’s mission, he returned to Lydia’s home where he met with believers. Lydia had apparently become an active member of the church.
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1 Timothy 6:6-10

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many briefs.

 

To possess, the basic needs (food and clothing) is a reason to be content in following God. When we are blessed beyond that point, we are faced with challenges of handling the blessings in a Godly manner. Blessings beyond the basic require a fight to stay Godly.

Living The Sane Life

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church of Ephesus 2,000 years ago, that message speaks to us today. He was advising the Ephesians on how to live a sane, Spirit-filled life every day. Paul compared and contrasted a life lived which was led by the sin-nature, with a life led by the Holy Spirit. Afterwards the choice of which life-style to follow was left to the recipients of the letter. He did, however, strongly encourage the Ephesians and us to live a life led by the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:1-21:
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

We, like the Ephesians, choose the kind of life-style that meets our needs. Fortunately, when we learn to make better choices, we can make more positive changes in our lives. The questions I submit to us are: “Are we wanting something more from our lives?” “Have we outgrown the life-style we’re living?” “Have we become bored with happy-hour, and now desire a happy life that pleases God?” “Do we feel tired of playing the same game because we know the outcome?” “Are we ready to get out of the kindergarten of life and strap-on the “big-boy” issues under God’s direction?”

I recommend Jesus, He is the answer. Invite Him into your heart and allow Him to take control of everything. Some of us remember this Sunday School song: “Into My Heart.” Into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart Lord Jesus. Come in to-day, come in to stay. Come into my heart Lord Jesus.

We gain and regain our sanity when we become a child of God. Romans 10:9-10 teaches: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Prayer: Father, let all come to repentance, let none be lost. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

(Reprint from Facebook, August 2010)

Glenda BrunsonWe are thankful for the life-lessons of the “God-breathed” Scriptures. As God blew his breath into the first Adam, the Bible is available to breathe life into us. The Bible is indeed a” lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” August 20, 2010