Daily Archives: April 28, 2021

Evening Prayer: April 28th

Sovereign God, thank you for meeting me in the weariness of this day and renewing my strength. I pray especially this night for those who are sick and suffering, and for those who are mourning and grieving, for we know in the midst of loss and suffering, our Good Shepherd walks with us. Thank you. Place your arms around all those who need your touch. Now, God, may I rest and walk tomorrow to share your glorious Word with others. In the matchless name of Jesus. Amen.

Daily Scripture Passage: Philippians 2:5-8

Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Thoughts to Ponder from Acts 16:11-15

Acts 16:11-15 (ESV)

The Conversion of Lydia

11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

     In today’s reading, Paul journeys to Europe, where he meets a businesswoman named Lydia. And what began as a normal day by the river turned into a life-changing spiritual encounter for Lydia and her family. Lydia, a Gentile, was already a worshiper of the God of the Jews, but God had plans for her to know his Son, Jesus, as well. Luke tells us that God opened Lydia’s heart to Paul’s preaching, and she became his first European convert to Christianity. From this point on, Lydia’s life would now be characterized by a loving, life-giving relationship with Jesus.

     This is the very nature of conversion: God touches our hearts and makes us aware of his love, our sinfulness, and our need for his mercy. Such an awareness moves us to turn toward him so that he can begin a process of teaching and empowering us to embrace his goodness and reject the glamour of evil. 

     While the story of Lydia in Acts is short, we can be sure that it didn’t end where Luke leaves it. Lydia’s conversion not only prompted her to accept baptism; it also moved her to welcome Paul and his companions into her home.  It shows that conversion is not just a one-time event but a lifelong process. It involves continually being open to God and bearing good fruit as we learn to cooperate with the Spirit. 

     As God continues to help us open our hearts to him, we are transformed bit by bit. The most important changes we experience do not come as a result of spectacular events but from the ordinary events of our day. We leave behind the marks of our old life as selfishness gives way to service and love; wasted time becomes opportunities for prayer, and the approval of God eclipses human praise. So let us keep the door of our hearts wide open to Jesus so that we can be remolded into his beautiful image!