«If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay» (Acts 16:15).
IN PHILIPPI THERE WERE NOT enough believers to organize a synagogue. Ten heads of household were needed for that to happen. That is why the few believers gathered in an open-air prayer group, near a river.
Lydia, originally from Thyatira, was a seller of purple. Purple fabrics were rare and expensive; hence, they were used by the aristocracy and the wealthy. It was an extremely lucrative business. Lydia’s house was very spacious, with enough room to house believers and shelter a nascent church. Before opening her house to the spread of the gospel, she opened her heart to the message and got baptized. Lydia asked that both God and the message would remain in her home, in her family… and in her life.
The Lord is not interested in merely passing by our homes or our lives, and it is of no use to us, either; we need Him to stay, to lodge with us forever.
Meanwhile, a young slave girl, who had a spirit of divination and had become a great source of profit for her owners, came out to meet Paul with scandalous shrieks, which people regarded as divine oracles. The owners of this slave, taking advantage of this, were exploiting her for their own benefit. The girl posed an obstacle to the missionary path of the apostles. Despite being possessed by the devil, she shouted encouraging the people to follow the apostolic teaching presented by the servants of the Almighty, a God infinitely superior to Zeus, their supreme god (see Acts 16:17).
The servants of God, in the name of the Almighty, set that woman free from the power of the devil, opening a new life for her. This generated a blessing for the woman, but also strong opposition to the missionaries; because it affected not only the business of her owners, but also those of God’s enemy himself.
For God there are no firsts or lasts. Both for the wealthy businesswoman as for the young slave, there were the same offers and opportunities for salvation—and the same sting for the hosts of evil as well.
«By the efforts of Satan to destroy it, the ‘incorruptible’ seed of the word of God, ‘which liveth and abideth forever’ (l Pet.1:23), is sown in the hearts of men; through the reproach and persecution of His children the name of Christ is magnified and souls are saved» (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 33).
«Only a living thing can go against the stream» (Gilbert Chesterton).
‘There is no persecution or persecutor that can overcome the incorruptible seed or the saints of the Lord. Renew today your commitment to faith in Jesus and His Word. Don’t just pass by. Stay with Him!