During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
The Conversion of Lydia
We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’ And she prevailed upon us.
Reflection by Duke Yaguchi
Do you believe in God? If so, do you know when the Lord opened your heart? Who was your Paul that spoke to you?
For me, it was Pastor Conway at Twin City Bible Church in Urbana, Illinois. I was a senior at the University of Illinois and periodically went to church. He had a powerful sermon speaking of recent prayers that his daughter's leg would not be amputated. It was a powerful sermon sharing one of his darkest moments, exposing the anger he felt at the hospital when he found out the doctors could not save his daughter's leg. Yet he found the humility and strength to continue to follow the Lord. It took a few years, but eventually I was baptized with my oldest daughter.
When you have an opportunity to praise the Lord, try and take it, even if you aren't comfortable doing so. You never know. You may be someone else's Paul. That someone may be listening with an eager and open heart.
I appreciate my sisters and brothers who share their love of Christ in these daily devotions. They nourish me. I hope some of our writings nourish you as well. Thanks for reading!
Dear Lord, I know I am very reserved about my Christianity. I more often than not, hide the light of Christ under a bushel, even though a children's hymn tells us not to do so. Help me open the hearts of others. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.