Sunday, July 24, 2016

Lydia's Hospitality

The Scripture lesson is Acts 16:11-15 in which is related the story of Lydia coming to Paul and bringing her family to be baptized.

"Imagine if you will, close your eyes if need be and picture a quiet, still pond.  Then throw a small stone into the  pond and watch the effect.  The ripples move out in every direction, moving across the pond until all the pond has been affected by the stone.

"The pond is the world.  The stone: each and every action you do every day which will affect someone."

The story of Lydia who appears in only seven verses of the Bible is important to us today.  Lydia was a businesswoman, a seller of purple, the head of her household.  She clearly possessed stature in her community.  She heard Paul's message and she was completely changed.  She recognized that she needed Jesus and she knew that her family needed Him, too.  She went to Paul to be baptized and presented her family to be baptized as well.

She worshiped God; she opened her heart, and something happened to Lydia.  Paul brought the message, but it was the Holy Spirit who softened her heart.

Lydia persuaded Paul and his entourage to come to her house. (v. 30).
This gathering represents the first church plant in Europe.  
*We may be gathered here today because of Lydia'a hospitality.*

Missionaries are really amazing people; missionaries and missions are often confused.  The mission field is the world, and our own neighborhood is part of that  world.
We are all called to be missionaries.
We are not just saved from the past, we are called to something, that is, to be witnesses for Christ, to tell others of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus died for me and for the world.  The mission field is all around us
Every broken life has potential.  Think of the ripple effect that your life has.  If you are not leading others to Christ you can't call yourself a Christian.  We are called to much more than comfort and ease.  We are not called to be comfortable.

*If you are not bearing fruit you are dying.*

We must share our story.  The Holy Spirit does the work; we just have to show up.

Three steps to sharing our story.

1.  Look for lost people.  Think Lydia's family.
2.  Pray for those lost people and tell them.
3.  Craft your story and share it often.

"I know God, He knows me, and I want to know Him more every day.

"That's my story.  What's your story?"

Pastor Joe Deckard
Sunday morning

No comments: