Lydia was a Gentile convert to Judaism and a successful merchant of costly purple cloth. God opened Lydia’s heart as she listened to Paul’s message about Jesus; she became Paul’s first convert in Europe. After being baptized, Lydia begged the missionaries to stay at her house. “If you’re convinced that I believe in the Lord, then stay at my home,” she told them (v. 15). She continued to offer her house as a meeting place for the believers in Philippi, playing a crucial role in the development of the church there.

This first-century businesswoman modeled an important principle of the Christian life: regardless of our occupation, we should make it our business to do good to other believers. God expects us to use our resources to meet needs within the body of Christ. A part of that ministry is hospitality. We may have the opportunity to offer housing to someone with an emergency need. Or we can make our home available for small group meetings, extend an invitation to someone who needs encouragement, or host visiting missionaries.

Lydia considered it a privilege, not a burden, to play the host. With our busy lifestyles and emphasis on having picture-perfect homes, the art of hospitality has faded. But when we obey God in this area, we’ll find that the blessings far outweigh the effort involved. — Dianne Neal Matthews, Designed for Devotion: A 365-Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2012).

We have just released a new Bible Study based on the first five chapters of John MacArthur’s book, Twelve Extraordinary Women. This study is based on the Life of Joseph, up until his promotion.

These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.

Lessons include:

  • Eve: Mother of All Living Things
  • Sarah: Hoping Against Hope
  • Rahab: A Horrible Life Redeemed
  • Ruth: Loyalty and Love
  • Hannah: A Portrait of Feminine Grace
  • Mary: Blessed Among Women
  • Anna: The Faithful Witness
  • The Samaritan Woman: Finding the Water of Life
  • Martha and Mary: Working and Worshiping
  • Mary Magdalene: Delivered from Darkness
  • Lydia: A Hospitable Heart Opened