When the Lord opened Lydia’s heart to respond to Paul’s message, she extended hospitality and persuaded Paul and Silas to stay at her house. Because she was a Gentile, this visit might have been quite an act: of faith on Paul and Silas’s part.

Hospitality like Lydia’s was an important facet of ancient culture and especially vital to early missionaries who traveled from town to town to share the good news of Christ.

Common practice dictated that a host assessed the intention of strangers and then invited them home and provided food, water, and lodging for guests and their animals. According to custom, hosts provided the best they had to honor their guests.

Christianity highlighted the importance of hospitality. Christ often taught that being hospitable to one of His people was an act of great significance, equal to being hospitable to Christ.

Let’s emulate Lydia’s hospitality. Her guest, Paul, understood the risks and benefits of hospitality, and he said, “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13 NLT). — Compiled By Barbour Staff and Barbour Publishing Inc, Women of the Bible Devotional: Inspiration from the Lives, Loves, and Legacy of Notable Bible Women (Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour, 2015).

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