#DailyDevotion The Message About Jesus Saves
Act 16:13-15 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. (14) One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. (15) And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
There apparently was not a synagogue there in Philippi, as that is where Paul normally would have went to preach at on a Sabbath. It is guessed that Paul thought that Jews may have been by the river for prayer because that is where they would have been performing any purity rites that needed to be done.
There happened to be some women there who had come together. Paul began to speak to them about the Lord Jesus Christ and how he had fulfilled the prophecies about the Messiah in the Scripture. As he was doing so the Lord had opened her heart to listen to Paul and to believe. She apparently was the head of the household without a husband for having been baptized she also had her whole household baptized as well, her children, elderly relatives, and servants. People were not so much individuals in those days. What the head of the household was and did, so too all that belonged to it. She was a seller of purple, which was an expensive product and would have been a woman of means. Having been baptized into Christ she pressed Paul to have him and his company stay with her while they evangelized the city.
So what may we gather from this? The Lord uses our conversations about him to bring people to faith. He just doesn’t zap people out of nowhere to become his disciples (with the exception of Paul and even then, he sent Ananias to heal and baptize him.) Secondly, as we speak about Jesus, it is the Lord himself who converts people and opens their hearts to hear and to believe. We should not think it is our great persuasive speaking that converts, our great arguments that overcome people’s objections, or even our getting everything just exactly right which converts people’s hearts to Jesus. No, it is the Holy Spirit working through the simple sharing of our faith that coverts people to Jesus.
And what is that message that we share? You know it from the Apostle’s creed. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary. He suffered and was crucified under Pontus Pilate. On the third day, he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. On the Last Day, he will come to judge the living and the dead. All who repent of their sins, believe Christ did this for them and are baptized for the forgiveness of sins will be justified, declared not guilty, and will be raised from the dead to eternal life. Those who refuse this gift of life and do not believe will we cast into everlasting hell fire. It’s a simple message. It is the message that saves and is used by the Lord to gather his elect from every people, tribe, nation and language upon the earth. Thanks be to God when we heard it, he opened our heart to believe and to be baptized into Jesus so we may we raised to eternal life and escaped to judgment to eternal death.
Heavenly Father, when given the opportunity, open our mouths that we may speak of Jesus and through that message open the hearts of those who hear that they too may escape the judgment of death and enter into the judgment of life eternal with you, your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.