11 At Troas we got into a boat. We sailed straight for Samothrace. The next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony. It is an important city in that part of Macedonia. We stayed there several days. 13 On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate. We walked down to the river. There we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered together. 14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia. She was from the city of Thyatira. Her business was selling purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to accept Paul’s message. 15 She and her family were baptized. Then she invited us to her home. “Do you consider me a believer in the Lord?” she asked. “If you do, come and stay at my house.” She succeeded in getting us to go home with her.
There was a fair bit of travel or distance covered in the opening verses.
Lydia was a person of considerable influence in her community. She was also open to the things of God as she was located at the place of prayer. Lydia accepted the gospel message and was
baptised along with many from her household. Some may therefore identify Lydia as a “person of peace.”
The way Paul and Silas treated Lydia also suggests she was a “person of peace”. Initially they engaged with her in her own setting where she was at ease. Next Paul and Silas agreed, on her urging, to stay at her home where she served them. Lydia and her household were then in a position to observe Paul and Silas live out their Christian faith and follow their example.
Lately I have been learning about sharing my faith with a “person of peace.” Jesus and his disciples used this method of reaching people with the gospel.
I don’t think it was a coincidence Paul and Silas met Lydia at the place of prayer. They also went some distance to find her outside the city. It is also important to note that Paul and Silas went to Lydia. Lydia did not approach them even though she was open to the gospel. Identifying a “person of peace” may not just happen, it requires prayer, diligence and perseverance. It is worth it, though, when that person has such an affect and influence on others.
Lord please show me those people in my life who are open to the things of God and will positively influence others with the truth. Please help me to effectively reach out to them, Amen.
Written by Ainslie Woods