13 “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.” (Acts 16:13–15)
Luke records that upon hearing the Gospel, the Lord opened up Lydia’s heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. The word heart, in this context, refers to man’s soul. It is the ability to think, the ability to feel, and the ability to render a decision or to make a choice.
It must be noted that Lydia’s ability to believe the Gospel did not come from the Apostle Paul, or even herself. Rather, that ability to trust in, commit to, depend upon and worship the Lord Jesus came from God alone. God Himself opened Lydia’s heart. God Himself opens human hearts today. This is an evidence of the sovereignty of God in salvation (Acts 13:48; Ephesians 2:8-10).
Not only did Lydia believe the Gospel, but so did her entire household. This would naturally include her immediate family along with her household servants. As an evidence of their conversion, they followed the Lord in believer’s baptism.
Further evidence of Lydia’s conversion was that she compelled the four missionaries to start at her home. It became an offer the missionaries could not, and did not, refuse. The fruit of hospitality is clearly seen by Lydia’s actions.
As it was then, so it is today. All those who God the Father sovereignly gives to Jesus, will indeed come to Jesus by faith (John 6:37). No one can come to Jesus in faith unless God the Father compels them by an irresistible force (John 6:44). The drawing is selective, effective and gracious. It is sourced in God’s sovereign grace from eternity past (Ephesians 1:3-11).
Each believer is a sovereign gift from God to the Son. This is true for every believer. You are not converted by signing a card, praying a prayer or walking an aisle to the front of the church sanctuary. Conversion comes when God opens your mind, emotions and will to the truth of the Gospel, when you repented of your sin and when you placed the God-given faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. The corresponding evidence supporting this conversion is a changed life of obedience unto God (Ephesians 2:8-10; James 2:14-26).
If you are a converted Christian, take the time today to thank God for opening your heart to the truth of the Gospel. Give Him all the glory for your salvation.
Soli deo Gloria!