Lydia

Scripture: Acts 16

Topics: Local Church, Relationally Connected

Study Guide

We begin our Lives of Faith series with the story of Lydia. A successful, independent Gentile woman, Lydia’s life change begins with a posture of worship. As God opens her heart, she responds by extending true, biblical hospitality to those in need around her.
Application
  1. What do you typically think of when you hear the word “hospitality”? What cultural connotations does that word have?

  2. God created room for us through his Son, Jesus. Our only response can be to create room for others. How should this truth shape our practice of biblical hospitality?

  3. Can you think of someone in your life who has extended true, biblical hospitality to you during a time of need? How did that affect you?

  4. What does it look like for you to live “with open hands” with the things that are important to you? How can you leverage those resources to serve others?

  5. How is biblical hospitality different from our cultural norm of entertaining? What are some practical ways you can move towards practicing biblical hospitality?

Key Points
  • Although Lydia is a successful, independent businesswoman, she puts herself in a position to hear God’s truth. She does not rely on her own autonomy.

  • When God changes Lydia’s heart through the gospel, her entire life is transformed.

  • Likewise, when Jesus takes our sin and transforms our lives, we can look at everything from a different perspective. The things he has blessed us with are no longer ours—they are available for the body of Christ.

  • Lydia’s response of hospitality is immediate and without hesitation. In a decision of inherent risk, she opens her home and her life to people she does not know in order to further God’s kingdom.

  • Hospitality is about more than opening our homes. It is about opening our lives, making ourselves vulnerable, and using our most treasured resources to care for others.

  • We often confuse hospitality with entertaining. In our culture, entertaining is about promoting ourselves. In contrast, hospitality is about serving others and reflecting the generosity of Jesus.