Hospitality: A New Testament Example

Read: Acts 16:6-15

She urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” (v. 15)

We see God’s Spirit at work from start to finish in this New Testament account. Paul and his traveling companions were prevented by the Spirit from going to Asia, and ended up in Philippi instead. Their detour was the result of a vision that Paul received of a Macedonian man asking for help. Philippi must have seemed an unlikely place for missionary effort. Paul usually began work in a new town by preaching in the Jewish synagogue—but there was no synagogue in Philippi. There was only a group of women who met by the river to pray.

Among this group at the river was a woman named Lydia. We are told two things about her: she was a “seller of purple goods,” which indicates she was wealthy, and she was also “a worshiper of God” (v. 14). As she listened to Paul’s words, we are told that “the Lord opened her heart.” She was baptized, and so was her household after the gospel was shared with her family. She insisted that Paul and his fellow missionaries should stay with her. God’s Spirit provided a welcoming home in an unlikely city for the gospel.

God opened Lydia’s heart, and she opened her home! This was a natural response to the grace and love she experienced in Jesus Christ. It can be a natural response for believers today as well. —Laura N. Sweet

As you pray, ask God to help you open your heart and home to others.

About the Author

Laura Sweet

Laura N. Sweet is a wife, mother, grandmother, and former Christian schoolteacher from Midland, Michigan. She writes devotional material for both adults and children, and her work has appeared in more than a dozen publications.

This entry is part 3 of 15 in the series Christian Hospitality