Your Address is Sacred
It’s not just in real estate or business that we need to be reminded about the importance of location. Location has spiritual significance.
We’ve been studying the impactful lives of the earliest Christian believers on Sunday mornings at FBC Nederland. This weekend we find ourselves looking into the life of Lydia.
She’s only mentioned a couple of times in the book of Acts. (Go ahead and check out Acts chapter 16.) That doesn’t mean she’s insignificant. In fact, most of the people we’ve studied are mentioned merely a couple of times, but their impact was tremendous.
I like Lydia because she is a businesswoman. She probably had some idea of the importance of place. She was a purveyor of purple cloth. There’s a single, huge Greek word for that occupation, but you’ll have to show up for worship to learn what that is.
She just so happened to be in Philippi peddling her purple wares when the Apostle Paul came to town preaching. She had not always been in Philippi. Her hometown was Thyatira, a place known for producing purple dye. We don’t know if Lydia was a recent transplant to Philippi or a longtime resident. What is important is that God had her in the right place at the right time.
Lydia was at a place of prayer when Paul came preaching. Her heart was opened and she responded to Paul’s message, and she, along with her entire household, were baptized. After receiving Paul’s message, she offered the apostle and his companions a place to stay.
Paul’s mission to Macedonia would not have been possible if God had not placed a person like Lydia in his path. Without Lydia, the missionaries would have no base of operations in Philippi. Lydia had neighbors who needed to hear the Good News Paul was preaching. Without Lydia’s influence, Paul would not have gained a hearing among the Philippians.
Lydia invested in the place God planted her. Her hospitality for the apostle provided for the spiritual well being of her neighbors. Her business network became a means of sharing Christ’s salvation with the community. The Philippian church was know for their generosity and support of Paul’s broader missionary journeys. Lydia’s life was intricately involved in a special place, with a specific address, in order to play a crucial part in the history of the church.
My Place. My Time. My Turn.
God planted us where we are right now on purpose. Place is sacred. All places are sacred when we recognize God’s presence with us. Our lives take on significance when we live purposefully in the place we were planted.
This week, pray for your town, your community, and your neighborhood.
Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. Jeremiah 29:7 NIV