Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
-Thomas Aquinas, The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers
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. 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. 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.
-The Apostle Paul; Acts 16:13-15 (ESV)
Lydia, a foreigner and business owner, heard the gospel and was moved to action. She dedicated her home to be an outpost for the gospel in Philippi. This was a dangerous proposition, and a sacrifice, but she persisted. It is likely that she was one of the main participants and leaders in the Christian Church in Philippi, which Paul established.
O Lord, create a steadfast heart within us today. Grant us understanding, diligence, wisdom, and faithfulness that we may embrace you, through Jesus Christ. And show us how we might take action, today, for the sake of the gospel, serving others through hospitality, words of encouragement, and a God-given vision for changing the world. Amen.
~Pastor Mike Middaugh