Throughout the Bible we see that prayer is a key part of all the major events that take place. From the time of the sacrifice given by Abel to the dedication of the Temple, from the selection of the disciples to the resurrection of Lazarus, and more. But yet there are times when we know we should be praying but we don't know how to pray. The Word shares with us that God has provided One who helps us to pray when we do not know what to say. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us with such depth of emotion that we cannot even begin to understand, but yet it is for our benefit, to meet our deepest need. The Holy Spirit can read our heart and conveys that to the Father for us.
Tuesday - Conversion - Matthew 18:3
Lydia, a successful business woman, listened to the words of Paul as he shared the good news and it affected her. Her life changed even though she had been a believer in God, there was a radical change that took place in her heart and life that effected the whole household. Jesus talked about the need for that kind of change of lifestyle being needed for all who would desire to be a part of the kingdom of God. Lydia came to understand that and did not want it for herself but used her influence to convince all that were a part of her home and business to allow that change to take place in them as well.
Wednesday - Spiritual Receptivity - 1 Thessalonians 2:13
There is a work that goes on behind scenes when someone receives the Word of God as the Truth for their lives. The Holy Spirit has gone on before and prepared the ground, as a gardener would prepare the ground for the sower of the seed. The sower did not construct the seed but distributes it to the prepare soil. Paul shared the Word of God, from God, so that women's and men's hearts could have the opportunity to receive it and allow it to continue its work within. The very receptivity of an individual is a working of God we call prevenient grace, a grace that comes before saving grace.
Thursday - Devout Women - Luke 10:38-42
In this event from Luke, we see that the quality that Jesus praised was not one dealing with the amount of hospitality that could be demonstrated but the amount of focused time of devotion to Christ that matters. Jesus shares that Mary had chosen the more important, the better desire, and that was to sit at the feet of Jesus and drink in every word that He shared. To spend time in the Presence of the Lord is what governs the heart of some one who is truly devout, who truly believes. From Sunday's text we see that Lydia, and the women who were with her, must have been having a discussion about the greatness of God for it was perceived that they were devoted to Yahweh in their hearts.
Friday - Baptism - Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38
Both of these passages share the importance of baptism in the life of one who has accepted Jesus as their personal Savior. There is the confession of sin and the repentance or turning away from sin that needs to take place but there was also an act of submission on the part of every believer to confirm the fact that they had come to believe and that act was baptism. It has been said by scholars that it is an outward sign of the work done within the heart of man. An expression of what the repentant heart has gone through. The washing away of sin is what Peter called the people to on the Day of Pentecost (the outpouring of the Holy Spirit) so they could be forgiven and receive the Holy Spirit.
Saturday - Hospitality - Romans 12:13
A part of the Christian lifestyle is generosity to those around us. Paul calls upon those of the Church in Rome to be generous to the poor and needy that they would come in contact with, in one form or another. Lydia showed that generosity through the offer of hospitality to the Apostle Paul and his companions. Hospitality is a gift of the Spirit that should be exercised as if we were entertaining Jesus Christ. Jesus talked of doing the good deeds of generosity to the least of these brothers of His as if we were doing it to Him. Serve Jesus as you serve others, not withholding but giving out of the love Christ has given us.