Discernment and God's sovereignty over salvation
S - Acts 16:14-15 (NASB)
14 A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
O - Conversion is a beautiful thing. It happens among those who don't believe in God and those who believe in God but don't know Him. As Paul heads out on his second missionary journey he heads to Macedonia based on a vision, and a denial by the holy spirit to head to other locations. He settles in the capital city of Philippi and begins the process of teaching the Gospel and sharing the new direction of the Church regarding salvation for the gentiles. The scripture shows us that Lydia who already was a worshiper of God was listening to Paul teach, when the Lord opened her heart to what Paul was teaching. You see it is not that she wasn't a good person, or even that she didn't believe in God, it's just that the revelation of who God is and what our path to Him is that was missing in her life. It was know fault of her own, but in God's timing He revealed His plan to her.
A - The application for me is in understanding how God wants to use me to deliver the message of the Gospel to those He is preparing to receive it. If I open his spirits prompting and use the gifts he has given me as Paul did, I will be able to speak the Good News to those that He is preparing a way for. As a young Christian I exuberantly looked to "tell" all that I knew that they needed this Jesus guy, but I was not yet equipped in spiritual discernment and gifts, and probably made some errors in delivering the Gospel. As I have matured in knowledge, I continue to remain shy to sharing boldly the Gospel, but I sense God is asking me to begin to start to boldly step out and proclaim Him, to all those He is preparing to receive Him.
P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's message, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord for continued equipping on delivery the Gospel, as well as sharpening my discernment as to where and when you want me to go. I pray all this in Jesus Christ name, Amen.