Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Purple (11/05/09)
TITLE: Lydia, God's Faithful Servant
By Patricia Protzman
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The elderly woman stepped gingerly on the rocky ground to get closer to the river bank where her dear friend and neighbor, Isaac, was to be baptized by Pastor Mark. Isaac testified during his twenty-five years as a neighbor of Lydia’s, she had been faithful in witnessing to him about the Lord. Yesterday the spirit of God had convicted him of his sins and need for a Savior, he had dropped to the floor on his knees, confessed his sins and was born again. Pastor Mark dipped Isaac into the river and when he came up out of the water the crowd on the river bank clapped and praised God.
The scene Lydia was witnessing brought back memories of her life thirty-three years ago. She had married a businessman, had three children, and then several years into the marriage her precious husband had suddenly died. Lydia had been heartbroken but there had been no time for grief because she had to provide for her children. Immediately, she began to learn her husband’s cloth business and became a prosperous dealer in purple dyed cloth. Even though she was rich, Lydia was sad and lonely. There had to be more to life than this, she thought.
Two years later during a business trip to Philippi, she had heard Paul, God’s Apostle, preaching that only through Jesus Christ could your sins be forgiven leading to eternal life. True joy was in Him alone. Lydia listened closely as Paul preached and realized she was a sinner, who wanted forgiveness, joy, and peace of mind. She immediately chose to trust Christ as her Savior and life had never been the same since. Her children, servants, and herself were saved and baptized immediately.
Lydia decided that day to dedicate her life to the Lord and become a servant for Him, first by becoming an active member of her local church. Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke stayed at Lydia’s house whenever they were in town. Wherever she went she shared her faith, helped the poor, and did whatever she could to spread the gospel. There were those who threatened to do bodily harm to her and her family, but Lydia prayed and trusted in the Lord for His protection. She used her money to further God’s kingdom by building a church and furnishing missionaries with money and supplies.
Prayer meetings were an important part of Lydia’s life. Twice a week her home was opened to Christians who prayed for Paul and his ministry, and the needs of God’s people. Prayers were also sent up to God for her community and those in leadership. She had seen God answer many of those prayers and at one time one of the mayors converted to Christianity.
Lydia’s children were also dedicated Christians. Her two sons ran the business and wherever they traveled presented the gospel. Both taught in the church. Lydia’s daughter was married to an accountant who was treasurer at the church. She had ten grandchildren, grown with families of their own, and six great-grandchildren.
Someone nudged her which brought her back to reality. It was one of the women she prayed with, Amelia. She nodded to her. Isaac’s conversion to Christianity was another answer to pray. The many years of constant, persistent, prayer had paid off. Her town had grown; many of the people were Christians. God was good. Lydia had been a faithful servant. She lived two more years and died. Meeting Jesus after a lifetime of faithful service she was greeted with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant... Come and share your master’s happiness.” ( Matthew 25:21 NIV)
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