August 17, 2016
It’s My Time
“A woman name Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a dealer in purple fabrics who was [already] a worshiper of God, listened to us; and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention and to respond to the things said by Paul.” Acts 16:14 (AMP)
Every morning while it’s still dark outside, I sneak into my kitchen and make a dense cup of coffee before settling into my favorite chair.
As the clock quickly ticks away, I grab a lightweight blanket and toss it over my lap, simultaneously reaching for my well-worn Bible. A deep breath in and a slow exhale. I know one thing for sure …
It’s my time. It’s His time. It’s our time to be together.
Before everyone wakes up and the day’s chatter begins, I get to be with Jesus. And for a few quiet moments, I don’t have to share Him with anyone.
The routine may seem ordinary to some, but the words are always fresh to me. A new chapter from a different part of the Bible. What will He show me today?
Sometimes I understand the text right away. Other times … not so much. I read it once, twice, maybe even three times. Then I pause and whisper, “Lord, open my eyes to see the wonderful things in Your Word. Help me understand what You’re trying to show me.”
I don’t want to miss a single thing in God’s Word that could make a significant difference in my day.
I don’t want the distractions of the clock or the weight of daily assignments to pull my thoughts away from His.
I’ve come to meet with Jesus. To gather only with Him for a momentary Sabbath rest. To pray, ponder, understand and respond.
In today’s key verse, we meet a woman named Lydia. She and her friends had gathered for prayer on the Sabbath when they encountered the Apostle Paul and his traveling companions just outside Macedonia, near the riverbanks.
Scripture tells us Lydia was already a worshiper of God. But as Paul shared the Good News of Jesus and His redeeming work on the cross, we learn, “The Lord opened her heart to pay attention and to respond to the things said by Paul” (Acts 16:14b).
I absolutely love this statement! Oh, let’s not breeze past or miss any of its significance.
The word opened in the original Greek is dianoigõ, which means, “to open thoroughly what had been closed. To open one's soul (mind, will, emotions), to rouse in one the faculty of understanding or the desire of learning.”
In those priceless moments down by the riverside, God opened Lydia’s mind to pay attention and understand a fresh revelation of Jesus. He deposited a desire in her heart to learn more about the gospel of grace which Paul was generously sharing.
Friend, let this be our heart’s greatest desire — today and every day!
In our special moments with God, let’s ask Him to gently open our hearts wide so we can receive a fresher revelation of Jesus. No matter how much we think we know about Him, let us long to know Him more!
Let’s yearn for a deeper understanding of His character and attributes. Let’s wake up every day saying, “Good Morning Jesus,” and embrace the desire to spend time with Him before anyone else, discovering His truths, memorizing His precepts and rejoicing in His promises.
And in those quiet moments as we read through the pages of our Bible, if we come to a part we don’t understand, let’s pause and whisper ever so sincerely, “Jesus pull back the veil so I can see You more clearly and hear You more distinctly. Open my eyes to see the wonderful things in Your Word.”
And when He does, let’s respond with a wellspring of joy and gratitude that will quench our souls and make our spirits soar!
Lord, soften my heart and open it wide to receive all the love You have for me. Give me a greater desire to spend time with You. Teach me Your ways and help me understand Your attributes as I read my Bible. I want to know You more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word.” (TLB)
Imagine faith that changes every aspect of who you are. This is the faith that comes from saying “yes” to Jesus’ invitation. Check out Suzie Eller’s latest book, Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads.
Stop by Leah DiPascal's blog today and sign up to win a free copy of Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Take some time to read the story of Lydia in Acts 16. As you read, ask God to open your heart and mind to discover details in the text you’ve never noticed before. Write these new truths down and then share what you’ve learned with someone else.
© 2016 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.