‘A certain woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshipper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.’ Acts 16:14 NAS
Lydia wasn’t a preacher, she was a successful businesswoman won to Christ under Paul’s ministry. As a result, her home became the first church building named in Scripture where believers met. Get rid of the idea that only preachers speak for God.
Out of 168 hours in each week, preachers generally get to speak to people only one hour. Who’s going to speak for God the other 167 hours? India has over a billion people, and there’s an interesting story of how the gospel first reached the Telugu region. It wasn’t through a preacher, but a civil engineer called John Clough, who offered to go to a newly established mission and help them. The missionary board had misgivings because he hadn’t been to a Bible college, but they admired his zeal so they authorised the trip. During a great famine, Clough supervised the digging of the Buckingham Canal in the Coromandel Coast of South India. His position enabled him to hire thousands of hungry people, which meant they could earn wages and buy food. But something even more important happened. As a result, God opened the hearts of multitudes to receive His Word for the first time and today the church is thriving in India. God says, ‘Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass.’ (Isaiah 46:10 NLT) God already has a plan; what He’s looking for are workers willing to help fulfil it. And you can be one of them.
SoulFood: Ecc 9–12, Jn 12:1–11, Ps 76, Prov 30:15–17
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023