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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Listening To The Word Part 2 (Thought for the Day Part 102)

Today’s reading: Acts 16:11-15

Yesterday it was Cornelius. Today it is Lydia. God is about arranging opportunities for us to hear the word. We must be alert. In this case, Lydia “listened, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying.” (v.14). There are three important aspects here, pertaining to the ears, the mind and the heart.

First, she listened. Since God wants everyone to come to the truth of the salvation won by His Son Jesus for us, He arranges circumstances by which this process can happen. Lydia would not have expected that this day would be any different from all her other days, or more particularly, that this day would provide an encounter that would change her life. And so too with us. It might be a sermon, an evangelist on TV, an exposition on the word on radio, a video on social media. If something initially, even though in a small way, piques your interest, do not just brush it aside. Do not just pass it over. This might be the moment God is arranging. Stop and listen.

Second, she paid attention. When you listen to a word being proclaimed, pay close attention. Stop what else you are doing (at least mentally). Lydia might have just wanted to associate with the women gathered along the river, or she might have just gone about her business as a dealer in purple cloth. But she stopped, listened and paid attention. Her ears had been engaged, and now her mind was active. The ears can hear words, but the mind processes the words that are heard.

Third, she opened her heart. Or rather, “the Lord opened her heart.” The heart is the center of our whole being. It has to do with our will. It has to do with our spirit. It is what makes us accept what is being placed in our consciousness. It is what ultimately will make us decide to act. Lydia and her household were baptized. She had now embraced the salvation that Jesus won for her. And not only that. She invited Paul, Timothy and Luke to stay with her, which was accepted. She then had the privilege of hosting such great disciples, and she had become fully a part of the work of mission.

And so it might seem like just a passing word that you may hear. Or it might be a word that will radically change your life. Hear, listen, pay attention, open your heart.

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