Who is Your Example of Godliness

 

WHO IS YOUR EXAMPLE OF GODLINESS?

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Now a certain woman named Lydia Heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

Acts 16:14 NKJV

Is there someone in your church, a mentor, a teacher, or the little Christian woman next door who You look toward as a godly example. If you lack that special person, may I suggest a woman from Scripture?

Lydia is a superb role model. She had a full plate, but she handled it. She was the best of Mary and Martha combined.

Lydia was a business woman, a sales rep for the purple dye used by royalty. God had blessed her because Her home was spacious enough to accommodate the Philippian church (Acts 16:40). Let’s unpack the qualities this busy woman possessed. Qualities we desire.

First, Lydia was a woman of fervent prayer. Paul and his companions found this group of women praying on the river bank. These Gentile women committed time to prayer, and they realized its importance. They had learned about the God of the Jews, and now, they communed with Him. Could it be as they prayed that day, they asked the Lord to increase their understanding? And then came Paul.

Lydia worshiped God with all the truth she knew at that point. She was teachable, and she desired to learn more. As Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ, “the Lord opened her heart.” Lydia’s entire household was baptized also. God reveals Himself and the truth to those who seek Him.

Yearn to learn more about Jesus. Yearn to learn Jesus more. The difference is life-changing.

Next, Lydia was a woman of faith (Acts 16:15). She was faithful in prayer, worship, and service. She had put complete trust in Jesus Christ. Her faith increased as she drew closer to her heavenly Father.

Finally, Lydia was a woman of service. She opened her house to Paul and his friends. She fulfilled the commandment to love one another through her hospitality.

How much time did we spend in prayer today? In God’s Word? In worship? Worship is not reserved for Sunday only.

What about our faith in God? Does it grow? Can it move mountains? Are we faithful in all these areas? How do we serve God and His church?

Lydia was committed to prayer, worship, faith, and service. In addition, she managed her career. Today, how can we begin to live like this lovely seller of purple?

Lord, we ask You to examine us. Help us become mighty prayer warriors, faithful worshippers, and servants to You. Guard our time that we can live a life pleasing to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Acts 16:13-15.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Prayerfully consider the questions in the devotional. What areas can you spend more quality time on?

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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LOVE COVERS SHAME

LOVE COVERS SHAME

By Carolyn Dale Newell

knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

1 Peter 1:18-19 NKJV

Eve was unashamed of her nakedness until sin entered the picture. In Hosea, Gomer stood exposed and embarrassed on the slave block. The woman taken in adultery (John 8:3-11) could not lift her head as she stood trembling before Jesus. Sin breeds shame.

But, our human flaws can leave us wishing the floor would swallow us up. It wasn’t Elijah’s finer moment when he ran and hid from Jezebel. A barren woman, such as Hannah or Elizabeth, was sorely looked upon in their day. And Peter inserted his foot into his mouth more times than he wanted to recall.

Scanning the years, I see shame in my sin, as well as those foot-in-the-mouth moments. But I spent many years unsuccessfully trying to hide a visual impairment which embarrassed me.

Name-calling and few friends exasperated the problem. Until one day, I had to use the tools which could help me or become a hermit. By that point, I was in my late forties, and I didn’t really care what people thought.

Do you ever experience regret? Just like Eve, Gomer, Peter or me? shame exposes us. It makes us feel vulnerable, but Jesus brought good news. Love covers what shame uncovers.

As her accusers stood ready to pick up stones to throw at this nameless woman in John’s gospel, Jesus stooped and wrote in the sand. Nobody knows what He wrote, but the same hand that wrote in the sand was the same hand that took the nails for this sinful, shameful lady. The same hand that took the nails for us.

Maybe the word in the sand was “redeemed.” Bought at a price.

Hosea bought Gomer back for a price equal to Thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave. The same price Jesus was betrayed for. But we have been purchased with something more valuable than precious metals. We were bought with precious blood. The blood of Christ covers our sin. His love covers our nakedness.

Friend, Jesus doesn’t want you to continue living ashamed. If the matter is sin, Jesus will forgive. Jesus saves. Seek Him and repent.

If your shame arises from your humanness or something beyond your control, look into the mirror of Christ. See the you Christ sees. The masterpiece worth dying for (Eph. 2:10).

Lord Jesus, I leave my shame at the foot of the cross. Thank You for bearing it along with my sin. I want to know You as Savior and Lord of my life. Help me see myself through Your eyes. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read John 8:3-11.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What creates your feelings of shame? Pray about it. If it is sin, are you ready to repent? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? What human flaws or things beyond your control cause you to be ashamed? Commit these to prayer until you truly see the you God sees.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.