February 20, 2023 – Monday
Acts 16:14 NIV
14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.
Psalm 23:5 NIV
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
As you look at the two verses above you may be wondering, “How in the world is he going to tie these two verses together?” Great question and I will tie them together, but probably not as you might expect.
A few Sundays ago I preached from Acts 16 from verse one through fifteen and stopped there. I focused on the point that Lydia, who responded to Paul’s message, was from Thyatira approximately 250 miles South of Philippi. Now Lydia was not the only person converted in Philippi from Thyatira as her whole household was also saved. However, she was the only one named from Thyatira.
If you do a word search (biblegateway.com or biblehub.com) for the city Thyatira in the Bible, you will find it only mentioned in Acts 16:14. That is until you get to the book of Revelation where it is named as one of the seven churches in 1:11 and the church in Thyatira is addressed directly in 2:18-25. We are told nothing about how the church was started in Thyatira, but knowing Lydia was from there and probably traveled back there, it is likely she (and her household) brought back the Gospel of Jesus Christ and had something (probably a great deal) to do with the church being established there. One person from Thyatira responded to the Gospel as taught by Paul in Philippi and a church was eventually established there and it was important enough to be addressed by Jesus in the book of Revelation. The point is you never know what the eventual impact you will have when you reach out and share the gospel with someone you may never see again.
Now you may wonder what Psalm 23:5 has to do with this. Well, it involves another Paul and myself and only part of the fifth verse from Psalm 23, 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. I was visiting my brother Paul on a weekend when I was still an atheist. In his home he had a number of religious tracts out and he clearly told me not to say anything about them as he was going through a difficult time in his life and he had come to a faith in Jesus. I didn’t say anything to disparage his faith and read a number of the tracts out of curiosity.
One of them had the story or testimony of a woman in the hospital suffering and maybe dying from cancer. She wrote about how she had never understood how you could have a cup overflowing (runneth over in the tract) in the presence of your enemies. But at that time in the hospital, she finally understood. She was in the presence of the greatest enemy she had ever faced – cancer and her cup was overflowing. What cup? The cup of love she was receiving from all her family, friends, loved ones and people she simply knew. Flowers, cards, and balloons were all over her room as expressions of love and support. Before this, she never knew so many people loved and cared for her. Whatever the future held for her, her cup was running over with love and she thanked God for such blessings.
I hope I have tied the two verses together for you. Hopefully, I have also shown that you should never give up on someone who was as lost as I was or worse. Go ahead and plant with sharing or with prayer and let the Holy Spirit take care of the rest as He did in my case.
Bottom Line: Your efforts, your reaching out matter, maybe more than you can imagine.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for my brother Paul and so many others who prayed for me and my salvation. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton