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Lydia: Willing Service

(Acts 16:11-15, 40; Phil. 1:3-11)

There is a very real, powerful and eternal partnership between fellow Christians.

Koinonia (gk.) Partnership, fellowship, bond, sharing, communion, mutual encouragement,
having intimate knowledge of each other (See Acts 2:41-47)

To gain intimate knowledge of another requires that you spend time with them, preferable in
some joint venture.

Where there is Koinonia, God will cause an increase (Acts 2:47)

God chooses/saves people for eternity and for service on the earth ((Acts 18:1-4, 24-26, Rom.
16:3-4, 1 Cor. 16:19, 2 Tim. 4:19)

We can demonstrate an eternal, heavenly mindset by our service in this life.

Willing service is evidence of Godly devotion.

The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to the truth being shared by Paul (Acts 16:14; see
also Luke 24:45; John 6:44; 2 Cor. 4:6; Eph 1:17-18)

Dianoigo {dee-an-oy'-go}Gk: to open eyes, ears, mind and soul. To arouse understanding and a
desire for greater, deeper knowledge. (I believe that God has done this in me!)

Lydia responded with acceptance, demonstrated by baptism, outreach to her family and service
to her brothers in Christ. (Acts 16:15)

She met real and practical needs.

Her service glorified God and benefited others as well.

Jesus came to serve and is our model for service.
Opening Your Home (Hospitality, Gen. 18:1-8, 1 Pe. 4:9, Rom. 12:13, Matt. 25:40)

Refreshing/Supporting/Upbuilding (1 Cor. 2:3, Paul in a state of weakness & fear, Philemon
1:7)

The word "hospitable" comes from the Greek word, "PHILO-ZENIA". Which is a combination
of twos "PHILOS", which means “Loving”, and "XENOS" which means “a Stranger”.

Karen Burton Mains, author of Open Heart/Open Home, - one morning decided to read a novel
instead of doing the house work, of course a person from church stopped by - the place was a
mess - dishes in the sink, toys every where, last night’s newspaper all over the floor. As she
went to the door she could hear her father’s voice, "Hospitality comes before pride" easy
enough to say when your place is tidy. She swallowed her pride and let the person from church
in. After they came in and got sat down her friend says "I used to think you were perfect, now I
think we can be friends!"

Distinction between entertaining and hospitality,
Entertaining people is showing off your house, and your cooking abilities to them,
Hospitality is opening your house to them.
Entertaining really centers on self and begs compliments,
Hospitality centers on the other, and on God.

Our purpose in life, as a part of the Kingdom of God, is found in our relationship to Christ and
others.

A person living a self-centered life will miss God’s purpose for them.

Every believer/servant of God needs support and encouragement.

The Greek word for "encourage" may be translated as comfort, console, inquire, beg,
plead, counsel, urge or challenge. It involves the replacing or replenishment of courage
that has somehow been lost.

You may never know what a word of encouragement from you may mean to another
person (God does! So follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit to encourage others!)

Encouraging others costs you nothing but it can prove invaluable to others.

An important part of process of encouraging others is seeing them not for who they are
or for what they have done but for what they are capable of doing by the grace of God.

We need to discern what really matters.

Discern: to perceive (be aware of and come to understand with the mind)
to dissect (cut through many layers and examine closely)
to comprehend with insight (to mentally grasp the inner/real nature or character)
Receiving God’s gift of discernment requires a humble and obedient heart

Solomon’s request was that God give

his servant
a discerning/obedient/(literally ”hearing”) heart
to govern/judge God’s people
and to distinguish between right and wrong/good and bad (1 Kings 3:9)

(Note: 1 Chron. 1:10 describes the request as one for wisdom and knowledge)

God granted Solomon a “wise and understanding heart” and much more besides (1
Kings 3:12-14)

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his
deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition
in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that
which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and
selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above
is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits,
unwavering, without hypocrisy. (James 3:13-17)

God Himself gives discernment

“For Jehovah Himself gives wisdom, out of his mouth there is knowledge and
discernment.”(Proverbs 2:6) (Contrast: Deut. 29:2-4, Isaiah 6:9-10, Matthew 13:10-17, God
can also withhold discernment)

Through Prayer

“So if any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep on asking God for he gives generously
to all and without reproaching; and it will be given him.”(James 1:5, see also Colossians 1:9-
10)

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his
will, he heareth us:" (1 John 5:14) God delights in giving us things He wants us to have!

Through God’s Word

By giving “constant thought” to the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:7) and using it as a “sword” to
discern thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12-13)

The very purpose of the Book of Proverbs is to give wisdom, understanding, discipline and
discernment (Proverbs 1:1-4)
Through God’s Holy Spirit

Jesus said to his disciples, "I will not leave you orphans; I will not leave you alone. If I go away
I will send another Comforter to you and he will guide you into all the truth. He will take of the
things of mine and show them unto you, and he will say to you the things that I have not been
able to say," (John 14:16-18)

God has revealed to us [these things] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even
the depths of God. For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which
is in him. So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we
have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might
understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human
wisdom, but taught by the Spirit, interpreting (literally “fitting together”) spiritual truths to
those who possess the Spirit. (1 Cor 2:10-13)

How do you focus on something? Be still (Ps. 37:7, 47:10), look intently, ignore distractions

We should not be too busy to do what really matters.

Anything that becomes the primary focus of our time and energy can become an idol,
interfering with out relationship with God.

Compulsive People: Highly, but wrongly motivated. Motivated by self interest, achievement,
power, praise, fear/guilt. Have a religious appearance. Result oriented. Seek to use God.

Committed People: Rightly motivated. Motivated by love, joy, grace. Care little about
appearances. Service/faithfulness oriented. Seek to be used by God.

Complacent People: Unmotivated. Motivated by self interest (or spiritually unmotivated),
pleasure, the world. Self oriented. Seek to be indulged by God.