WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER -
......DEVOTIONS FOR LAMBS. No. 251
FIRST CHRISTIAN IN EUROPE.
Europe is a huge con-tin-ent.
There are millions of people in Europe who believe in Jesus Christ today.
There are many churches and cathedrals which bear the name of “Christian.”
But do you know that Christianity in Europe started with just one lady?
She was the first one to follow Jesus in that whole con-tin-ent.
So girls, don’t feel you might NOT have a most important place in God’s work, just because you are a girl! The Lord uses women as well as men in His mighty plans, girls as well as boys.
A lady called “Lydia” was the very first person in the whole of Europe to believe in Jesus as Saviour and Lord. She was a success-ful business woman. Her story is found in Acts 16. God’s special dis-ci-ples, Paul and Silas, were at Philippi in Europe. This is what happened:
“And on the sabbath [ the Jewish worship
day ] we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to
be made [ people went to the river to pray ];
and we sat down, and spake [ spoke ] unto the women which resorted thither
[ who went there to pray ].
And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which wor-shipp-ed God, heard us:
whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul [ she listened to Paul’s message about Jesus ].
And when she was baptized, and her household, she be-sought us [ said ‘please do’], saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there [ live there ]. And she constrained us [ she wouldn’t let them say no].” (Acts 16:13-15).
Lydia sold purple dye. The colour purple was expensive, it was hard to make in those days. It was made by crushing a shell-fish, Murex. Lydia must have been quite rich, because she opened her home to Paul and Silas, God’s servants. She gave them a house and food. She was the head of that house-hold. She had no husband. What an honour to be the first Christian in Europe! Lydia would never have thought when she got up that Sabbath morning that she would have such an honour! She was a person who loved God, and wor-shipped Him. So He was able to use her for His glory. It would never have entered Lydia’s mind what the Lord had in store for her. And her name has been in God’s own Scriptures for many hundreds of years as well.
You and I do not know what God has in store for our lives, either.
How important it is to let God have all your heart and life. For then He
can open up His plans for you without any muddles! We can stop God’s plans
when we want our own plans, and say “NO” to God’s will. When we refuse
to trust and obey. Lydia would never have thought of herself as having
a huge part in God’s plan for Europe! Yet she did. Paul and Silas could
not have managed without her kindness and help. The Bible tells us too
that God’s plans for us are much more than ever we could imagine:
“Now unto him [ the Lord ] that is able to do ex-ceed-ing [ much, much more ] abun-dant-ly
[ massive! ] above all that we ask or think, according to the power [ Holy Spirit power ] that worketh [ works ] in us, “ ( Ephesians 3:20).
We have to be patient and trust the Lord with our future. God has planned for we believers more than we can possibly think or ask. Here on earth God will use you for His work. And in Heaven He will bless you beyond your wildest dreams:
“But as it is written, Eye hath [ has ] not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath pre-pared for them that love him. But God hath re-vealed them unto us by his Spirit: “ ( 1 Corinthians 2:9,10).
ALL God’s wonderful plans for you can come true if you want Him to
be in control.
And it doesn’t matter if you are a boy or a girl, black or Asian or white, clever or not. God wants all His saved children to be a part of the answer for the world - not a part of the world’s problems!
Are you an “answer” or a “problem?”
Trust God, and you will be an “answer.”