Just a Work Trip


As I type this, I am, in fact, wearing purple, but it is not the purple cloth that indicated wealth and status like the kind that our (soon to be) new friend Lydia used to sell. It is just a vintage Gap number that undoubtedly wears a couple of stains from days of mothering and just being me. It is in the midst of these days of parenting that I can sometimes be run ragged with the drive to be efficient and to check off the milestones that we are supposed to be meeting. During these days, I sometimes forget that I am not in charge.

  • In what ways do you think God is involved in even our most regular days and tasks?


11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Paul was being obedient to the call of God to travel to Philippi to preach. Why would this be an important city to influence with the gospel?
  2. In this passage, what examples of obedience do you see in the lives of Paul and Lydia? When and where did Paul and Lydia run into each other?
  1. What is the one verb within these verses used to describe what God did in Lydia’s life (vs. 14)?
  2. In what ways do you see God orchestrating circumstances and people for his purposes? How is God in charge of their daily lives?
  3. God was at work to open Lydia’s heart in the midst of her everyday life. How is your faith in God increased by realizing that God is powerfully at work in your everyday life as well?


It was just a work trip. Lydia made the journey to Philippi with her purple goods. Paul was told in a vision to head to Philippi to preach the gospel. But it was no coincidence that these two connected on a Sabbath outside the city gate near the river. Lydia was a worshiper of God, a seeker; she didn’t know the truth of the gospel, but she knew to meet with others at a place of prayer. God, who orchestrates and orders our days, was at work drawing her to himself. Be encouraged that our God still is at work today and desires to open our hearts and the hearts of all those around us.

  • Thank God for opening your heart and for the way he opens hearts to understand the good news of Christ.
  • Ask God to show you how he may be orchestrating events around you to share the news of Jesus with others.