Reading: “Whose heart the Lord opened”—Acts 16:14

It is always a blessing to trace mercies to their source, when, through grace, we can give God His glory, and not put down to man’s merit what wholly originates in God’s grace. The opening of the heart can only be the province of Him that made it—renewing work, as well as creating work, is His.

He that has the key of David, is He alone “that openeth, and none shutteth; and shutteth, and none openeth.” What a beautiful illustration has the Holy Ghost given the church of this precious truth, in the instance of this woman, whose heart the Lord opened. We are told that she was of the city of Thyatira, a place remote from Philippi, where this sovereign act of mercy was shown towards her. How long she had remained in a state of unrenewed nature, or what predisposing providence it was that brought her to Philippi, we are not informed. The grand feature in her character is summed up in this short, but blessed account: “whose heart the Lord opened.”

The Holy Ghost has indeed recorded her name and occupation: “a certain woman, named Lydia, a seller of purple.” What honourable mention is made of her, from this one act, which the Lord worked in her! Poor and inconsiderable as she was in herself, small and of no reputation, yet her name is in the book of life!

Pause, Christian, and contemplate the rich mercy which the Lord has also accomplished in you. Has not he that opened Lydia’s heart, opened yours also? And is it not His work also, that first opened it by His grace, to keep it open by the daily influences of His Holy Spirit? Is it not His to renew, to refresh, to comfort, to strengthen, and to confirm it unto the end? And will you not, with the close of day, and the opening of the morning, look up for these precious manifestations in your Lord? Lord, let no night or morning pass, without giving me fresh and increasing evidences from yourself. He has both opened my heart, and formed in my heart the hope of glory.  

Taken from The Poor Man’s Evening and Morning Portions by Rev. Robert Hawker, Works, Vol. 8; 1830. Edited by Aaron Dunlop for thinkgospel.com ©2013.