Paul, along with Timothy, Silas, and Luke the physician, traveled into Europe, to Philippi. At Philippi, they waited for the Sabbath intending to preach the Gospel in the synagogue, only there was no synagogue.
Instead, Paul and his missionary team found only a few women gathered for prayer. They preached the Gospel, and Lydia, a wealthy businesswoman from Thyatira in Asia responded. She believed and was baptized. Luke summarized simply, “The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message,” (Acts 16:14). Some of us struggle with God’s sovereignty over even the hearts of His creatures. How did Lydia respond to Paul’s message? The Lord opened her heart, and she believed. God’s sovereignty in electing some for salvation ought not make us angry, but make us humble and prompt us to worship. If God did not work, our hearts would remain cold, closed, and calloused. We would not be broken by our sin and not be convinced of the love of God in Christ Jesus. Do not think Lydia was somehow forced to believe against her will. No. God gave her a heart to love Jesus, and she delighted in the love of Christ. Behind every profession of faith is the gracious call of God, drawing an otherwise hell-bound sinner into His saving arms. So John correctly concludes, “We love because he [God] first loved us,” (1 John 4:19).