GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #506
††††††††††† HAS GOD EVER OPENED YOUR HEART?
††††††††††† Pastor Don Fortner
††††††††††† Grace Baptist Church of Danville
††††††††††† 2734 Old Stanford Road
††††††††††† Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
HAS GOD EVER OPENED YOUR HEART? In the Book of Acts chapter sixteen and in verse fourteen, we read of "A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God: WHOSE HEART THE LORD OPENED." There are many instructive points of interest in the story of Lydia's conversion. Her conversion was brought about by PROVIDENTIAL CIRCUMSTANCES. She was a business woman who made her living in the city of Thyatira by selling purple. But Just at the right time we find her in Philippi, where providence had also brought the Apostle Paul preaching the gospel. Providence, which is the handmaid of grace, led her to the place where grace would be shown at the time grace had appointed. Again, GRACE WAS PREPARING HER SOUL FOR THE BLESSING OF ETERNAL SALVATION. Grace prepares the heart which grace has marked for its home. Lydia did not know the Savior; but, being a Jew, she knew many truths which became for her excellent stepping-stones to a knowledge of Christ. HER CONVERSION TOOK PLACE BY THE USE OF CERTAIN MEANS. On the sabbath day she went to the place "where prayer was wont to be made", and there she heard the gospel and was converted. Do not ever neglect the means of grace. God has ordained that men be saved through the preaching of the gospel. If you hope to obtain mercy and eternal salvation, you would be wise to find a place where God speaks to men through one of his preachers. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Notice now the words, ďWHOSE HEART THE LORD OPENED." Lydia did not open her own heart. Her prayers did not do it. Paul did not do it. The Lord himself must open the heart to receive grace, mercy, and eternal life. Christ alone holds the key to the door of man's heart. He alone can open the door and get admittance for himself. He who is the heart's Maker is the heart's Master. The Lord opened Lydia's heart. Has he opened your heart?
Here are three things which evidence the fact that the Lord had opened her heart. First Lydia BELIEVED on the Lord Jesus Christ. "She attended to the things which were spoken by Paul." Paul had declared Christ to be both Lord and Savior. No sooner had he spoken these things than her heart was opened. In her heart, Lydia bowed to Christ the Lord, trusting him alone as her Savior. Secondly, her faith displayed itself in OBEDIENCE to Christ. As soon as she believed on Christ, she was baptized. It is a sweet sign of a humble and broken heart, when the child of God willingly obeys a command which is not essential to his salvation, which is not forced upon him by a selfish fear of condemnation, but is a simple act of obedience to his Master. True faith is always obedient faith. Where there is true faith in Christ as Savior, there is also a willing obedience to Christ as Lord. The third evidence that the Lord had opened Lydia's heart is LOVE. When the Lord opens the heart these three graces will always appear: faith, obedience, and love. Lydia's love for Christ manifested itself in acts of grateful kindness to the apostles. Love to the saints has always been the mark of true conversion. Our Lord said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John said, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death."
HAS THE LORD GOD OPENED YOUR HEART? If there is in your heart FAITH IN CHRIST, OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST, and LOVE TOWARD THE PEOPLE OF GOD, it is because the Lord has opened your heart. If you lack these things, it is because the Lord has not yet opened your heart. O Lord God; ever graciously open the hearts of chosen, redeemed sinners by your almighty, irresistible grace, for Christís sake.