Lydia–Conversion to Christ and Hospitality Offered

A woman testified to the transformation in her life that had resulted through her experience in conversion. She declared, “I’m so glad I got saved. I have an uncle I used to hate so much I vowed I’d never go to his funeral. But now, I’d even be happy to go … More

Conversion

Next, Paul and his party traveled from Troas to Neapolis, a distance of about 150 miles (v. 11). From there they traveled another 10 miles to Philippi (v. 12), which was strategically located on the Roman road. One of the ways Rome ruled the world at this time was through her colonies. At strategic points on the map she founded Roman settlements where Roman citizens set up outposts for the empire. Anything that happened there would reach the world. This Macedonian city was an outpost of Rome, and the citizens living there had the same rights that they would have had living in Rome itself.

The Jewish population living there must have been limited, for there was no synagogue.  (It took ten Jewish men to organize a synagogue). Paul found out that there were a handful of Jewish women who met for prayer down by the river bank, so he decided to join them (v. 13). At this meeting he met Lydia, who was a successful business-woman from Thyatira (v. 14). As Paul shared the Word she opened her heart to the truth and was saved. She immediately gave evidence of her conversion by being baptized, and opening up her home to the missionaries (v. 15). Presumably her home became the meeting place for Christians. Paul’s stay in this city was brief. Yet from this stop a very strong missionary church was born. It was from here that the Gospel was first preached in Europe.

Everyone needs to find his place in life. Notice how Lydia opened the door to her household, and learn how we can do the same, whether we are a man or a woman, young or old.

  1. You can find your place in small group prayer (v. 13).
  2. You can find your place in worship (v. 14).
  3. You can find your place when your good works show (v. 15).

Application

Lydia gives us an example of how our homes can be used for Christ. I always want to make our home available to missionaries when they are coming through, and I want to be an encouragement and help to them. Also I desire to be in the business of seeing many converted to Christ.

Acts 16:11-15 (English Standard Version)

So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 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. 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. 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. 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.

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More Acts commentaries

Acts 13:1-3
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Acts 13:4-12
Saul (Paul) Confronts a Sorcerer at Cyprus

Acts 13:13-31
Paul and Barnabas Say Farewell to John Mark

Acts 13:32-41
Paul Preaches the Gospel Including Christ’s Resurrection

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Gentiles Receptive to Paul’s Message – Jews Become Envious

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Opposition/Rejection From the Iconium Crowd

Acts 14:8-12
Paul and Barnabas Refute People’s Worship

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From "God” to "Stoning” – Paul Still Committed to Preach

Acts 14:21-28
Paul and Barnabas Share their Ministry with Supporters

Acts 15:1-5
Jerusalem Council–Divisions Re: Circumcision

Acts 15:6-11
Jerusalem Council–Discussion Re: Moses’ Law

Acts 15:12-18
Jerusalem Council–Decisions Based on God’s Word

Acts 15:19-29
Jerusalem Council–Decisions for Unity

Acts 15:30-41
Paul and Barnabas Disagree About John Mark

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Paul & Timothy – New Ministry Duo

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Paul – Flexibility in the Itinerary

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Lydia–Conversion to Christ and Hospitality Offered

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Paul & Silas – Praising God While In Prison

Acts 16:35-40
Paul’s Ministry Produces "People” Change

Acts 17:1-9
Paul & Silas – Trust God’s Strategy for Ministry

Acts 17:10-15
Obstacles that Hinder the Work of the Lord

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Religion ... Ridicule ... Results

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Paul Adapts to His Audience

Acts 18:5-11
Opposition Enhances Ministry Results

Acts 18:12-17
Paul’s Roman Citizenship On Trial

Acts 18:18-23
God Works His Will in His Servants

Acts 18:24-28
Tactfulness–Words That Work Mightily

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The Holy Spirit is a Person

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Miracles Performed by Paul for Authentication

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Beware of Cult Practices

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Results of Religious Greed