Summary: Lydia – A Worshipper of God - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). The work of providence in her conversion (vs 6-10).

(2). The work of Paul in her conversion (vs 12-13).

(3). The work of Lydia herself in her conversion (vs 14a).

(4). The work of God in her conversion (vs 14b-15a).



• I guess you have all seen the BBC programme ‘Dragons’ Den’;

• Would be entrepreneurs get to showcase their business ideas;

• A panel of successful business leaders judge the ideas;

• And they get to invest their own money in the hope of securing an investment.

• Many participants emerge as public laughing stocks with egg on their faces,

• As James Seddon found with his electric egg boiler, which failed to boil anything.

• For others, however,

• It can be can be a life changing experience.

Looking beyond the programme and down through history - here are a few inventions/inventors who at first were rejected:

(1). Clarence Darrow & Monopoly.

• THE boss of American toy giant Parker Bros was not impressed;

• When the inventor of Monopoly tried to sell him his new idea in the Thirties.

• He claimed the game had "52 fundamental playing errors" which made it unplayable.

• Undeterred, Clarence Darrow, an unemployed Philadelphia heating engineer;

• Who had devised the game, went into production himself.

• As a result, Parker Bros was forced to spend a fortune buying back the idea.

(2). Bill Gates's & Microsoft Windows software,

• In 1985 Bill Gates's Microsoft launched Windows software,

• while already providing computer giant IBM with a similar system called MS-DOS.

• Gates asked IBM to endorse Windows, but it refused, unwilling to share profits with Gates.

• Without IBM's massive backing,

• Microsoft was forced to sell Windows separately on the retail market;

• Other computer firms, from Compaq to Xerox, capitalised by endorsing the product.

(3). James Dyson & his bag-less vacuum cleaner.

• James Dyson struggled for years;

• Trying to convince people there was a better way of cleaning carpets,

• But he couldn't find anyone prepared to build his bag-less vacuum cleaner.

• He re-mortgaged his house and, almost bankrupting himself,

• Finally perfected his revolutionary machine after five years of trial and tribulation.

• Now the Dyson cleaner out-sells its nearest rivals by more than two to one,

• His personal wealth is estimated at more than £122million.

(4). Walt Disney & Disney World

• Walt Disney is the businessman behind the very successful theme park;

• “Walt Disney World“.

• Walt Disney was once fired by a newspaper editor;

• For not having good ideas and no imagination.

• Disney World is currently valued at $35 Billion dollars.

(5). Colonel Sanders & KFC “Kentucky Fried Chicken”.

• Colonel Harland Sanders;

• Is the entrepreneur who founded KFC “Kentucky Fried Chicken”;

• When he was 56 years old.

• His recipe was reportedly rejected over 1,000 times before a restaurant picked it up.

• Today KFC is the world's second largest restaurant chain;

• As measured by sales - after McDonald's.

• It has 18,875 outlets in 118 countries and territories (as of December 2013).

• TRANSITION: This morning we are looking at a successful Asian business woman;

• Her name was Lydia,

• Her occupation ‘a seller of purple’

• She managed to succeed in business;

• In both a foreign country, and a male-dominated culture!

This week at the children’s Holiday Club we have been looking at some characters in the New Testament book of Acts:

• Day 1: Peter.

• Never too many mistakes.

• Day 2: Stephen.

• Never too ordinary.

• Day 3: Philip & the Ethiopian Official.

• Never too near or far.

• Day 4: Saul (Paul the apostle).

• Never too bad.

• Day 5: Timothy.

• Never too young.

• This morning we are going to complete our series with Lydia.

• Never too unlikely.

• This encounter between the apostle Paul and Lydia;

• Because it took place in what is now Europe,

• Lydia may only be mentioned briefly in the book of Acts;

• But she holds a prominent place in Bible History.

• Lydia is the first recorded Christian in Europe to be converted by the gospel;

• And her home became the place where the very first church was planted in Europe;

• The place where these new believers of chapter 16 gathered to worship!

• Note: What the Bible tells us of her conversion;

• Could also apply to any man who becomes a Christian.

(1). First, the work of providence in her conversion (vs 6-10).

“Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”

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