As far as the witness of the New Testament provides, it’s thought that Lydia of Act 16:11-15 is the first ‘European’ convert to Christianity. Up to that time there had been converts from Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor and North Africa… but she is the first from Europe (Macedonia). The story is very accessible and down to earth in its description. The main emphasis in today’s sermon on this text will be: The Holy Spirit directs us to belief and faith (converts); from out of that we simply must use our gifts for service in the kingdom of God. Note well: ‘must’ is not an obligation – it’s a natural sort of response, as exemplified by Lydia: “If you consider me to be a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house” (Acts 16:15b – NIV).
May 23, 2019 Pastor Matt Bishop