The book of Acts gives us stories of many people being converted: turning from one way of life to eternal life in Jesus. Conversion is a turning point, that moment when we repent of our sins and turn in trust towards God, believing that Jesus’s death and resurrection are the way we are reconciled to God. All of us must undergo conversion if we are to become children of God and become adopted into God’s family, but the way this happens will, despite many common points, be unique to us.

So far in Acts, we have seen:

  • someone actively hostile to Jesus and a persecutor of Christians become converted thanks to a vision from heaven (Saul of Tarsus, now spreading the message of Jesus Christ to the wider world!)

  • an Ethiopian government minister converted through utterly miraculous if bizarre circumstances with a decidedly human agent (Philip)

  • a Gentile centurion (Cornelius) converted by means of a vision to both him and Peter

  • many unnamed people converted through listening to the preaching of both apostles and ‘ordinary’ Christians.

In Acts 16, we see again the variety of means by which people are saved: Lydia’s heart was opened as she listened to Paul’s message; the Philippian jailer is converted when he witnesses a miraculous earthquake while guarding these awkward Christian preachers! Lydia is described as a ‘God worshipper’, someone who was presumably already seeking God (and is therefore found by Him – see Jer 29:13), whereas the Philippian jailer seems not to have been seeking God but was definitely found by Him! All this goes to show how amazing God is to know each one of us by name and to know the most meaningful and appropriate way of reaching us!