You Are Here. Acts 9
3/6/2017 12:35:27 AM
What's in our rearview mirror?

You are Here.  Acts 9.


You want to find the Dumbo ride in Fantasy Land at Disneyland, so you consult a park map, but first in order to get to Dumbo, you must find the “you are here” marker. You are looking for the nearest exit on a New York City subway station map, but first … you must locate the “you are here” sign.


Whether you are reading this or listening to a podcast, “You are here” – in the study of the book of Acts, written by the gospel writer Luke, for the historical record of the lives of the apostles and those who formed the early church after Jesus was once again in Heaven. 


How did we get here?  We have studied through the first nine chapters—archived at, and since in this week alone, eight new folks have joined our Morning Briefings family—which go out to folks in 129 countries--perspective is important.  For Sally, the salesperson I just met in Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NY), and Bichoi, the cab driver from Jersey,

where and why we are studying these New Testament pages are important.

We need to know our roots, how Christianity started, why it spread and how you and I can keep the main thing the main thing. 


You see, when the Holy Spirit came, he infused the believers with passion and power and strength, and we are meant to live life in that same fashion. So we gotta know the story. I invite you to pour yourself into the reading of God’s Word as it will invigorate, stimulate and motivate you to see what life in the Spirit looks like.


Looking in our rearview mirror, we have covered a lot of ground—

>from atop the Mount of Olives, where Jesus ascended into Heaven before the watching eyes of his mother and brothers, and his closest friends1

>to the streets of Jerusalem which were bustling with Pentecost observers

>to the windows above the street where spirit-filled believers broadcast the gospel message in the native tongues of the pilgrims below2 … only God could do such a thing!

>to the intimate gatherings of the devoted who came together to listen to the apostles’ teaching about Jesus, to pray, dine and fellowship together,3 modeling

for us the sweetest, most desirable kind of community

>to the temple courts where Peter—with his formerly denial-stained hands—preached with power and healed those who were brought to him

>to prison in Jerusalem, where we find Peter and John, the attempt by the Jewish high court, the Sanhedrin, to shut their mouths from talking about Jesus5

>to the bench of the court where Stephen also stood accused, brought up on trumped-up charges just to incite the people6

>to the dusty roads outside the city were Stephen was stoned to death—the first of millions of Christian martyrs.7

>to Samaria, where Philip took the gospel8 – remember Jesus had said, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.9 You and I have ringside seats watching it happen as we read how God moved the gospel message of hope and heaven out from Jerusalem.

>to the road out of town leading south to Gaza, where God instructed Philip to travel—just so that he would encounter the Ethiopian official at just the right time when he was reading a passage about the Messiah that needed explanation.10 The man goes back to the palace, taking the message of the Gospel with him to Africa (ah, there it is— ‘and to the ends of the earth’!)

>to the famous Damascus Road where Jesus knocks arrogant, self-righteous Saul to the ground, blinds him and confronts him with the truth of his existence- the same Jesus the Messiah he was trying to stamp out.11


Acts 10 will open a whole new chapter in the Christian story; the walls will come down.  Hmm, what walls need to come down in your life?  You are Here – got any walls that need to come down so you can meet God more fully? 



1 – Acts 1.9-11

2 – Acts 2.1-12

3 – Acts 2.42

4 – Acts 2.14-41; Acts 3

5 – Acts 4.1-21

6 – Acts 6.8-15

7 – Acts 7

8 – Acts 8.1-8

9 – Acts 1.8

10- Acts 8.26-40

11- Acts 9.1-19