‘In the midst’

To Follow Jesus

My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.

March/April 2014 Issue – ‘The Great Legacy’

Today’s text for reading and meditation is:

Matthew 18:15-20 (NIV): ‘‘If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that “every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’’

Selwyn introduces today’s topic, as follows: ‘The next legacy of our Lord we consider is that of His promises. The dictionary defines ‘promise’ as a vow made to assure someone that something will happen or be done. In the promise before us today our Lord assures us that whenever we meet in His name He is right there with us.’

I liked the Ian Macpherson’s quote that Selwyn uses: ‘Jesus is everywhere among us saturating the atmosphere like a lovely perfume – not in the centre (only) – but in the midst.’

The amazing aspect of this promise is not just that Jesus is with us when we are gathered in His name, but that He is there in our midst to answer our prayers. Having the confidence that the Holy Spirit is guiding us – in what, is, His good and perfect will. That is, having given ourselves totally over to the control of the Holy Spirit – then, what we ask for in prayer to further His kingdom, is provided by God as it will align with His will.

In John 14:23, we read: “Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.'” In a way, when two or three people are gathered in Jesus’ name, it implies that they all obey His teaching and they all love God.

The outcome is that they act as witnesses for His truth; and as faithfully and loving witnesses what (spiritual issues) they ask help for, is endorsed by God and He acts upon all prayers delivered by those who have a relationship with Him.  We confirm this view with a quote from James 4:3, When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives … ‘.  Therefore we can have two or three people gathered in His name, but the prayers answered are only those offered with the right motives.

I think this is a difficult issue to explain to those who do not have a relationship with Jesus; or, I’m not that good with words. 🙂