Jesus in Our Very Midst — Even When We’re Separated by MilesSeptember 3, 2017
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
— Matthew 18:20
Denise and I fully believe in the promise of Jesus in Matthew 18:20. It says, “For where two or three of you are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” We have experienced the presence of Jesus for years as we and other believers have gathered in His name. What a sweet presence fills our hearts as we come together in His name and seek His face.
We’ve experienced the presence of Jesus at church, at conferences, in prayer meetings, even at work with other believers — and now we’re experiencing Him in a new fashion every Monday night as Denise and I, along with one or more of our sons, welcome people to our online “Home Group” that is broadcast by Internet across the face of the earth. We “gather together in Jesus’ name” — and Jesus is there in the midst of us all over the world.
Some years ago, the Holy Spirit dropped an idea into my heart to start an online Home Group every Monday night and to invite people from around the world to join us. In the years we have done this, we have seen God touch so many people’s lives. The Word has been taught; miracles have occurred; and God has supernaturally linked people together online from all over the earth. And Jesus has been in the midst of us even as we all tune in from our various locations across the globe.
We actually webcast our online Home Group twice every Monday — once in English for the English-speaking world and once in Russian for the Russian-speaking world. People join us from all over the planet for this time when we teach the Word of God and share our life experiences from our hearts. This Home Group has truly become an online family and a time that our family and our Home Group members have come to cherish each week. In fact, one of our greatest personal joys is to have people come up to us when we are traveling and speaking in churches and conferences across the world and identify themselves as Home Group members. It’s like we have a brief, fabulous family reunion “on the spot” as we finally meet face to face!
*[If you started reading this from your email, begin reading here.]
On this very night as I write this Gem, we broadcasted one of our Home Group meetings. As soon as it was over, I immediately left the TV studio to put my thoughts on paper. The very air in our TV studio was electrified by the presence of Jesus as people tuned in from all over the earth to participate in an international online time together in Jesus’ name. I always begin by introducing ourselves, and then I remind our Internet family of the promise of Jesus in Matthew 18:20. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Jesus said nothing about being in the same room in order to experience His presence. He simply said we had to be gathered together in His name!
There are a handful of us who actually gather in the TV studio and produce the Internet broadcast for the Home Group. But in addition, there are very large numbers of faithful Home Group members who sit in front of their computers all over the world, joining with us as we all seek the truths of God’s Word together. Some view the webcast alone, and others watch with their spouses and families. There are even entire prayer groups who come together around a computer to join in!
Again, Jesus never said we all had to be gathered in one room. He simply promised that if we were “gathered together in His name,” He would be in the “midst” of us. Through the amazing development of the Internet, scores of us gather in Jesus’ name — and Jesus honors His Word by manifesting His sweet presence in the TV studio and in every home across the world where people are gathered online with us. It is a truly amazing experience!
Notice that Jesus said His presence would be in our “midst” anytime two or more are gathered together in His name. That means if you’re in the car with a Christian friend, Jesus is there with you. If you are at restaurant with several Christian brothers and sisters, Jesus is there with you. If you are at church, assembled with the entire congregation, Jesus is there with you. If you are on the telephone talking to a Christian friend and calling on Jesus to be the center of the conversation, Jesus is there with you!
The Greek word for “midst” is meso, which means right in the very center or right in the very midst. It is Jesus’ guarantee that we if are gathered together in His name, for His purposes — regardless of how we are gathered — He will be right there with us in the power of His mighty name!
Before the development of Internet, I had always limited this verse to church services, conferences, seminars, or prayer meetings, etc. But now the limit has been removed entirely. Anyone who deliberately gathers — in any shape or fashion — in the name of Jesus will experience the presence of Jesus in their midst. Believers on every continent of the world can gather simultaneously through the Internet in His wonderful name. And even though thousands of miles separate them, Jesus will manifest His presence in the heart of each person at the same time! What a miracle!
Today I want to encourage you to seek out fellowship with other believers through whatever means you can — over the phone, by Internet, by text or chat, at church, etc. — and ask Jesus to be there at the very center of your fellowship. Even if it’s only two or three of you, He will always be faithful to show up and manifest His goodness in your midst by His Spirit. It’s His promise to you and me, and there is nothing to be compared to the sweet presence of Jesus among believers who are gathered in His name. Do it today!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I thank You for the promise Jesus made in Matthew 18:20 — that if two or three gather together in His name, there He would be in the midst of them. There is nothing even remotely comparable to the sweet presence of Jesus in the midst of Christian fellowship. It makes me want to ask You to forgive me for the times that I haven’t made a better effort to gather with other believers. I really need that sweet presence of Jesus that is experienced in Christian fellowship — and I’m so thankful that Jesus manifests Himself to those who gather in His name. Help me to be more consistent about my commitment to gathering in Jesus’ name with other brothers and sisters. And thank You for revealing and manifesting Yourself to us in such a precious way!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I need the sweet presence of Jesus that is manifested specially as brothers and sisters gather together in the name of Jesus. The Lord Jesus promised that He would be there among us as we gather in His name — and I commit to gathering regularly with others who are also seeking His face. Thank You, Lord, that You did not say we had to all be in the same room at the same time. You said simply that we had to gather at the same time in Your name, and Your precious presence would be there with us. I declare that I need that “corporate” presence of Jesus and that I will therefore take advantage of every opportunity to gather with other believers in Jesus’ name!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- What did you learn from today’s Sparkling Gem? Had you ever considered the wide ramifications this promise from Matthew 18:20 held for you and me?
- In what ways do you sense the sweet presence of Jesus when you are gathered with other believers in His name?
- Have you ever experienced Jesus’ manifested presence in a setting other than a typical prayer meeting or church gathering? Where did that occur? How did that experience minister to you?