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Jesus had risen from the dead. The disciples were gathered in a house behind locked doors. Jesus walked through that locked door and stood in their midst. You could say that 'house' was the first church building where the resurrected Lord was in the midst of His people. And here we are today in another house of God...and here He is in the midst of His people!
This phrase is the essence of our Christian faith: “Jesus in the midst.”
And This Is A Major Theme in The Bible:
Jesus is God, and is eternal, and always has been. He has always been in the midst of all that God is.
At creation, when there was not much more than “mist”, Jesus was in the midst of it all.
In Exodus 8:22
…I am the Lord in the midst of the earth.
For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee…
Jeremiah exclaimed, in…
…thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us.
Daniel reported Jesus was in the midst of the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego ()
As a babe, Jesus was in the midst of the shepherds and the wise men
As a boy, He was in the midst of the doctors of theology in the temple
As God the Holy Spirit, Jesus is in the midst of His people
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. [that means today!]
…they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
He was the focal point of that day, as well as every day previous or since. History is HIS story. O that we would put Him in the midst of our lives!
As a Lamb in Revelation, Jesus is in the midst of the throne of God
As our resurrected Lord, Jesus is in the midst of the churches
And on the evening of the first Easter Sunday, Jesus "stood in the midst" of His disciples (John )
Why is this theme repeated?
Because this is the key to the Christian life!
· This is the key to a great life
· This is the key to the fellowship of the church
· This is the key to our witnessing and preaching
Thus, As We Assemble In The House Of Worship, Our Deepest Desire Is That Jesus Will Be In Our Midst!
As a matter of fact, you can have Jesus in the midst of your life. There are some people who have no room for Christ. There are others who have some room for Christ. Jesus deserves every room.
The word “midst” = comes from the word “middle”. That’s why I use the illustration of a wheel with spokes…
No Christian can be spiritual, powerful, and growing unless Jesus is in the midst of all of their life.
I. JESUS IN THE MIDST WILL MAKE US PEACEFUL
Isaiah promised in 26:3,
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
“Passeth” doesn’t mean “giveth”. Rather, it’s short for “surpasseth”. In other words, God’s peace goes far beyond what we can handle. You want the truth about God’s peace… “You can’t handle the truth!”
Have you ever considered what a blessing it is when occasionally our problems pile up so high we can't possibly solve them? Now don't misunderstand me. I am not saying we are to be delighted about the many troubles that cross our pathways. I am saying we should be glad that they are more than we can handle. Why? Because when we finally realize we can't carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, we have taken the first step in overcoming worry and bringing peace into our hearts…peace that “surpasses” whatever we’re up against!
Most of us assume far more responsibility for the future than God ever intended.
Sometime I feel like I've got so many troubles that if anything else bad happens, it will be a couple of weeks before I can get around to worrying about it.
Jesus gave some sound advice when He said in...
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Why not? Because Jesus is in the midst!
II. JESUS IN THE MIDST WILL MAKE US JOYFUL
v. 20 "...then were the disciples glad..."
What an understatement that must be. Can you just imagine the scene. They went from the depths of despair to heights sublime in nothing flat! And if you think they appreciated Him being in their lives for 3 years, imagine how they rejoiced when they lost Him and then got Him back! Jesus being in the midst of us makes us joyful!
Jesus Used The Phrase, "Be Of Good Cheer," Several Times.
A. He spoke of forgiveness for the past:
…Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
B. He spoke of companionship for our present:
Matthew 14:27 [came to their ship, walking on the water]
But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
C. He spoke of victory for our future:
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
This is possible because Jesus is in the midst of the believer's life, bringing joy! Do you have Jesus in your heart? He's in the midst of you!
III. JESUS IN THE MIDST WILL MAKE US USEFUL
We are to be:
A. A mouth to speak for Jesus [in this world]
B. Feet to run errands for Jesus
C. Hands to do the work of Jesus
D. A heart to love Jesus
Let’s be more specific:
We need mouths to invite others to church, to witness about what God’s doing here. We need mouths to open and sing out His praises in this room or in the choir! We need mouths that will speak the truth in love, that say ‘I’m sorry’, that encourage a fallen brother, that tell children about Jesus, that disciple and teach and train others. Most of all, we need mouths that say ‘yes’ when asked to help out around here!
Jesus said, ‘So send I you’—I gave you a mouth…use it!
We need feet that will bring us out to church faithfully whenever the doors are open…to Sunday School and on Sunday nights--and also “in the midst” of the week on Wednesdays! We need feet that will answer the call to the ministry and go out of here to study and serve wherever God leads. We need feet that jump high in this room at the hearing of great truths and that hit the floor and walk straight as a result…wearing the shoes of the gospel…a mobile sermon, taking the message to others in great need!
We need hands to work on this property, cooking, cleaning and fixing. We need hands playing instruments, operating puppets, shaking other’s hands in greeting, interpreting for the deaf, and most of all, holding the hands of little ones God has entrusted us with, wiping noses, changing diapers, pointing the way for little eyes to look, helping them with their crafts, to learn verses, to get saved!
ill.--HAND AND GLOVE
If I had a glove and I said to the glove, "Glove, pick up that Bible," could the glove do it? The glove has the shape of a hand, with a thumb and fingers. But could the glove pick up a Bible? No!
Why? I haven't shown it how.
I say again to the glove, "I apologize, Mr. Glove, I have not told you how to pick up the Bible. Put your thumb on top, the fingers underneath, squeeze tight, and lift. Very simple, isn't it? Now, pick it up."
Will anything happen? No! Why? Because the glove is powerless.
The glove is empty of life. I could say to the glove again and again, "Pick up the Bible," but the glove could never do it.
The glove could never do it until I put my hand into the glove.
But the moment my hand is in it, the glove becomes as strong as my hand.
Everything possible for my hand becomes possible for the glove.
If the glove could speak, it would say, "I can do all things through the hand which strengtheneth me.”
You are the glove; Christ is the hand. But there is one difference. When Jesus Christ found you, you were a dirty glove inside and out, so He died to cleanse you.
Jesus said, “I was sent, and now I’m sending you.”
Jesus was recruiting.
The prophet said it this way:
I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Isaiah was volunteering. And that’s the ideal. And yet some won’t volunteer, so Jesus is recruiting.
Many Christians say, “Hey, I go to church, and I give my tithe...Here am I; send someone else!”
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
Why won’t we allow ourselves to be sent? Because Jesus isn’t ‘in the midst’ of our hearts, and our thinking. He isn’t the hub of the wheel of our life, but just a spoke that comes around every now and then!
Jesus in the Midst will make us useful.
IV. JESUS IN THE MIDST WILL MAKE US POWERFUL
v. 22 There is no doubt that when John wrote this, his mind must’ve gone back to the story of creation.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
God breathed this world into existence:
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
2 Samuel 22:16
And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
The Bible has much to say about breath:
My breath is strange to my wife...
OK, that one I threw in for fun. Our breath may sometimes be powerful, but not in the way God’s breath is powerful!
In Ezekiel 37 we see the dry bones of an old battlefield come together as skeletons, and then organs and tissues and skin are added, but they laid there like corpses until v. 9:
Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.  So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
The Bible was written by inspiration of God. And the word ‘inspiration’ means “God breathed!” He used human writers as instruments, and each one sounded differently as God’s breath blew thru them, but they had no power of themselves…the power was in the breath of God.
It was the breath-like wind of the Holy Spirit that blew the disciples around at Pentecost, and it's that same powerful breath of God that will sail our ships on this sea of life.
I like this fact: we don’t have to be gifted or capable or have great abilities…only availability! How wonderful that God doesn’t send us to do something that can't be done, for there's nothing that He can't do thru us!
There’s nothing I cannot do, if Jesus is in the midst. There’s nowhere I won’t go, if Jesus is in the midst. There’s no limit to what God can do in this church, if Jesus is in the midst. There’s no peace I cannot find…because Jesus in the midst makes me peaceful! No joy eludes me, because Jesus in the midst makes me joyful! No job in the church should ever go undone, for Jesus in the midst will make us useful!
But absolutely nothing will be accomplished without the powerful Jesus in our midst!
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