Summary: Messages focuses on how we as Christians should come into agreement to get things done for God.
Agreement for 2012
Today we celebrate the first day of a new year. I had written another message series to start this year, but on Friday God laid on my heart something that we need to do to begin this year. He told me that we needed to come into agreement as a Church pertaining to our prayers for 2012. For those of you who completed the assignment I asked of you via email on Friday, you will have the opportunity to bring your prayer requests forward. For everyone else, if you did not receive the email, when you arrived this morning the ushers should have given you a slip of paper s that you could write your requests down if you choose to do so. So before I go into what this will look like for 2012, let me first talk briefly about being in agreement with one another.
I. Coming Into Agreement
In the third chapter of the book of Amos the prophet asked this question: “Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment?” (Amos 3:3) Amos was asking this question as proof of what he was talking about in the whole chapter. The New American Standard bible uses the word “appointment” which is translated “agreement” in other bibles. The prophet Amos was referring to the companionship that existed between the Lord and Israel which was currently at risk because of Israel’s behavior. They are together in a covenant, but this fellowship could not last if they continued to be at odds or not in agreement. Turn to Matthew 18:18-20 and lets examine what Jesus said about two coming into agreement.
“Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered in My name, there I am in their midst.” Matthew 18:18-20 (NASB)
Before I share with you what Jesus was talking about, let me first talk about what happens when there is no agreement. Let’s say for example that two or three of us are gathered together at a business meeting and there is no agreement. Instead of agreement, there is arguing, strife, fighting and complaining. Do you think Jesus is really coming in the midst of all of that when He expects more of us? No, He will not be a part of that. But when we get our acts together and we walk in with a purpose and we come into harmony and agreement, Jesus will be in our midst. Do not fool yourselves; Jesus is not in every Church meeting or Church service. Too many times we bring the devil in and then expect Jesus to join the group. Jesus would like to be part of everything we do, but there are times when He cannot be because of what we are doing. If we want Jesus to be in our midst, we must invite Him in. We do that when we come into agreement in His will. So let’s examine what Jesus said specifically about our agreeing.
In the eighteenth verse Jesus says that what we bind or loose on earth will likewise be done in heaven. He is speaking to the authority that we have as Christians especially when we come into agreement. He is saying that we as a Church body have the right to make the decisions that will be honored by heaven. As you read further into verse nineteen, He begins to speak directly to the power of agreement. Jesus said when we come into agreement about anything God will hear and honor it. But there is one condition. For this principle to operate in our lives, we must first be in agreement with Christ. The condition for this to operate in our lives rests on us coming into agreement with those things that Christ Himself would do and ask for. As I shared with you a couple of weeks ago, it does not matter how many people you have agreeing with you, if you are praying and agreeing outside of the will of God your prayers will go unanswered. However, when we come into agreement about things we know based on the word of God, we have a guarantee that God is listening and will honor our request. Jesus said that when two or three of us come together in agreement He would be in our midst. Today we will come into agreement for those things we are praying to God about for 2012 and we will track when prayers are being answered so that we do not miss an opportunity to give God the praise He is due.