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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 6:17 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DO IT AGAIN!

“But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net’” (Luke 5:5 NKJV).

Simon Peter and his colleagues were professional fishermen who knew all what it took to catch fish successfully in the familiar Lake of Gennesaret. They worked all night to catch fish but they could not. At daybreak, Simon Peter had given up hope of catching any fish that day as he was preparing to go back home empty handed. However, his boat became a preaching platform for Jesus Christ. After His ministration, Jesus told Peter to let down his net into the deep of the lake. Ordinarily, Peter would have argue with Jesus that that time was not the right time to carry out such an action, after all, he and his colleagues did it at the best time in night without success. However, because Jesus said so, Peter was ready to obey. He let down his net into the lake and he had a great catch of fish. 

Many people have been making efforts to succeed in many endeavours. They have applied their professional know-how without success. Many of such people are contemplating of giving up or have even given up on such endeavours. However, more efforts and commitment will make them have success, especially if they can put their faith in God who can turn the impossibility to possibility. 

What have you done or are still doing that is without desired result? Are you contemplating abandoning the project? Do not give up on it! Do it again especially with faith in God. "Everything is possible for him who believes" (Mark 9:23 NIV).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Help me, O Lord, to be able to continue making efforts by faith till You turn the impossibility to possibility for me.  

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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Tue 09 Jul 2019, 11:08 am

Dearly Beloved,

BEWARE OF YOUR PRAYER REQUESTS!

"In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, `This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.' Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, `Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.' And Hezekiah wept bitterly" (Isaiah 38:1-3 NIV).

While God may decide not to answer our prayers in our own ways, He may sometimes leave us to have our ways in our self-centred prayers to our detriment. That is why we have to be very careful of our prayer requests. 

King Hezekiah was ill to the point of death. The absolute will of God for him was to die, presumably because he had fulfilled his assignment as a king and the next thing for him in God's agenda was to die honourably. As any other man, Hezekiah did not want to die. He made his mind known to God. He prayed and reminded God how faithful he was in serving God. It was evident from the content of the prayer that Hezekiah was self-centred. In His infinite mercy, God heard the prayer and extended Hezekiah's life by fifteen years. However, those fifteen years were his undoing! A God-centred king suddenly became self-centred. He was no longer conscious of God's glory, but his prowess. No wonder, when a foreign king sent emissaries to him to congratulate him on his recovery, instead of pointing them to God, he was busy showing them what he had as a king. God rebuked him harshly on this and it led to the fall of his kingdom, though during the time of his descendants (see Isaiah 39). The land of Judah would not have had a wicked king in Manasseh who was born during those added fifteen years if Hezekiah had accepted the absolute will of God for his life (2 Kings 20:21; 22:1; Jeremiah 15:4).

On many occasions, we also are preoccupied with what we consider "good" for ourselves. We are not mindful of "the best," the absolute will of God for our lives. We pressurize God to do what we want, and at times, He may let us have our way which may have bad consequences. Jesus Christ, in the Garden of Gethsemane, allowed the absolute will of God to be done in His life, even when He knew that it would result in His death (Matthew 26:39-42). God was indeed glorified in the life and death of Jesus Christ and Jesus was given a name above all names (Philippians 2:5-11).

Beware of your prayer requests especially when you are desperate in getting anything from God. It is better to allow the best absolute will of God to be done in our lives than to impose our good will on Him.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will not be desperate in asking anything from God, but that you will always allow His perfect will to be done in your life..
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sat 29 Jun 2019, 9:59 pm

Dearly Beloved,

JUST WHEN I NEED HIM MOST

“Then the sea arose because agreat wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, theysaw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid.But He said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid’” (John 6:18-20 NKJV).

One of the very stimulatingChristian hymns is “JUST WHEN I NEED HIM MOST” composed by an earlytwentieth-century Methodist pastor, William C. Poole (1875-1949). The hymn is areassurance that Jesus Christ is near when we need Him most. As mortals, humanbeings are bound to falter and fear the uncertain reality of life and the unknownfuture. Anxiety may creep in because of this. However, Jesus Christ is ready tohelp one and cheer and comfort one just when one needs Him most. The disciplesof Jesus Christ could bear witness to this as they were caught in a storm onthe Sea of Galilee. Jesus Christ came and reassured them of His presence andpower over nature (see Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 4:35-41). 

Jesus is indeed true to Hispromises. He will never forsake anyone who comes to Him (see John 6:37; Hebrews13:5), and He is ready to see the person all the way through. He is strong to bearyour burdens all the day long. He has admonished people who are weary andburdened to come to Him, and that He would give them rest (see Matthew11:28-30). Indeed, Jesus is all in all for anyone who trusts in Him. He isready to answer the call of anyone who calls on Him (see Matthew 7:7), and Heis fully and tenderly watching lest those who trust in Him fall. Reverend WilliamC. Poole was right: Jesus is near to comfort and cheer, just when I need Himmost!

Have you put your total trustin Jesus Christ? Do you feel His presence with you in the storms of your life?Are you calling on Him when you are in despair? Are you allowing Him to carryyour burden for you? If you rely on Him, you will experience Him just when youneed Him most. The writer of the book to the Hebrews declared: “For we do nothave a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in allpoints tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to thethrone of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time ofneed” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NKJV).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 23 Jun 2019, 8:54 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DO YOU REMEMBER HIM?

"But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.... The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him" (Genesis 40:14, 23 NIV).

The elder brothers of Joseph hated him because of his bright future. They sold him into slavery in Egypt (Genesis 37). Even there, he was wrongly accused and thrown into prison (Genesis 39). Nevertheless, the Lord was with him and made him to find favor in the sight of the prison warder that he was made the chief prisoner in charge of other prisoners (Genesis 39:21, 22). In the course of his duty one day, he noticed that two of the prisoners were not happy. On enquiry, he discovered that each of them had had a terrified dream the previous night. He interpreted the dream of each of them and told the one with favorable interpretation not to vforget him when he is freed, and that he should find ways to get him (Joseph) out of the prison. However, when that prisoner (who was the then cupbearer of Pharaoh) was freed and restored to his former esteemed position, he did not remember Joseph. It took God’s intervention after two years before he could remember Joseph.

Have you been expecting that someone will remember you and help you in one way or the other for so long a time? People may not remember you, but God does! Hear this: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me" (Isaiah 49:15-16 NIV). In His own appointed time, God will remember you and elevate you to His desired position for your life.

Furthermore, who has helped you or in need of your help that you need to remember? Do you remember the person? For how long will you wait to remember the person and help him? God depends on you for the help of that person. You need to remember him and act now!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Points:

1. Lord, intervene in my affair and make the person that ought to help me remember me and help me now.

2. Remind me Lord about who I am suppose to help and enable me to help that person now.

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"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 16 Jun 2019, 9:46 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHERE WERE THEIR FATHERS?

“When I call to remembrancethe genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Loisand your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5NKJV).

My message to mark thecelebration of Father’s Day for this year will be based on the theme of theMen’s Missionary Union of the Nigerian Baptist Convention for the celebration:“THE ABSENT FATHER”. Being written in a patriarchal society, the Holy Bible isdominated by the mention of names and activities of men, boys, and fathers.However, there were some unmentioned and/or inactive fathers in the Holy Biblethat were conspicuously omitted or inactive in the life histories of theirchildren. Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus Christ was the first to come tomind in this category of fathers. After the story of the Boy Jesus at thetemple at age 12 as recorded in Luke 2:41-52, there is no other mention ofJoseph being active in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Only the motherand the brothers of Jesus were looking for Him when He was doing the ministry(see Matthew 12:46-47). Where was the father? At the cross, only the mother waspresent (see John 19:25). Where was the father? After the resurrection of JesusChrist, the father was not there (Acts 1:14). Where was he? Some were of theopinion that he had died before Jesus began His earthly ministry. The father ofJames and John were with them in the boat when Jesus called them to be Hisdisciples. Only the sons followed Jesus. Nothing was heard again about thefather (see Matthew 4:21-22). Timothy was introduced as a son of a Jewish womanwho was a believer. His father was only referred to as a Greek (see Acts 16:1).There was no other mention of the father. Apart from referring to the mother ofTimothy, Apostle Paul also referred to his grandmother as the pillars of faithof Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:5. Where was his father?

There is a trend in this partof the world: fathers are mostly absent at most of the following events: the“Open Day” – a day devoted for visitation by parents at their children’sschool; the meetings of Parents/Teachers Association (PTA) of primary and/orsecondary schools of their children (even at times at the meetings of Parents’Forum of some private tertiary institutions of learning); sporting, culturaland other extra curricula events of schools that mainly involve children intheir schools; graduation/convocation ceremonies of their children, and othersimilar events. Where are the fathers? I have to confess that I am guilty ofthis as a father to some extent. No wonder, many children hardly remember theirfathers when they grow up and become successful in life. Many fathers willargue that fathers do not have time for such matters, and that such events arethe responsibilities of mothers (and even at times maids or older siblings). Idisagree with such argument. 

Do you have time for yourchildren as a father? Can you be seen in events relating to your children intheir schools? Can you be mentioned as a father in the success story of yourchildren? As a father, do not leave the responsibility of identifying with yourchildren to their mothers (and other people).. Be there for your children allthe time.

Happy Father’s Day!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Points: 
1. Pray as a father to createmore time to be identifying with your children in their day-to-day activities.
2. Pray for fathers to be moreresponsible and always be actively involved in matters relating to their children.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Jun 2019, 11:30 pm

Dearly Beloved,

BE SCARED OF THE SCAR!

"Because David did what was right in theeyes of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded himall the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite" (1Kings 15:5 NKJV). 

A scar is a mark that is left on the skin aftera wound has been healed. I have many of such marks on my body, and I stillremember vividly what caused some of the healed wounds though many of themhappened over thirty years ago when I was still young. I know that many of youreading this message also have scars of healed wounds on your bodies, and youstill remember the causes of some of those indelible marks. Figuratively, ascar can be a permanent feeling of sadness or mental pain any unpleasantexperience. The situation has gone, but its memory still hunts one. Such is thememory of sin and any wrongdoing done against fellow human beings andespecially God. The wrongdoing might have been resolved and possibly arestitution might have been made for it. God might have forgiven the sin afterremorsefulness of and repentance from the sin. In spite of these, the scar ofthe wrongdoing or sin will still be there.

The case of King David is a classic example.David saw a beautiful woman bathing as he was strolling on the roof of hispalace. He enquired about the woman, summoned her and committed adultery withher. The action resulted in a pregnancy. To cover up this, David arranged forthe killing of the husband of the woman, and made her one of his wives (see 2Samuel 11). God sent Prophet Nathan to confront David because of these sins.David was remorseful, and God forgave him (see 2 Samuel 12). Nevertheless, thesins left many “scars” in the latter life of David as his own son, Amnon, rapedhis half-sister (see 2 Samuel 13), and another son, Absalom, tried to overthrowDavid (see 2 Samuel 15-18), and even had sexual intercourse with many of thewives of David in the full glare of the people (see 2 Samuel 16:22). Thechroniclers of the kings of Israel spoke well of David, but referred to the“scar” relating to the issue of the woman (see 1 Kings 15:5).

King Manasseh of Judah was a very wicked king!His atrocities were recorded in 2 Kings 21:1-18 and 2 Chronicles 32:33–33:20.The Lord afflicted him and made him to be taken to captivity in Babylon. In hisaffliction, he called on God, and the Lord answered him. He was restored to hiskingdom, and he did very well in his latter years. However, the scar of theatrocities of his earlier life made God to allow the Babylonians to conquerJudah and Jerusalem, and the people of Judah were led to captivity (see Jeremiah15:4).  

The Lord is gracious and merciful (Exodus 34:6;Psalm 145:8). He is ready to forgive anyone who sins and later repents of thesin (Psalm 86:5, 15; Daniel 9:9; 1 John 1:9). However, like a healed wound, thesin will leave a “scar” in the life of the person. The sin has been forgiven,but the “scar” of the sin will still be there. This calls for a great caution!One needs to think twice before committing any sin. One may be forgiven of thesin if one genuinely repents of the sin. However, one has to be mindful of thescar that the sin will leave behind. One has to be cautious also in one’srelationship with other people. One may resolve any caused conflict, but whatof the aftermath of the conflict – the scar that the conflict will leavebehind? After the forgiveness of sin and the resolution of the conflict, thescar may continue to hunt you for the rest of your life and even after yourdemise. The scar can never be as the other parts of the body. Be scared of thescar please. 

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will not only bemindful of committing sin, but also be scared of the scar that such sin willleave behind.

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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 02 Jun 2019, 9:21 pm

Dearly Beloved,

HAS GOD GIVEN YOU UP?

“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even theirwomen exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also themen, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another,men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves thepenalty of their error which was due” (Romans 1:26-27 NKJV).

On three occasions in Romans Chapter One, Apostle Paul said that Godgave up some people to “uncleanness” (verse 24), “vile passions” (verse 26),and “a debased mind” (verse 28). These are people that: 1) dishonor theirbodies among themselves in the lusts of their hearts, and exchange the truth ofGod for lie by worshipping and serving created things instead of the Creator;2) exchange the natural things for what is against the nature by burning theirlust against one another; and 3) do things that are not fitting as listed inverses 29-32. Since these people refuse to acknowledge God and abide by Hisnatural and divine rules, they can no longer reason correctly, rather, theyindulge in justifying their unclean, vile and debased actions. Unfortunately,they have won many other people unto their side. No wonder, there are manynefarious activities on earth today that some nations have even legalized.  One of such activities is sodomy orhomosexuality. 

I had a Facebook chat with a new Facebook friend recently. From dayone that this person became my friend on Facebook, I had known that he had asinister motive for requesting for my friendship online. I deliberately playedalong with him to confirm my suspicion. As we were chatting, he started usingterms with me that a man should be using to a woman with whom he is in love. Ipointed him to the fact that he was chatting with a man. He affirmed that heknew, and that he loved me, wished he could touch me, hug me and feel my warmbody against his. What baffled me most was that he referred to such acts as“nature”! Is it really natural for a man to have passion for another man? Hetried to justify this by referring to people that are doing it in many parts ofthe world. Does the fact that many people are doing a thing make such thing rightor natural? How would God not give such people up for their unclean, vile anddebased minds? In spite of the fact that this guy confessed that he neededhelp, he later blocked me from contacting him.

What are you doing that is contrary to the natural order ofcreation? Are you also justifying such thing because many people are doing itlike you? Do not let God give you up by your actions and reasoning. Repent ofyour nefarious activities against natural actions. Come to His saving knowledgenow. He will willingly restore you to the mutual relationship with Him.Anything short of this will incur His wrath on you sooner or later. 

Has God really given you up?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to confess and ask forforgiveness from God in anyway you have been acting against His natural anddivine rules.. 

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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 26 May 2019, 9:31 pm

Dearly Beloved,

SUCH A TIME AS THIS

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14 NIV).

She was an orphan brought up by her cousin in the land of captivity. She had favor with everyone she came across. She later became the queen in that land of captivity. However, in such a time as this, she was reluctant to use her position to save her people.

The woman was Hadassah popularly known as Queen Esther. Mordecai - one of the captives of Judah - brought her up. By divine favor, she became the queen of King Xerxes of Persia. In obedient to her cousin, she did not reveal her identity. A plot was planned to annihilate her people the Jews. Mordecai, her cousin came to her for the rescue of the Jews. She was reluctant to interfere in this matter because of the protocol of the palace. Mordecai then challenged her that she should not think that she was saved in the palace for she could not say whether God put her in that royal position in such a time as this. Queen Esther reacted with one of those remarkable statements in the Bible, "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. AND IF I PERISH, I PERISH" (Esther 4:16 NIV)..

After the fasting (and possibly prayer), Esther wet to the king and reported the matter to him. As God would have it, the Jews were delivered by the good position of Esther. God placed Esther in that royal position in such a time as this so that He would continue His redemptive act through the Jewish race.

God has placed many people in one position or the other for a particular purpose. Do you know why you are in the position that you are presently? What do God and people around you expect of you in that position? Who knows whether you have come to that position for such a time as this?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to use whatever position God has placed you to fulfil the purpose of God for your life and this generation.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 12 May 2019, 9:35 pm

Dearly Beloved,

IT IS NOT OVER UNTIL ITIS OVER!

“For there is hope fora tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tendershoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stumpmay die in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forthbranches like a plant” (Job 14:7-9 NKJV).

My intention was towrite a message in honour of mothers to commemorate this year's Mother's Day asmany parts of the world is celebrating it. However, the dramatic andunbelievable comebacks of the two English Premiership League football clubs –Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC – against their respective opponents (thatis, FC Barcelona and Ajax Amsterdam FC) in the semifinals of this year's UEFAChampions League made me to change the theme of my message for the week.Liverpool FC was beaten 3-0 in the first leg a week ago why Tottenham HotspurFC was defeated 1-0 at home. Every pundit had written off the two English teamsbefore the second leg of the matches. Nonetheless, against all odds, LiverpoolFC upturned their defeat by beating FC Barcelona 4-0 while Tottenham Hotspur FCwent to beat Ajax Amsterdam FC 3-2 in Amsterdam! Interestingly, thedecisive goals for both matches were scored in the dying minutes of the matchesthat lacked some of the best players of both teams. It is indeed not over untilit is over!

The devil afflicted theman Job in the Bible with many woes (see Job 1:9-19).. He was stricken with afatal ailment, and his wife even suggested that he should curse God so that hecould die (see Job 2:1-9). Considerably, one would have agreed with the wife ofJob, written Job off, and wished that it is better that he died because of allthese calamities. However, Job did not write himself off. He did not give up.He still believed in God and stood steadfast in his faith in Him, even when hisfriends wrongly accused him of wrongdoing. He believed that he could riseagain. He uttered the above-quoted statements and many other hopeful ones. Considerthese:

“Though He slay me, yetwill I trust Him” (Job 13:15 NKJV). 

“For I know that myRedeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth” (Job 19:25 NKJV).

 “But He knows the way that I take; when He hastested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10 NKJV).

“Then Job answered theLord and said: ‘I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yourscan be withheld from You’” (Job 42:1-2). 

He did rise again, and “theLord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning” (Job 42:12 NKJV).The story of Job is a story of a man who was cut down but sprouted again andbore many fruits. In fact, it is not over until it is over! 

What is your presentsituation? Is it a seemingly hopeless one? Do not lose hope. When there islife, there is hope! There is still hope for you. You can sprout again and beproductive. People will rejoice with you. It is not over until it is over!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi(Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray thatyou will not give up, but keep on until you sprout again and beproductive.  

NB

I wish everyresponsible mother a Happy Mother’s Day! The Lord will turn any seeminglyhopeless situation on your husbands and/or children to hopeful ones. You willtestify to the goodness of God over such situation in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 05 May 2019, 11:14 am

Dearly Beloved,

YOU CAN BE OF HELP

"She said to her mistress, `If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy'" (2 Kings 5:3 NIV).

The story of the life Naaman the commander of army of the king of Aram is not complete without the role of an Israelite slave girl that was his housemaid. Naaman was such a great man in the sight of his master because of his military prowess. The Bible says, "because 

through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy" (2 Kings 5:1 NIV). That last comment about him made this slave girl relevant in his life. 

Bands of the Aramian army had gone out sometime and captured an Israelite girl. She became a slave and maidservant to the wife of Naaman. No doubt, the girl had lost her self-worth, and only God knows the kind of treatment she had in the household of Naaman. 

However, this girl saw herself as a channel of help to the predicament of the head of the house, and she willingly offered the help. She told her mistress about the possibility of remedy to the predicament. In her captivity, she believed in the efficacy of the power of her God, and she wanted this power to be demonstrated in the life of her master. The master heeded to her advice "and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy" (2 Kings 5:14 NIV).

An adage says, "Your neighbor is whoever you can help, help him." Jesus Christ buttressed this when an expert in the law wanted to know whom he could demonstrate his love to. Jesus told him a parable of a wounded man that a Samaritan helped and concluded that 

the "unloved and unwanted" Samaritan was the neighbor of the wounded Jews instead of the "pious" priest and Levite who refused to help (Luke 10:25-37).

Who can you help today? Is the person hostile to you, or is he your perceived enemy? Are you helping the person? Even those that you love and are close to you, are you helping them? Do not say there is nothing you can do. You can be of help, even to your worst enemy. The Bible says, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head" (Romans 12:20 NIV. See also Exodus 23:4-5; Deuteronomy 22:1-4; Proverbs 25:21-22; Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27-28; 1 Thessalonians 5:15). Always think of ways in which you can be of help to people around you no matter the situation.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Open my eyes, O Lord, to see ways in which I can be of help to people around me no matter the situation, and let me be able to really help them.

_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 21 Apr 2019, 12:10 pm

Dearly Beloved,

“I NEED NO OTHER ARGUMENT”

“For I determined not to knowanything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2NKJV).

As one of my online contactswas discussing the demerits of polygamy with me in reaction to my message onthe theme last week, she referred in passing to the popular refrain, “I need noother argument, I need no other plea...." We continued our discussion, butit was as if I was hearing that refrain for the first time.  Here is the full refrain: “I need no otherargument, I need no other plea; it is enough that Jesus died, and that He diedfor me.” Interestingly, it was the week commemorating the Passion Week. Whilethe emphasis of the whole hymn “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place” with therefrain “I need no other argument..." is that Jesus Christ is the onlybasis for our faith, I am still fascinated by the fact that Jesus Christ diedfor me, and that is indeed enough for me. This led to know more about the hymnand its composer.

The story of the composer ofthe hymn, Eliza Edmunds Hewitt (1851-1920), is very pathetic. As a teacher, shebecame invalid as a result of a serious spinal problem when a student struckher with a heavy slate. She lived the rest of her life in this state eventhough she was able to partially recover. No wonder, she could write that herfaith found a resting place in Jesus Christ and that she needed no otherargument or plea because the death of Jesus Christ was enough for her. Onlysomeone who knows the efficacy of the death of Jesus Christ and has put his/hertotal trust in Him can find such rest. Her faith was not in any device orcreed. The faith was in the ever-living One who was wounded for her.

Eliza Hewitt knew that JesusChrist saves, and that ended her fear and doubt.. She knew that Jesus Christwould never cast anyone out if such person comes to Him. The heart of Elizaleant on the written Word of God because she was saved by the name of herSaviour through His blood. In spite of her infirmity, Eliza asserted that hergreat Physician can heal the sick, and that He can save the lost because He hasshed His precious blood and gave His life for her on the cross. Indeed, Eliza neededno other argument or plea! Apostle Paul likewise did not want to know any otherthing among his Corinthian audience except the crucified Jesus Christ (see 1Corinthians 2:2). No other argument!  

What is your real or seeminginfirmity? What is your present predicament? Put your total trust in JesusChrist. Let your heart lean on His words. He has promised never to cast awayanyone that trusts in Him (see John 6:37). Believe in His healing power, notonly for your physical infirmity, but also for emotional, financial, and mostespecially spiritual infirmities. He “bore our sins in His own body on thetree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripesyou were healed” (1 Peter 2:24 NKJV). As a matter of fact, “I need no otherargument, I need no other plea; it is enough that Jesus died, and that He diedfor me.”

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).


Prayer Point: Pray that youwill be able to put your total trust in the crucified and resurrected JesusChrist.

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Thu 18 Apr 2019, 11:08 pm

Dearly Beloved,

ONE MAN, ONE WIFE

“And [Jesus Christ] answeredand said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning“made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave hisfather and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become oneflesh”?’” (Matthew 19:4-5 NKJV).

The mind of anyone whoattended secondary schools or who was a student of literature in English in anytertiary institution in Nigeria in the 1970s and 1980s may likely go to one ofthe books of Timothy Mofolorunso “T.M.” Aluko (1918-2010) titled “ONE MAN, ONEWIFE”. However, this message is not about that book though invariably it is aboutthe controversy in the book: monogamy versus polygamy. Many African cultures andsome world religions especially Islam encourage polygamy (having more than onewife at a given time) while the conventional Christianity sticks to monogamy (havingonly one wife at a given time) as the ideal and original form of marriage.Recently, some clergymen started advocating polygamy in Christianity claimingthat God did not (and still does not) condemn polygamy in the Bible. They areready to refer to many Bible characters like Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon,and others that were polygamists, and yet had very intimate relationships withGod. There is even a Bible reference, 2 Samuel 12:8, where God sent prophetNathan to rebuke King David for David’s adulterous and murderous sin, and Godwas saying that He was ready to give David more wives if he had wanted!  

Did God ever approve polygamyor any other form of marriage apart from monogamy that is one man, one wife?This is a question that one needs to answer sincerely without any sentiment. Itis a fact that polygamy has been practiced almost as early as man has been onearth. The first recorded polygamist in the Bible was the murderer Lamech (Genesis4:23-24). Would one say that because polygamy has been an age-long practice, itshould become the norm? Interestingly, sin generally is older than polygamy!Would that made sin acceptable or right? Does the fact that God tolerated somepolygamous people in the Bible make polygamy right? 

 While Jesus Christ was answering questionabout divorce, He referred to the original plan and purpose of God formarriage: one man, one wife (see Matthew 19:4-5; Mark 10:5-9). In His infinitewisdom, when God was solving the problem of aloneness for the first man, Adam,He created ONE WOMAN for him (see Genesis 2:18-25), and for that reason He saidthat the man will cleave to his wife (note: not wives!). However, in some men’sfinite wisdom, they started having many wives, and they think that that is thebest for them. There is no way a finite arrangement can supersede an infiniteone. God may permit some people to have more than one wife like He, throughMoses, “because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted [the Israelites] todivorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matthew 19:8 NKJV).

It has been proved fromexperiences that the ideal form of marriage is monogamy. People that come frompolygamous background will testify to this. Any other form of marriage apartfrom monogamy (whether polygamy, bigamy, polyandry, polygyny, group marriage,same-sex marriage, fixed-term marriage, or symbolic marriage) is an aberration.

There are some people who haveonly one spouse, but they engage in extra-marital affairs with other people.That is called adultery, and it a sin. Anyone who commits it sins againsthis/her body (see 1 Corinthians 6:18), spouse, and ultimately God. Theimplication of this is that a man should be faithful to his legally wedded wife(not wives), and a woman should be faithful to her legally wedded husband (nothusbands). (It has to be noted here that the word “wife” originally referred toa woman, not to a man as some same-sex marriage advocates would want us toaccept today.) Any sexual and marital affair outside one man, one wife is a sinno matter how popular or acceptable it may be in any culture or religion.Period!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that youwill not pervert the original plan and purpose of marriage in any way, and thatyou will be faithful to your legally wedded spouse all the time.

NB

Please send your reaction tothis message directly to (or copy me at) spiritualdigest@yahoo.com. Thanks.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 14 Apr 2019, 9:06 pm

Dearly Beloved,

ONE MAN, ONE WIFE

“And [Jesus Christ] answeredand said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning“made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave hisfather and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become oneflesh”?’” (Matthew 19:4-5 NKJV).

The mind of anyone whoattended secondary schools or who was a student of literature in English in anytertiary institution in Nigeria in the 1970s and 1980s may likely go to one ofthe books of Timothy Mofolorunso “T.M.” Aluko (1918-2010) titled “ONE MAN, ONEWIFE”. However, this message is not about that book though invariably it is aboutthe controversy in the book: monogamy versus polygamy. Many African cultures andsome world religions especially Islam encourage polygamy (having more than onewife at a given time) while the conventional Christianity sticks to monogamy (havingonly one wife at a given time) as the ideal and original form of marriage.Recently, some clergymen started advocating polygamy in Christianity claimingthat God did not (and still does not) condemn polygamy in the Bible. They areready to refer to many Bible characters like Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon,and others that were polygamists, and yet had very intimate relationships withGod. There is even a Bible reference, 2 Samuel 12:8, where God sent prophetNathan to rebuke King David for David’s adulterous and murderous sin, and Godwas saying that He was ready to give David more wives if he had wanted!  

Did God ever approve polygamyor any other form of marriage apart from monogamy that is one man, one wife?This is a question that one needs to answer sincerely without any sentiment. Itis a fact that polygamy has been practiced almost as early as man has been onearth. The first recorded polygamist in the Bible was the murderer Lamech (Genesis4:23-24). Would one say that because polygamy has been an age-long practice, itshould become the norm? Interestingly, sin generally is older than polygamy!Would that made sin acceptable or right? Does the fact that God tolerated somepolygamous people in the Bible make polygamy right? 

 While Jesus Christ was answering questionabout divorce, He referred to the original plan and purpose of God formarriage: one man, one wife (see Matthew 19:4-5; Mark 10:5-9). In His infinitewisdom, when God was solving the problem of aloneness for the first man, Adam,He created ONE WOMAN for him (see Genesis 2:18-25), and for that reason He saidthat the man will cleave to his wife (note: not wives!). However, in some men’sfinite wisdom, they started having many wives, and they think that that is thebest for them. There is no way a finite arrangement can supersede an infiniteone. God may permit some people to have more than one wife like He, throughMoses, “because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted [the Israelites] todivorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matthew 19:8 NKJV).

It has been proved fromexperiences that the ideal form of marriage is monogamy. People that come frompolygamous background will testify to this. Any other form of marriage apartfrom monogamy (whether polygamy, bigamy, polyandry, polygyny, group marriage,same-sex marriage, fixed-term marriage, or symbolic marriage) is an aberration.

There are some people who haveonly one spouse, but they engage in extra-marital affairs with other people.That is called adultery, and it a sin. Anyone who commits it sins againsthis/her body (see 1 Corinthians 6:18), spouse, and ultimately God. Theimplication of this is that a man should be faithful to his legally wedded wife(not wives), and a woman should be faithful to her legally wedded husband (nothusbands). (It has to be noted here that the word “wife” originally referred toa woman, not to a man as some same-sex marriage advocates would want us toaccept today.) Any sexual and marital affair outside one man, one wife is a sinno matter how popular or acceptable it may be in any culture or religion.Period!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that youwill not pervert the original plan and purpose of marriage in any way, and thatyou will be faithful to your legally wedded spouse all the time.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 07 Apr 2019, 11:17 am

Dearly Beloved,

LET US WORK TOGETHER FOR THECOMMON CAUSE

"So Joshua fought theAmalekites as Moses had ordered.... As long as Moses held up his hands, theIsraelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites werewinning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him andhe sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up... so that his hands remainedsteady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword"(Exodus 17:10-13 NIV).

One of the fascinating andunforgettable experiences I had in my one-year-and-two-month sojourn inNorthern Ireland, United Kingdom was my experience as a casual worker in a foodprocessing company. The way each one of us (both skilled and unskilled) manningdifferent aspects of the processing machines collaborated to prepare fast foodslike sandwiches, rolls, baps and wraps, toasties, paninis, baguettes, snackpots, scones, cakes and the likes is very interesting.  However, any slack from any of us during theprocess can slow down or destruct the whole process. I learnt more about teamspirit in working with other people to actualize a common goal from thatcompany.

Likewise, as professionalwriter for devotional and other religious-related materials for my denominationfor almost two decades, the process of the literatures we produce is anotherfascinating one. From curriculum developers, topic/theme assigners, writers,editors, typesetters, proofreaders, printers, distributors, to the sellers, eachof us work together so that the readers will have something worthwhile to usefor their spiritual growth. If anyone in this team fails to do his/her partproperly and/or in time, the users of the literatures will suffer for it in away. 

These two experiences remindme of one of the favourite songs of the Baptist Women Missionary Union of Nigeriathat goes thus: "If we work together, Together, together; If we worktogether, the happier we'll be. Your work and my work, our work for the Lord;If we work together, the happier we'll be." 

An incident that happened tothe people of Israel as they were going from Egypt (their land of slavery) toCanaan (their promised land) corroborates this. On their way, the Amalekitesdecided to waylay them. There was no reason given for this attack. Moses,however, rose to the task by sending Joshua and some men to go and fight theAmalekites. He also decided to do his own part in the battle by going up to amountain to intercede for them. Joshua led the fighting men to battle againstthe Amalekites. Moses also led two other people, Aaron and Hur, to a mountain wherehe interceded for the fighting men. As long as he raised his hands up, theIsraelites were winning, but the Amalekites would be winning whenever helowered his hands. It came to a point that he was tied. Aaron and Hur then didtheir own part in finding a seat for Moses and helping him to raise his handsup, ensuring that the Israelites eventually had total victory.

Five different kinds of peopleworked together for a common cause to give the Israelites success: 1) Joshuathat heeded to the order of Moses in choosing and leading the fighting men; 2)the choosing men that did the fighting; 3) Moses that went to intercede forthem; 4) Aaron and Hur that held Moses' hands when he was tired; and 5) Godthat gave the victory. The role of none of these people cannot beunderestimated.

Likewise, the motto of theunion referred to above is relevant here: "For we are God'sfellow-workers; you are God's field, God's building" (1 Corinthians 3:9NIV).

You are in a place wherepeople need you to work together with them for a common cause. It may be inyour local church, in a workplace, or in any other place. Even if you into aone-man business, you still need to collaborate with other people to make thatbusiness thrive. How are you doing your part for the common cause? No matterhow small or insignificant your part may be, work together with others faithfully.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that youwill always cooperate with others as you work with them for a common cause.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 31 Mar 2019, 10:15 pm

Dearly Beloved,

“MICHAEL IS NOT SLEEPING!”

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye” (Matthew 7:3-5 NIV).

My then four-year-old daughter did something funny one weekend. After we had had our lunch that afternoon, I ordered all the children to go and have their siesta. She is a type that finds it difficult to have siesta, so she went to her room reluctantly. After some minutes, she resurfaced in the living room where her mother and I were discussing. “Michael is not sleeping!” she said referring to one of her cousins that is living with us. Her mother and I wondered how she knew that somebody was not sleeping while she supposed to sleep.

That might be one of children antics, but most adults do similar thing. They are ready to quickly point out the faults of other people while they are culpable of worse faults. Jesus Christ likened those people to hypocrites that have a plank in their eyes and try to remove just a speck out other people's eyes! 

Are you like that? Do you find it easy to see the faults of other people while you neglect your ow faults? If you are, then, you are a hypocrite! 

Yes, it is easier to see the faults of other people. However, it is better to first look inwardly and amend our ways before we look outwardly to correct other people. That is how we will not be hypocrites!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will not neglect your shortcomings while trying to focus on the shortcomings of other people.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 11:18 pm

Dearly Beloved,

HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE YOU INWARDLY?

“Your beauty should not come from outwardadornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fineclothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of agentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3-4NIV).

Some years ago, I did a major work on the bodyof my car and repainted it. Outwardly, it became like a new car. People didcongratulate me for the efforts to rebrand the car. However, I did not enjoyusing the car till I did major work on its engine and other internal devicesalso. This reminds me of many good-looking vehicles with faulty engines and/orother internal devices. No matter how good-looking they seem to be, they canmalfunction anytime and disappoint their users. In fact, their users may beleft stranded in remote places unexpectedly. Nevertheless, a vehicle with a well-soundedengine and internal devices, but with shabby body, is far more dependable intime of need than a good-looking vehicle with non-functional or faulty engineand internal devices. 

In addressing women, Apostle Peter enjoinedthem that they should value their “engines” more than their bodies (see 1 Peter3:3-4). He referred to this as inner beauty. It is the beauty that has to dowith one’s inner self, one’s character, and one’s real being. This is incontrast to the outward beauty that has to do with how one looks outside. Inactual fact, many women (and some men also) spend a lot of their time andresources to make their bodies look attractive with “elaborate hairstyles andthe wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes” (verse 3 NIV) and even go ahead todo plastic (cosmetic or aesthetic) surgery. Most of these people are so mindfulof their outward appearances, but they care less about their inner beauty. Thisdoes not mean in any way that one should not take care of one’s outward beauty.Nevertheless, just as the engine and other internal devices of a vehicle arethe most important parts of the vehicle, the inward beauty is more importantthan the outward beauty. Although Apostle Peter was addressing women in thatpassage, and the writer of Proverbs 31:30 also referred to a woman, yet, takingcare of one’s inner beauty is not about women only. Men also have to beware ofwho they really are inwardly. 

How beautiful are you inwardly? Do not onlytake care of your outward beauty.. Take more care of your inward beauty – yourcharacter, your real being. That is more acceptable to God, and it is of morevalue to you. Outward beauty will fade, but inward beauty will not. Indeed, “Charmis deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman [and a man] who fears theLord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30 NIV).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 12:45 am

Dearly Beloved,

WHAT KIND OFWISDOM DO YOU HAVE?

“For wisdom is more preciousthan rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 8:11 NIV). 

One needs wisdom to acquireand enjoy anything on earth. The wisdom to enjoy anything is even far betterand more desirable than the wisdom to acquire the thing. One Yoruba adageliterally says, “the wisdom that one uses to build a house is not as much as thewisdom that one will use to dwell in the house, and the wisdom one uses tomarry a wife is not up to the wisdom one will use to live with the wife.” Onemay have the riches and other good things of this world and yet be living amiserable life if one is without wisdom. Wisdom indeed affects all aspects ofone’s life. 

The writer of the book ofProverbs talked more about wisdom. In Proverbs 8, he personified wisdom as awoman who is more precious than rubies and who cannot be compared withanything. Anyone who has wisdom will possess prudence, knowledge anddiscretion. Having these qualities will make the person have insight, rightcounsel sound judgment. Such a person will reference God and be humble. He/shewill “walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice” (verse 20NIV).

However, it has to be pointedout that the wisdom referred to here is not worldly wisdom that is unspiritualand demonic. It is not wisdom that is cunning and dubious. It is godly wisdomthat is “pure... peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and goodfruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17 NIV). No wonder, the personifiedwisdom said, “All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked orperverse” (Proverbs 8:8 NIV). Do you have this kind of wisdom? Is your wisdom godly or worldly?Examine the kind of wisdom you are using in your endeavours in life. What kindof wisdom do you have?

Jesus Christ is the wisdom ofGod (see 1 Corinthians 1:24). He is calling any willing person especially thosethat are weary and heavy laden to come to Him to enjoy His benefits of rest(see Matthew 11:28-30). He said in Revelation 3:20: “Here I am! I stand at thedoor and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in andeat with that person, and they with me” (NIV). Have you accepted the call ofJesus Christ, the wisdom of God, to be His? What kind of wisdom do you have?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Lord, You are the one that gives wisdom generouslyto anyone who asks You. Endow me with Your wisdom.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 17 Mar 2019, 1:56 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHAT KIND OFWISDOM DO YOU HAVE?

“For wisdom is more preciousthan rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 8:11 NIV). 

One needs wisdom to acquireand enjoy anything on earth. The wisdom to enjoy anything is even far betterand more desirable than the wisdom to acquire the thing. One Yoruba adageliterally says, “the wisdom that one uses to build a house is not as much as thewisdom that one will use to dwell in the house, and the wisdom one uses tomarry a wife is not up to the wisdom one will use to live with the wife.” Onemay have the riches and other good things of this world and yet be living amiserable life if one is without wisdom. Wisdom indeed affects all aspects ofone’s life. 

The writer of the book ofProverbs talked more about wisdom. In Proverbs 8, he personified wisdom as awoman who is more precious than rubies and who cannot be compared withanything. Anyone who has wisdom will possess prudence, knowledge anddiscretion. Having these qualities will make the person have insight, rightcounsel sound judgment. Such a person will reference God and be humble. He/shewill “walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice” (verse 20NIV).

However, it has to be pointedout that the wisdom referred to here is not worldly wisdom that is unspiritualand demonic. It is not wisdom that is cunning and dubious. It is godly wisdomthat is “pure... peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and goodfruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17 NIV). No wonder, the personifiedwisdom said, “All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked orperverse” (Proverbs 8:8 NIV). Do you have this kind of wisdom? Is your wisdom godly or worldly?Examine the kind of wisdom you are using in your endeavours in life. What kindof wisdom do you have?

Jesus Christ is the wisdom ofGod (see 1 Corinthians 1:24). He is calling any willing person especially thosethat are weary and heavy laden to come to Him to enjoy His benefits of rest(see Matthew 11:28-30). He said in Revelation 3:20: “Here I am! I stand at thedoor and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in andeat with that person, and they with me” (NIV). Have you accepted the call ofJesus Christ, the wisdom of God, to be His? What kind of wisdom do you have?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Point: Lord, You are the one that gives wisdom generouslyto anyone who asks You. Endow me with Your wisdom.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 10 Mar 2019, 9:24 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DO NOT BE AFOOLISH BRIDESMAID!

“At that time the kingdom ofheaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet thebridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise…. Therefore keepwatch, because you do not know the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:1-2, 13 NIV).

The Parable of the Ten Virginsis one of the most popular parables of Jesus Christ. The story is worth readingover and over again. While five of these ten virgins or bridesmaids were wise,five were foolish. All the virgins were expectantly waiting for the bridegroomwho seemed to be delaying in arriving. However, the wise ones prepared well tomeet the bridegroom by having enough oil in their lamps while the foolish onesdid not prepare well by not having enough oil in their lamps. At the arrival ofthe bridegroom at midnight, the foolish virgins realized that their lamps weregoing out because of insufficient oil. They wanted the wise ones to give themout of their oil, but the wise ones could not risk giving out their oil, so,the wise one advised the foolish ones to go and buy more oil. When the foolishones were out to buy oil, the bridegroom came and the wise virgins went withhim to the marriage banquet. It was a pity that the foolish virgins could notbe admitted to the banquet when they eventually came back because they were notfully prepared for the wedding banquet. It should be noted that all thebridesmaids were virgins: they had kept themselves pure. However, theunpreparedness of the foolish ones cost them a place in the banquet. 

Jesus Christ made it clearthat the parable was about the kingdom of heaven. He concluded the parable byadmonishing His audience to keep watch for the kingdom of heaven because no oneknows the time of His second coming. This is in furtherance to His teaching inthe preceding chapter (that is, Matthew 24) where He had taught about whatwould happen before His second coming, especially the teaching of the wise andfoolish servants (see Matthew 24:48). The thrust of this parable is thatChristians should be prepared at all time for the second coming of Jesus Christbecause no one knows when He will come. Jesus Christ does not want Christiansto be like the foolish virgins who, in spite of their piousness, missed the marriagebanquet. Rather, He wants every Christian to be ready for His second coming andreign with Him in His kingdom. 

Christians in general (or theuniversal church) are the bride of the Jesus Christ (compare 2 Corinthians11:2; Ephesians 5:22-33). Jesus Christ will come to take His bride and havewhat is referred to as “the Marriage Feast of the Lamb” with her (see Revelation19:7-9). Are you ready for His second coming? Are you ready for “the Feast”? Be consciously ready every day forthe second coming of Jesus Christ. Only the wise that are constantly prepared will reign withJesus Christ at His second coming. Do not be like one of those foolishbridesmaids! 

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you willnot miss the second coming of Jesus Christ by your unpreparedness.
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Post  Admin on Sun 03 Mar 2019, 11:22 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WAIT FOR GOD'S APPOINTED TIME

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways" (Psalm 37:7 NIV).

After the disobedience of Saul to the command of God to totally destroy the Amalekites and his rejection as king of Israel by God, God sent Prophet Samuel to anoint David as the new king. David served King Saul for several years in spite of the fact that he knew that he was the rightful person approved by God to be the king of Israel. He fought many wars to the credit of Saul. Even when Saul hated him and sought to kill him, he did not try to retaliate and forcefully claim the throne. He had two good opportunities to kill Saul and become the  king, yet he spared his life on the two occasions (1 Samuel 24, 26). He diligently waited for his time. The time eventually came when the men of his own tribe came and anointed him as king over them, and when the whole people of Israel came after some years to proclaim him 

king over the whole land (2 Samuel 2, 5). He waited for his appointed time.

In one of the Yoruba legends about destine, a man has chosen before he came to the world that he would become affluent when he clocks the age of forty. When he came to the world, he began to struggle from one place to another in order to be rich. All his efforts were unsuccessful.. He became a laughing stock among his contemporaries especially those that were successful in their undertakings. At age 39, when he could not bear the ridicules of his friends, he committed suicide. When he got to the gate of heaven, the gatekeeper looked at him with pity and led him to where the records of people's destinies were kept. When he saw his own record, he discovered that it remained only a year for him to become affluent. He begged the gatekeeper to allow him to go back to the world, but he did not have such 

opportunity any more. He did not wait for his appointed time.

While I do not believe in all such legends, there is a lesson in it: waiting for one's appointed time –- the time of God that is the best. Has God promised you something? Do not be in haste to get the promise. Do not try to help God to fulfill the promise. Abraham and Sarah tried to help God in fulfilling His promises for them. Their help nearly ruined their peaceful home (see Genesis 16, 21). Wait for God's appointed time. He will fulfill His promise in His own time in His own way. Even when it seems that the time does not come. Wait for God's appointed time. Do not lose hope. His appointed time for you will come!

"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, `He who is coming will come and will not delay'" (Hebrews 10:36-37 NIV).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Help me, O Lord, to be able to wait for Your appointed time for my life.

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Post  Admin on Sat 02 Mar 2019, 10:53 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WAIT FOR GOD'S APPOINTED TIME

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways" (Psalm 37:7 NIV).

After the disobedience of Saul to the command of God to totally destroy the Amalekites and his rejection as king of Israel by God, God sent Prophet Samuel to anoint David as the new king. David served King Saul for several years in spite of the fact that he knew that he was the rightful person approved by God to be the king of Israel. He fought many wars to the credit of Saul. Even when Saul hated him and sought to kill him, he did not try to retaliate and forcefully claim the throne. He had two good opportunities to kill Saul and become the  king, yet he spared his life on the two occasions (1 Samuel 24, 26). He diligently waited for his time. The time eventually came when the men of his own tribe came and anointed him as king over them, and when the whole people of Israel came after some years to proclaim him 

king over the whole land (2 Samuel 2, 5). He waited for his appointed time.

In one of the Yoruba legends about destine, a man has chosen before he came to the world that he would become affluent when he clocks the age of forty. When he came to the world, he began to struggle from one place to another in order to be rich. All his efforts were unsuccessful.. He became a laughing stock among his contemporaries especially those that were successful in their undertakings. At age 39, when he could not bear the ridicules of his friends, he committed suicide. When he got to the gate of heaven, the gatekeeper looked at him with pity and led him to where the records of people's destinies were kept. When he saw his own record, he discovered that it remained only a year for him to become affluent. He begged the gatekeeper to allow him to go back to the world, but he did not have such 

opportunity any more. He did not wait for his appointed time.

While I do not believe in all such legends, there is a lesson in it: waiting for one's appointed time –- the time of God that is the best. Has God promised you something? Do not be in haste to get the promise. Do not try to help God to fulfill the promise. Abraham and Sarah tried to help God in fulfilling His promises for them. Their help nearly ruined their peaceful home (see Genesis 16, 21). Wait for God's appointed time. He will fulfill His promise in His own time in His own way. Even when it seems that the time does not come. Wait for God's appointed time. Do not lose hope. His appointed time for you will come!

"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, `He who is coming will come and will not delay'" (Hebrews 10:36-37 NIV).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Help me, O Lord, to be able to wait for Your appointed time for my life.

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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
+2348055159591


"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Post  Admin on Sun 24 Feb 2019, 8:12 pm

Dearly Beloved,

HOW EFFICIENT IS YOUR BRAKE?

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:13 NIV).

“[God’s] grace instructs us to give up ungodly living and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this world” (Titus 2:12 TEV).

A brake is a device for arresting or preventing the motion of a mechanism usually by means of friction. It is a very important device in a vehicle. The brake system in a vehicle consists of handbrake, brake pedal, brake pad, and brake fluid container among other things. Anyone who will drive a vehicle must make sure that the brake system of the vehicle is functioning well. Brake failure can be very dangerous especially when it occurs unexpectedly on motion. Interestingly, applying brake abruptly and without tactics on motion can be more dangerous.

Every normal human being must also have a brake system that he or she would be using to control him/herself. Such system is called self control or temperance. It is an act of controlling or mastering one’s actions, emotions, desires and passions, especially one’s sensual appetites. The Bible teaches that self-control is a virtue that every Christian should imbibe (Proverbs 23:1-3; 25:16; Daniel 1:8, 12-16; 1 Corinthians 7:9; 9:25; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8; 1 Timothy 3:2-3, 8; Titus 1:8; 2:2-3, 12; 1 Peter 1:13; 2 Peter 1:6). Only those who allow God a space in their lives and make His grace their brake fluid will have efficient brake called self control or temperance.

It is unfortunate that some people do not have this important virtue. They do not know how to control or comport themselves when it matters most. No wonder, such people do things anyhow to their detriment. Their lack of self control has caused, and is still causing, avoidable havoc to their reputation.

Do you have brake in your life? How efficient is your brake? How are you controlling yourself, your actions, emotions, desires and passions, especially your sensual appetites? Do you have effective control over yourself and these things? 

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that the Lord will help you to always take care of the brake of your life and be using it effectively.
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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 12:20 am

Dearly Beloved,

YOU TOO CAN MAKE IT!

"We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure" (Hebrews 6:11 NIV).

"But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life" (Jude 20-21 NIV).

I read a story of a popular Yoruba dramatist recently in a national newspaper that touched my heart. It is about a 60-year-old dramatist who, with his second son in the same lecture room, got his first university degree at age 49, but now a doctorate degree holder and lecturer in one of the leading universities in Nigeria. He was able to have primary education because of the compulsory free education in the then Western Region of Nigeria. Apart from a kind of post-primary education then known as "modern education," the man could not go to secondary school because of the poverty of his parents. With determination after acting as dramatist both on stage and in movies for over three decades, he becomes an academic and an authority in his choosing profession - the theater. His life is indeed a challenge to many of us.

Have you lost hope that you can no longer make it in a particular pursuit? Do not lose hope! Continue to persevere with determination that, one day, you will make it. Are people looking down on you because of your humble background or your seeming failure in your endeavors? Do not worry yourself about them. Continue the struggle. Remember that old proverb, "Aluta continua, victoria acerta," meaning "the struggle continues, the victory is sure." Victory is sure if you do not give up. Another popular saying goes thus, "Winners never quit; quitters never win." 

Paul the apostle admonished, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9 NIV), and "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV).

You also can make it!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray for the tenacity to continue your struggle till you make it in life.
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Post  Admin on Sun 03 Feb 2019, 11:25 pm

Dearly Beloved,

MY FAITH LOOKS UP TO THEE

“Looking unto Jesus, theauthor and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Himendured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand ofthe throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV).

This faith-inspiring hymn “MYFAITH LOOKS UP TO THEE” was composed by Ray Palmer (1808-1887). Palmer was an unhappyand lonely young man who was tending a dry goods store and teaching in aprivate girls’ school to make ends meet before he became an ordained ministerin the Congregationalist Church. He composed this hymn one night when he was studyingand translating some German poetry. He did not have the intention of publishingthe hymn until he met Lowell Mason (1792–1872) who was compiling a hymnbook.Mason asked Palmer if he (that is, Palmer) had any hymn, and Palmer gave Masonthe hymn that he had treasured privately for two years. Mason composed the tunefor the hymn “Olivet” and published it in his hymnbook. The hymn later becameone of the most famous hymns from American history that was used as a source ofencouragement and tranquility by soldiers during the American Civil War.

As a young man who was strugglingwith discouragement, poor health, and a lack of funds, Palmer preferred to lookup by faith to Jesus Christ – “Lamb of Calvary”. He rather focused on hisspiritual weakness and prayed that the divine Savior would take all his guiltaway and be wholly belong to Him from that day. As the Lord told Apostle Paulthat His grace is sufficient for him (see 2 Corinthians 12:9), Palmer asked forthe rich grace of God to impart and strength his fainting heart and inspire hiszeal.. He wanted his love to the Lord that died for him to be “pure, warm, andchangeless” and be “a living fire.” Palmer indeed suffered many grieves in hisyouthful years, but he looked unto Jesus Christ to be his guide and change hissorrowful story, as he pleaded that he would not stray away from Him. Lastly,Palmer was conscious of death “as it is appointed for men to die once, butafter this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV). So, he wanted the blessed Saviorto give him eternal rest above as “a ransomed soul”.

What is your situationpresently? Are you facing discouragement, health challenges or financialissues? Whatever your situation may be, let your faith look unto Jesus Christ, theauthor and finisher of our faith, who Himself endured suffering on the crossand its accompany shame, but who is now seated at the right hand of the throneof God (see Hebrews 12:2). Let Him be your guide. His grace will be sufficientfor you. Even if you die, He will give His eternal rest to you as a ransomedsoul.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Sun 27 Jan 2019, 11:39 pm

Dearly Beloved,

A CRY FOR HELP IN THE RIGHTDIRECTION

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, giveear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, and in Yourrighteousness” (Psalm 143:1 NKJV).

Who would you run to when youfind yourself in an unpleasant situation? Would you rely on your strength,exposure, experience or connection with some powerful people in such time? KingDavid found himself in a situation he did not like when he wrote Psalm 143. Helamented: “For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has crushed my life to theground; he has made me dwell in darkness, like those who have long been dead.Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is distressed”(verses 3-4 NKJV). He did not disclose this enemy. Probably the enemy was KingSaul (his predecessor), Absalom (his son), or one of other unnamed enemies thatrose against King David in his lifetime. What is certain is that the situationreally affected him emotionally. In spite of this, King David did not rely onhis military or royal strength. He did not rely on his exposure or experienceas a skilled warrior. He did not rely on any other powerful king for help.Instead, he called for help in the right direction: the LORD God.

This right direction ismanifested in many ways through the psalm. One, David prayed to God not becauseof his (that is, David’s) righteousness or uprightness, but he wanted God toanswer him in God’s faithfulness and righteousness (see verse 1). Two, heconsidered himself and every other person as unrighteous before God (verse 2). Three,he remembered the goodness of God to him in the past (verse 5). Four, he wantedGod to answer him quickly by rescuing him from his enemies and letting him experiencethe faithfulness of God again (verses 7-9). Four, in his travail, he stilldesired to be taught of the will of God (verse 10) and have a betterrelationship with God (verse 11). Then, lastly, he wanted God to get rid of hisenemies (verse 12).  What indeed a cryfor help in the right direction!

No one is immune fromunpleasant situations. However, your attitude towards the situation and thedirection where you seek help for the situation will determine how you willovercome it. Only God can rescue you from unpleasant situations. Call on Himbecause of who He is! Do not rely on your strength, exposure, experience orconnection with some powerful people. Arms of men will fail you (compare 2Chronicles 32:7-8; Psalms 111:8-9; 118: 8-9; Proverbs 3:5; Isaiah 30:1-5;31:1-3; Jeremiah 17:5-6). Do not rely on your righteousness or who you arebefore Him. Come to Him as an undeserving servant. Also, no matter thesituation, desire to have a better relationship with God because if you drawnear to God in your travails, He will not only be with you, He will also rescueyou from the travails and make you better. These are the ways to cry for helpin the right direction.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).


Prayer Point: Pray that youwill learn to cry for help in the right direction when you find yourself in anyunpleasant situation.

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