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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 18 Oct 2015, 7:30 pm

Dearly Beloved,
"O BAAL, ANSWER US!"
"So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. `O Baal, answer us!' they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made" (1 Kings 18:26 NIV).
The story of the contest between Prophet Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel to decide the true God is a fascinating one. The people of Israel under the leadership of King Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel had abandoned the worship of the living God for Baal, one of the fertility gods of Canaan (see 1 Kings 16:30-33). Jezebel had even tried to exterminate all the prophets of the living God from the land (see 1 Kings 18:4). After God had proved through Elijah that He is the only one that can bring fertility, Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a contest to determine the true God. The contest was that each side would prepare a sacrifice and call on his god (or God) to send fire to consume the sacrifice. Because of their large number, the prophets of Baal firstly took their turn. They cried to Baal, their god, to answer them from morning till evening, but there was no response. They did all they could do to get response from Baal, but he
did not respond. Even the jests of Elijah could not make him to save his adherents from the disgrace of their lives. Elijah on his turn did not have to task himself much after he had repaired his altar and filled it with water before the living God answered him and consumed his sacrifice by fire.
Many of us are acting like those prophets of Baal today. We have abandoned the living God for worldly things, and we are expecting those things to give unto us what only God can give. We look unto things like money, occupation, time, sports, pleasure, reputation, position, children, spouse, or even our own self instead of God to give us enjoyment, protection and security. We have placed more priority on these things to the extent that God has been relegated to the obscurity. And we can do anything to get what we want from these "Baals," though most of the time they disappoint us at the crucial moment of our life.
If you do not want to be disappointed, stop crying to these "Baals" and turn to God. He is the only "refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1 NIV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). 
Prayer Point: Help me, Lord, not to put my trust in people and mundane things.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:42 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 God's time 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 Sara 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: Lord, help me to always wait for Your appointed time for my life.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 04 Oct 2015, 9:56 pm

Dearly Beloved,
 HASGOD FORSAKEN ME?"
MyGod, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, sofar from the words of my groaning?" (Psalm 22:1 NIV).Psalm22 is one of those psalms sometimes called Passion Psalms. Jesus Christ usedthe opening cry on the cross and the amazing choice of words of verses 6-8 and13-18 have made the psalm especially important to Christians. There is withinthe psalm an extraordinary combination of praise and complaint. The psalmistfound himself in a difficult situation that made him think that God hadforsaken him (verses 1-2). Because of his situation and the fact that God didnot act for him at that very point in time made people to mock him (verses 6-8,12-18). However, in the midst of this protest of seemingly neglect, he couldstill praise God for who He is and what He has done, and is still doing (verses3-5, 22-31). It is noteworthy that there is no reference to sin as the cause ofthe trouble, no plea of innocence, no claim of righteousness, and no vengeance.The psalmist just cried to God for help (verses 19-21).JesusChrist also found Himself in similar situation, and He also acted like thepsalmist: He cried out to God (see Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34; Luke 23:46). Itwas evident, however, that God did not forsake Jesus Christ, as He did notforsake the psalmist as well. God allowed the situations to bring out somethingin the lives of the psalmist and Jesus Christ. We may not know what God broughtout in the life of the psalmist through the difficult situation, but we knowthat the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ brought about our eternalsalvation (Romans 5:6, 8; Hebrews 2:14-15; 5:9; 10:5-10). No wonder, thepsalmist could praise God even when he did not know the outcome of hispredicament. Whatsituation are you passing through? Have you prayed and God has not answeredyour prayers? Does it seem as if God has forsaken you? Are people around youmaking jest of you because of your predicament? Well, GOD HAS NOT FORSAKEN YOU!Read this: "But Zion said, `The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord hasforgotten me.' `Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have nocompassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I WILL NOT FORGETYOU! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are everbefore me. Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you.Lift up your eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. Assurely as I live,' declares the LORD, `you will wear them all as ornaments; youwill put them on, like a bride. `Though you were ruined and made desolate andyour land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those whodevoured you will be far away. `The children born during your bereavement willyet say in your hearing, "This place is too small for us; give us morespace to live in." Then you will say in your heart, "Who bore methese? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought theseup? I was left all alone, but these-- where have they come from?"&# 39;" (Isaiah 

InHis service,BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).
PrayerPoint: Lord, when I think I am forsaken by You, reassure me that You have notforsaken me.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Wed 30 Sep 2015, 8:48 pm

DearlyBeloved,

DONOT LET YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED

"Donot let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me…. Do not letyour hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:1 27b NIV).

Thereare a lot of problems and hardships today that make the world unbearable forliving. No one is immune from these things that are confronting human beingsevery day. Many have given up all hopes and are expecting the worst to happen.Some have even resorted to taking their lives. However, in all these, JesusChrist says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled."

JesusChrist was with His disciples in the upper room giving them His farewell speechwhen He made this statement. His disciples were disturbed because of someevents that He predicted. These events included: He was going away (John 7:34;8:21; 12:8, 35; 13:33); He would die (John 12:32-33); one of them was abetrayer (John 13:21); Satan was at work against all of them (Luke 22:31-32);they would not be able to follow Him to where He was going (John 13:36); Peterwould deny Him thrice (John 13:38); and all of them would fall away (Matthew26:31) . Nevertheless, Jesus counseled them to believe in God and also in Him(John 14:1). He was saying in essence that they should believe in, adhere to,trust in and rely on Him. Trust is the great antidote for a troubled heart.Seeing God above our problems will make our hearts not to be troubled.

JesusChrist did not ask His disciples to only trust in Him as an antidote for theirtroubled hearts, He also gave some other reasons for His admonition. Heaffirmed the reality of heaven where He was going to prepare a place for thedisciples (as well as other believers), and come back to take them (John14:2-3) . The reward of Christian service in the hereafter is an encouragementto the disciples and even believers today to persevere in trials of faith.

Jesuswould not leave the disciples alone in the world. He promised that the Fatherwould send another Comforter to them, Someone who would abide with them forever(John 14:15-17, 26). This would be the Holy Spirit.

Despitethe fact that Jesus Christ would leave His disciples, He would give them Hispeace (John 14:27). This peace would be different from the worldly peace or anyother peace that they could think of. But this peace, as Paul put it,"…transcends all understanding, [and it] will guard your hearts and yourminds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7 NIV). This would not be for them,just as part of their lives in eternity, but as a vital aspect of their liveson earth. The peace is also for all that put their total trust in Jesus Christ.

JesusChrist briefly mentioned it as He was rounding off His farewell speech that Hehas overcome Satan, the prince of this world (John 14:30). Satan might havecome to this world, yet he would not overcome the disciples. Jesus Christreaffirmed it also in John 16:33 that He has overcome the world.

Whatare you passing through that is making your heart to be troubled? RememberJesus&# 39; admonition, "Do not let your hearts be troubled." He has goneto prepare our eternal home for us. He will come back to take us to Himself.Come to God through Him, the only true living Way. Allow the Holy Spirit tohave His way in your life. You will experience His peace. "For our lightand momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighsthem all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. Forwhat is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians4: 17-18 NIV).

InHis service,

BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).

PrayerPoint: Pray that you will always trust in Jesus instead of letting your heartbe troubled.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 20 Sep 2015, 5:52 pm

DearlyBeloved,

YOURSILENT YEARS

“AndJesus increased in wisdom (in broad and full understanding) and in stature andyears, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52 AMP).

Thewriters of the Gospels did not write much about the early years of Jesus Christon earth. Apart from His birth narratives (Matthew 1:18—2:23; Luke 1:26-38;2:1- 39) and an incident when He was twelve years old (see Luke 2:42-52),nothing is known about Him from the Bible until He was about thirty years old(see Luke 3:23). Some Bible scholars have referred to these unknown years asthe silent years of Jesus Christ on earth. Luke used just a verse to describethese silent years (see Luke 2:52). Almost all other Bible characters had theirsilent years. Much is not known about the early years of most of these people.These silent years were years when God was preparing each of these great menand women. Most of them did not have the best of time like Jesus in theirsilent years, but after God had prepared them in various ways secretly, Helaunched them into their public missions.

Undoubtedly, each one of us nowadays also has our own silent years when no one knew about usbefore now that we become known. In fact, many people are even still in theirsilent years. They are not renowned. God is still preparing them for themanifestation of His glory in their lives. Such people are still likecaterpillars in their cocoons. They are waiting for the mature time to rip openthe cocoons and become beautiful butterflies. Any attempt to open the cocoonsprematurely will cause a very adverse effect on the growing butterflies.

Areyou still in your silent years? God is preparing you for the manifestation ofHis glory in your life. The preparation may not be pleasant now. However, waittill when God is done with you. Do not be in a hurry. You will indeed shine forHis glory, and people will celebrate you.

InHis service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 13 Sep 2015, 9:26 pm

Dearly Beloved,
ANSWER ME, O MY GOD!"
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You haverelieved me in my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer" (Psalm4:1 NASU).The fourth psalm is attributed to King David. It is believedthat he composed it, in relation with the third psalm, when he was in atrouble, probably when he fled from his son, Absalom. It is one the psalmist’scalls for help. He called on God to hear him. He also asked for the mercy ofGod. He expressed his confidence in God who has relieved him of his distress inthe past, and believed that He can still do it again. He wondered why peoplethat were persecuting him were doing so. However, he expressed once again hisconfidence in God who has chosen him. He admonished his foes to ponder aboutthis and serve God in the right way and rely on Him instead of engaging themselvesin wickedness. In spite his travail, David rejoiced in God because he knew thatGod had given Him joy that was more than that of his enemies. Therefore, hewould have rest of mind even in his sleep because God was there to protect him.What are you passing through at present? Are you beenpersecuted? Call unto God! He is ready to answer you. He has done it in past,and He can still do it again. Rely on Him, and He will give you rest from allyour troubles. He promises, "...call upon me in the day of trouble; I willdeliver you, and you will honor me" (Psalm 50:15 NIV). "He will callupon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliverhim and honor him" (Psalm 91:15 NIV). "Call to me and I will answeryou and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know" (Jeremiah33: 3 NIV).In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).Prayer Point: Lord, I call on You today. Answer me and let theworld rejoice with me.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sat 12 Sep 2015, 9:02 pm

Dearly Beloved,
"ISN'T THIS THE CARPENTER?""...
and many who heard him were amazed. ‘Where did this manget these things’ they asked. ‘What's this wisdom that has been given him, thathe even does miracles! Isn't this the carpenter? ...’ And they took offense athim" (Mark 6:2-3 NIV).There have been many views and opinions about Jesus Christ. Tosome, He was a great religious leader. Some view Him as a great teacher. Tosome people, He was one of the messengers that God sent to this world,especially to a specific people. Others look at Him as only a Savior. Peoplelike me believe in Him as the Savior and Lord of the whole earth. However, toHis earthly townsmen, He was just a carpenter who they knew His background verywell. However, He was, and still is, more than a carpenter. He is even morethan what you can think of. The reason is that He is God, the Creator of theheavens and the earth. Many people will disagree with this, even today, becausethey, like those Jews, are spiritually blind.What is your view about Jesus Christ? Who is He? Having heardwhat people said He was, He once asked His disciples this question: "Whodo you say I am?" (Luke 9:20 NIV). Only Simon Peter could give an answer:"The Christ of God." That was Peter’s naïve answer. He was correct!What would be your answer to such question?Jesus is not only the Savior of the world. He is also the Lord!This means that He owns the world and all that is in it - including you! Theimplication of this is that even if you do not want to have anything to do withHim, or you are taking offense at Him like those Jews, a day is coming when youwill stand before Him at His throne where He will preside as the Judge. Youwill not have any other option than to give account of how you live your lifeon earth. The question then will be: "What will Jesus do with me?""Isn't this the carpenter?" Yes! Jesus Christ was thatcarpenter of Nazareth, but He is more than a carpenter. He is the Savoir andLord of the whole universe. Have you accepted Him? The Bible says, "[JesusChrist] came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet toall who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right tobecome children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of humandecision or a husband's will, but born of God" (John 1:11-13 NIV).In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).Prayer Point: Pray for people that have not accepted JesusChrist as their Saviour and Lord to do so before it is too late. _________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 06 Sep 2015, 9:25 pm

Dearly Beloved,

BEWARE! SATAN WANTS TO DESTROY YOUR FAMILY

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV).

Job was a wealthy man with a happy and peaceful family of seven sons and three daughters. There was no rancour among these children. In fact, the sons used to hold feasts in turn in their homes. They used to invite their sisters to feast with them. Their father was happy with this, and he used to purify them so that the peaceful and happy co-existence of his children would not be soiled. Unfortunately, Satan was not happy with this peaceful and happy family. He looked for ways to disrupt the peaceful and happy family. An opportunity came when God gave him permission to tempt Job. It is interesting that the family of Job was his first target. When the children were feasting in the house of their eldest brother, Satan struck and killed them all before he went ahead to destroy properties of Job (see Job 1:1-15).

Satan is still targeting peaceful and happy families today. In fact, he really wants to destroy the family system. That is why polygamy, bigamy, single parenthood, homosexuality, lesbianism, same-sex marriage and other perversions of the family as instituted by God are gaining popularity nowadays. Even in many families that consist of a father, a mother and a child (or children), Satan is still working tirelessly to destruct them and cause disharmony in them. Unfortunately, many people are helping the devil to destroy their families by their actions and/or inactions.

Like Job, every father and other stakeholders in the family should always work for the peaceful co-existence of every member of the family. Do not do or say anything that will enable the devil to destroy your family. Pray regularly for your immediate family and the family system as God instituted it.

Beware! Satan wants to destroy your family. He will not have his way over your family in Jesus’ name. Amen.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Points:

1.      Pray that each member of your family will always work towards peaceful co-existence of the family.

2.      Pray against every wile of the devil to destruct the peaceful co-existence of your family.

3.      Pray against all form of perversion of peaceful family.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 31 Aug 2015, 8:39 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DISCONNECT YOURSELF FROM EVIL COVENANTS

“Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage” (2 Chronicles 18:1 NIV).

“When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, ‘Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is upon you. There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God’” (2 Chronicles 19:1-3 NIV).

Jehoshaphat, son of Asa, was a good king in Judah. Unlike many other kings that reigned before and after him, he sought the face of God and walked in the good ways of David, his ancestor. He did not consult the false gods that other kings had put in place in the land. In fact, he destroyed the shrines of these false gods. God thereafter established him and made him prosperous. Unfortunately, he allied himself by marriage with Ahab, the evil king of Israel. He collaborated with Ahab to wage war against Syria. He acted foolishly to allow Ahab disguise himself as a king while he (Jehoshaphat) went to the warfront in his full regalia. Only God saved him from that war. When he came back home, God sent a prophet to him to rebuke him for the evil covenant he had with Ahab.

Many Christians today ally themselves with unbelievers and evil people. They do not yield to the warnings in 2 Corinthians 6:14-16: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God” (NIV). Many have ruined themselves by this act. Christians are in the world, but not of the world. We are to be light of the world, not to compromise our faith with the world.

Who have you knowingly or unknowingly made any evil covenant with? Disconnect from that evil covenant if you want God to be pleased with you. Rise up today and pray against any evil covenant you might have made with the unbelievers.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will have insight to who to have any alliance with.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 23 Aug 2015, 10:36 pm

Beloved,

VICTORY IS SURE! (A Testimony)

“Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:3 NIV).

I am very glad to tell you the news that the Lord favoured me by granting me UK visa to study Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in an Irish school after 13 years of many attempts. Praise the Lord!

As I am rejoicing for this breakthrough, I remember this poem I composed several years ago about victory. Let me share it again with you:

 VICTORY IS SURE!

Do not accept defeat,

Do not be downcast,

Do not let your heart be depressed.

Perhaps it is not well today,

But it will be better tomorrow;

Perhaps you do not have what you want now,

But soonest you will have it;

Perhaps you find it difficult to actualize your goals,

Do not abandon such goals.

Continue to encourage yourself,

That you will certainly succeed.

Perhaps you were defeated in one battle,

Yet your victory is sure.

Despite all obstacles,

If you do not become weary;

If you do not become discouraged;

If you do not accept defeat;

If you continue to struggle,

It shall be well with you.

Victory is sure!

 Continue to pray with as I am now preparing to go to the UK in the mid September to start the post graduate study in Trinity College (University of Dublin) at Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK that:

a. God will meet me at the very point of my financial, moral, material, psychological, and even spiritual needs;

b. God will grant a journey mercy from Ibadan, Nigeria to Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK;

c. God will be with my wife and children that I will leave behind in Nigeria;

d. God will give me His Spirit of wisdom, knowledge and understanding as I will start the academic activities after many years of break.

e. God will help me to be able to cope with the new challenges that I will face over there.

If the Lord puts it in your mind to specifically help me in any area before I leave Nigeria or when I get to the UK, write a personal email to me at or . In fact, I am looking for some people that will give me at least N5000 (or at least $50 or 50 Euro) before the end of this month towards the study.  If you can, please contact me privately. Your little contribution will go a long way.

Thank you very much and God bless you abundantly! Glad shouts of victory will be heard in your tents in Jesus’ name. Amen!

In His service,

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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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 16 Aug 2015, 10:01 pm


I AM THINE, O LORD

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22 NKJV).

The hymn, “I AM THINE, O LORD”, written by Fanny Jane Crosby (1820-1915) is one of the most popular hymns of consecration. It was composed out of inspiration from the discussion of the blind Crosby and William Doane about the blessedness of enjoying the nearness of God. As they were discussing at length about this, Crosby started writing the words of the hymn - line by line, verse by verse, and then the refrain. Doane later arranged the stanzas and composed the tune.

Like so many of Crosby’s hymns, this hymn is written in the first person - a personal testimony of her relationship with Christ. Stanza one begins with a total surrender to Christ and the desire to be closer drawn to God. The second stanza aptly draws upon the closeness of this relationship as a thrust of service, a desire for consecration to the service of Lord. Stanza three defines the relationship further as one centred in prayer. In the final stanza, Crosby acknowledges that her relationship will not be complete until she reaches heaven and then she will find rest in peace with God. The refrain is the focal point around which the stanzas all connect.

This hymn is indeed a hymn of consecration. Do you really belong to God? How close are you to Him? Are you ready to totally surrender yourself for the service of the Lord? If the blind Fanny Jane Crosby could make this commitment in spite of her predicament, it is a big challenge to the contemporary Christian to commit him/herself to God no matter the situation. Apostle James summed it up: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8 NKJV).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Sincerely commit yourself to God and ask Him to consecrate you for His service.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Aug 2015, 9:48 pm

Dearly Beloved,

RESOLVE TO STAND OUT

"But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royalfood and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himselfin this way" (Daniel 1:8 NIV).

The people of Judah were led into exile in captivity because of theirdisobedience to God. The temple of God and the city of Jerusalem - the pridesof Israel - were destroyed. The self-esteem of the people was dented. They wereno longer a nation free of external forces. In fact, they were now captives ina foreign land. They could not worship their God in the way they preferred, andtheir children were now slaves that were serving their captors. In spite ofthese predicaments, Daniel and his colleagues resolved to distinguishthemselves in that foreign land in not defiling themselves with things thatseemed ordinary but that could make them be far from their God. 

These four Jewish young men were not like many people today thatare ready to do anything that is in vogue. They resolved to stand out, and Godrewarded them with prestige and position of authority in that land ofcaptivity. Are you also ready to resolve to stand out in this depraved world? TheBible says, "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong" (Exodus 23:2NIV). Resolve to stand out for God in refusing to do even those seeming goodthings that can tarnish the image of God in you. Joshua told the people ofIsrael, "But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose foryourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathersserved beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you areliving. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15NIV).

Resolve to stand out for God!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Lord, help me to resolve to stand out to do yourwill even when it is contrary to what is in vogue.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 02 Aug 2015, 10:26 pm

Dearly Beloved,

ANGUISHED, YET TRUSTED INGOD

“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me? ... But I trust in your unfailing love;my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:1, 5 NIV).

King David was a manafter God’s heart (see Acts 13:22). He got this appellation because of hisunique relationship with God. Here was a man who was sanointed as king ofIsrael in place of Saul at a tender age but could not ascend the throne until aftermany years full of persecution, suffering, hardship and the likes. He could notstay at home. He became a wanderer with many other distressed people (see 1Samuel 22:1-2). At a point, he had to relocate his parents to a foreign land (1Samuel 22:3-4), and at another occasion, he had to seek refuge with the enemiesof Israel to be safe (1 Samuel 27). 

Probably, David wrotePsalm 13 during this period of suffering. He complained that God had forgottenhim and had hidden His face from helping him. He reasoned that his enemies weretriumphing over him. In spite of his anguish, he expressed trust in theunfailing love of God, and still rejoiced in His salvation. What acontradiction! How could he trust Someone that had seemingly forgotten him? Howcould he rejoice in the salvation of Someone who seemingly allowed his enemiesto triumph over him? 

David could trust inGod in spite of his anguish because he knew the Lord that he was serving. Heknew that God could deliver him from his suffering, and that that deliverancewould come at God’s own time and God’s own way. No wonder, he normally enquiredof the Lord before he ventured into any endeavour. Even when the lives of hisloved ones were at stake, he enquired of the Lord before he pursue theircaptors (see 1 Samuel 30). He was never in a hurry more than God. He waitedtill the right time and he eventually became the greatest king of Israel.

Many people cannottrust in God because of their predicaments. Some have even denied His existencebecause of one disappointment or the other that they have experienced in thepast. To such people, if God exists and is powerful, He would not have allowedthem to pass through such ugly experiences. Well, God remains God no matterwhat. He will act in His own way and at His own time to deliver. He does notforget nor abandon His own. Continue to trust in Him. You will soon testify toHis goodness over your life.

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 19 Jul 2015, 10:59 pm

Dearly Beloved,
THE HANDS OF ESAU "Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, 'The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau'" (Genesis 27:22 NIV). Esau and Jacob were twin brothers that were favorites of their father and mother respectively. Isaac their father wanted to give his last blessing to his favorite who was Esau the firstborn, but Rebecca their mother wanted the blessing to be the lot of her favorite, Jacob. Therefore, she colluded with Jacob to deceive Isaac in order that Jacob would get the blessing. Part of the conspiracy was that Jacob would use goatskin to cover some parts of his body so that Isaac would believe that Jacob was indeed Esau who naturally was a hairy man. In the course of their conspiracy, Isaac detected that the voice of the person that had come for his blessing was that of Jacob, but the goatskin deceived him to think that the hands of the person were those of Esau. Many people are still using this tactic of the voice of Jacob and the hands of Esau to deceive people to have their ways today. It is interesting to discover that many people even try to use it with God to get His blessings! However, the Bible says, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked" (Galatians 6:7 NIV). He is omniscient! The Jews, especially the Pharisees and teachers of the law, in Jesus' time on earth, and many people today, were hypocrites that tried to use their religiosity to deceive other people and God. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ has this to say about them: "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men" (Mark 7:6-8 NIV). In what way are you also using the hands of Esau to deceive people? Are you trying to do that with God also? Are you a hypocrite? A Yoruba proverb literally says, "A thief [and a deceiver] may have his way for many days, but nemesis will apprehend him one day." Moreover, you cannot deceive God. "A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life" (Galatians 6:7-8 NIV).In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 28 Jun 2015, 11:19 pm

Dearly Beloved,
IF NOT FOR GOD..."Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV).We are already in the middle of the year. Have you ever looked back to see what God has done in your life this very year? I did, and I realized that if not for God, especially for His faithfulness over my life, probably I would have been no more by now.I have a first cousin that grew together with me. Our intimacy then made people to refer to us as "husband and wife." However, marital and other commitments of life kept both of us away from each other for many years, though we do communicate regularly on phone. Her recent visit to my family was a reminiscence of our childhood years. We looked back to when we were growing up and now that both of us are happily married with children. We discussed our experiences in the past years. As a practicing nurse, she recounted many experiences of dying people who died in her presence. She noted that many of such people were younger to her in age. What normally comes to her mind whenever such people die is that what makes her better than these people that makes God to still preserve her life until the present. I also looked back and remembered many times I have travelled especially on the dangerous road from my school. Why has God preserved me from all sorts of dreaded accidents that have claimed the lives of many people? My cousin and I concluded that it is the grace of God that makes us to still be alive today. If not for God’s faithfulness and grace, we would have been consumed by the storm of life!If you look back, you will see many things that God has done in your life. In that popular hymn, "Count Your Blessings," Johnson Oatman, Jr. wrote, "When you look at others with their lands and gold ... count your many blessings money cannot buy.... Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, See what God has done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God has done."If not for God’s faithfulness and grace....In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). 
Prayer Point: Pray that you will always look back and appreciate God for what He has been doing in your life. _________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 11:41 pm

Dearly Beloved,
THE GREATER LOVE OF A FATHER
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (1 John 3:1 NKJV).
King David was such a loving father. He loved his children so much that he did not want any harm to befall them, even when the children were wayward and sought his life. The case of Absalom is a good example of this. Here was a son who wanted to overthrow his father and did not even care if the father was dead (see 2 Samuel 15). In spite of this, David still cared for him and commanded his army commanders to take care of the life of Absalom in the ensued civil war (see 2 Samuel 18:5). David wept bitterly when he learnt about the eventual death of Absalom and wished that he (David) had died in place of Absalom (see 2 Samuel 18:28-33). What a great love of a father!
However, there is a greater love demonstrated by our heavenly Father. God, the Creator of the Universe loves man so much that He made him the crown of His creation. He made man to have dominion over every created being (see Genesis 1:28-30; Psalm 8:5-7). In spite of this, man disobeyed God and fell out of favour with God. God cast man out His garden (see Genesis 3). However, God quickly began a way of salvation for man (Genesis 3:15, 21). Although man continued his waywardness (Genesis 6:5-7), God did not abandon man totally. He still preserved a remnant in person of Noa and renewed His covenant with man (Genesis 9). God called Abraham out of his kindred and established a nation through his descendants. “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised” (Acts 13:23 NIV). Jesus Christ came to the world and paid the ultimate sacrifice for man’s sin. As caring and loving Father, God did all these when man continued to be wayward. Apostle Paul summarized it thus: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV. See also John 3:16; 15:13; Romans 3:5; 5:6-7; 8:39; 1 John 4:10). Every one who believes in Jesus Christ is giving the right to become a child of God (see John 1:11-13). No wonder, Apostle John could exclaim: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1 NKJV). What a greater love of our heavenly Father!
The heavenly Father has demonstrated such great love for us even while we do not deserve it. Have you appropriated that love into your life by receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord? As a father, do you love your children in spite of who they are or what they are doing to you?
Happy Father’s Day!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that fathers will be able to love their children in spite of all odds.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 9:55 pm

Dearly Beloved,
I BELONG NOT TO EVERYBODY
“You know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God, don’t you? You do not belong to yourselves, because you were bought for a price. Therefore, glorify God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ISV).
On May 29, 2015, in his inaugural speech as the newly sworn-in fifth executive president of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari inter alia said, “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.” This statement instantly became famous and many people gave it several interpretations. However, less than twenty-four hours after the statement was made, there was an emanated picture of a seemingly couple where the husband was querying his wife why she was not faithful to him and the wife was answering, “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.” The originator of the picture and people that were spreading it on social media were undoubtedly making fun out of the statement. Unfortunately, there have been many other funny pictures and captions relating to this statement.
While this message is not intended to give the meaning or application of the said statement, it is clear that it is not meant for fun or unfaithfulness in the part of any spouse or any other person in a serious relationship. Nonetheless, the statement should remind you as a Christian about an important fact that you do not belong to everybody or nobody. In fact, you do not belong to yourself. You belong to God. You have been bought for a price, and you must, therefore, glorify God with your body (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
The implication of this for a Christian is that the Christian must abstain from things that will dishonor God in his/her actions and words, and he/she must always present him/herself as a living sacrifice unto the Lord (see Romans 12:1). You cannot use your body as if it belongs to you or any other element outside you. Everything about you must always glorify God. Apostle Paul explained this thus: “If we live, we live to honor the Lord; and if we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:8 ISV. See also 1 Corinthians 10:31; Philippians 1:20; Colossians 3:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:10; 1 Peter 2:9). This fact settles all arguments about what we put on, what we put into our mouth, and how we live our lives.
I belong NOT to everybody or nobody. I belong to Somebody. I belong to my God!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will always be conscious of the fact that you belong to God.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 31 May 2015, 6:29 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHEN YOU ARE BEING MALTREATED"
Joseph's master took him and put him in prison. But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; He showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warder" (Genesis 39:20-21 NIV).The story of Joseph has always been an attention-grabbing one to me. His father loved him because his mother was the favourite wife of his father. Nevertheless, there was another reason for the special love of his father for him. The Bible says, "he brought their father a bad report about [his other brothers]" (Genesis 37:2 NIV). The father's love and Joseph's action made his brothers to hate him. Their hatred notwithstanding, Joseph told them about his future as he had seen it in dreams. This also made them to hate him more. The thought that came to their minds when they had the opportunity of harming Joseph was to kill him! They maltreated him by throwing him into an empty cistern. They later decided to sell him as a slave to some merchants. The merchants in turn sold him to an Egyptian officer. In slavery, he was accused wrongly of an offence he did not committed by the wife of his master. Unfortunately, the master did not verify the authenticity of the accusation before sending Joseph to the prison. What a series of maltreatment!
However, in all these, God did not forsake Joseph. He showed him kindness and favour both in the house of the Egyptian officer and even in prison. God made everything entrusted to Joseph a success. Even when he was been forgotten in the prison by an officer of Pharaoh, the Lord was still with him. No wonder, in God's appointed time, he was remembered and elevated to the highest position in Egypt second in rank to Pharaoh.Are you being maltreated for doing good thing? When you are being maltreated, be sure that it is because of doing good thing, not because of any other reasons. Peter says, "It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil" and "So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good" (1 Peter 3:17; 4:19 NIV). God will indeed promote you when you are being maltreated for doing good thing.In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Requests:1. Are you being maltreated for doing good thing? Pray that God will give you the grace to endure it till the time He will elevate you.2. Pray that God will arise to vindicate those that are being maltreated for doing good thing and give Himself glory in their lives.
 _________________________
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 17 May 2015, 11:42 pm

DearlyBeloved,

ISERVE THE WONDER-WORKING GOD! 

“Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the thingsyou planned for us. None cancompare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, theywould be too many to declare” (Psalm 40:5 NIV).

It is believed that David was thewriter of Psalm 40 testifying to the wonders of God and thanking Him for Hissteadfast love over him. The reason is obvious from David’s history. Because ofSaul’s sins against God, God rejected him as king of Israel and sent Samuel toanoint David as the next king (1 Samuel 15-16). David faced a lot ofhostilities and troubles even from his brothers. He became a fugitive in hisown country. He had to relocate his parents to a foreign country for safety(see 1 Samuel 22:3-4). He twice sought refuge with the enemies of his nation(see 1 Samuel 21:10-15; 27:1-12). In spite of all his predicaments, the LORDdid not let him down. He turned to him and lifted him out of the slimy pit, outof the mud and mire. The LORD set his feet on a rock and gave him a firm placeto stand in Israel and among other nations. The LORD put a new song in hismouth, a hymn of praise. Many indeed saw these and feared and put their trustin the LORD during the lifetime of David. No wonder, David could declare thewonders of God in this psalm. Even in Job’s calamity, he also could declare: “[God] performs wonders that cannot befathomed, miracles that cannot be counted” (Job 9:10 NIV).

Lifeis full of ups and downs. Every person has his/her own dilemma to confront.However, the LORD is ready to do wonders in the life of anyone who canpatiently wait on Him. He can make such person to successfully overcome anydilemma and sing song of praises like David. 

Whatare you facing presently? Trust in the LORD! He will do wonders in your life.He will bring you out of the predicament. He will lift you up out of the mud oflife. He will set your feet on a rock and give you a firm place to stand amongyour contemporaries. He will put a new song in your mouth, a hymn of praise toHis holy name. Many people will indeed see it and praise God with you. Theywill fear and trust God for what He will do in your life.

I serve a wonder-working God! “May the Lord God,the God of Israel, who alone doeswonders, be praised” (Psalm 72:18 HCSB).

InHis service,

BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).

 
PrayerPoint: Pray that you will experience the wonder-working God wonderfully inevery sphere of your life.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 11 May 2015, 10:09 pm

Dearly Beloved,

SPARE THE ROD...

“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24 NIV).

“The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother” (Proverbs 29:15 NIV).

The heroism or otherwise of Ms. Toya Graham, the woman who publicly spanked her teenage son during the recent riot in Baltimore, USA, still baffles me. What is really heroism in this act? The publicity the incident attracted and people’s reactions and comments for and against it prove the depravity in the role of parents to bring up their children in the right way.

It is unfortunate that discipline and upbringing of children have been given different meanings in many parts of the civilized world. In these places, parents cannot freely discipline their children because of some so-called laws of child abuse. Unfortunately, many children and youth have become wayward and depraved in their thinking and behaviours and the society is becoming more and more corrupt morally.

This is not so in Africa as well as in the Ancient Near East where discipline of children is primarily the responsibility of the parents and at the same time the joint responsibility of the society at large. However, some children and youth, and even some adults, in Africa and other parts of the world where there is value for child discipline are clamouring for freedom of children and youth in the name of human rights. In spite of this, many people all the world still value parental discipline of children. No wonder, what the Baltimore woman did publicly was acclaimed by many as act of heroism and made many to even declare the woman as the mom of the year!

The Holy Bible is clear about parental discipline of children. Consider these Bible passages:

“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24 NIV).

 “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death” (Proverbs 19:18 NIV).

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6 NIV).

“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15 NIV).

“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death” (Proverbs 23:13-14 NIV).

“The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother…. Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:15, 17 NIV).

“[Parents], do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 NIV).

Regardless of views of the world about parental discipline, parents should not be hesitant to discipline their children either publicly or privately. This will surely make this world a better place. Spare the rod, and spoil not only the child, but the society as well.

To parents like Ms. Toya Graham, I wish you Happy Mother’s Day!

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 03 May 2015, 7:54 pm

Dearly Beloved,

ABIDE WITH ME

“And they constrained him, saying, Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in to abide with them” (Luke 24:29 ASV).

One of English favourite hymns is “ABIDE WITH ME” composed by Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847), an Anglican clergyman who served nearly half his life as vicar of a church at Brixham, England. According to history, Lyte composed the hymn on the afternoon of the Sun­day he gave his fare­well ser­mon in the par­ish he served so ma­ny years. It was as if he was prepared to die that day as he battled the deadly disease of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis. He died few weeks later.

The hymn is lovely in both language and sentiment. However, it seems odd that a hymn about death could become as popular as this one.  On closer reflection on the hymn, the reason seems clear because the hymn speaks to us, not only about death, but also about life.  It assures us of God's presence and help in life and in death. The hymn is a hymn of hope in God who can abide with one in whatever situation even when all hope is lost and seemingly earthly helpers fail to help. The hymn is a hymn of peace and comfort. The world may be unstable and unreliable, but the hymn reassures us that the unchangeable God will abide with us. The hymn reminds us of the need for the presence and grace of God in every passing hour. These can foil the power of the devil. Because the Lord is there to abide with us and bless us, there is no need of fear of any foe, sickness or even death.

In spite of his deteriorating health, Henry Francis Lyte could compose this inspiring hymn because he had put his trust in God. He was ready to die because he had surrendered his life to God and allowed Him to abide with him. The two disciples on the way to Emmaus invited Jesus Christ to abide with them, and they experienced Him more (see Luke 24:28-35). Only those who put their trust in God and invite Him to abide with them can enjoy His presence and grace both in life and in death. Such people will be able to say like Apostle Paul, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21 ASV).

Lord, abide with me!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 Prayer Point: Pray that the Lord will help you to allow Him in your life to abide with you so that you can experience His presence and grace both in life and in death.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 27 Apr 2015, 11:37 am

Dearly Beloved,

WHEN YOU FAITHFULLY SERVE THE LORD...

"After these events, in which King Hezekiah served the LORD faithfully, Sennacherib, the emperor of Assyria, invaded Judah. He besieged the fortified cities and gave orders for his army to break their way through the walls" (2 Chronicles 32:1 TEV).

King Hezekiah of Judah was one of the good kings that did well in following the ways of the Lord. He served God faithfully and brought the people back to God. He made them to also faithfully serve Him and observe the Law in an unprecedented way in the history of the kingdom of Judah (see 2 Chronicles 29—31). Nevertheless, in spite of his faithfulness in serving God, a powerful enemy, King Sennacherib of Assyria, rose against his kingdom and wanted to conquer him (2 Chronicles 32:1). King Hezekiah, however, trusted in his God and encouraged his subjects to trust in God. God did not only save him and his kingdom from the enemy, but He also humiliated the enemy (2 Chronicles 32:20-22). Hezekiah later became renowned for his greatness because he served God faithfully (2 Chronicles 32:23).

There are many such situations whereby persecutions, sufferings, difficulties and the like arise because of being faithful to God. Faithful people normally face such hardships because of their faithfulness to God. "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12). However, God knows how He rescues His faithful from the hardship and gives them victory over their adversaries (see 2 Peter 2:9; Psalm 34:15-17). The only prerequisite is total trust in Him. No matter the opposition, the faithful will triumph at the end.

Have you been serving God faithfully and it seems that you are being rewarded with opposition and hardship? Continue your faithfulness. Trust totally in Him. You will soon triumph over your enemies. The enemies will be humiliated over your life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 3:49 pm

Dearly Beloved,

TO BE RELIGIOUS IS NOT ENOUGH!

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23 NIV).

Here, in my part of the world (to be precise, in Nigeria), people are becoming more and more religious that religions have positively and negatively affected many spheres of life. Our streets are dotted with places of worship like churches, mosques and even at times shrines! Almost everybody is now a pastor, prophet, imam, or priest. Even many vehicles (including commercial ones) are tagged “clergy”.

In spite of this religiosity, the society is getting worse every day with all sorts of perversion and corruption. Even, in the places of worship, perversion and corruption are prevalent to the extent that it is very difficult to ascertain true worshippers. Unfortunately, many religious leaders are accommodating and even perpetrating these acts of perversion and corruption.

It seems Jesus Christ had known that religiosity will descend to this level when He queried, “...when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8 NIV). He had earlier warned that not everyone that claims to be religious would enter the kingdom of heaven. He knew that many would do many religious activities even in His name. However, He will disown them because they are doers of evil (see Matthew 7:21-23). Such people are honouring Him with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. They are worshipping Him in vain because their teachings are merely human rules (see Mark 7:6-7) and they are not ready to do His will.

It is good that more and more people are becoming more religious every day. However, to be religious is not enough. Attending and being active in church or any other place of worship is not enough. You must be ready to really do the will of God (see also Matthew 12:50; Mark 3:35; Luke 11:28; John 6:40; 7:17; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 5:18; Hebrews 13:21; 1 Peter 2:15, 4:2; 1 John 3:21-24; Revelation 22:14). Only this will guarantee you a place in the kingdom of God.

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Mon 06 Apr 2015, 7:31 pm

Dearly Beloved,

BEWARE OF SYCOPHANTS!

“Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person” (John 2:23-25 NIV).

A dictionary defines sycophant as “a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage.” Such a person is not reliable, but only the discerning ones would discover him/her and relate with him/her accordingly. Gullible people easily fall into the deceit of sycophants and later regret such action.

Jesus Christ knew this well and He did not allow people to mislead Him by their eye services. Twice, in the Gospel of John, Jesus Christ did not entrust Himself to the people. On the first occasion, during a Passover festival in Jerusalem, many people started following Him, but He knew who they were (see John 2:23-25). On another occasion, because of the miraculous signs that Jesus Christ did, many people began to praise Him as the expected Prophet. They even intended to forcefully make Him their king. However, He withdrew from them and went to another place (see John 6:14-15). It is interesting that the crowd in Jerusalem that honoured Jesus Christ as He rode triumphantly on a donkey into Jerusalem (see John 12:12-18) were the ones less than a week later crying “Crucify him! Crucify him!” They opted for the release of a criminal and insisted that Jesus Christ should be crucified (see Luke 23:13-25).  

This is a great lesson for every one especially those in position of leadership. Not every one that is singing your praise or that is seemingly loyal to you has your interest at heart. Many people are loyal to people in leadership position because of what they can get from the leaders. Only discerning people will act wisely and do not allow sycophants to deceive them with their false praises. People that are shouting “Hosanna” today may cry, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” tomorrow.

Beware of sycophants!

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 11:00 am

Dearly Beloved,

RIDE ON, RIDE ON, IN MAJESTY

“The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’" (Matthew 21:6-9 NIV).

Henry Hart Milman (1791-1868) wrote this popular hymn, RIDE ON, RIDE ON, IN MAJESTY, to commemorate the Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem as He prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. The hymn unites meekness and majesty, sacrifice and conquest, suffering and glory. Each stanza of the hymn begins with "Ride on, ride on in majesty." Majesty is the theme of the hymn as Henry Hart Milman helps us to experience the combination of victory and tragedy that characterizes the Triumphal Entry. Jesus Christ is hailed with "Hosanna" as He rode forth to be crucified. People honoured Him with palms and scattered garments on the road He would pass through. He knew He was going to die in Jerusalem, but His death would bring victory. It is his triumph "o'er captive death and conquered sin". The hosts of heaven were looking down with sad and wondering eyes awaiting the victory of Jesus Christ as with expectation. As Jesus Christ was about to have His last and fiercest strife, God the Father was also expecting Him in victory. Finally, Henry Hart Milman exclaimed that Jesus Christ rode forth "in lowly pomp ride" in spite of the mortal pain to take His "power and reign!"

This event was a significant event, not only to the people of the days of Jesus Christ on earth, but to all Christians throughout history. It is significant because it is the story of the King who came as a lowly servant on a donkey, not a dancing horse, not in royal robes, but on the clothes of the poor and humble. Jesus Christ did not come to conquer by force as earthly kings, but by love, grace, mercy, and His own sacrifice for His people. His is not a kingdom of armies and splendor, but of lowliness and servanthood. He conquers not nations, but hearts and minds. His message is one of peace with God, not of temporal peace.

If Jesus has made a triumphal entry into our hearts, He reigns there in peace and love. As His followers, we exhibit those same qualities, and the world sees the true King living and reigning in triumph in us. Allow Him to ride on in majesty in your life!

In His service,

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

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