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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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"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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Post  Admin on Sun 20 Jan 2019, 10:11 pm

Dearly Beloved,

YOU DO NOT NEED TO RELY ON ANYONE TO COME TO GOD!

“Let us therefore come boldlyto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in timeof need” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV).

I was surprised to see amessage trending on social media appealing to some notable Nigerian religiousleaders to pray against ugly occurrence of stealing and forcefully acquiringwomen’s underwear for diabolical purposes. A certain person purportedlycomposed the message. He asked people to continue broadcasting the message tillit reaches the religious leaders so that the leaders can use their spiritualinfluence to pray to God against the menace. Surprisingly, people wererebroadcasting the message.

It is a fact that thenefarious deed and its perpetrators should be prayed against. However, must onerely on another person, especially religious leaders, before one can approachGod? Does the prayer of the so-called religious leaders have more efficacy thanthe prayer of the ordinary Christian? Must one circulate a prayer request onsocial media before God can answer such prayer? Why can the composer of theprayer request not go to the Lord in his closet or arrange a prayer meeting tointercede on this issue? Why does one need to rely on another person before onecan relate with God? Why is this overreliance on religious leaders when itcomes to spiritual matter? There are many more questions to be answered on thismatter.

In the Old Testament, thepeople relied on their religious leaders to take their requests to God and tohear from God (cf. Exodus 20:19; 1 Samuel 7:8; Hebrews 1:1). They even had alimitation of where they could reach in their places of worship (see Hebrews9:1-7). However, with the coming of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection,and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in every true Christian, the limitationhas been removed (compare the removal of the veil at the temple during thedeath of Jesus Christ [Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38]) and every true Christian canapproach God through Jesus Christ without any other intermediary (1 Timothy2:5). We now have direct access to God (see Ephesians 2:18; 3:12-13; Hebrews10:19-20). We do not need to rely on any man, no matter how highly positionedhe is. 

Nonetheless, the problems ofsome of these people that rely on their religious leaders are inferioritycomplex and hero worship. Who told them that they could not pray to Goddirectly without the input of their religious leaders? Who told them that thatso-called religious leader is closer to God than they are? Unfortunately, someso-called religious leaders have taken this advantage to wrongly manipulatetheir followers. Religious leaders are there to guide people in spiritualmatters. They are not demi-gods. They do not have any special relationship withGod that is more than other believers’ relationship with Him. 

Come bold to God. He has givenus that assurance. You do not need to rely on anyone before you can intercedebefore God, or before God can answer your prayer.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Dearly Beloved,

THOSE THAT THE LORD WILL HONOR

“Therefore the Lord God ofIsrael says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father wouldwalk before Me forever.’ But now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for thosewho honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed”(1 Samuel 2:30 NKJV).

It is desirable and honourableto be honoured by God. He does want to honour people. He promises in Jeremiah 30:19 to honour His people. However, His honour is notautomatic. Anyone who desires to be honoured by God must be ready to firsthonour God. It is reciprocal (see 1 Samuel 2:30). While God desires to honourpeople, if you do not honour Him, do not expect His honour. 

A vivid example of thisscenario was the case of Eli and his sons in 1 Samuel 2. Eli was the priest ofthe Lord at the tabernacle in Shiloh. However, his sons, Hophni and Phinehas,who assisted him in the priesthood, were corrupt and did not know the Lord.They were taken offerings from the people by force, even to the point ofcommitting sexual immorality with women that were serving God at thetabernacle! God sent a man to Eli to tell him that inasmuch as his childrenwere not honouring Him, He also would no longer honour him (that is, Eli) andhis lineage. In fact, God prophesied that there would no longer be anyone inhis lineage who would be serving in the priesthood again. This prophecy came topass when Eli and the two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died the same day and Solomonbanished Abiathar, a descendant of Eli, from performing priestly roles (see 1Samuel 4; 1 Kings 2:26-27).

Undoubtedly, you want God tohonour you. It is good to have such desire. God is ready to honour you.However, are you ready to pay the price? Are you ready to honour Him in return?Are you ready to honour Him with your time? Are you ready to honour Him withyour substances (Proverbs 3:9)? Are you ready to honour Him your talents andgifts (Matthew 25:14-30)? Are you ready to honour Him with your body (1Corinthians 6:18-20)? Are you ready to honour Him with your heart (Deuteronomy6:4-7; 11:13; Proverbs 3:5; 4:23; 23:26; Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 22:37-40; Mark12:30-31)? Are you ready to honour Him with most especially your whole life? Anotherway of honouring God is by not oppressing the less privileged (see Proverbs14:31). Are you ready to do this? If you honour God, God will honour you. Thosethat the Lord will honour are only those that are ready to honour Him with allthese highlighted things.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Sat 12 Jan 2019, 11:18 pm

Dearly Beloved,

THE LORD WILL HONOUR YOU!

“From them will come songs of thanksgiving andthe sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not bedecreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained” (Jeremiah30:19 NIV).

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, ourtongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord hasdone great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us, and we arefilled with joy” (Psalm 126:1-3 NKJV).

Every year, my first message for the year tothe recipients in my Internet ministry is always based on my prayer for theyear. As I have prayed for you earlier this year from Jeremiah 30:19 that songsof thanksgiving will come from you; that the sound of rejoicing will come fromyour dwelling; that the Lord will add to your numbers, and you will not bedecreased; that He will bring you honor, and that you will not be despised, soI am focusing deeply on the context of the verse. 

The people of Judah were captured and taken toexile in Babylon. Their affliction was so terrible that it seemed it wasincurable. They felt so dejected that a formerly cherished nation had becomeruined, and its people had become captives in a foreign land. Although, thesins of these Jews brought this calamity on them, yet, the compassionate Godwas ready to show His mercy on them and bring them back to their inheritedland. The Lord was ready to restore their fortunes and make them to sing songsof thanksgiving. The Lord was ready to multiply them and bring them honourinstead of disgrace. They would become the people of God, and God would betheir God. The Lord even promised to punish the captors of the people of Judah!

As you have crossed over the year 2018 into theyear 2019, what do you consider as your incurable affliction that has beencarried over into the new year? Do you consider yourself still in captivity ofthe previous year? Do you have little or no hope of making it this new year?The Lord has a word for you this year: He will honour you! The Lord willrestore all your fortunes. The Lord will multiply you in all good things ofyour life. You will no longer be put to shame. It will seem as if you aredreaming when the Lord is doing this. You will sing a song of thanksgiving thisyear. Do you believe these? They will come to pass in your life. Only, do notindulge yourself in any sin this year. The Lord will honour you!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Sun 06 Jan 2019, 9:52 pm

Dearly Beloved,

THE LORD WILL HONOUR YOU!

“From them will come songs of thanksgiving andthe sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not bedecreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained” (Jeremiah30:19 NIV).

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, ourtongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord hasdone great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us, and we arefilled with joy” (Psalm 126:1-3 NKJV).

Every year, my first message for the year tothe recipients in my Internet ministry is always based on my prayer for theyear. As I have prayed for you earlier this year from Jeremiah 30:19 that songsof thanksgiving will come from you; that the sound of rejoicing will come fromyour dwelling; that the Lord will add to your numbers, and you will not bedecreased; that He will bring you honor, and that you will not be despised, soI am focusing deeply on the context of the verse. 

The people of Judah were captured and taken toexile in Babylon. Their affliction was so terrible that it seemed it wasincurable. They felt so dejected that a formerly cherished nation had becomeruined, and its people had become captives in a foreign land. Although, thesins of these Jews brought this calamity on them, yet, the compassionate Godwas ready to show His mercy on them and bring them back to their inheritedland. The Lord was ready to restore their fortunes and make them to sing songsof thanksgiving. The Lord was ready to multiply them and bring them honourinstead of disgrace. They would become the people of God, and God would betheir God. The Lord even promised to punish the captors of the people of Judah!

As you have crossed over the year 2018 into theyear 2019, what do you consider as your incurable affliction that has beencarried over into the new year? Do you consider yourself still in captivity ofthe previous year? Do you have little or no hope of making it this new year?The Lord has a word for you this year: He will honour you! The Lord willrestore all your fortunes. The Lord will multiply you in all good things ofyour life. You will no longer be put to shame. It will seem as if you aredreaming when the Lord is doing this. You will sing a song of thanksgiving thisyear. Do you believe these? They will come to pass in your life. Only, do notindulge yourself in any sin this year. The Lord will honour you!

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Tue 01 Jan 2019, 11:53 pm

Dearly Beloved,

OUR PRAYERS FOR YOU IN THE YEAR 2019

Glory be to God!He has done it again in enabling us to start another year. Great indeed is Hisfaithfulness! Happy New Year (2019).

As we always doevery year, Opeyemi (my wife), Boluwatife, IfeOluwa, Michael, Abraham (mychildren) and I are welcoming you to this New Year with these prophetic prayersadapted from Jeremiah 30:19 (NIV). 

This New Year: 

- songs ofthanksgiving will come from you; 

- the sound ofrejoicing will come from your dwelling;

- the Lord willadd to your numbers, and you will not be decreased;

- the Lord willbring you honor, and 

- you will not bedespised this year in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Happy andprosperous New Year!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi(Pastor),
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Post  Admin on Sun 30 Dec 2018, 7:02 pm

DearlyBeloved,

GODIS WORKING IN YOUR SITUATION!

“So[Joseph] got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left forEgypt” (Matthew 2:14 NIV).

“Andwe know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).

Anotheryear is coming to an end! Many things have happened in the passing year. Someof these things were enigmatic. One may wonder why they happened the way theydid. However, there are purposes for their occurrences. The purposes may be tomake the persons that the occurrences happened to become better persons or tomake them learn some lessons of life. 

Thereis a proverb in Yoruba that literally means, “A warrior who knows how toretreat in battles when he supposes to would come back to fight greater battleswhile a warrior who does not know how to do so may be conquered and never havethe opportunity of fighting any other battle.” This does not mean that thewarrior is coward. It means knowing when to do the right thing at the righttime.

Thisis applicable to Baby Jesus when the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, Hisearthly father, and told him (that is, Joseph) to take Jesus and His mother andescape to Egypt because King Herod was looking for ways to kill Jesus. Whywould Joseph and his family be subjected to such ordeal? Could God not protectJesus from Herod without escaping to a foreign land? No! God works inmysterious ways. He decided to use that way to protect the Baby Jesus. Besides,that action would fulfill one of the prophecies about Jesus that He would bebrought out of Egypt (see Hosea 11:1). 

Jesuswas not the only one that became a “migrant” in Egypt to fulfill prophecies.Joseph, son of Jacob, in the Old Testament was sold to Egypt (see Genesis37:28). He was imprisoned unjustly there (see Genesis 39:20). However, hebecame what God wanted him to be eventually (see Genesis 41:37-45). The peopleof Israel went for a greener pasture in Egypt (see Genesis 46) and they becameslaves there (see Exodus 1). However, God brought them out as a mighty nationfrom the land where they were migrants (see Exodus 14).

Whereis the “Egypt” that God has sent you to be a “migrant” this year? Does it seemas if God has abandoned you there? Why has God allow what happened to you thisyear? Is God no longer with you? No! Do not be dismayed. No matter yourexperience this year, God is working to fulfill His purpose in your life. He works in mysterious ways tobring out His purposes in the lives of His beloved. Infact, your presentsituation could be a way of fulfilling God’s purpose in your life.He will bring you out of the situation as a mighty person. You will soon shinethis coming year in Jesus’ name. Amen.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to endure whateversituation you may be passing through as God is working to fulfill His purposein your life.
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Post  Admin on Mon 24 Dec 2018, 6:35 pm

Dearly Beloved,

STILL FOR BETTER FORWORSE

“Therefore shall a manleave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shallbe one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were notashamed” (Genesis 2:24-25, KJV).

Why is it that manypeople nowadays do not want to hear the expression “For Better For Worse”?Could this have contributed to the common cases of divorce, separation,unresolved marital conflicts, and even spouse murder these days? The idea of“For Better For Worse” in marriage has to do with a pivotal issue that mostpeople do not take note of, and this is ruining many marriages today. Thisissue is “leaving and cleaving” in marriage. The Bible says that a man willleave his parents (and by inference all other relations) and cleave to (orpreferably unite with) his wife. The man puts aside his former relationshipsand way of living and thinking, and starts a new relationship, and a new way ofliving and thinking with his wife who is now one with him. It has to beemphasized here that to cleave in this context means to be glued together forlife. That is, the man and his wife are together “for better for worse” forlife! That is the original plan of God for marriage. The man and his wifecleave together, they become one, and they are not ashamed in spite of their“nakedness.” Have you ever wondered about the nature of this “nakedness”? Anyattempt to separate this gluing or cleaving together will result in emotionaldamage to each of the partners, and by extension, their relations and friends,and even the children born out of the union. The more we are ready tounderstand this and accept it, the better our marriages in particular and thesociety in general will be.

The implication of thisis that any man or woman that wants to enter into this relationship should doso with extra care. It “must not be entered into carelessly, or from selfishmotives, but responsibly, and prayerfully” as stated in a marriage declaration.This is because marriage is one of the oldest institutions created by God, andHe has many reasons for instituting it. Similarly, there are many guidelinesfor an ideal marriage. One has to know and follow these reasons and guidelinesto the letter if one wants to maintain the ideal marriage as it was originallyin the mind of God. It is unfortunate, however, that people now createdifferent reasons and guidelines for marriage. No wonder, many marriages are inshambles, and cases of divorce and remarriage are common, especially in thewestern world, even among Christians! 

My first and onlymarriage with my darling wife was twenty years old some days ago! This is not abig deal to many people in this part of the world where the institution ofmarriage is still held in high esteem. However, it is a great feat or rathersomething unimaginable to many people in the western world. I have been cleavedto my wife (and she has been cleaved to me) for the past twenty years, and bothof us were, and still are, not ashamed of each other because we have determinedto live for life for better for worse. Ours is not a perfect marriage. There isnever one! We have determined to enjoy life together, and to endure it togetherfor better for worse, even after twenty years in marriage.

Are you married? Letthere be no shame in your marriage. Be determined to cleave to your spouse forlife. Are you still single? Do not rush into any relationship and pray that theLord will help you to be able to have an ideal marriage as He originallyplanned it. Is your marriage in crisis? Go back to the original plan of God formarriage. Deliberately cleave to your spouse. Then, ask God for help. He willhelp you if you allow Him.

An ideal marriage isstill for better for worse! That is the bitter truth. 

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi(Pastor).

Prayer Points: 

1. Pray for myover-twenty-year-old marriage with my beloved wife that the Lord will enable usto continue to cleave together in love for better for worse till death do usapart. 

2. Pray that you willhave a marriage where both you and your spouse will be able to cleave togetherin love for better for worse till death do you apart. 

3. Pray for unmarriedyoung ones that they will not enter into marriage carelessly, or from selfishmotives, but responsibly, and prayerfully.

4. Pray for marriagespresently in crisis that the Lord will help the partners in the marriage toresolve the crisis and determine to cleave together in love for better forworse till death do them apart.

NB
This message is dedicated to my dearest wife,Opeyemi, for sharing her life “for better for worse” with me for these past twentyyears.
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Post  Admin on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 11:54 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DO NOT MISS CHRIST THISCHRISTMAS!

“He came to His own, and Hisown did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the rightto become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, notof blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”(John 1:11-13 NKJV).

Unarguably, Christmas is themost celebrated season of the year. The aura of the season can be felt already.Many buildings have been decorated in Christmas colours. Jingles ofChristmas-related events, sales and the likes have taken over many televisionand radio broadcast. Some people may say that the origin of the season waspagan. However, even those people agree that the season is now been celebratedto commemorate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. In spite of this, manypeople are missing the essence of the celebration today. They are celebratingthe season without Jesus Christ.

It is interesting to note thatmost of the people that Jesus Christ came to save in His lifetime missed Him!They were expecting Him, the Messiah, but they could not recognize or acceptHim as the Messiah when He came. The powers that be when He was born looked forways to eliminate Him when they heard about the birth of a newborn King (seeMatthew 2). The people that grew up with Him in Nazareth took offence at orrefused to believe in Him (see Matthew 13:53-58). Even His own earthly siblingsinitially did not believe in Him! (see John 7:5). No wonder, the thenconstituted authorities connived together to kill Him (see Matthew 26:3-4;27:22-25; Acts 2:22-23). 

What a pity! These peoplemissed Jesus Christ. They missed the expected Saviour of the world. It isinteresting that some people of the Jewish lineage are still expecting theMessiah till date! Nonetheless, the good news in spite of these rejections fromHis own is that, as many who believe in Him will be given the right to becomechildren of God (John 1:11-13). 

It is good to celebrate theChristmas. I have started the celebration already. However, do you believe inthe Lord Jesus Christ? Are you not too familiar with the Christmas celebrationthat you have lost the essence of the celebration? Do not miss Jesus Christthis Christmas! Believe in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and you will begiven right to become a child of God, a child “not of blood, nor of the will ofthe flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13 NKJV).

I wish you a Merry Christmas!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
 Prayer Point: Pray that youwill not miss the essence of Christmas, but really believe in Jesus Christ asyou celebrate the season.
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Post  Admin on Mon 10 Dec 2018, 12:56 am

Dearly Beloved,

WHY I SHOULD PRAISE GOD

“Oh come, let us sing to theLord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come beforeHis presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms”(Psalm 95:1-2 NKJV).

Do you have any reason topraise God? I do!  I do not know aboutyou, but the Lord has been good to me. He wonderfully and fearfully created me in my mother’s womb (comparedPsalm 139:14). I was born into this world almost fifty years ago. Since the dayI was born, the Lord has been taking good care of me. He has been protectingme. He has been safeguarding me.. He has been saving me from evils and dangers.He has been sustaining me. He has been providing for me. He has enabled me toachieve many things academically, matrimonially, professionally, ministerially,and spiritually. He has been blessing me and making me a channel of Hisblessings to others. In fact, He has been doing great things in my life. Whyshould I not praise God? I join the psalmist to implore you: “Oh come, let ussing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let uscome before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him withpsalms” (Psalm 95:1-2 NKJV).

In addition to what the Lordhad done for the psalmist who composed Psalm 95, the psalmist recognized theLord as the great God and great King above all the kings on earth and theso-called gods (verse 3). He affirmed that all amazing places of the earth arefirmly in the hands of God (verses 4-5). He enjoined people to come and worshipGod because people (including him) are sheep in the pasture of God (verses6-7b). As a seasoned shepherd, the psalmist knew what it is to lead sheep intogood pastures (compare Psalm 23). The Lord indeed had led him and many otherpeople (including me) to His flourishing pasture. I should indeed join thepsalmist to praise God!

As the year is going to anend, do you have reasons to praise God? Do you see yourself as a sheep in Hispasture? Will you appreciate His goodness and faithfulness over your life? HasHe really helped you to achieve anything this year? Are you not holding grudgeagainst Him that He has not done what you want Him to do for you this year? Areyou not saying why should you praise God? God has indeed done so much for you!You should praise Him for who He is and what He has done, is doing, and willdo, for you. If you think deeply, you will have many reasons why you shouldpraise God, and you will be able to join the psalmist to say, “Oh come, let ussing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let uscome before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him withpsalms” (Psalm 95:1-2 NKJV).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that youwill not be ungrateful, but think deeply to discover many reasons why youshould praise God.

NB: I dedicate this message tothe Almighty God who enabled me to celebrate another birthday today December 8,2018. Oh come, let us praise the Lord together for what He has done for ME! 
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Post  Admin on Sun 02 Dec 2018, 9:12 pm

Dearly Beloved,

START NOW!

“I will always thank the LORD; I will never stop praising him” (Psalm 34:1 TEV).

“...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20 NIV).

I have been composing and sending text messages to people, and people have been sending text messages to me. However, I received a text message from an online friend recently that really touched me. Here is its content: “You can spend the remaining days of this year asking God for what He has not done. But you can choose a better option thanking Him for all He has done for you this year. You do not have to wait until December 31 before you thank Him for the year. Have a THANKFUL month.”

Truly, people (including me) tend to still be looking unto God for one thing or the other that He has not done for them this year without considering those things He has done and praise Him for them. We may even be thinking that the time to appreciate Him for His goodness should be the end of the year. However, the message of that text message is pertinent to us. We have to start thanking God for the year now even without knowing what the remaining days have in stock for us. The Lord that has helped thus far will make us see the end of the year and even do more than what we are expecting from Him.

Start now to thank God for the year. Look back and be grateful for what He has done in your life. Even, if He has not done what you want from Him this year, the remaining days of the year are more than enough for Him to surprise you. Praise Him for who He is in your life. Thank Him for what He has done, is doing, and will do. He will perfect His plans and purpose in your life. Do not wait until the end of the year. Start now!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will always be thankful to the Lord for His goodness over your life.

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Post  Admin on Sun 25 Nov 2018, 9:20 pm

Dearly Beloved,

COMMITTED TO MAKING PEACE 

“God has done it all! He sentChrist to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work ofmaking peace between himself and others. What we mean is that God was inChrist, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he hasgiven us the work of sharing his message about peace” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19CEV). 

In the one-chapter book toPhilemon in the Bible, Onesimus was a slave of Philemon, an influential memberof the Colossian church. Onesimus ran away from his master, but had anencounter with Paul in the prison in Rome. He became born again through Paul.As he was returning to his master, Paul had to re-introduce him to his masterso that his master would be able to treat him not as a slave, but as a brotherin Christ.

Slavery was a normal thing inthe Greco-Roman world when incident happened. In that era, people became slavesif they were either taken as the spoils of war or became such because they soldthemselves into slavery (known as “bond-servant”). Most of them were welleducated. Their treatment was far different from the treatment of slaves in therecent times. It is interesting to note that majority of people in that erawere either slaves or once slaves. 

The scenario of Onesimus andPhilemon is that of reconciliation, forgiveness and brotherliness. Apostle Paulwanted Philemon to forgive Onesimus of any wrongdoing Onesimus might have done,and start treating Onesimus as a brother in Christ. Although, the ministry ofreconciliation that every Christian is committed to (see 2 Corinthians 5:19) isleading people to make peace with God, still as Apostle Paul had earlier admonishedthe Romans: “and do your best to live at peace witheveryone” (Romans 12:18 CEV), he wanted Philemon to demonstrate this bymaking peace with Onesimus and live at peace with him (that is, Onesimus). 

There are some people that wealso need to forgive and extend hands of brotherliness to no matter what theymight have done against us. As we are committed to the message ofreconciliation, we should promote it anywhere we find ourselves. We should make peace with people around us and live atpeace with them. 

Who do you need to make peacewith today?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 12:52 am

Dearly Beloved,

IMPROVE YOUR PEACEFULRELATIONSHIP 

“If it is possible, asmuch as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18 NKJV).

 “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursuewhat is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:15 NKJV).

Why is it that some peoplefind it difficult to live peacefully with others around them? Why is it thatthere are so many conflicts among people in the world? Can it be that somepeople are not ready to be cheated, or they just like to be causing ornurturing conflicts?

Christians do not have any otheroption than to shun any form of conflicts and live peacefully with othersbecause they are called to peace (see Proverbs 17:14; Romans 14:13, 19; Ephesians4:2; Colossians 3:13, 15; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 3:11). We are to exhibit thisin our relationship with other people. Even, if those people are not ready tolive peacefully with us, we are to make every effort, as far as it depends onus, to cultivate peaceful relationship with those people. We are not to paywrong for wrong by being hostile to people that are hostile to us. We shouldrather endeavor to be kind to everyone, including our so-called enemies (seeRomans 12:17-21). This will show us as followers of Jesus Christ who is thePrince of Peace. The psalmist described how pleasant it is to live peacefullywith other people (see Psalm 133). If the people of the world find it difficultto live relate peacefully with other people, Christians should be at thevanguard of peaceful co-existence.

Can people describe you as aman/woman of peace? Can other emulate peaceful co-existence from you? Can yourbehavior as a man/woman of peace lead other people to Jesus Christ? Your lifeis the Bible that many people are reading. Have you not been sending peopleaway from coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by your hostilebehavior? Improve your peaceful relationship with everyone for the sake of whoyou are in Christ. Only peaceful people can lead others to the saving knowledgeof Jesus Christ. 

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Point: O God, help meto always live peacefully with others around me..

Dearly Beloved,

DOES HE DESERVE YOUR PRAISES? 

“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:1-2 NIV).

My family was having its lunch when the children were jokingly asking each other whether each of them remembered to pray before starting eating or not and the contents of their prayers. From there discussion, they mentioned God and mummy as people worthy of praises for the provision of the food. One of them inquired whether they should include daddy in the list or not. The other objected because it was not daddy that cooked the food. Mummy, who was following their discussion, reminded them that it was daddy that provided the resources for the food before she could cook it for them, therefore, daddy also deserves to be praised. The children agreed and continued their eating.

Daddy did not join the discussion, but he was rather reflecting on it. He did provide the resources for the cooked food, but the children did not know.. To them, mummy was the originator and provider of the food. Daddy has no place in its provision. Sometimes, we do the same thing to God. This is applicable mostly to most people in the developed world where there is virtually everything provided compared to people in the under-developed world where poverty and suffering are reigning. The former people tend to forget God in the provision of what they enjoy, hence, the apathy to spirituality there. The latter people have to look unto God for almost everything, hence, the love for religiosity in the part of the world. However, the part of the world in which some people live does not determine their appreciation of God.. Such people do not appreciate God for who He is and for what He is doing in their lives. They do not praise Him for their lives and everything that is happening in their lives. They cannot see the hands of God in their daily activities.

Regardless of where you live, whether in the developed world or in the under-developed world, do you appreciate God for who He is and for what He is doing in your life? Do you recognize His goodness over you? Does He deserve your praises? The psalmist said, “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (103:1-2 NIV). Do not forget or downplay all His goodness over your life!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Help me, O Lord, not to forget or downplay all Your goodness over my life, but to always remember to praise You for who You are and thank You for everything You are doing to me.
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Post  Admin on Sun 11 Nov 2018, 5:46 pm

Dearly Beloved,

IMPROVE YOUR PEACEFULRELATIONSHIP 

“If it is possible, asmuch as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18 NKJV).

 “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursuewhat is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:15 NKJV).

Why is it that some peoplefind it difficult to live peacefully with others around them? Why is it thatthere are so many conflicts among people in the world? Can it be that somepeople are not ready to be cheated, or they just like to be causing ornurturing conflicts?

Christians do not have any otheroption than to shun any form of conflicts and live peacefully with othersbecause they are called to peace (see Proverbs 17:14; Romans 14:13, 19; Ephesians4:2; Colossians 3:13, 15; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 3:11). We are to exhibit thisin our relationship with other people. Even, if those people are not ready tolive peacefully with us, we are to make every effort, as far as it depends onus, to cultivate peaceful relationship with those people. We are not to paywrong for wrong by being hostile to people that are hostile to us. We shouldrather endeavor to be kind to everyone, including our so-called enemies (seeRomans 12:17-21). This will show us as followers of Jesus Christ who is thePrince of Peace. The psalmist described how pleasant it is to live peacefullywith other people (see Psalm 133). If the people of the world find it difficultto live relate peacefully with other people, Christians should be at thevanguard of peaceful co-existence.

Can people describe you as aman/woman of peace? Can other emulate peaceful co-existence from you? Can yourbehavior as a man/woman of peace lead other people to Jesus Christ? Your lifeis the Bible that many people are reading. Have you not been sending peopleaway from coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by your hostilebehavior? Improve your peaceful relationship with everyone for the sake of whoyou are in Christ. Only peaceful people can lead others to the saving knowledgeof Jesus Christ. 

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).


Prayer Point: O God, help meto always live peacefully with others around me..
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