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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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Post  Admin on Sun 04 Nov 2018, 9:19 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHAT SHALL I RENDER TO THE LORD?

“What shall I render to the Lord for all Hisbenefits toward me?  I will take up thecup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to theLord now in the presence of all His people” (Psalm 116:12-14 NKJV).

Psalm 116 is generally termed “A Psalm ofThanksgiving for Deliverance”. Its author is not known, although many peopleattributed it to King David. However, it is evident from the psalm that theperson that wrote the psalm was delivered from an impending danger, possiblydeath (verses 3, 8). He declared his love for God who heard his prayers, and hereaffirmed his faith in God as long as he lived (verses 1-2, 9). The Lord hadbeen merciful and gracious to him, and He (the Lord) had saved him from theprecarious circumstance he found himself (verses 5-6, 10). The writerdiscovered that human beings are not reliable (verse 11), but the Lord isrighteous (verse 5). For all these, he wondered what he would render or pay tothe Lord (verse 12). He concluded that he would worship God and pay his vows tothe Lord in the presence of His people (verses 13-14, 17-19). 

Has the Lord done anything for you this year todeserve His worship and thanksgiving? Definitely, He has! Looking back to thepast months, weeks and days in the passing year, the Lord has done many things.He has protected you from evils. He has saved you from dangers. He has avertedmany accidents that might have occurred to you. In fact, He has spared yourlife from death. What shall you render to the Lord for all these? What of Hisprovisions? The Lord has been providing your daily bread. He has been meetingyou at the point of your needs. He has been sustaining you with air and othernecessities of life. The fact that you are alive till now is because of Hissustainability. What shall you render to the Lord for all these? The Lord hasbeen answering your prayers. He has been coming to your aid whenever you callon Him. Even, if He has not done what you want from Him this year, it iscertain that He will do it at His time and in His way because He is a righteousand reliable God. What shall you render to the Lord for these?

Like the unknown psalmist, are you ready tolove God and affirm your faith in Him? Are you ready to worship Him for who Heis and thank Him for what He is doing in your life? Are you ready to pay yourvows to Him in the presence of His people? What shall you render to the Lordfor all His benefits towards you? Only ungrateful people will have nothing to thankGod for. As for me, I will render thanksgiving to the Lord, and not forget allHis benefits towards me this year.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Point: Help me, O Lord, not to beungrateful, but always render worship and thanksgiving to You for all Yourbenefits to me.

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Post  Admin on Sun 28 Oct 2018, 3:54 pm

Dearly Beloved,

THERE IS STILL BALM IN GILEAD!

“Is there no balm in Gilead,is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health ofthe daughter of my people?” (Jeremiah 8:22 NKJV).

Jeremiah Chapter 8 is indeednot one of the popular passages of the Bible for the contemporary Christians!It is full of bad prophecies for the people of Judah through Prophet Jeremiah.Prophecies like: the remains of the dead of the people will not rest in peacein their graves (verses 1-2); even some of the dead will not be buried (verse3); in spite of these, people will prefer to die rather than to live (verse 3);other people will take possession of their wives and properties (verse 10);they shall fall in time of their punishment (verse 12); they will have nofruits to harvest (verse 13); and, poisonous snakes will be sent among them(verse 17). All these bad things would happen to the people of Judah because:the people held fast to deceit and did not do the right thing (verse 5); theyrefused to turn from their wickedness to God (verse 9); everyone was given tocovetousness (verse 10); and even their leaders were not ashamed to misleadthem by proclaiming peace where was none (verses 8-11). Prophet Jeremiahmourned this situation (verses 18-21). He wondered why all these things couldbe happening. He concluded: “Is there no balm in Gilead…?” (verse 22).

What is balm of Gilead? A balmis an aromatic, medicinal substance derived from plants. Gilead was amountainous region east of the Jordan River. It is well known for its spicesand ointments. The “balm of Gilead” was, therefore, a high-quality ointmentwith healing properties made from resin taken from a flowering plant in theMiddle East, although the exact species is unknown. The Bible uses the term “balmof Gilead” figuratively as an example of something with healing or soothingpowers (see Genesis 37:25; Jeremiah 8:22; 46:11). This balm was so common thatthe people of Israel even traded with it (see Ezekiel 27:17). Jeremiah couldwonder: “How can a people who traded in balm be so sick?” And by inference, “Howcan the people of God, with the Law in their midst, be so sinful?”

With the moral situation ofour society like corruption, perversion, lawlessness, fraudulence,malpractices, kidnapping, cultism, drug abuse, religious extremism, terrorismand so on, one would wonder if really there is still balm in Gilead of oursociety. To make the situation worse, the society, especially the Nigeriansociety, is more religious and enlightened today than it used to be. Why is itthat even our religious leaders are not helping the situation, but rathercompounding it? Would God not be justified if He pronounces similar judgmentson this contemporary society? No wonder, in spite of all the religiousgatherings, prayer mountains, aggressive prayers and the likes that we witnessnowadays, the situation is not getting better. “Is there no balm in Gilead…?” 

There is indeed balm inGilead! God is still active as in the time past. Our sins and shortcomings arethe major hindrances. Prophet Isaiah declared: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is notshortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. Butyour iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden Hisface from you, so that He will not hear” (59:1-2 NKJV). Examine your ways. Inwhat ways are you doing contrary to the will of God? There is still balm inGilead! Are you appropriately applying this balm for your spiritual healing?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Sun 21 Oct 2018, 6:19 pm

Dearly Beloved,

IS EVERYTHING AGAINST YOU?

"Their father Jacob said to them, 'You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!'" (Genesis 42:36 NIV).

Jacob had lost his dearest wife, Rachel, when she was giving birth to her second son, Benjamin (see Genesis 35:16-19; 48:7). The other half-brothers of her first son, Joseph, who had been very dear to Jacob, sold Joseph into slavery and deceived their father that a wild animal killed him (i.e. Joseph). They even came with a convincing evidence of bloodstained cloth of Joseph (see Genesis 37:31-35). Undoubtedly, Jacob was still mourning the demise of his dear son when another tragedy struck - Simeon was imprisoned in Egypt for no reason. To compound his distress, the other sons wanted to take Benjamin, the only source of joy for Jacob, as they were about to go back to Egypt, otherwise, they all would die of hunger because of famine. Jacob voiced out in agony: Everything is against me!

Indeed, one would agree with Jacob that everything was against him. However, was everything really against him? Absolutely no! God was working behind the scene to make everything works for him. Joseph confirmed this when his brothers came to beg him for the evil they had done him. Hear him: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20 NIV). As a matter of fact, Jacob realized later on the working of God in all these events.. He alluded to this in his discussion with Joseph (see Genesis 48).

What has happened to you before, and what is happening to you presently that make it seems as if everything is against you? Have you allowed those events to weigh you down? Have you lost all hope because of all these events? Paul has this to say: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28 NIV).

No matter the situation, everything is not against you! In fact, God is at work in everything that happens to you. Everything is indeed working for you!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to patiently wait on God as He is working everything in your favour.

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Post  Admin on Sun 14 Oct 2018, 2:25 pm

Dearly Beloved,

THE WIDOW’S MITES

“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had’” (Luke 21:1-4 NKJV).

Jesus Christ was sitting in a place in the temple in Jerusalem where He could see people placing their offerings into the temple treasury. Apart from the rich people that offered substantial amounts of money or gifts, a widow came and offered two mites (a mite was the smallest copper or bronze coin among the Jews). Ordinarily, her offering was insignificant, but, Jesus saw its significance, and He pointed it out to His disciples. According to Him, the poor widow gave more than the others because while the others gave out of their abundance, she gave out of her poverty all that she had.

People (including me!) have been misapplying the action of this widow for many years. In fact, it has become part of our vocabulary. It is common to hear, “to contribute one’s widow’s mite.” The general meaning of that clause is that one is contributing at least a small amount to a cause. However, from the widow’s example in the Bible, a widow’s mite should be a contribution (especially small) that comes out a generous heart of somebody who has little or nothing to give. 

There are some implications from the event of the widow’s mites. One should know that: One, God takes note of all men and all things. All our actions are before His eyes. What we do in public and what we do in private are equally known unto him. Two, God’s standard of laudable generosity to His cause is not what we give out of our abundance, but what we give out of our deficiency - what costs us some real sacrifice, that is, sacrificial giving. The Macedonian churches demonstrated such a kind of giving (see 2 Corinthians 8:1-7). However, this does not mean that God does not accept the offerings of those that have in abundance. Three, God does not despise the humblest offering, if made in sincerity. He loves a cheerful giver (see 2 Corinthians 9:6-7). Four, giving should not be something done out of coercion or subtleness of the so-called recipient. It should be done willingly and wholeheartedly. 

What is your attitude towards giving your substance to the cause of the gospel? Can your giving be considered as really a widow’s mite? Or are you giving reluctantly, out of coercion, or by the subtleness of your spiritual leaders? How can you really give your widow’s mite to God in a way that He will appreciate it and reward you for it?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). 

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to give sacrificially to God, His cause, and other people.

_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21, NIV).
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Post  Admin on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 10:29 pm

Dearly Beloved
HELP FROM THE MOUNTAINS?

“Ilook to the mountains; where will my help come from? My help will come from theLORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2 TEV).

Poetsand writers usually use the events around them, their environments and evensometimes their circumstances to compose their messages. The exact backgroundof Psalm 121 is not known. There is the argument that it was written by Davidprobably when his life was in danger in the high places of the field, and as aresult trusted God to cover his head in the day of trouble. Some other Biblescholars see this psalm as the traveller's psalm because there is nothing in itof military dangers and think that David penned it when he was going abroad,and designed it for the journey. Apparently, the writer of the psalm was on amountain or surrounded by mountains when he was composing the psalm.Ordinarily, mountains are places of refuge (see Genesis 14:10; Judges 6:2;Psalms 125:2; Matthew 24:16; Hebrews 11:38).

Itis noteworthy that people have given this popular psalm both literal andfigurative meanings. Many people believe that their prayers cannot be answeredunless they go to a mountain to pray. This has led to the emergence of numerousprayer mountains in many parts of the world. Many so-called modern-day prophetshave set apart places mostly on mountains and ask people to come there forprayer sessions. There is nothing wrong in going to mountains to pray, if suchplaces will create an avenue for privacy in prayer. Jesus Christ also used manymountains as His prayer arenas (see Matthew 17:1; 28:16; Mark 6:46; Luke 6:12;9:28). However, to think or believe that prayers can only or mostly be answeredon mountains is erroneous. Jesus Christ even corrected a similar error when aSamaritan woman was trying to argue that one should worship God on a particularmountain. Hear Him: “... a time is coming when you will worship the Fatherneither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.... a time is coming and has now comewhen the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for theyare the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and hisworshippers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24 NIV).

Manypeople on the other hand give the psalm figurative meanings. They put theirtrust in men, riches, experience, and the likes. However, the psalmist quicklyadded that his help would not come from any place, person or thing, but thathis help would come from the God who made heavens and the earth. He knew thatonly “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm46:1 NKJV).

Whatmountain are you looking up to for help? Is it a specific mountain? Have youmade people, riches, experience, and the likes your mountains that you arelooking up to in time of distress? Only God can help you. Look unto Him.. Hewill indeed help!

InHis service,

BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point:Pray that you not look to any mountain, but God who created the mountains forhelp.

Dearly Beloved,

DO NOT DESPISE YOUR SMALL BEGINNING

“Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin, to see the plumbline in the hand of Zerubbabel” (Zechariah  4:10 TLB).

David was wandering from place to place as he tried to escape from King Saul that was seeking to kill him. In spite of the fact that he has been secretly anointed to be the next king of Israel with outstanding qualities and performances that made him stood out for the exalted position, he was not safe. It seemed there was no hope for him. He had to even relocate his parents and their household to another country for safety. In this distress, “[some others] who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered round him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him” (1 Samuel 22:2 NIV). There was tendency for David to despise himself and these people because of their peculiar problems. However, he did not. He became their leader, and trained them to be brave like him. These seemingly despised people later became mighty men of valour that did great exploits for David and the land of Israel. Their exploits were recorded in 2 Samuel 23:8-39.

The Lord has made it that the beginning of many great things is always small. No wonder, He told people through Prophet Zechariah that they should not despise the days of small beginnings because the hands of Zerubbabel that started the small things would definitely finish the work. From history, in spite of all odds, that small beginning became something great. Many other great things were once seemingly despised small things in the beginning.

What is the small thing you are doing now? What do you consider as a small beginning? Are you leading a seemingly despised small group or project? What and/or who are your present obstacles in making the small thing great? Do not despise this small thing! The Lord will make it great. You will do great exploits through that small thing. The present obstruction will become a stepping stone to your greatness. The greatness will indeed be through you..

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will not despise your small beginning no matter how small it is, but will always look out for how to maximise it
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Post  Admin on Sun 30 Sep 2018, 9:30 pm

DearlyBeloved,

HELPFROM THE MOUNTAINS?

“Ilook to the mountains; where will my help come from? My help will come from theLORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2 TEV).

Poetsand writers usually use the events around them, their environments and evensometimes their circumstances to compose their messages. The exact backgroundof Psalm 121 is not known. There is the argument that it was written by Davidprobably when his life was in danger in the high places of the field, and as aresult trusted God to cover his head in the day of trouble. Some other Biblescholars see this psalm as the traveller's psalm because there is nothing in itof military dangers and think that David penned it when he was going abroad,and designed it for the journey. Apparently, the writer of the psalm was on amountain or surrounded by mountains when he was composing the psalm.Ordinarily, mountains are places of refuge (see Genesis 14:10; Judges 6:2;Psalms 125:2; Matthew 24:16; Hebrews 11:38).

Itis noteworthy that people have given this popular psalm both literal andfigurative meanings. Many people believe that their prayers cannot be answeredunless they go to a mountain to pray. This has led to the emergence of numerousprayer mountains in many parts of the world. Many so-called modern-day prophetshave set apart places mostly on mountains and ask people to come there forprayer sessions. There is nothing wrong in going to mountains to pray, if suchplaces will create an avenue for privacy in prayer. Jesus Christ also used manymountains as His prayer arenas (see Matthew 17:1; 28:16; Mark 6:46; Luke 6:12;9:28). However, to think or believe that prayers can only or mostly be answeredon mountains is erroneous. Jesus Christ even corrected a similar error when aSamaritan woman was trying to argue that one should worship God on a particularmountain. Hear Him: “... a time is coming when you will worship the Fatherneither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.... a time is coming and has now comewhen the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for theyare the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and hisworshippers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24 NIV).

Manypeople on the other hand give the psalm figurative meanings. They put theirtrust in men, riches, experience, and the likes. However, the psalmist quicklyadded that his help would not come from any place, person or thing, but thathis help would come from the God who made heavens and the earth. He knew thatonly “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm46:1 NKJV).

Whatmountain are you looking up to for help? Is it a specific mountain? Have youmade people, riches, experience, and the likes your mountains that you arelooking up to in time of distress? Only God can help you. Look unto Him.. Hewill indeed help!

InHis service,

BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point:Pray that you not look to any mountain, but God who created the mountains forhelp.
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Post  Admin on Sun 23 Sep 2018, 9:39 pm

Dearly Beloved,

UNMARKED GRAVES

"How terrible for you! You are like unmarked graves which people walk on without knowing it" (Luke 11:44 TEV).

Gravesite is a place that most people would not want to move close to not to talk of walking through or walking on it. Therefore, gravesite is marked with designs and marks that will distinguish it from any other structure or place. It is interesting to discover that Jesus Christ compared the religious leaders of His days on earth to graves that were not marked that made people to move closer to them unsuspectingly. People would have maintained a distance from them if they knew their real identity. The main reason for the comparison of the religious leaders and unmasked graves is the hypocrisy of the leaders. They pretended to be religious while they were neither spiritual nor godly. People were looking at them as exemplary while they were misleading those people.

Many people today are also like those religious leaders. They are indeed religious, but they are far from being godly or Christlike. Outwardly, they claim to be Christians, but they are different inwardly. This causes the increased number of churches, especially in this part of the world, but the people that attend these churches almost everyday are not different from the people outside the church. At times they are worst than the people outside. They have the form of godliness, but their conduct contradicts the genuineness of their profession (see 2 Timothy 3:5). They are indeed unmarked graves! 

Are you an unmarked grave? Are you really what you claim to be? Will people like to move closer to you if they know your real identity? You can deceive people with your acts of religiosity, but you cannot deceive the all-knowing God. He will reward you accordingly (see Matthew 7:21-23; Galatians 6:7). 

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Help me, O Lord, not to deceive people in any way with my action or words.
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Post  Admin on Sun 16 Sep 2018, 4:38 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DO NOT SETTLE FOR THE GOOD!

“And Abraham said to God, ‘If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!’” (Genesis 17:18 NIV).

An international speaker, John L. Mason, wrote a book that is a best-seller titled “An Enemy Called Average.” On the cover page of the book, he said, “Don’t settle For An Average Life – God Wants To Launch You Past The Middle To The Top.” The final words of the author of the book in part are, “Be the whole person God called you to be. Don’t settle for anything less.” 

It was as if the author of the book had Abraham in mind when he was choosing the title of the inspirational book. God had called Abraham out of his relatives to make him the father of many nations (see Genesis 12:1-3). God promised to bless him greatly and make his descendants numerous and great (see Genesis 15). However, he did not have children. He had even concluded in his mind that a servant would inherit all his possessions and the blessings of God! God assured him that a son coming out of his own body would be his heir (see Genesis 15:1-4). When God tarried in fulfilling this promise, Abraham and his wife tried to help God. They had a son through Hagar, a maidservant (see Genesis 16). Nonetheless, God insisted that the promised child would come through Sarah (see Genesis 17:15-16). Abraham saw this as a joke and suggested to God to be contented the good he (Abraham) helped God brought into being (see Genesis 17:17-18). He had settled for the good. Nevertheless, God was resolute to do the best for him (see Genesis 17:19). 

On many occasions, we also settle for the good we have and pray that God should bless it while God is planning the best for us. A popular adage says, “God’s time is the best.” However, most of us prefer the good time we have or that we are thinking of to the best time of God. This should not be! We should learn how to wait for the best time and the best things of God for us. We should not settle for the good or the average, but the best. 

What are you expecting from God? Does it seem it is getting too late? Are you trying to settle for the good you have now? The best of God came to reality in the lives of Abraham and Sarah when they least expected it (see Genesis 21:1-7). Your best will also come to reality in Jesus’ name. Amen. But, do not settle for the good!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will always aim at becoming the best that God wants you to be in life.
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Post  Admin on Sun 09 Sep 2018, 8:44 pm

Dearly Beloved,

ARE YOU REALLY READY?

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die isgain” (Philippians 1:21 NKJV).

 “For Iam now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand” (2 Timothy4:6 KJV).

I had a minor surgical operation recently. Thesurgeon had assured me that it would be a minor one. However, the recent deathof a colleague in a similar scenario is still fresh in my memory. So, as I wasushered into the outer room of the operating theatre of the hospital for theoperation and was clothed with a special garment, and as the surgeon and thesupporting medical personnel were preparing the place for the operation, I waspraying within me, confessing my sins, and making my ways right before God inanticipation for the worst. I was not afraid of death though. My favouriteBible verse is Philippians 1:21: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die isgain” (NKJV). Nonetheless, I still prepared myself for any eventuality thatmight arise from the surgical operation. Thanks be to God, the operation wassuccessful, and I am hearty and hale now.

It was a rare privilege to be consciously facedwith possible death and have the time to amend one’s ways before God. Fewpeople are having such privilege because on many occasions, death does notannounce its coming. It can come at any time to take either the young or theold. It may even leave the terminally sick and take the healthy one! No oneknows when it will be his/her turn. Nevertheless, one certainty of life is thateveryone will die one day; only the day is uncertain. The uncertainty of theday of the certainty of death ought to make every one be ready for it everyday, not only when one is faced with the possibility of death. 

Apostle Paul who made the statement in Philippians1:21 had earlier said on many occasions that his life was nothing to him, andhe was ready to die (see Acts 20:24; 21:13; 2 Corinthians 5:6-9). No wonder, hecould accomplish much for God. He repeated it that he was ready to die at thetail end of his ministry on earth (see 2 Timothy 4:6).

It is unfortunate that many people are notready for death. They are living as if they will not face death one day. However,it is certain, even from experience, that death is inevitable. The writer ofthe book to the Hebrews emphatically said: “And as it is appointed for men todie once, but after this the judgment” (9:27 NKJV). Are you really ready forthis? Since the opportunity is very rare to know when you will possibly oreventually die, are you ready for death NOW? This is what many people do notwant to hear nor admit! But, death is inevitable. Are you ready for it? Anyonewho is not ready to die is not ready to live! Are you really ready?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will always beready for death as you go about your day-to-day activities in life.
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Post  Admin on Sat 08 Sep 2018, 10:07 pm

Dearly Beloved,

ARE YOU REALLY READY?

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die isgain” (Philippians 1:21 NKJV).

 “For Iam now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand” (2 Timothy4:6 KJV).

I had a minor surgical operation recently. Thesurgeon had assured me that it would be a minor one. However, the recent deathof a colleague in a similar scenario is still fresh in my memory. So, as I wasushered into the outer room of the operating theatre of the hospital for theoperation and was clothed with a special garment, and as the surgeon and thesupporting medical personnel were preparing the place for the operation, I waspraying within me, confessing my sins, and making my ways right before God inanticipation for the worst. I was not afraid of death though. My favouriteBible verse is Philippians 1:21: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die isgain” (NKJV). Nonetheless, I still prepared myself for any eventuality thatmight arise from the surgical operation. Thanks be to God, the operation wassuccessful, and I am hearty and hale now.

It was a rare privilege to be consciously facedwith possible death and have the time to amend one’s ways before God. Fewpeople are having such privilege because on many occasions, death does notannounce its coming. It can come at any time to take either the young or theold. It may even leave the terminally sick and take the healthy one! No oneknows when it will be his/her turn. Nevertheless, one certainty of life is thateveryone will die one day; only the day is uncertain. The uncertainty of theday of the certainty of death ought to make every one be ready for it everyday, not only when one is faced with the possibility of death. 

Apostle Paul who made the statement in Philippians1:21 had earlier said on many occasions that his life was nothing to him, andhe was ready to die (see Acts 20:24; 21:13; 2 Corinthians 5:6-9). No wonder, hecould accomplish much for God. He repeated it that he was ready to die at thetail end of his ministry on earth (see 2 Timothy 4:6).

It is unfortunate that many people are notready for death. They are living as if they will not face death one day. However,it is certain, even from experience, that death is inevitable. The writer ofthe book to the Hebrews emphatically said: “And as it is appointed for men todie once, but after this the judgment” (9:27 NKJV). Are you really ready forthis? Since the opportunity is very rare to know when you will possibly oreventually die, are you ready for death NOW? This is what many people do notwant to hear nor admit! But, death is inevitable. Are you ready for it? Anyonewho is not ready to die is not ready to live! Are you really ready?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).


Dearly Beloved,

WHY DO YOU WORRY? (Part 3)

“But seek first the kingdom of God and Hisrighteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 NKJV).

Part 1 of this message emphasized from JesusChrist’s teaching that we should not worry because we were not the creator ofourselves, and we cannot add a day to our life’s span. Part 2 buttressed theadmonition of Jesus Christ against worry with the use of natural things asillustrations and concluded with the fact that one does not need to worrybecause if God can be providing for these lesser creatures, He will provide forhuman beings that He created in His image. 

In this concluding part, Jesus Christ gave whatis needful that everyone should care about instead of worrying about earthlythings: seeking the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness. Apostle Paul putit in another words: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those thingswhich are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set yourmind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2 NKJV). Thekingdom of heaven is another form of the kingdom of God. Chiefly, to seek thekingdom of heaven means to seek the salvation that is fundamental to it becauseit is of greater value than all the world’s possessions. This does not meanthat we should neglect the reasonable and daily duties that help sustain ourlives. For the Christian, there should be a difference in attitude toward thesebasic needs of life. If a Christian is taking care of God’s business as apriority by seeking His salvation, living in obedience to Him, and sharing thegood news of the kingdom with others, then God will take care of that person’s needsas He promised (see Philippians 4:19). There is then no need to worry if thatis the arrangement.

This is in contrast with the people of the worldthat centre their lives on things of this world. They do not know God, and theycannot please Him. Their priority is how to please themselves. So, they worryabout what God should ordinarily provide for them. No wonder, Jesus Christ saidthat after seeking the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness that the thingsof the world that the Christian does not care about will be added unto him. Itthen means that we worry about are additional things that God intends to giveus after we have focused our attention on Him and chose to please Him. 

Most of our worries come out of our misplacedand/or out-of-place priorities.. You will worry less of the earthly things if yourmain priority in life is to please God and promote the cause of His kingdom onearth. You willindeed gain more spiritual insight and greater trustin God’s plans when you put the things of God first.

Why do you worry?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray for the enablement to alwaysseek the things of God while you are on earth.

NB
If you missed any part of this message, or youwant the whole message, send a request to me by email at spiritualdigest@yahoo.com. Thanks.
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Post  Admin on Mon 03 Sep 2018, 10:13 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHY DO YOU WORRY? (Part 3)

“But seek first the kingdom of God and Hisrighteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 NKJV).

Part 1 of this message emphasized from JesusChrist’s teaching that we should not worry because we were not the creator ofourselves, and we cannot add a day to our life’s span. Part 2 buttressed theadmonition of Jesus Christ against worry with the use of natural things asillustrations and concluded with the fact that one does not need to worrybecause if God can be providing for these lesser creatures, He will provide forhuman beings that He created in His image. 

In this concluding part, Jesus Christ gave whatis needful that everyone should care about instead of worrying about earthlythings: seeking the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness. Apostle Paul putit in another words: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those thingswhich are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set yourmind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2 NKJV). Thekingdom of heaven is another form of the kingdom of God. Chiefly, to seek thekingdom of heaven means to seek the salvation that is fundamental to it becauseit is of greater value than all the world’s possessions. This does not meanthat we should neglect the reasonable and daily duties that help sustain ourlives. For the Christian, there should be a difference in attitude toward thesebasic needs of life. If a Christian is taking care of God’s business as apriority by seeking His salvation, living in obedience to Him, and sharing thegood news of the kingdom with others, then God will take care of that person’s needsas He promised (see Philippians 4:19). There is then no need to worry if thatis the arrangement.

This is in contrast with the people of the worldthat centre their lives on things of this world. They do not know God, and theycannot please Him. Their priority is how to please themselves. So, they worryabout what God should ordinarily provide for them. No wonder, Jesus Christ saidthat after seeking the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness that the thingsof the world that the Christian does not care about will be added unto him. Itthen means that we worry about are additional things that God intends to giveus after we have focused our attention on Him and chose to please Him. 

Most of our worries come out of our misplacedand/or out-of-place priorities.. You will worry less of the earthly things if yourmain priority in life is to please God and promote the cause of His kingdom onearth. You willindeed gain more spiritual insight and greater trustin God’s plans when you put the things of God first.

Why do you worry?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Sun 26 Aug 2018, 9:39 pm

Dearly Beloved,

The sudden death of one of my younger brothers about twoweeks ago and its aftermath made me to put aside the series on a message Istarted on the subject of worry before that sad incident. Here is thecontinuation of the message:

WHY DO YOU WORRY? (Part 2)

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies ofthe field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you thateven Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God soclothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into theoven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew6:28-30 NKJV).

It was established from Jesus Christ’s teachingas emphasized in the first part of this message that we should not worrybecause we were not the creator of ourselves, and we cannot add a day to ourlife’s span. To buttress His point on His admonition against worry, JesusChrist used natural things as illustrations. Lilies are wildflowers that growon their own. These plants are beautiful to the point that Jesus Christ saidthat Solomon as splendid as he was in his reign was not adorned as any of theplant. If God can beautify ordinary plant that can be uprooted and thrown intofire at any time, how much more would He not beautify people that He created inHis image by providing the basic needs of life like food and clothing for them?Jesus Christ had earlier referred to the birds of the air in His admonition..These birds are not as worthy as human beings. Therefore, if God can be takingcare of these lesser creatures, He will definitely take care of human beings.

Jesus Christ emphasized faith in God for theprovision of these basic things of life. Worrying demonstrates that one haslittle, or even no, faith in what God can do. Faith is the assurance of thefact that God will provide all these things in His own time and in His ownways.

This does not mean that man must not plan forhis future since he is not to worry about anything. It means that in one’splanning, one must commit one’s way to the Lord and trust also in Him, and Heshall bring one’s planning to pass (see Psalm 37:5; Proverbs 3:5-6). If God canbe providing for lesser creatures, He will provide for human beings that Hecreated in His image. So, you do not need to worry. He has promised never toleave you nor forsake you (see Hebrews 13:5). What you need is faith in Him(see Mark 11:22). If you do not worry, but believe in God, you will surely seethe glory of God (compare John 11:40).

Why do you worry while you can rely on God?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Sun 19 Aug 2018, 9:21 pm

Dearly Beloved,

IN SPITE OF ALL ODDS, GOD DOES EXIST!

“But she said to them, ‘Do not call me Naomi;call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went outfull, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi,since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?’”(Ruth 1:20-21 NKJV).

Ayomide, the 12-year-old eldest daughter of mylate younger brother is still intensely mourning the sudden death of herfather. Some days ago, as she was weeping uncontrollably, my elder sister whostill takes care of the widow and children of the deceased called me to informme about the situation. I called back and spoke with the mourning girl. She wasstill devastated about the irreparable loss. As I tried to console her with theword of God, she daringly told me that she no longer believes in God, that toher, God does not exist! I debunked the assertion and assured her that God doesexist in spite of what happened.

I could understand her situation. She did notexpect that she would become fatherless at such tender age. People tend tothink that God does not exist or that He is not powerful when they findthemselves in some kinds of precarious situations. They tend to say all sortsof things against God for allowing them to pass through unpleasant situations. Nonetheless,whatever happens to anyone, God remains God. He does not change, and He willnot change. 

Naomi was bitter against God as she returnedhome after the death of her husband and two sons in a foreign land. To her, itwas God that caused the misfortune that befell her. She would rather want to beidentified with her bitterness because of her supposed God-induced affliction(see Ruth 1). After losing everything he had, including his health, and the self-righteousnessof his friends as they tried to console him, Job asked God many questions forallowing his afflictions. Here are some of the questions: “Does it seem good toYou that You should oppress, that You should despise the work of Your hands,and smile on the counsel of the wicked?” (Job 10:3 NKJV). “How many are myiniquities and sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. Why do You hideYour face, and regard me as Your enemy?” (Job 13:23-24 NKJV). “Since times arenot hidden from the Almighty, why do those who know Him see not His days?” (Job24:1 NKJV). Job even dared God to answer him these questions and many otherclaims of his innocence and the perceived injustice done to him through hisordeals (see Job 31:35). God did answer Job! His many questions in Job 38-41show that He is indeed sovereign.

God does exist in spite of all odds! Ourknowledge of who God is and what He has promised will determine our attitudetowards Him when we find ourselves in any situation. He never promised a lifefree of pains or suffering. His promises are that He will be with us WHEN, andnot “if”, we pass through these pains and suffering of life. Consider this: “Butnow, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, OIsrael: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; Youare Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through therivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shallnot be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you’” (Isaiah 43:1-2 NKJV. See also Deuteronomy31:6-8; Psalm 23:4; 66:12; 91:15; Isaiah 41:10, 14; Daniel 3:23-27; Malachi3:2-3; Matthew 1:23; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; 2 Timothy 4:17, 22).

Are you doubting the existence or the power ofGod in your life because of some afflictions you are passing through? You donot need to doubt Him! You do not even need to question Him. He is sovereign.He has reasons for allowing what you are passing through. As the stories of Joband Naomi ended well, your story – no matter how bitter it may be – will alsoend well in Jesus’ name. Amen. In spite of all odds, God does exist and He will glorify Himself in your life. Jesus Christ told Martha (who was bereaved of her brother), “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40 NKJV).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Points:

1.    Always remember Ayomide, her younger sisters, their mother and the rest of us in yourprayers as we pass through this difficult time of losing our beloved one, ARIYOAFOLARANMI (1976-2018), that God will prove His existence and sovereignty inthis trying time.

2.    Praythat you will experience the presence of God in any situation you may findyourself in life.
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