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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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Post  Admin on Sun 12 Aug 2018, 4:35 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHY DO YOU WORRY?

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about yourlife, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what youwill put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”(Matthew 6:25 NKJV).

Many people are worrying about one thing oranother: worry about what to eat; worry about what to put on as clothes; worryabout shelter; worry about what to become in life; worry about failure in one’sendeavours; worry about the unknown; in fact, worry about anything andeverything. Human beings are prone to worry because we do not know what willhappen in the next second talk less of what will happen in the future. Worryhas made many people to lose their trust in God who created them. Why do youworry?

God has used other created things to teach usagainst worrying. In Matthew 5:19-24, Jesus Christ had been telling Hisdisciples and others that were listening to Him (as He presented what is nowknown as Sermon on the Mount) what should be one’s attitude towardspossessions. He thereby gave them reasons why they should not worry about theirlife in relations to they would eat, drink or wear. He told them that theirlives are far more than food, and their bodies are far more than clothing. IfGod can be taking care of the birds of the air that neither sow nor reap norgather into barns, God will take care of people that are far more valuable toHim than the birds. This does not mean that one should not care about thesethings because they are unimportant, but rather it means that our care for themshould not belittle God who can provide all these things. It is also a pointerto having total trust in God as one cares for having these things. Since Godknows that human beings need all these things, He wants them to look unto Himfor their provision.

You do not need to worry because you were notthe creator of yourself, and you cannot add a day to your life’s span. It isinteresting that Jesus Christ pointed this to His audience. If no one can bringhimself forth, and no one can prolong the number of his/her days on earth,then, no one should worry unduly about these things. So, worry does no goodthing. Rather, it shortens life.

What are earthly things that you worry aboutmost? Why? Why do you worry?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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Post  Admin on Wed 01 Aug 2018, 1:55 pm


Dearly Beloved,

IT IS KEPT FOR YOU

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you" (1 Peter 1:3-4 NIV).

There is a tradition that some Christian parents do when they give birth to a baby – buying a new Bible as the first gift for the baby. This gift may be presented publicly during the naming ceremony or during the dedication of the baby. I observed this tradition for my two biological children and kept the copies of the Bible on my bookshelves in my study. My intention was to present the copies of the Bible to the children when they are fully grown up. A mild drama took place in my study about ten years ago as I was looking for some books on my bookshelves. My son was with me looking at the books on the shelves. He called my attention to a particular book. When I looked at the book, it turned out to be the particular Bible I had bought for him eight years ago. I asked him if he likes it, he said yes. Then I asked him to open the title page and read the autograph there. He was surprised to discover that that Bible is a present to him right from the day of his naming ceremony. He just prostrated in appreciation of the hidden treasure.

Do you know that God has some hidden treasures for you also? Some of these hidden treasures will be revealed unto us on earth, some of them will be revealed in heaven. Peter talked about "an inheritance" that has been stored for the regenerated ones in heaven. This inheritance "can never perish, spoil or fade." It is apart from the living hope that we have through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. No matter what happens on earth, a true Christian has that hope of legacy stored for him/her in heaven. Nevertheless, it not only in heaven that he/she would enjoy such legacy. Even here on earth, he/she has many things that a non-Christian cannot boast of. He/she has the grace, mercy, peace and love of God in abundance. These qualities surpass all human understanding. In fact, the Christian is richly blessed in the Lord!

What is your heart desire? What are you aspiring to be? The Lord has in store for you both on earth and in heaven more than what you can imagine. It is kept for you for the appointed time. Surrender your total life to Him. Trust in Him. He will soon surprise you!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will not miss that treasured thing that God has kept in store for you both here on earth and in heaven.
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Post  Admin on Sun 22 Jul 2018, 2:25 pm

Dearly Beloved,

“ME I NO GO SUFFER...”

“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him” (Philippians 1:29 NIV).

There is a popular chorus in pidgin English in my part of the world that goes thus: “Me I no go suffer, I no go beg for bread. God of miracle, na my Papa o. God of miracle, na my papa o.” The literal meaning in the conventional English is, “I will not suffer; I will not beg for bread. God of miracle is my Father. God of miracle is my Father.” The song is a positive confession of who a Christian is in the Lord and what would happen to him. However, the song is partly one of such false hopes that make many Christians to lose the essence of being a Christian.

The Bible in many places teaches about the Christian suffering. Consider these verses:

“I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!" (John 16:33 TEV).

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV).

“For even when we were with you, [you know] we warned you plainly beforehand that we were to be pressed with difficulties and made to suffer affliction, just as to your own knowledge it has [since] happened” (1 Thessalonians 3:4 AMP).

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10 NIV).

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12 NIV).

Nevertheless, this suffering is not suffering for wrongdoing but suffering for being a Christian (see 1 Peter 4:12-16; Philippians 1:29), and it is certain that the Lord will see the Christian through the suffering and make him/her come out of it like a purified gold (see Psalm 23:4; 66:10; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3; 1 Peter 4:12-13).

The implication of this is that the Christian should be prepared for suffering all the time. However, he should “not lose heart. [Because] outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV).

It is indeed good to positively confess that we will not suffer. However, we should always remember that Christian life involves suffering in this world. The good news is that God has given every Christian victory over the suffering, and He will be with the Christian to go through the suffering successfully.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that the Lord will give you victory as you are prepared to suffer for His cause.
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Post  Admin on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 10:33 am

Dearly Beloved,

MAN WHO IS BORN OF WOMAN… (inhonour of Rev Stephen Asaju)

“Man who is born of woman isof few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away;he flees like a shadow and does not continue” (Job 14:1-2 NKJV).

As we gathered together in oneof the meetings for post-session evaluation and prayer during the justconcluded Christian Education Conference for West 1 Zone, it was glaring thatmy immediate boss was sad. She started speaking in parables. Someone in myworkplace is dead, and the news was vague then, so she did not know how tobreak it. Finally, she mentioned the name of the person that died: the ReverendSTEPHEN OMOTOSHO ASAJU. She led in a prayer for the family and loved ones ofthe deceased and bid us good night without any usual any post-sessionevaluation and prayer. Every one of us was sad. It was as if I have never heardthat people have died. How would death just snatch one of us like that? Why didit (that is, death) not give any warning or sign that it was coming to wreckthis irreparable havoc? Will I also go like that without any warning or signthat the end is looming from this earthly sojourn? 

Job had foreseen this scenariocenturies ago! He declared, “Man [or woman, of course] who is born of woman is offew days and full of trouble. He [or she] comes forth like a flower and fadesaway; he [or she] flees like a shadow and does not continue” (Job 14:1-2 NKJV.See also Psalm 39:5; 89:47). It is a pity that most of people (including me!)are not mindful of this. We live our lives as if we will not leave this earthone day. We aspire. We strive. We do things. If we are unable to achieve ouraspirations, we become unhappy and at times become angry with God. If ourstruggles do not yield the expected result, we strive the more and hope tosucceed one day. At times, we succeed; at times we fail. If we succeed, wethink that it is by our making. Even, if we remember to ascribe the glory ofthe success to God, we, on many occasions, forget that the success is temporal.  We do not remember that we have just few daysto live here on earth. The “few days” may be some years. They may be somedecades of years. They may be a longer number of years. Nevertheless, we willcome forth and fade away like a flower one day. We will be stopped from ouraspirations, struggles, achievements and any other things that we might havebeen doing here on earth. We will become history one day. 

I doubt if Revered StephenAsaju had any premonition that he would be called home few days ago. I am surehe had many aspirations; at least, both of us discussed some of suchaspirations. Certainly, he had many struggles of life.. However, he did not wishto die now without overcoming these struggles. All the achievements that he hadhave become useless to him, except the ones that he did for eternal purposes.His wife, children, or any relative or loved ones cannot make use ofcertificates. Indeed, man who is born of woman is of few days!

Are you mindful of the factthat you are of few days? Do you remember that you will fade away like flowerno matter how flourish you are now? The reality of life is that every one of uswill flee like a shadow and will not continue to be on this earth forever. Eachof us will die one day. Are you ready for that day?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).Prayer Points: 
1) Pray for thewife, children, and loved ones of the Reverend STEPHEN OMOTOSHO ASAJU that Godthe Holy Spirit, the great Comforter should console them and grant them thefortitude to bear this irreparable loss.

2) Pray that you will alwaysbe mindful of when you will die.

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Post  Admin on Sun 08 Jul 2018, 11:23 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?
“But [the expert in the law], wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’” (Luke 10:29 NKJV).
I am still wondering when our society (especially the Nigerian society) became self-centred, uncaring, and unconcerned to the predicaments of people around them? My car had a mechanical fault on a busy road as I was going to my office some weeks ago. I called my mechanic and sat in the car waiting for his arrival. To my surprise, for over one hour that I was in the car waiting, no one cared or showed any concern. Instead, some were abusing me that I caused obstruction on the road as if I was willingly doing so. Some were even making jest of me! I was not happy. The government may have its shortcomings, but does that mean we should not care for one another as fellow citizens? 
This incident made me to think of the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. Who is really my neighbour? That was the question that brought out the parable. An expert in the law had come to Jesus Christ to ask Him what he should do to inherit eternal life. Part of Jesus Christ’s answer was that the expert in the law should love his neighbours. Wanting to justify himself, the expert asked Jesus Christ, “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus Christ thereby went ahead to give the Parable of the Good Samaritan where a Samaritan (who was considered a foreigner) helped a wounded man while a Levite and a priest (the most pious and religious leaders of the day) pretended as if they did not see the wounded man. The expert in the law rightly adjudged the Samaritan as the neighbor of the wounded man because he (the Samaritan) took care of the wounded man. So, Jesus Christ asked him to go and do likewise. 
After the incident that happened to me, I did think inwardly: what would I do if I were one of those passer-byes? Would I also wait to help or even to merely show concern? What would you do in a similar situation? Would you wait to help? This is undoubtedly situational. However, here are some Bible injunctions that one can ponder on:
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so” (Proverbs 3:27 NKJV).
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.... And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:2, 9-10 NKJV).
“But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:16 NKJV).
Who is that person that you need to help or show concern for today? The person is your neighbour. Anyone that you have the capability to help is your neighbour. Do not hesitate to help him/her!  
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be sensitive to the need of other people around you and that you will be able to show concern and/or really help them..

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Post  Admin on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 10:26 pm

Dearly Beloved,

FATHERS ARE TO BE CHERISHED, BUT…

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your childrento wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord”(Ephesians 6:4 NKJV).

In my reflection on the celebration of theFather’s Day for this year, I laid emphasis on the fact that fathers are to becherished too as people generally cherish mothers because fathers are one ofthe most valuable assets a child could ever have in life. However, thereflection also made me to discover that some people in the Bible were not goodfathers in spite of the fact that they were famous. They had bad influence ontheir children and their generations. 

Amongst the fathers in the Bible that had badinfluence on their children were: 

1) Noah, though considered righteous in hisperverse generation, got drunk to the point that one of his sons, Ham, saw hisnakedness. This became a curse to the son (see Genesis 9:20-27).

2) Lot, another considered righteous man, wasgot drunk by his daughters, and he impregnated them (see Genesis 19:30-38).

3) Isaac, because of favoritism, made hischildren to become sworn enemies (see Genesis 27:1-41). 

4) Jacob, unfortunately, also followed thefootsteps of his father, Isaac (see Genesis 37).  

5) Moses, the greatest leader and lawgiver ofIsrael who neglected to do the needful for his children. If not for his wife,Ziporah, who intervened at the right time, he would have lost the children (seeExodus 4:24-26).

6) Eli was the priest that the people of Israellook up to for spiritual guidance, however, he was a permissive father whocould not control his children in spite of the fact that the children werewayward and they were driving the people away from God. God prophesied againsthim and his household. He and the children died the same day and the priesthoodwas transferred from his generation to another family (see 1 Samuel 2:12, 17,22-30; 3:13; 4:11-18; 1 Kings 2:27). 

7) Samuel was a great prophet, judge and priestwho was raised by Eli and saw the failure of Eli as a father. However, he wastoo busy that he could not control his own children also. They were as waywardas the children of Eli. Their waywardness was one of the reasons that made thepeople of Israel to request for a king (see 1 Samuel 8:1-6). 

8) David was a man after God’s own heart. Hewas the greatest king of Israel. He became a reference point for all otherkings after him. However, he was an absentee father who did not know what washappening to his children. This resulted to incest in his family and the death oftwo of his children. It nearly cost him his kingdom (see 2 Samuel 13-15). 

9) Ahaz was a king in Judah. He worshippedidols and sacrificed his children to demons (see 2 Kings 16:2–4). 

10) Hezekiah was a good king in Judah but hecared less about the impending danger that would come on his generation becauseof his negligence (see 2 Kings 20:16-19).

11) Manasseh was the son of Hezekiah, and hesucceeded him as king, but he was one of the worst kings in Judah. He alsosacrificed his children to demons (see 2 Kings 21:1-9; Psalm 106:35-41). 

12) It is interesting to note that Jesus Christreferred to Satan as a father! However, he is notorious for falsehood and he isinfluencing his children for falsehood and every kind of vices till today (seeJohn 8:41-44).

These and many others in history had badinfluence on their children, in spite of their supposed greatness or fame. Theydid not (or could not) bring up their children in the right ways.

Yes, fathers are to be cherished too. But, whatkind of father are you? What influence are you having on your children? Whatlegacy are you leaving for your children? If you are to be truly cherished bothnow and in the future, be an exemplary father (or mother) by having goodinfluence on your children and by bringing them up in the ways of the Lord.

Once again, Happy Father’s Day in arrears.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray for the grace to be anexemplary father (or mother) by having good influence on your children and bybringing them up in the ways of the Lord.
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Post  Admin on Sun 17 Jun 2018, 8:25 pm

Dearly Beloved,

FATHERS ARE TO BE CHERISHED TOO!

“Just as a father loves his children… [So] Honor (respect, obey,care for) your father…” (Psalm 103:13; Exodus 20:12 AMP).

As I was reflecting on the celebration of the Father’s Day for thisyear, I came across this quote attributed to the late revered world evangelist,Billy Graham: “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed,and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” This quote is an undisputablefact! Mothers are so cherished in every society. Many poems, songs, captions,and the likes have been composed and dedicated for mothers. Mothers arecelebrated worldwide twice every year (in March in some parts of the world andin May in other parts of the world). There is even another day tagged “InternationalWomen’s Day” in March to “celebrate the social, economic, cultural andpolitical achievement of women.” Women in general and mothers in particulardeserve these celebrations and accolades because of who they are and what theyare doing to/for their children. However, as Billy Graham rightly said, fathersare hardly recognized and given deserved honour in spite of the fact that they areone of the most valuable assets a child could ever have in life. 

Fathers are to be cherished because the Holy Bible presents God asour heavenly Father or “Our Father who is in heaven.” In fact, the centralimage of God is that of a Father (see Psalm 103:13; Hebrews 12:5-9; James 1:17).This write-up is not about God the Father anyway. Being written in a patriarchalsetting, the Holy Bible is full of many fathers that took special roles (bothpositive and negative) in the lives of their children.  Amongst the worst fathers in the Bible wereEli, the permissive father (1 Samuel 2:22-25, 29; 3:13); Samuel, an equalfailure as Eli (1 Samuel 8:1-6); David, though a man after God’s own heart, wasan absentee father who did not know what was happening to his children (see 2Samuel 13-15); Ahaz worshipped idols and sacrificed his children to demons (see2 Kings 16:2–4); Manassah who also sacrificed his children to demons (2 Kings21:1-9; Psalm 106:35-41) and many others. Amongst the best fathers in the Biblewere Abraham, the father of faith who settled his family members before hisdeath (see Genesis 25:5-6); Job who was involved with his children socially andprayed for them spiritually (see Job 1:4–5); Jonadab son of Rechab who was arespected father whose children obeyed him (2 Kings 10:15-16; Jeremiah 35); Joseph,the foster father of Jesus Christ, though one of the most underrated fathers inthe Bible, but went to great pains to protect his wife, Mary, the baby Jesus (seeMatthew 2:19-23) and other children like James, Joses, Judas (or Jude) andSimon (see Mark 6:3) and gave them education and needs as they were growing up;the father of the demon-possessed boy who brought the boy to the disciples ofJesus Christ to be healed (see Mark 9:14-27); the loving father in the Parableof the Prodigal Son who in spite of the behaviours of his two sons stilldemonstrated his fatherly love to them (see Luke 15:11-32); Philip who raisedfour daughters that became prophetesses (see Acts 21:8-9) and many others.

My earthly father died four years ago, but I still cherish what hehad imbibed in me when I was growing up. The instructions then were like bitterpills to swallow for me, but today, I am being grateful for him and thefatherly roles he had played in my life. I wish that my children will have manypositive things to learn from me as I continue to raise them up.

Look back on the roles that your father has played in your life. Arethey positive or negative? Are you a father? What roles are you playing in thelives of your children now? However, no matter the roles your father has playedin your life, do you cherish him? Are you celebrating your father as youcelebrate your mother? 

Fathers are to be cherished too! Happy Father’s Day!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray for the grace to always cherish fathers also asyou are cherishing mothers.
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Post  Admin on Sun 10 Jun 2018, 10:38 pm

DearlyBeloved,

DONOT THWART THE COVENANT OF GOD FOR YOUR LIFE!

“Whatshall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainlynot! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2 NKJV).

KingDavid (in the Bible) was a man after God’s own heart because of hisrighteousness before God (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). So, God made a covenantwith him that his line or descendants would be reigning in Israel forever (see2 Samuel 7:16; Psalm 89:3-4, 26-37). God was faithful in keeping this covenant.Even when Solomon, David’s son, was not as righteous as his father, and thekingdom broke into two, God still preserved the line of David as kings in one ofthe divided kingdom. However, the unrighteousness of many of the kings of Judahwho were descendants of David especially Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim was somuch. Jehoiachin, like his father, Jehoiakim, and many other kings before them “...didevil in the eyes of the Lord..." (2 Kings 24:9 NIV). Because of this, Godpromised to end the lineage of David as kings in Judah.

Godis faithful in keeping His part of the covenants that He makes with His people.However, people can thwart these covenants if they disobey God and do not walkin His ways. God emphasized this to the people of Israel as He gave them theLaw (see Leviticus 26:14ff; Deuteronomy 28:15ff). This is evident in thehistory of the people of Israel from the time of their judges to the time oftheir kings. If the people were faithful, God would be faithful with them. Ifthey derailed from obeying God, God would punish them. No one can be in sin andstill expect that he would continue to enjoy the grace of God. You cannot continue to thrivein unrighteousness and still expect God to keep His covenant with you. Thatis impossible! (see Romans 6:1-2).

Howfaithful are you to the covenant of God in your life? Are you righteous andjust to the point that God can still continue to keep His covenant for you? Unrighteousnessin your part can thwart the covenant of God for your life.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 8:10 pm

DearlyBeloved,

THE JUSTICE OF GOD FOR THE UNJUST 

“Forthis is what the Lord says about Shallum son of Josiah, who succeeded hisfather as king of Judah but has gone from this place: ‘He will never return. Hewill die in the place where they have led him captive; he will not see thisland again’” (Jeremiah 22:11-12 NIV).

“What goes round comes round”is a popular saying about retribution. One will be repaid with what one hasdone whether good or bad. This is not a good wish neither is it a curse. It isa fact of life. It is the law of sowing and reaping. Anyone who is just toother people will receive justice while anyone who is unjust will be dealt withunjustly one day.

This was the case of Shallum,son of Josiah, the unjust king of Judah. He (also known as Jehoahaz) reignedfor only three months after the death of his just father, Josiah, in Jerusalem.However, he was not as just as his father, as he “did evil in the eyes of theLord...” (2 Kings 23:32 NIV). He did this evil by building his palace by unrighteousnessand injustice and by making his own people work for nothing without paying themfor their labor (see Jeremiah 22:13). Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, deported himand made one of his (that is, Shallum’s) brothers king in his place. ProphetJeremiah prophesied against him that he would never return from his exile butdie in his place of captivity (see Jeremiah 22:11-12). There was no otherbiblical record about this unjust king. He sowed injustice and he reapedcalamity (compare Proverbs 22:8).  

No one can deceive God. He isGod of justice who will pay back trouble to those who are unjust (see Galatians6:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:6). He will pay this back both here on earth and inheaven (see Ecclesiastes 12:14; Isaiah 3:10; Romans 12:19; Galatians 6:8;Colossians 3:25; Hebrews 9:27). 

Are you unjust in yourdealings with other people? Or, in what ways are you dealingunjustly with people around you? Remember God’s justice. He will repayyou accordingly. Deal justly with people around you.    

In Hisservice,

BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Fri 18 May 2018, 10:08 pm

Dearly Beloved,

A CARING MOTHER

"How hard it is to find a capable wife! She is worth far more than jewels! ... Give her credit for all she does. She deserves the respect of everyone" (Proverbs 31:10, 31 TEV).

The writer of Proverbs 31:10-31 described a noble and virtuous wife, and by inference a noble and virtuous mother, in a graphic way. She is someone who her husband can trust. She is a source of encouragement to him. She is diligent in her work. She is creative. She is generous. She is gentle and wise. Above all, she is caring. No wonder the writer of the passage ended his description with a call to give such woman respect.

My mother first demonstrated the attribute of a caring mother to me. Even after I become a married man, she was still demonstrating that attribute to me. However, my wife’’s caring attribute as a mother surpasses that of my mother. I always admire and appreciate her (my wife’’s) motherly care for my children and even me. Recently, she demonstrated that motherly caring attribute in an extraordinary way when one of our local hens died mysteriously leaving behind four young chicks. I was indifferent to the fate of the motherless chicks, but my wife thought of ways to nurture them. She did care for them and they are doing fine everyday. Such action to ordinary chicks may not be significant, but it shows how real mothers care for their children and others around them.

By nature, women are generally loving and caring. However, some of them are extraordinary with the qualities. Such women really care for their husband and children and any other person or thing around them. Nevertheless, there are women who do not care about their children not to talk of caring about their husbands. There are women who care less about their children and care more about themselves and things of this world. There are women who even do not care about anybody including themselves!

Are you a caring mother? Can your husband and children praise you for being so caring? Care more for your children and your husband. The Lord will reward you greatly for it in Jesus’ name. Amen. Happy Mothers’ Day!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: While I dedicate this message to caring mothers worldwide, pray that as God remembered Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth in the Bible, He will remember the waiting mothers who long to express the caring and loving attributes to their own children also.

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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 Tue 08 May 2018, 10:52 pm

Dearly Beloved,

HE DOES NOT NEED ANY DEFENSE

"   ⒠  Put your sword back in its place,   ⒠   Jesus said to him,    ⒠  for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?   ⒠  " (Matthew 26:52-54 NIV).

Recently I received a forwarded chain mail asking me to participate in a cause to protest to a popular online social network service to remove a website that is offensive to the personality of Jesus Christ from the social network   ⒠  s online service. Hundreds of people had added their names to the mail as it was been forwarded to other people before it got to me. I wanted to add my name, but I remembered that there is no need to start the cause in the first instance because Jesus Christ does not need any kind of defense from anybody.

Adherents of many world religions, denominations, and causes are ready to defend the founders of such religions, denominations, or causes with the last drop of their blood. However, Jesus Christ or the God that the Christians serve does not need such defense. He is self-sufficient, unchangeable and unmovable. Nothing can subtract anything from His Being no matter the derogatory language used for Him. Attempts to defend Him may even be working against His wills!

When Jesus Christ was about to be arrested, one of His disciples tried to defend Him, but He cautioned him and made him realize that He is up to the task. At that particular time, it was part of the arrangement to fulfill the divine purpose of His coming to the world. In spite of the arrest, molestation, trial, crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, He resurrected the third day. He was exalted to the highest place and given "the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11 NIV). No amount of derogatory language can reduce His sovereignty. People that are using foul languages against Him are just wasting their time.

Jesus Christ does not need any kind of defense. In spite of this, who is He to you? How do you refer Him? He has come as the Savior of the world. He is presently defending those that believe in Him. He is coming back soon as the Judge of the whole world. Are you ready to face Him?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will not waste your time trying to defend God, but rather you will be in right standing with Him.
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Post  Admin on Tue 24 Apr 2018, 9:46 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHETHER I LIVE OR DIE… 

“According to my earnest expectation and hopethat in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so nowalso Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For tome, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:20-21 NKJV).

I had the opportunity of attending a funeralservice of a nineteen-year-old young man during my visit to the United Statesrecently. This service was a unique one from any other funeral service I everattended in many ways. One, I could not imagine that it would be that wellattended with people both young and old from far and near. Two, in spite of thefact that the deceased was just a teenager, the service was not a mourning orsad one as people testified to the good and exemplary Christian life of thedeceased. Three, the parents of deceased were in attendance. The father, who isa pastor, was the one that even preached at the service. Four, the funeralservice was turned into a revival service where many teenagers openly gavetheir lives to Jesus Christ, and many others rededicated their lives to livefor Jesus Christ. This fourth reason really made the death of the teenager tobe an eternal gain for the people that gave or rededicated their lives to JesusChrist. 

The life and death of this young man fulfilledthe aspiration of Apostle Paul (and coincidentally mine) in Philippians1:20-21. Apostle Paul was in a prison in Rome when he uttered the statementthat he earnestly expected and hoped that Jesus Christ would be magnified inhis body whether by life of by death. His life did magnify Jesus Christ. Helived for Christ and vigorously witnessed about the Christian faith. Because ofthese, he was beaten, stoned, hated, scorned, shipwrecked, and particularlyimprisoned. In fact, he could boast that he worked harder than any otherapostles by the grace of God (see 1 Corinthians 15:9-10). Most of the books ofthe New Testament were attributed to him. Undoubtedly, his death also didmagnify Jesus Christ. He later explained further that his death would be gainbecause that would be far better for he would ultimately be with Christ inheaven. However, the death of that young man referred to earlier was not onlygain for him in heaven, but also gain for many people here on earth because hisdeath and burial brought them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

O, how I wish that whether I live or die, mylife would be gain for other people and me! Gain for me because I will go andbe with my Lord, and gain for others because it will encourage them to drawcloser to God. Could your life or death be gain for you and other people? Onlythose who live for Jesus Christ can be gain to themselves and others when theydie. Whether I live or die, my life or death will be gain for others and me.What of you?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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