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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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Post  Admin on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 9:51 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DEATH IS CONQUERED, HALLELUJAH!

“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortalhas put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that iswritten: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ’O Death, where is your sting? OHades, where is your victory?’” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55 NKJV).

One of the not-so-popular hymns of the resurrection of Jesus Christis “DEATH IS CONQUERED, HALLELUJAH!” composed by William Edie Marks who wasborn in July 1872 and died on November 20, 1954. George C. Hugg published thehymn in 1890 in “Festal Chimes”. The hymn may not be popular as many otherhymns commonly sung during Easter, yet, its 3-stanza lyrics are verycomforting.

The hymn starts with a call to wake and sing because Jesus Christhas risen from the grave. Because death is conquered by His resurrection, wehave a given hope some time: we will escape from death’s dark prison. BecauseHe has robbed death of its terror, every fear has gone forever from us. BecauseHe is the hope of our salvation, every land and every nation have to now joinin the song of jubilation. Death is conquered, hallelujah! Christ is risen.

This hymn re-echoes the biblical truths about the victory of JesusChrist over death through His resurrection. When the Roman soldiers crucifiedJesus Christ, and He died on the cross, death and the devil thought they haveconquered the Source of life (compared Acts 3:15). The then constitutedauthority even tried to guard His tomb so that there would not be any form ofresurrection or stealing of His dead body (see Matthew 27:62-66). Humanlyspeaking, there is no hope again. Job even said, “If a man dies, shall he liveagain?” (Job 14:14 NKJV). No wonder, the disciples of Jesus Christ lockedthemselves up in a room disappointed that their Messiah was gone, and found itdifficult to believe His resurrection story (see Luke 24:11). However, JesusChrist died and was buried, went to the grave to make proclamation to thespirits in prison (see 1 Peter 3:18-19), and resurrected on the third day therebyconquering death, the devil, and his cohorts! Matthew 28:2-4 vividly describedhow He rose and how the guards that were keeping watch over His tomb becamelike dead men. Apostle Paul declared, “‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ’ODeath, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’” (1 Corinthians15:54-55 NKJV). Death is conquered, hallelujah!

The implication of this is that every true believer in Christ willalso have the victory over sin, death and the devil (see Job 19:25; John11:25-26; Romans 6:4-5, 8-11; 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:21-22, 57; Colossians1:27; 1 Peter 1:3-4). This is a living hope – a hope of glory! (see Colossians1:27; 1 Peter 1:3).

Death is conquered, hallelujah! Do you have the assurance of this ifyou die today? Celebrating Easter will be meaningless if you do not have thisassurance.

Happy Easter celebration!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Sat 24 Mar 2018, 11:55 pm

Dearly Beloved,

THE TRIUMPHANT ENTRY: ANY SIGNIFICANCE?

(Text: Luke 19:28-40)

Palm Sunday, the annual celebration before Easter Sunday commemorates the triumphant entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. The event happened on the first day of the Passion Week. The name "Palm Sunday" comes from John 12:13, "They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, 'Hosanna?'" (NIV). The celebration started around 3rd-4th century AD. However, does the event have any significance for us today? Can we learn any lesson from it?

This event demonstrates humility and peace by Jesus (verse 30). Jesus opted to enter Jerusalem on a donkey (see Matthew 21:2), not a horse. Donkey and colt symbolize humility and peace while horse is usually associated with power and war. The outcomes of His option were honor and glorification (verses 37, 38; John 12:19). The Christian message is not of force or domineering, but a message of peace (see Ephesians 6:15), because "...everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 18:14 NIV).

The event amplifies total surrender (verse 35). The owners surrendered the colt to the strangers that came to untie it. Likewise, the colt allowed itself to be used by Jesus to ride on it. We should also be ready to surrender our possessions and even ourselves totally for the Master's use.

The aftermath of the submission is another significance - unmerited honor (verses 35, 36). It is unusual to saddle a donkey or a colt, but because of the submission of the colt, it was saddled and it became an instrument for Jesus Christ. The colt received part of the honor done to Jesus by people. Anyone that surrenders his/her life to Jesus will also experience the grace - the unmerited favor - granted by God (see Ephesians 1:3-4; 2:4-8).

Furthermore, the unreliability and inconsistency of man were demonstrated in this event (verses 37-38). Less than a week after the event, the same Jerusalem crowd that was shouting "Hosanna!" to Jesus was also shouting, "Crucify Him!" (23:18-23). Jesus was not surprised. He had earlier declared about them: "You bunch of hypocrites! Isaiah the prophet described you very well when he said, 'These people speak very prettily about the Lord but they have no love for him at all. Their worship is a farce?'" (Mark 7:6 TLB). Are you such a person?

Lastly, we see the need to be praising God always in this event (verses 38-40). Some of the Pharisees wanted Jesus to stop the people that were praising Him, but He told them a fundamental truth: "If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out" (Luke 19:40 NIV). This means that if we also refuse to praise God, He will raise other people, even stones to praise Him! May God not replace me with stones in His vineyard.

As we celebrate this year Palm Sunday, think of it: Do you know its significances? Do they have any impact in your life?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that the significances of the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem will have great impact in your life.
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Post  Admin on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 10:36 pm

Dearly Beloved,
YOU WILL SOON BOUNCE BACK!“
At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.  Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant” (Job 14:7-9 NIV).The Yorubas have many thought-provoking adages. One of such sayings came to my mind recently. Here is it: “Ti eni ti o be igi ni o ju, igi yo ruwe.” [Literally, shame on the one who cut down a tree because the tree will soon sprout again.] The above Bible reference corroborates the Yoruba adage. This adage came to my mind as I was counseling somebody recently. However, it dawned on me that the proverbial tree will have to undergo a certain period. This transitional period is generally not a pleasant one as the tree will be trying to adjust to its present situation. However, in a matter of time, it will regain its full strength and beauty and even bear fruits.Many people also have been “cut down” by other people in one way or the other. It may be through deceit, fraud, cheating, robbery, sack in the place of work, denial of right, and the likes. Undoubtedly, the person that is “cut down” will undergo some kind of emotional trauma. He may blame the person that “cut him down.” He may blame himself for his ordeal. He may even blame God for allowing the misfortune. Such person may allow the ordeal to blindfold him from seeing other ways of moving forward in life. However, such person will indeed bounce back in a matter of time.. At the scent of water he will bud and put forth shoots like a plant and bear fruits again. Has your “tree been cut down”? What trauma are you passing through now? How are you reacting to the ordeal? Are you blaming yourself or the person that “cut the tree down”? Are you even blaming God? Do not blame anyone! Focus on God. Rely on Him. Open your eyes for other prospects. Your “tree will soon sprout” again and bear fruits! You will soon bounce back. Apostle Paul told the Corinthians, “For this reason we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day. And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble.. For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 TEV). You will indeed soon bounce back!In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray for the grace to be able to trust in God till you bounce back from any set back you might have. _________________________
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"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21, NIV)
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Post  Admin on Sun 11 Mar 2018, 11:24 pm

Dearly Beloved,ARE YOU QUALIFIED TO BE A FELLOW-WORKER WITH GOD?“For we are God's fellow-workers; you are God's field, God's building” (1 Corinthians 3:9 NIV).First Corinthians 3:9 has been the popular key verse of the Baptist Women Missionary Union of Nigeria. It is evident that the verse is not only applicable to the Baptist women that have made it their slogan. It is applicable to every true believer in Jesus Christ. However, who is qualified to be a fellow-worker with God? Can you really say you are a fellow-worker with God? Being a cosmopolitan church in a city full of immorality, paganism, and Greek philosophy, the early church in the town of Corinth was a crisis-ridden church. Apostle Paul had to write to address these crises. One of the crises, division in the church, led to the popular verse. A closer look at the verse will help us understand what Paul really meant in the verse and thereby deduce the qualifications of a fellow-worker with God from the rest of the chapter. There are two pronouns in the verse from the popular English versions of the Holy Bible. Who were the “we” and who were the “you”? Undoubtedly, the Corinthian Christians were the “you”. Paul and Apollos were the “we.” This simple interpretation will help bring out the qualifications of a fellow-worker with God from the whole chapter. One, a fellow-worker with God must be spiritually mature not like the Corinthian Christians that were mere infants in the faith because of rancour and jealousy (verses 1-3). Two, a fellow-worker with God must be Christ-centred, not people-centred (verse 4, cf. Hebrews 12:1-2). Three, a fellow-worker with God must be an instrument in the hands of God (verses 5-6) who will be “…useful to the Master and [be] prepared to do any good work” (2 Timothy 2:21 NIV). Four, a fellow-worker with God must be purposeful (verse 8). Five, a fellow-worker with God must be a careful builder (verse 10). Six, a fellow-worker with God must be God’s temple (verse 17) that will daily “…present [his or her body as] a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1 NKJV). Lastly, a fellow-worker with God must be ready to a “fool” (verses 18-20, cf. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29). God desires people to be His fellow-workers in His vineyard. Are you ready to be one? Are you qualified based on the qualifications above to be a fellow-worker with God? You cannot work for God or serve Him if you do not have these qualifications. God bless you!In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Lord, help me to be qualified to be Your fellow-worker in Your vineyard. _________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 10:59 am

Dearly Beloved,
HOW WOULD YOU APPRECIATE GOD?"
Then the LORD said to Moses, 'When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them'” (Exodus 30:11-12 NIV).As the people of Israel were coming out of slavery in the land of Egypt, God gave them many laws that would guide them as a peculiar nation to Him. Among these laws was the atonement money to be paid to the sanctuary when men from twenty years and above were being counted as part of the military force. In contrast to other offerings, the rich were not to give more, nor the poor less (verse 15). This was to point out that the souls of the rich and poor are alike precious, and that God is no respecter of persons. This particular offering was to be paid as a ransom of the soul, so that “no plague will come on them". Thus they acknowledged that they received their lives from God, that they had surrendered their lives to Him, and that they depended upon His power and patience for the continuance of them; and hence, they did homage to the God of their lives.Most of these laws including this one are not applicable to us today because we are not under the law but under the grace of God. However, there is a lesson for us today from such law: we owe God our lives, and we have to be appreciating Him for the gift of life He has given us. Giving of money to the cause of the gospel is just one of the numerous ways to appreciate God for our lives. The most important appreciation we can give God is our life. This was what the Macedonian churches did. "They gave themselves first to the Lord..." (2 Corinthians 8:1, 5 NIV). Then, they did other kinds of giving to appreciate God.How would you appreciate God for your life? What would you use to appreciate God for everything He is doing in your life? While many ministers of God would emphasize giving of money, have you considered firstly giving of your whole life back unto Him as your appreciation for that life? He deserves nothing less than that from you. Only an ingrate and a fool will disregard God and do not appreciate Him for his life.
In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will always appreciate God by first giving of your life, then your substances to Him.
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Post  Admin on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 11:27 pm

Dearly Beloved,

EVEN IN AREAS OF TURBULENCE

“When you pass through thewaters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflowyou. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall theflame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:2 NKJV).

One of the fascinating thingsduring my recent flight from Lagos, Nigeria to Dallas/Fort Worth, USA (viaParis, France and Detroit, USA) was the smartness, enthusiasm, friendliness, andprofessionalism with which the flight attendants discharged their duties,especially their calmness even when the captain announced that we wereapproaching areas of turbulence. They even helped to warn passengers to adhereto the warning as they went ahead with their routine as if they have immunityagainst the likely danger ahead. As we rode safely out of the rough air, theseflight attendants continued their duties unmoved. Their action gave me moreconfidence next time such warning was given. These flight attendants and othermore regular air travellers put their trust in the expertise of thecaptain.

In the journey of life, thereare many areas of turbulence that people approach without any forewarning.However, we have a more experienced Captain that is anchoring the flight of ourlife. We need not fear any “rough air” of life because He is able to take us through(see Jude 24-25). That was why Moses could assure Joshua and the people ofIsrael not to be afraid but be of good courage because “...the Lord, He is theOne who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsakeyou...." (Deuteronomy 31:6-8 NKJV). The Lord Himself assured the remnant ofIsrael, “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 43:2 NKJV). The psalmistunderstood this when he declared, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of theshadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Yourstaff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4 NKJV). Unfortunately, the disciples ofJesus Christ did not learn this secret. They relied on their experiences andnearly perished while the Captain of their lives was with them in the boat. Ifnot for the fact that they invited Him to intervene in their dangerous, theyprobably would have perished in that area of turbulence (see Mark 4:35-41).

Oh, how good would it be ifpeople could understand this also and put their trust in God even in the areasof turbulence of their lives! How good would it be if they could go on calmlywith their daily routines even when they know that they are approaching the“rough air” of their life’s journey! If flight attendants and other airtravellers can rely on the expertise of the captain and do not worry about anyturbulence, why can people not rely on the Lord who is far greater than anycaptain in the world?

You need not fear any evil. Becalm and continue to move on in life even in areas of turbulence. The Lord iswith you!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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Post  Admin on Wed 21 Feb 2018, 10:28 pm

Dearly Beloved,
BE READY TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15-17 NIV).Jesus Christ gave a formula of reconciliation with an erring brother and, by inference, any other person who sins against us. The first step in the formula is that the one who is erred against should go to the erring person privately and show him his fault. If the erring person accepts his fault, good. If he does not, then, the second step will follow: involving a third party. The third will happen if the second step fails.. In this step, the church should be involved. If the third step does not work out, then the last step: regarding the erring person as an unbeliever! In a normal situation, at most, the matter should not go beyond the second step before it is resolved. Nevertheless, one important aspect of the whole process is that the person that is erred against should be the one that will initiate the whole process. There are many reasons for this. One, the erring person may not know that he has done something wrong. Even if he knows, he may find it difficult to initiate the reconciling process. Two, the person that is erred against will have a grudge against the erring person. This is a sin against God (see Leviticus 19:18). Three, the resentment will be a hindrance to the prayers of the person that is erred against (see Matthew 5:23, 24; 6:14, 15; Mark 11:25). Four, the person that is erred against will not have rest of mind because of the grudge he is having against the erring person, and this may lead to health problems.An experience I had recently confirmed the fourth reason. An elderly man misunderstood me and accused me of disrespecting him. I was offended with the misunderstanding. I initially decided not to reconcile with him because he was the one that misunderstood me. However, I developed that unrest within me. I summoned the courage and approached the man. After initial argument, he reasoned with me and the matter was resolved. Now, both of us do not have any grudge against each other.Has anyone erred against you? Though you are right, be ready to take the first step to reconcile with the person. If he does not accept his fault, involve somebody that you know he can listen to. Even if you take all the steps in the formula of Jesus Christ described above, still forgive him in your heart. Apostle Paul told the Colossians, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (3:13 NIV).In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray for the grace to always take the first step to reconcile with anyone that offends you. _________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 12:03 am

DearlyBeloved,

TODIE IS GAIN?

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

Recently,I was with an elderly woman who lost her young son-in-law to commiserate withher. In my prayers with her before I left her, I referred to the above-quotedverse that coincidentally is my favourite Bible verse, and prayed that ourliving will be for Christ, and our death will be gain. It was as if I was beenacquainted with the verse for the first time since then as I began to thinkagain how dying can be gain.

Todie is gain? Yes! For a Christian, it is gain if he/she really lives for JesusChrist. One would understand this better if one considers the context of thestatement. Apostle Paul (then Saul of Tarsus) used to persecute the Christians.He even supervised the killing of one of the first set of deacons in the EarlyChurch – Stephen (see Acts 7:58—8:1). However, he had a supernatural encounterwith Jesus Christ in the course of his persecution as he was on his way toDamascus (see Acts 9:1-9). Since that encounter, he had lived for Christ andhad been vigorously witnessing about the Christian faith. Because of these, hewas beaten, stoned, hated, scorned, shipwrecked, and particularly imprisonedwhen he made the statement. As he earlier said in Philippians 1:20 that hisearnest desire was to make Christ be glorified in his life and even in hisdeath, he saw his imprisonment for the cause of the gospel as a way ofglorifying Christ. He later explained further that his death would be gainbecause that would be far better for he would ultimately be with Christ inheaven. He had said somewhere that though either a Christian lives or dies, heis the Lord’s (Romans 14:8), being in the body (here on earth) is being absentfrom God (in heaven) (see 2 Corinthians 5:6), so, dying will be gain for thatwill be fully being present with God (in heaven). Besides, the place thatChristians will be is not made by natural hands, but it is a place that hasbeen eternally made in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:1). No wonder, Paul saidthat he preferred to be absent from the body and be at home with the Lord (2Corinthians 5:8). To die in Christ is indeed gain because “Precious in thesight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15 NKJV).

Willyour death be gain for you? Be ready to live for Christ. No matter howbeautiful or pleasurable this world may be, it cannot be compared with whereChristians – those who really live for Christ – are going when they die. Areyou ready to live for Christ? To die is indeed gain for one who lives forChrist.

InHis service,

BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).

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Post  Admin on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 11:52 pm

Dearly Beloved,
ONE MAN’S FOOD...“
For the message about Christ's death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; but for us who are being saved it is God's power” (1 Corinthians 1:18 TEV).One adage says, “One man’s food is another man’s poison.” The adage has come to reality many times in my Internet ministry. Many people are happy that they come across the ministry while many are ready to crucify me, if possible, for doing the ministry. While many would appreciate a message, some would see something wrong in the message, while some would remain indifferent to such message.The gospel message has saved many souls. More and more souls are being blessed in diverse ways by it everyday. In fact, “it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes [in the Lord Jesus Christ]” (Romans 1:16 NIV). Nonetheless, there are many people that are hostile to it.. It does not make sense to such people that God could empty Himself in order to save humankind (see Philippians 2:5-8). They are not ready to accept God’s plan of salvation for man. However, either they accept it or not, nothing can change the plan. “For all of us must appear before Christ, to be judged by him. Each one will receive what he deserves, according to everything he has done, good or bad, in his bodily life” (2 Corinthians 5:10 TEV).Even this is applicable to other things that men are doing or saying. There are people that will readily accept such actions or words either good or bad, and there are people that will reject or oppose the actions or words. As there would be ardent advocates of a cause, so also would there be antagonists of the very cause. One man’s food is indeed another man’s poison.What are you doing that seems that some people are opposing or criticising you? Are you convinced within you that you are led by God to do such things? If yes, disregard any form of opposition. Continue the good cause. Some people are being blessed by it in spite of the seeming opposition.In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will not be moved by people’s action/reaction/inaction to what you are doing inasmuch as you are doing it to the glory of God.
NB: Join "Spiritual Digest for the Day" on Telegram (https://t.me/spiritualdigest2003) where Bible verses, corresponding inspiring quotes, short prayers, hymns and other edifying messages are sent daily by me. God bless you! _________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 12:09 am

DO NOT DOUBT GOD!
Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:46 am (PST) . 

Dearly Beloved,
DO NOT DOUBT GOD
!"But Moses said, ‘Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, "I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!" Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?’ The LORD answered Moses, ‘Is the LORD's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you’" (Numbers 11:21-23 NIV).Moses was in a critical situation as he was leading the people of Israel to the Promised Land. In spite of the miraculous manna, the people were craving for other foods that they used to eat when they were in bondage in Egypt. Moses was overwhelmed with this request that he even asked God to put him to death! (see Numbers 11:15). Nevertheless, the Lord was ready to do two things for Moses: one, to consecrate other people that would bear the burden of the people of Israel with him; and two, to provide meat that the whole people would eat for a whole month. Moses did not have any problem with the first solution, but he could not believe the second one. He expressed his disbelief instantly. However, God asked Moses one of the reassuring questions about His power: "Is the LORD's arm too short?" (verse 23, NIV. See similar questions in Genesis 18:14; Isaiah 50:2; 59:1; Micah 2:7; Zechariah 8:6). God eventually did what He promised despite the doubt of Moses (see Numbers 11:31, 32).I wonder why Moses could doubt the words of God after God had demonstrated Himself to him and the people of Israel on many occasions. But that is how we also doubt God many times. We are too overwhelmed by our situation that we do not remember that the power of God is higher and greater than our situation. We are too problem-conscious and relegate God to the background. Even when He is reassuring us of His presence and power to deliver us from our precarious situation, we tend to doubt Him.What is your present situation? Are you too overwhelmed with the situation that you have lost all hope? Do you belief that God is greater than that situation and that He can rescue you from it? Do not doubt God! If you believe, you would see the glory of God (cf. John 11:40).In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray for the grace not to doubt God even when you find yourself in an uncertain circumstance.  _________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 12:47 am

Dearly Beloved,

“JESUS LOVES ME, THIS I KNOW”

“As the Father loved Me, Ialso have loved you; abide in My love” (John 15:9 NKJV).

One of the hymns I cherishedwhen I was growing up as a small child in Sunbeam Band in a local Baptistchurch is “JESUS LOVES ME, THIS I KNOW”.  It is one of the favourite hymns of manychildren. I still cherish the hymn now that I am a grown up man! Anna BartlettWarner (1820-1915) composed the hymn. The lyrics of the hymn were initiallypart of a poem she wrote together with her older sister Susan Warner(1819–1885). Like many people in his time, William Batchelder Bradbury(1816–1868) fell in love with the poem, and as a musician, he added a tune tothe poem turning it to a hymn. Bradbury added the refrain to the hymn. 

The poem turned hymn affirmsthe love of Jesus that is known as the Holy Bible tells the story. According tothe hymn as affirmed by the Holy Bible, little children as weak as they arebelong to Jesus Christ who is strong. In Mark 10:13-16, Jesus was greatly displeasedwith His disciples for restraining people from bringing children to Him. In Hislove for the children, He encouraged children to come to Him and demonstratedthe love by taking them up in His arms, laying His hands on them and blessingthem. Till today, Jesus Christ still loves children, and everyone that comes toHim. He walks with them as a Friend (see John 15:9, 13-15). Jesus Christdemonstrated His love by dying to open the gate of heaven for those He haswashed away their sin (see 1 Corinthians 6:11; Titus 2:14; 3:5; 1 John 1:7).Because of the love of Jesus Christ demonstrated by His death, Anna BartlettWarner concluded that she would henceforth live for Him.

Yes, Jesus loves Me! He loveseveryone who comes to Him, and He will by no means cast such a person out (John6:37; 10:27-29). Apostle Paul also affirmed this love of Christ and saidcategorically that nothing shall separate us from this love (Romans 8:35-39).

Yes, Jesus loves Me! It is socomforting to know that Jesus loves us. However, only those who have come toHim can experience the love. Does He love you? Do you know about this love? Areyou experiencing it? If you come to Him and abide in Him, you also will knowand experience the love of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus loves me, this I know!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Sun 14 Jan 2018, 11:46 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DO NOT MISPLACE YOUR PRIORITY!

“And [Jesus Christ] said to [His disciples],‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exerciseauthority over them are called “benefactors.” But not so among you; on thecontrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he whogoverns as he who serves’” (Luke 22:25-26 NKJV).

The apostles of Jesus Christ were with Him forover three years. He taught them about the principles of servant-leadership.They even had the privilege of been served by Jesus Christ as He washed theirfeet - a practice associated with servants in a household. In spite of these,the priority of the apostles was who would be the greatest among them. It isinteresting that they were arguing about this on the way to the Gethsemanehours after Jesus Christ demonstrated the true measure of a great leader tothem at the upper room (see John 131-17; Luke 22:24). Earlier, two of them,James and John, through their mother, had come to request for a prominent placein Jesus’ kingdom – an act that angered the other disciples (see Matthew20:20-28). Even, after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the priorityof the disciples was still on a kingdom where they might likely have notablepositions (see Acts 1:6).

Unfortunately, the priority of many people todayis how to be recognized as great persons or very important persons (VIP) andbeen served as such. No wonder, they love to acquire or be given titles andpositions where people will be worshipping them. Any one who does notacknowledge these titles and/or positions must have committed an “unpardonable”offence. Most of these people have lost focus of what it really means to be inleadership position. They have misplaced their priority. Worldly leaders maylord it over the people that they lead. They may treat the led as people withless or inferior importance. However, true Christian leaders areservant-leaders who serve the people that they lead. They do not manipulatethemselves into or lobby to be in leadership position. They count it aprivilege, not a right, to be in leadership position. That is the real priority.

What is your priority as a leader? Or what isyour priority as you aspire to become a leader? Are you ready to be aservant-leader like Jesus Christ who came not be served but serve others (seeMatthew 20:28)? You are not ready to lead until you are ready to serve thepeople that you are leading. Do not misplace your priority!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will have thespirit of a servant-leader who is ready serve those that you are leading.
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