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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. _________________________
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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! _________________________
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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.  _________________________
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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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Post  Admin on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 1:12 am

Dearly Beloved,

THE BLESSED OF THE LORD

“Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways”(Psalm 128:1 NKJV).

Once again, happyand prosperous New Year! As I used Psalm 128 to pray for you earlier this New Year, Isay again that you will be blessed and sheltered by God’s favour; you will eatthe fruit of the labour of your hands; it will be well with you; your familyshall be like a fruitful vine within the innermost part of your house; you willsee the prosperity of where you dwell this year and all the days of your life;and you will see the goodness of your generations in Jesus’ name. Amen.

It is good to claim these prophecies.However, the prophecies are for particular set of people: those who fear God (seeverses 1, 4) and those who walks in His ways (see verse 1). What does it meanto fear God, and how does one walk in God’s way? Both of them are similar ifnot interwoven. To fear God is to hold Him in reverence, to adore Him, to honourHim, to worship Him, to put one’s confidence in Him, to be thankful to Him, to loveHim, and, of course, to fear Him for who He is and the fact He can kill thebody and punish (and also reward) the soul (see Luke 12:5). The writer ofProverbs simply said: “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil...” (8:13). To walkin God’s ways is to live according to His words and will for our lives. Onlythose who fear God in revering Him, adoring Him, honouring Him, worshipping Himand loving Him can live according to His words. 

Enoch walked faithfully with God, he wasgiven a special privilege by being taken from this life thereby notexperiencing physical death (see Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5); Abraham fearedGod to the point of nearly sacrificing his son, Isaac, to God, and God blessedhim and made all nations to be blessed by him (see Genezo 22:12-18); God gavethe Hebrew midwives their own homes because they feared God (Eliro 1:21); Davidwas a man after God’s own heart because he was ready to do everything that Godwanted him to do (see Acts 13:22). The list of those who feared God and walkedin His ways is inexhaustible. One thing is sure about each of them: they wereblessed of the Lord.

Do you also want to be blessed of theLord this year? Fear Him and walk faithfully with Him! Only those who fear Godand walk faithfully with Him will be really blessed by Him. These are the realblessed of the Lord!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Thu 04 Jan 2018, 1:52 pm

Dearly Beloved,

OUR PRAYERS FORYOU IN THE YEAR 2018

Praise the Lord!He has demonstrated His faithfulness again in enabling us to start anotheryear. Happy New Year (2018).

Opeyemi (mywife), Boluwatife, IfeOluwa, Michael, Abraham (my children) and I are welcomingyou to this New Year with these prophetic prayers adapted from Psalm 128 (AMP).

This New Year:

- You will beblessed and sheltered by God’s favour;

- You will eatthe fruit of the labour of your hands;

- It will be wellwith you;

- Your familyshall be like a fruitful vine within the innermost part of your house;

- You will seethe prosperity of where you dwell this year and all the days of your life;

- Indeed, you willsee the goodness of your generations.

- Peace be uponyou this year in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Happy andprosperous New Year!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi(Pastor),

BaptistBuilding, Oke Bola,

PMB 5113, Ibadan200001,

Nigeria

+2348055159591
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Post  Admin on Mon 01 Jan 2018, 7:57 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHAT IS YOUR REPORT CARD FOR THE YEAR?
“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 NKJV).When I was in the primary school in the late 70s and early 80s, we used to look forward to the last day of the school term when every pupil would line up on the assembly ground to be given his/her end-of-term report card where he/she would find what he/she scored in each subject and his/her position in the class. It used to be a day of joy for brilliant pupils who would be firstly called to receive their report cards with possible prizes, and a day of sadness for other pupils that were not that brilliant because they would be called last with no prizes. While the brilliant pupil would be glad and proud to show their report cards to anyone, those that had bad reports would be ashamed to do so.This is the end of another year. Imagine it is the end of a school term where you will line up on the assembly ground before God to be given report card for what your actions, inactions, words, and thoughts have been this year. What will be your report card? Will you be among those that God will call first to reward for best results this year? Will you be proud to show other people your report card for this year?The psalmist prayed to God to teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. If you number your months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds this year, how many of them have you used to please God? How many of them have you used meaningfully for your own good? How many of them have you used for the benefit of others around you? If God is to rate you this year, what will be your score? If God is to reward you for your actions, inactions, words, and thoughts this year, what kind of reward will you get from Him? Job asked his friends: “Will it be well when [God] searches you out?” (13:9 NKJV), and Apostle Paul emphatically told the Galatians: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (6:7-8 NKJV).If you have done well this year, congratulations! Determine to do better this coming year. It is a pity if you have done woefully in the year. However, you have the opportunity to turn a new leaf and do better this coming year.What is your report card for the year?In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to do far better next year in serving God and the humanity. _________________________
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Post  Admin on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 10:20 pm

Dearly Beloved,
THE FIRST NOEL"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger'" (Luke 2:8-12 NIV).Historically, December 25 was the climax day for the celebration of Saturnalia, an ancient Roman festival in honour of the deity Saturn. However, the day has been adopted worldwide as the birth date of Jesus Christ, thereby dumping the worship of Saturn to the celebration of God the Son who "was made visible in human flesh" to "save His people from their sins" (1 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 1:21 AMP). Matthew Chapters One and Two and Luke Chapters One and Two chronicled the birth of Jesus Christ regarded as the first Christmas. An unknown poet composed a popular Christmas hymn titled "THE FIRST NOEL THE ANGEL DID SAY" to portray the event. This hymn is a traditional classical English carol, most likely from the 18th century, although possibly earlier. The word Noel comes from the French word Noël meaning "Christmas", from the Latin word "natalis" that means "birthday".On the first Noel, after the birth of Jesus Christ, an angel went to certain poor shepherds as they lay in fields keeping their sheep on a cold winter's night that was so deep, and informed them that the King of Israel was born. The shepherds looked up and saw a star shining in the east beyond them far. The star gave great light to the earth as it continued to shine both day and night. By the light of that same star some wise men came from a far country. Their intent was to seek for the King, and to follow the star wherever it went. This star drew near to the northwest and took its rest over Bethlehem, right over the place where Jesus was laid. The wise men entered in full reverence upon their knees, and offered there in His presence their gifts made of gold, and myrrh, and frankincense.The unknown poet then concluded his hymn with this great lesson: "let us all with one accord sing praises to our heavenly Lord; that hath made heaven and earth of nought, and with his blood mankind hath bought." As we are celebrating Christmas this year, let us worship the King, Jesus Christ, with our lives and everything that we have for what He has done for us through His coming to the world.Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (2018) in advance!In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to celebrate this Christmas by really worshiping the King, Jesus Christ, with your lives and everything that you have for what He has done for you through His coming to the world.  _________________________

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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Dec 2017, 12:17 am

Dearly Beloved,
WHAT IS YOUR BRONZE SNAKE?"
Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth" (Exodus 20:4 TEV)."[Hezekiah] destroyed the pagan places of worship, broke the stone pillars, and cut down the images of the goddess Asherah. He also broke in pieces the bronze snake that Moses had made, which was called Nehushtan. Up to that time the people of Israel had burned incense in its honor" (2 Kings 18:4 TEV).On their way to the Promised Land in the wilderness, the Israelites grew impatient and spoke against God and their leader, Moses. So, the Lord sent venomous snakes that bit them, and many of them died. After the people repented, God directed Moses to make a bronze snake and lift it up, that anyone who looks at it will live. Moses did as God directed and as many as the people of Israel that looked at the image survived the poison of the deadly snakes (see Numbers 21:4-9). It is interesting to note that the people of Israel kept this bronze snake for centuries burning incense to it. In other words, what God used as a type to save the Israelites from a calamity was turned by them to a god (named Nehushtan) that they were worshiping! It took hundreds of years before a king in person King Hezekiah destroyed this image.Nowadays, people have many seemingly bronze snakes that they are worshipping knowingly or unknowingly. Even some Christians denominations and churches are not left out in this error. They have turned many things that God used one time or the other to accomplish His purposes in their lives to norms and practices. Such things have become traditions that are competing with (or even taking the place of) the word of God! No matter how good such traditions may be, they have to be discarded.What are your seemingly "bronze snakes"? They may not necessarily be physical images. In what honour are you still "burning incense"? Check your life, beliefs and practices. Anything that does not conform to the sound teachings of the word of God should be discarded no matter how popular it may be.In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to do away with anything that does not conform to the sound teachings of the word of God. _________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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Post  Admin on Mon 04 Dec 2017, 1:27 am

Dearly Beloved,

ROCK OF AGES

“For in the day of trouble he will keepme safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle andset me high upon a rock� (Psalm 27:5 NIV).

The hymn "Rock of Ages" isone of the best known and best loved hymns. Augustus M. Toplady (1740-1778), anAnglican Church clergyman, composed it. The hymn’️s strong declaration of JesusChrist and His work on the cross as the only hope of salvation for man from thejudgment that his sin deserves earns it a place of honour among hymns of grace.The analogy of Jesus Christ to a rock has its roots in the Scriptures. In fact,the word “rockâ€� is often used figuratively in the Bible to speak of God andJesus Christ. As Rock, God is the Creator (Deuteronomy 32:18), His people’️sstrength (Deuteronomy 32:4), His people’️s defence and refuge (Psalm 31:2-3;94:22), and His people’️s salvation (Deuteronomy 32:15; Psalm 89:26). In the NewTestament, Jesus Christ is the Rock from whom the Spirit of life flows (John4:13-14; 1 Corinthians 10:4), the foundation of the church (Matthew 16:18) andits cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). Alluding to the Israelites during their wildernesswanderings, Paul wrote, “...for they drank from the spiritual rock thataccompanied them, and that rock was Christâ€� (1 Corinthians 10:4 NIV). Paul wasapparently referring to the event recorded in Exodus 17:6. Moses, at God’️scommand, struck the rock in Horeb, miraculously bringing forth a needed supplyof water for God’️s people. The physical rock is a picture of Jesus Christ beingstruck to provide the “waterâ€� needed to satisfy sinful man’️s spiritual need. Inaddition, there are numerous Old Testament references to the Lord as a “Rockâ€�or “Rock of salvationâ€�.

The specific picture of Jesus Christ asa rock split open (cleft) to provide a place of spiritual refuge for sinful peopleis surely drawn from Moses’️ experience recorded in Exodus 33:20-23. BecauseMoses, a fallen man, could not see God’️s face and live, God Himself protectedMoses by placing him in the cleft of a rock as He passed by. In like manner, bybeing hidden in Jesus Christ, the Rock cleft on his behalf at the cross, thebeliever is sheltered from the eternal death he would face when he standsbefore a holy, righteous God.

This hymn indeed reiterates the clearscriptural teaching regarding man’️s utter inability to, in any way, offer Godanything to earn or merit salvation. Paul told Titus, “... [Jesus Christ] savedus, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercyâ€�(Titus 3:5a NIV. See also Romans 3:20, 28; 4:5; 11:6; Galatians 2:16; 3:16-21;Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9).

Are you in the cleft of this Rock, orare you still depending on your efforts to be saved? Hide yourself in Him, andyou will never regret you did!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).


Prayer Point: Pray that you will notdepend on any other thing, but be able to hide yourself in Jesus Christ, theRock of Ages.


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Post  Admin on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 10:08 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DO NOT JUST BE A CHANNEL OFBLESSINGS!

“I am the vine, you are thebranches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Meyou can do nothing” (John 15:5 NKJV).

It is a common thing to hearpeople wish to be a channel of the blessings of God to others. That is my wishalso. In fact it is part of the goals of my life right from my childhood.However, the desire of Jesus Christ is that His followers are not only channelsof His blessings to others, but that they also partake in the blessings. Hearticulated this in His categorical statement quoted above.

What is a channel? A channel canbe defined in many ways especially in information and communication technology.However, simply for the purpose of this message, a channel is a route or toolthrough which something passes from one end to the other. Conduit, hose, tube,pipe, passage, among others are other words used for channel. They all have onething in common: they do not benefit through what they pass on. They are justintermediary to pass the thing from one place to the other.

Many people are just channelsof the goodness and blessings of God to others. They are like signposts. Theyallow God to use them mightily to bless others, but they are not partakers ofthe blessings. No wonder, they are not bearing the desired fruit that JesusChrist wants them to bear. Note that such people abound in the world today.They are the ones that Jesus Christ will tell that He never knew in spite ofthe fact that they “prophesied in [Jesus’] name, cast out demons in [Jesus’]name, and done many wonders in [Jesus’] name” (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV).

Jesus Christ did not refer toHis followers as channels, but branches. For a branch of a tree to remain aliveand bear fruit, it will remain in the tree, get savor from the tree, make useof the savor, and then bear fruits. A branch that does not remain in the treecannot get savor from the tree, and if it does not get savor, it will witherand become useless except becoming utility for fire and other purposes that arenot originally designed for it. Jesus Christ vividly gave this description inHis analogy of the relationship that His followers should have with Him (seeJohn 15:2, 6).

Are you a branch of JesusChrist or just a channel of His blessings to other people? If you will not justbe a channel of the blessings of God, but a partaker of His blessings, you needto be a “branch” that will abide in Jesus Christ and be ready to bear fruit –fruit that will last (see John 15:2, 5, 16).

Do not just be a channel ofblessings!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Tue 21 Nov 2017, 11:06 pm

Dearly Beloved,

BEAR FRUIT TO THE GLORY OF GOD

“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so youwill be My disciples” (John 15:8 NKJV).

Can you imagine planting a tree that refuses to bear desired fruits?What would you do to such tree? How would you treat a tree that bears itsfruits in due season? 

The discourse of Jesus Christ that is recorded in John 15 was partof His valedictory speech to His disciples. It is believed by some Biblescholars that the discourse was delivered in the Temple where there was agolden vine symbolizing the life of Israel as God’s vine. Other scholarsbelieve that it was delivered on the Mount of Olives where there were many vineand olive trees.  This discourse was thelast “I AM” saying out of the seven of such sayings in the Gospel of St. John.Jesus Christ declared: “I am the true vine.... you are the branches. He whoabides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit..." (John 15:1, 5 NKJV). 

The analogy of the vine was familiar to the disciples of JesusChrist because in the Old Testament, the people of Israel were referred to asGod’s vine (Psalm 80:8-16; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 2: 21). It was a pity thatthe people of Israel failed God in not bearing the desired good fruit. Theybecame wild vine. So, Jesus Christ referred to Himself as the true Vine becauseHe was doing the will of His father, and His personal life testifies to it. Thesecret of this was that God, the Gardener, was in charge of all He was doing.Vine plant is the common grape vine that is slender and trails on the ground orclimbs supports. It is one of the prominent plants in Palestine. You can likenit to any prominent tree in your neighborhood. 

In John 15:5, Jesus Christ referred to His disciples, and everyChristian, as the branches of the vine. A branch cannot exist on itself. For itto survive, it must remain in the plant. Moreover, its main purpose is to bearfruits. Christians are to bear fruits from Jesus Christ. They are not toproduce the fruits. To bear is to bring forth from another thing, but toproduce is to make, create, grow, or manufacture something. The fruits that weare to bear involve a godly life (Matthew 7:16-20), and virtues of character (Galatians5:22-23; Ephesians 5:9; Philippians 1:11). We are not just to bear fruit, butalso to bear much fruit (John 15:2, 8). This is the reason why Jesus Christwill prune us to bear much fruit – fruit that will last (John 15:2, 8, 16).However, to be able to bear fruit for Christ, Christians have to remain in Him(John 15:4). Just as an ordinary branch has to remain in the plant for it tosurvive, we also have to remain in Jesus Christ. If we do not remain in Him, weare like a cutaway branch that will soon wither and become firewood. JesusChrist said it point-blank that, “…for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5bNKJV). Are you in Christ?

Jesus Christ promised two things for those who remain in Him andbear fruit for Him. These two things are: growth (John 15:2) and answer toprayer (John 15:7). He promised to prune everyone that is bearing fruit forHim. In Palestine every year, gardeners prune their vines. They cut off thedead wood, which has no life in it, and trim the living branches so that theiryield will be greater. Likewise, God is dressing every fruitful believer tomake him/her grow in the faith. Furthermore, if anyone remains in Jesus Christ,his/her prayers will be answered (cf. Proverbs 28:9). God is ready to dowhatever he/she wishes, provided it is in accordance with God’s will (John14:13; 1 John 3:21-22; 5:14-15), and will give God glory (cf. John 15:8).

The main thing for bearing fruit for Jesus Christ is for God to beglorified (John 15:8). Anything that would not bring glory to God is not worthdoing (see John 2:11; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 5:8-11). The desire of theLord Jesus Christ is that you bear fruit that will glorify God. Are you bearingfruit for Jesus Christ to the glory of God? 

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Sun 12 Nov 2017, 11:48 pm

Dearly Beloved,
YOU WILL SOON PRAISE GOD"
Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance" (Psalm 66:8-12 NIV).Psalm 66 is one of the thanksgiving psalms. It is a call to praise God for His awesomeness, power, glory, wonderful deeds, sovereignty, and guidance over His people. However, the psalmist gave another reason for praising Him: He brought out His people out of difficulty. In doing this, He tested them; He make them pass through fire of life (as a raw silver or gold would) so that they would be refined; He made them suffered many hardship; He even allowed people to maltreat them. Nevertheless, at the end, He brought them to a place of abundance. Indeed, He is to be praised!God is dealing with His people the same way today. He tests them. He allows them to pass through many difficulties of life. At times, He allows people to maltreat them. However, in all these, He is with them. He promised, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze" (Isaiah 43:2, NIV. See also Psalm 23:4; 46:4-7; 91:15; Isaiah 41:10). He will soon make them overcome all these difficulties, and they will praise Him.What are you passing through now? What is your own test of faith? Are you been maltreated presently? Are you in "the valley of the shadow of death" right now? Do not be dismayed! It is for a time. You are just passing through it. The Lord is with you. He will bring you out of it, and make you more refined and purer than gold. You will soon praise Him!In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to thank God before the end of this year for a particular thing you have been looking unto Him. _________________________
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Post  Admin on Mon 06 Nov 2017, 8:31 pm

Dearly Beloved,

COME YE THANKFUL PEOPLE, COME

“Enter into His gates withthanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and blessHis name” (Psalm 100:4 NKJV).

As somebody who grew up partlyin a farm settlement setting and partly in what can be referred to nowadays asa traditional church setting, I can easily identify with Henry Alford, a 19th century Anglicanclergyman, who composed the hymn “COME YE THANKFUL PEOPLE, COME” which hasbecome a traditional harvest song that is now associated with Thanksgiving Day.Like any other person who has ever lived in a farming community, I know the importancethat is associated with the harvest time. The fruit ofthe work of the whole year depends on the harvest. This cannot be accomplisheduntil the crop is ready and which must be harvested diligently lest pests orweather spoil the harvest. During thebusy harvest season, farmers literally work tirelessly to get the job done. Thefarmers would relax and celebrate only after the harvest. Well, if you have nothad that experience, you should be able to appreciate the urgency of deadlines,the joy of an important job well done, and the relief of a break after a busytime at work.

It was against this background that Reverend Henry Alford composed the popular harvest orthanksgiving hymn. He called on thankful people to come and raise thesong of “Harvest Home” because all the harvest of the year is safely gatheredin before the winter storms begin. He attributed this harvest to divineprovision. So, people that are thankful should come to thank God in His temple.Alford affirmed that the whole world is God's own field where several thingsare happening. He then prayed that the Lord of harvest would enable us to havegood harvest from this “field”. He further reminded people that the Lord shallcome one day to take the harvest home, that He shall ask His angels to cast“the tares” in the hell fire, but the “fruitful ears” will be stored in the“garner” for eternity. This is in comparison to the parable of Jesus Christ inMatthew 13:24-30 and the words of John the Baptist in Matthew 3:12. Lastly,Alford prayed that God should quickly come with His angels to bring His finalharvest home by gathering His people in, so that they may be free from sorrowand sin, and be forever purified and abide in His presence.

At a glance, this hymn is ahymn thanksgiving and/or harvest. It is indeed good to thank God for thus farHe has helped us this year. However, the lyrics of the hymn are more about thefinal harvest that God will do in the future. As you celebrate the Harvestand/or the Thanksgiving this year, are you ready for the last harvest when Godwill “reap” you and place you in the place that you rightly belong? Will thatplace be in His everlasting presence or the eternal damnation in the lake offire?

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that youwill be able to live your life in thankfulness of God, and in a way that Hewill be able to harvest you into His presence forever.
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