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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Aug 2020, 9:24 pm

I AM A CHANGED CREATURE!
From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Sat, 08 Aug 2020 10:16:02 PDT
Dearly Beloved, 
I AM A CHANGED CREATURE!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:17-18 NKJV). 
For almost three decades that I have been reading 2 Corinthians 5, I have a different understanding of the passage today, especially the concept of reconciliation. Even as an emerging expert in the field of Peace and Conflict Studies, my understanding of reconciliation has been confined to making peace with other people. However, in my quiet time today, one of the devotional guides I used introduced to me a new concept of reconciliation: CHANGE.
Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 explained the status of anyone who is in Christ and the new task that God has entrusted into the hands of such person. Because Jesus Christ died for all (verse 15) , anyone who is in Him is no longer what he/she used to be. Such a person is a new creature. Old things have passed away. New things have come. Simply, such a person is a changed creature (verse 17). He/She has been changed from being an enemy of God to being a friend (or better, a child) of God. Theologically, he/she has been reconciled to God. So, having been reconciled to God (becoming a changed creature), he/she is given a task (or ministry) of reconciliation - joining God to change (or reconcile) other people to God, making them also to become friends (children) of God (verses 18-19). Apostle Paul (as one of the changed creatures or Christ's ambassadors) concluded his explanation of this concept by imploring people to be reconciled with God and become changed creatures (verse 20).
Are you really in Christ? Have you been reconciled to God? Have you become a changed creature? Anyone who is in Christ is indeed a changed person. I am in Christ. I am a changed creature! Are you?
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will totally surrender your life to Jesus Christ so as to become a changed creature in Him.
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Post  Admin on Sat 01 Aug 2020, 7:36 pm

Dearly Beloved,

THE HANDS OF ESAU 

“So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, ‘The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau’” (Genesis 27:22 NKJV). 

Esau and Jacob were twin brothers that were favorites of their father and mother respectively. Isaac their father wanted to give his last blessing to his favorite who was Esau the firstborn, but Rebecca their mother wanted the blessing to be the lot of her favorite, Jacob. Therefore, she colluded with Jacob to deceive Isaac in order that Jacob would get the blessing. Part of the conspiracy was that Jacob would use goatskin to cover some parts of his body so that Isaac would believe that Jacob was indeed Esau who naturally was a hairy man. In the course of their conspiracy, Isaac detected that the voice of the person that had come for his blessing was that of Jacob, but the goatskin deceived him to think that the hands of the person were those of Esau. 

Many people are still using this tactic of the voice of Jacob and the hands of Esau to deceive people to have their ways today. It is interesting to discover that many people even try to use it with God to get His blessings! However, the Bible says, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked...” (Galatians 6:7 NKJV). He is omniscient! 

The Jews, especially the Pharisees and teachers of the law, in Jesus' time on earth, and many people today, were hypocrites that tried to use their religiosity to deceive other people and God. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ has this to say about them: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do” (Mark 7:6-8 NKJV). 

In what way are you also using the hands of Esau to deceive people? Are you trying to do that with God also? Are you a hypocrite? A Yoruba proverb literally says, "A thief [and a deceiver] may have his way for many days, but nemesis will apprehend him one day." Moreover, you cannot deceive God. "...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" (Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV).

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will not in anyway try to deceive anybody or God in your endeavours in life
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Post  Admin on Sat 25 Jul 2020, 10:39 pm

Dearly Beloved,

GIVE GOD THE GLORY!

"On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them. The people kept crying out, ‘The voice of a god and not of a man!’ And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died" (Acts 12:21-23 NASU).

King Herod Agrippa I who reigned between A.D. 37 and 44 died a mysterious death. The writer of the book of Acts of the Apostles recorded his history in the twelfth chapter of the book. "The people of Tyre and Sidon" were not in his good book (verse 20). Having secured the favour of one his trusted servants, they sought for his audience to make peace with him. During the peace meeting, he delivered an address that made the people to praise him and even ascribe unto him the position of a god. The Bible says an angel of the Lord struck him because he, King Herod, did not return the praise to God. He was eaten by worms and died (verses 21-23). An extra-biblical account explained it better that "...he was immediately seized with violent internal pains, and died five days after.." His main offence was that he did not give God the glory. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was driven out of his exalted position and ate grass like cattle for seven years because he did not give God the glory for his achievements (see Daniel 4:29-37).

Only God knows the number of people that have been struck by Him because of the offence of not giving Him the glory for what He has done in their lives or what He has done in the lives of other people through them. Spiritual worms "are eating" such people presently, and they will soon meet their Waterloo if they do not repent. The Lord says, "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols" (Isaiah 42:8 NIV). You have to know that "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5 NIV).

In what ways have you been taking the glory of God in your life? Do you remember to return the glory unto Him when people give you such glory? Give God the glory! Let His blessings, not His curses, be yours. "To [God] be glory both now and for ever! Amen" (2 Peter 3:18 NIV).

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will always give God the glory for everything He  is doing in your life, or what He allows you to do.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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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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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sat 18 Jul 2020, 10:08 pm

Dearly Beloved,

I SERVE THE WONDER-WORKING GOD! 

“Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare” (Psalm 40:5 NIV).

It is believed that David was the writer of Psalm 40 testifying to the wonders of God and thanking Him for His steadfast love over him. The reason is obvious from David’s history. Because of Saul’s sins against God, God rejected him as king of Israel and sent Samuel to anoint David as the next king (1 Samuel 15-16). David faced a lot of hostilities and troubles even from his brothers. He became a fugitive in his own country.. He had to relocate his parents to a foreign country for safety (see 1 Samuel 22:3-4). He twice sought refuge with the enemies of his nation (see 1 Samuel 21:10-15; 27:1-12). In spite of all his predicaments, the LORD did not let him down. He turned to him and lifted him out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. The LORD set his feet on a rock and gave him a firm place to stand in Israel and among other nations. The LORD put a new song in his mouth, a hymn of praise. Many indeed saw these and feared and put their trust in the LORD during the lifetime of David. No wonder, David could declare the wonders of God in this psalm. Even in Job’s calamity, he also could declare: “[God] performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted” (Job 9:10 NIV).

Life is full of ups and downs. Every person has his/her own dilemma to confront. However, the LORD is ready to do wonders in the life of anyone who can patiently wait on Him. He can make such person to successfully overcome any dilemma and sing song of praises like David. 

What are you facing presently? Trust in the LORD! He will do wonders in your life. He will bring you out of the predicament. He will lift you up out of the mud of life. He will set your feet on a rock and give you a firm place to stand among your contemporaries. He will put a new song in your mouth, a hymn of praise to His holy name. Many people will indeed see it and praise God with you. They will fear and trust God for what He will do in your life.

I serve a wonder-working God! “May the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does wonders, be praised” (Psalm 72:18 HCSB).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will experience the wonder-working God wonderfully in every sphere of your life.
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Post  Admin on Sat 11 Jul 2020, 9:36 pm

Dearly Beloved,

THE SAINTS SHOULD NEVER BE DISMAYED

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him” (Lamentations 3:25 NKJV).

One of the Yoruba hymns that I cherished as I was growing up in the village is “Ko To K’Awon Mimo Beru”. I know the lyrics of the hymn in Yoruba offhand, and they are so inspiring to me. The original hymn in English is titled “THE SAINTS SHOULD NEVER BE DISMAYED”. William Cowper composed it. Little is known about the history or background of the hymn. However, the hymn is indeed a hymn of hope and trust in the providence of God.

The first stanza of the hymn seems like an argument for the Christians never to be dismayed, nor sink in hopeless fear. The reason is that the Saviour will appear when they least expect His aid. The subsequent stanzas are illustrations from the providence of God to some Old Testament characters and an advice to wait for the timing of God even if it tarries, because He will not disappoint those who wait on Him.

The first example is about Abraham who was about to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Miraculously, God provided a ram as a substitute for the son (see Genesis 22). Another instance was when David was miraculously saved from the onslaught of Saul (see 1 Samuel 23). Jonah disobeyed God. He was thrown into the sea to appease the angry God. However, in spite of the fact that he did not think of any escape from the raging storm and the sea, God, in His providence prepared a fish to save him and take him safely to the shore (see Jonah 1—2). If God could be so gracious and compassionate, William Cowper concluded that one should always trust in God and entrust one’s “deep-felt care” on Him. He also enjoined people to wait for the help of God in His timing no matter how it tarries because His promise will be fulfilled even though it may be “long-delayed”.

The Lord is indeed good to those who wait for Him. He is ready to come to their aid, even when it seems there is no more hope. Do you find yourself in any precarious situation? Do not lose hope. Wait patiently for the aid of God. He will help you. You also will testify to His goodness over the seemingly hopeless situation of your life.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray for the grace to always wait for the help of God no matter the situation you are passing through.
_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Post  Admin on Sat 04 Jul 2020, 9:30 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DO YOU SERVE GOD WITH JOY?

“Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything...” (Deuteronomy 28:47 NKJV).

The first fourteen verses of Deuteronomy chapter 28 are well known by many people because of the promises of God that are there. On the contrary, few people care to study the remaining fifty-four verses in the chapter because of the curses in those latter verses. However, those verses full of curses are warnings for anyone who does not want the curses to be his/her portion. Conspicuously, the main reason for the curses in those verses is disobedience to God, but there are other reasons for these curses as Moses warned the people of Israel. One of such reasons is not serving “God with joy and gladness of heart” for the abundance of His goodness. 

If God can be good to us in many ways, then we have to appreciate Him by serving Him joyfully even if He does not do, or has not done, what we want Him to do for us. The consequence of not serving Him with joy is servitude to our enemies. Instead of promotion, demotion would be the lot of anyone who refuses to serve God joyfully. In other words, anyone who does not appreciate God may not enjoy more of the goodness of God, but will certainly be under the curse of God.. The people of Israel that came out of Egypt are a good example of this. They grumbled against God on many occasions, and all of them (except Caleb and Joshua) could not enter the Promised Land (see Numbers 14:26-35).

We just started the second half of the year 2020. Ponder about your life this year. In spite of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted many things this year, are you appreciative of God? Do you serve Him with joy, or you are full of grudges against Him because of what He has not done for you? Do not incur curses of God on yourself. Thank Him and serve Him with joy, and He will manifest Himself in your life.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).



Prayer Point: Pray for the grace to always serve God joyfully in spite of any situation you may find yourself.
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Post  Admin on Sun 28 Jun 2020, 12:14 am

Dearly Beloved,

BEYOND YOUR EXPECTATION

"Israel said to Joseph, I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too" (Genesis 48:11 NIV).

Have you ever lost something that you thought you can never regain but at the end you found it and even had more than that thing? Have you ever lost hope on a situation and the Lord made things to work out for you even more than what you expected before? Jacob (later known as Israel) experienced something like that in a greater way. Having sold Joseph into slavery, the children of Jacob lied to him that a ferocious animal had devoured Joseph (see Genesis 37:27-33). Jacob believed them and mourned for his beloved son for many days. To him, Joseph had died. Nevertheless God had preserved Joseph and made him a ruler in a foreign land. Jacob later had the opportunity of not only seeing the "dead" Joseph, but also the children of Joseph. You could imagine the extent of the joy of Jacob to see beyond his expectation about Joseph that he once thought was dead.

Hannah was barren, and because of this, "her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her" (1 Samuel 1:6 NIV). She went to God and asked for just a son (verse 11), but God did beyond her expectation "she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters" (1 Samuel 2:21 NIV). That was after God gave her a son that later became a prominent figure in the history of the nation of Israel.

When God told Solomon to ask for anything he would want Him to do for him, Solomon asked for "a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong" (1 Kings 3:9 NIV). However, God did beyond his expectation in giving him more than what he asked for (1 Kings 3:11-13).

What is the seeming dead situation that you are passing through presently? Have you lost hope in such situation? What have you been asking from God that He has not done? God can make you experience something beyond your expectation in that situation! He will definitely do so in His appointed time. Just trust in Him and wait for Him. Paul declared, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that God will bless you more than your expectation in the situation you are passing through
_____________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Post  Admin on Sun 14 Jun 2020, 9:39 pm

Dearly Beloved,

REMOVE THE ASHES!

“Then the priest, wearing his linen robe and linen shorts, shall remove the greasy ashes left on the altar and put them at the side of the altar. Then he shall change his clothes and take the ashes outside the camp to a ritually clean place. The fire on the altar must be kept burning and never allowed to go out. Every morning the priest shall put firewood on it, arrange the burnt offering on it, and burn the fat of the fellowship offering. The fire must always be kept burning on the altar and never allowed to go out” (Leviticus 6:10-13 TEV).

When I was growing up in the village, there was a usual practice of removing ashes from the hearth and setting them aside or even throwing them away. I did not know why this act was done until later when I understood that ashes do not allow fresh fire to glow. In fact, ashes quench flaming fire if they are too much in the hearth, and they are used at times to deliberately quench flaming fire. As long as there are minimal ashes, the fire in the hearth will continue to glow.

When God was given the Law to the people of Israel through Moses, one of the duties of the high priest was to remove ashes from the altar that was used for burnt offering and take them to another place. Every morning after doing this, the priest should place new firewood on the altar (see Leviticus 6:10-13, also Numbers 4:13). The reason for this act was to allow fresh fire to be burning continuously on the altar. As long as ashes were removed from the altar, the new firewood would be free to produce continuous fire on the altar. 

The main purpose of firewood is to be burnt and produce fire. Most of the time, this is used productively either in cooking, warming a place, offering sacrifice, and the likes. The end product of burnt firewood is ashes. Anyone who now focuses on the ashes will not make another flaming fire. 

The implication of these is that anyone who refuses to “remove the ashes” of his/her past successes will not make new successes. As good as those past successes are, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to make more successes if one is still preoccupying oneself with those past successes.. Jesus Christ had a successful ministry in Capernaum as He “healed many who were sick with all kinds of diseases and drove out many demons” (Mark 1:34 TEV). The following day while the people were looking for Him to continue the good work, He led His disciples to other places where He continued His ministry. He did not let the success of yesterday to hinder Him of moving on in His ministry. Apostle Paul knew this secret and he declared: “Of course, my brothers, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God's call through Christ Jesus to the life above” (Philippians 3:13-14 TEV). 

Just as ashes can also be as a result of destruction by fire, unfortunately, the “ashes” in some people’s lives can be failures, disappointments and other bad things of life. One has to remove these ashes and move on with one’s life. After all, if there is life, there is hope. 

What are the “ashes” you need to remove in your life? Remove them now if you want to forge ahead in your endeavours and keep the fire of progress burning.

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to remove all the ashes in your life and keep the fire in your life burning.
_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)..
https://www.facebook.com/afolabayo 
"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 Sat 06 Jun 2020, 11:11 pm

Dearly Beloved,

TOMORROW WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF (A Rejoinder)

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won’t you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it? ...What will a king do if he has only ten thousand soldiers to defend himself against a king who is about to attack him with twenty thousand soldiers? Before he goes out to battle, won’t he first sit down and decide if he can win?” (Luke 14:28, 31 CEV).

“Share your plans with the Lord, and you will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3 CEV).

“Tomorrow Will Take Care of Itself” was the topic my devotional message last week. The thrust of the message is rather than worrying about what one will eat, drink or wear in the future, one should trust in God who created the universe and is still sustaining it and everyone (including everything) in it. Among the people who responded to the message, two people specifically disagreed with me. They argued that the future is not an agent of change and that one has to plan for the future so that the future will bring what we desire. I agree partially with such arguments.

Jesus Christ did not teach about blind and inactive trust in God about the future. He taught that we should trust in God (see Matthew 6:25-34), but He also taught about proper planning for the future especially when one wants to embark on significant projects that go beyond the basic needs of life (see Luke 14:28-33). The popular adage, "One who fail to plan is planning to fail," supports His teaching here about proper planning. There are other Bible passages that support proper planning (see Genesis 41:34-36; Proverbs 6:6-8; 11:14; 15:22; 21:5; 24:27; 1 Timothy 5:8). This does not mean that God cannot take care of these projects without our proper planning, but in most cases, God will not do what man can do for himself. God will only make anyone who trusts in Him to succeed in his planning (see Proverbs 3:5-6; 16:1, 3, 9; 19:21; 20:4). So, God expects us to trust in Him, but we have to have proper planning for all our endeavours plus this trust in God to have desirable success.

While it is good to trust in God in any project you want to start, it far better to plan ahead and commit your planning to God who will help you to succeed. Trust in God has its place while proper planning has its place. One should not overshadow the other.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray for the grace to always commit your proper planning to God to be able to succeed in all your endeavours.
_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
+2348055159591
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spiritualdigest2003/ 
https://www.facebook.com/afolabayo 

"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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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sat 30 May 2020, 9:50 pm

Dearly Beloved,
TOMORROW WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF
“Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today” (Matthew 6:34 CEV).
As we were having our breakfast in my family some days ago, I set apart some of the food items and instructed my family members not to touch it because I intended to use it as my breakfast the following day. My wife jokingly wondered why I would be thinking of another day when the family members have not eaten to satisfaction for the day. Obviously, I was worried about getting a ready-made food for the breakfast of the following day because I planned to leave the house early for an engagement outside my home that day. Before the end of the day, a family friend visited our family and brought more than enough food items for us that I can readily be used for the breakfast the following day. When the visitor left, my wife referred to the kept food items and the newly brought items. She commented that if I had believed God would provide the new items, I would not have kept the remnant in anticipation for the following day.
My wife was right, and I learned a lesson of life from that incident: “Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today” (Matthew 6:34 CEV). Those are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ as He concluded His admonition on worrying. He had earlier given people reasons why they should not worry about their life in relations to what they would eat, drink or wear. He told them that their lives are far more than food, and their bodies are far more than clothing. If God can be taking care of the birds of the air that neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, God will take care of people that are far more valuable to Him than the birds. This does not mean that one should not care about these things because they are unimportant, but rather it means that our care for them should not belittle God who can provide all these things. It is also a pointer to having total trust in God as one cares for having these things. Since God knows that human beings need all these things, He wants them to look unto Him for their provision. People are urged not to worry because they were not the creators of themselves, and they cannot add a day to their life’s span. If no one can bring himself forth, and no one can prolong the number of his/her days on earth, then, no one should worry unduly about these things.
Worrying cannot solve people’s problems. It rather adds to the problems. While is good to be proactive and provide for one’s future needs, it is far better not to worry about the future, but have total trust in God who can provide one’s needs even before one asks for them. Tomorrow will indeed take care of itself!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray for the grace not to worry about anything, but to have trust in God who can provide your needs even before you ask for them.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 24 May 2020, 11:05 pm

Date: Sat, 23 May 2020 12:29:13 PDT
Dearly Beloved,

WHAT KIND OF COMFORTER ARE YOU?

"I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all!" (Job 16:2 NIV).

I always pity the man Job whenever I read the book of the Bible that bears his name. Here is a man that lost everything he had in a single day. He was afflicted with a disease, and his wife advised him to curse God and die. To compound his problems, his so-called friends that came to console him turned out to be "miserable comforters." They "tormented and crushed" (Job 19:2) him with words as they blamed him for his travails. They would have heeded to Job's advice, "If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom" (Job 13:5 NIV. See also verse 13; 16:3; 18:2; 19:2; 21:2-3). The more Job cautioned his friends to consider his plight, the more they rebuked him for his self-righteousness. They are indeed "worthless physicians" (Job 13:4).

Experiences have proved that silence is the best way to comfort someone that is bereaved. People may have contrary opinion, especially people that are extroverts. The friends of Job did well when they first came to him for staying "with him for seven days and seven nights" (Job 2:13 NIV) without saying a word. That is empathy. 

Instead of being full of words, it is better for one to be full of action - what one can do to alleviate or even solve the problem if it is solvable. This is what Jesus Christ did in all the cases where He raised someone from the dead (see Luke 7:11-17; 8:49-56; John 11:17-44). In each of the cases, Jesus did not speak much. The apostles also followed this example (Acts 9:36-43; 20:7-12).

You may not be able to do like Jesus Christ or the apostles in solving totally a problem, but you can follow this admonition, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15 NIV). Do not be a comforter like one of Job's friends. The Bible says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement), Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 AMP). What kind of comforter are you?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray for the grace of being a good comforter, and not adding to the pain of the person you are trying to comfort.
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Post  Admin on Sat 16 May 2020, 10:05 pm

Dearly Beloved,

THE NEEDFUL THING

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

Abraham Maslow gave the basic needs of life as physiological needs, safety needs, social belonging, self-esteem, self-actualization, and wholeness. The human tendency is to worry about these basic earthly things. However, instead of worrying about earthly things, Jesus Christ gave what is needful that everyone should care about: the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness. Apostle Paul put it in another words: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2 NKJV). The kingdom of heaven is another form of the kingdom of God. Essentially, to seek the kingdom of heaven means to seek the salvation that is fundamental to it because it is of greater value than all the world’s possessions. This does not mean that one should neglect the reasonable and daily duties that help sustain one’s life. For the Christian, there should be a difference in attitude toward these basic needs of life. If a Christian is taking care of God’s business as a priority by seeking His salvation, living in obedience to Him, and sharing the good news of the kingdom with others, then God will take care of that person’s needs as He promised (see Philippians 4:19). There is then no need to worry if that is the arrangement.

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

This is the needful thing! Seek the kingdom of heaven today. You will have all other things as addition.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Point: Heavenly Father, help me to always submit to Your will and live by it by seeking Your kingdom above any other thing.

 

NB: Since the storm of COVID-19 pandemic is still raging throughout the world, let me give you as a gift this eBook containing the compilation of the seven encouraging messages based on the teachings of the Holy Bible on the pandemic.
_______________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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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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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 10 May 2020, 8:48 pm

Dearly Beloved,

ARE YOU A CARING MOTHER?

“[The mother] watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27 NKJV).

“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command” (Hebrews 11:23 NKJV).

The memory of my late mother still lingers in my mind. I can remember how she took special care of me, my siblings, and other children that she had adopted as hers as the practice then in many parts of Yoruba land. Her caring was extraordinary. She was proactive. She was energetic. She was sympathetic. I thought then that she was a super woman. I am grateful to God for given me a wife that is a replica of my late mother. My wife’s caring of her children is superlative. I am not jealous of her nature, but at times, I wish I could be like her when it comes to active caring of children.

It seems this caring nature is characteristic of almost all women. Moses’ mother was so caring that she could not afford losing him to the raging resentment of the then king of Egypt. She (specifically according to Exodus 2:2-3) hid Moses for three months (the writer of Hebrews gave credit to both parents! [see Hebrews 11:23]). Even when the daughter of Pharaoh handed over Moses to her as a caregiver, she did not relent in her efforts to raise Moses in the right ways. No wonder, Moses did not lose his real identity even in the affluence of the palace of Pharaoh (see Exodus 2:9-11).

One of the characteristics of the wife of noble character as described in Proverbs 31:27 is that the mother was watchful of her children. She was active in taken care of her household. No wonder, her children and her husband applauded her for her industrious acts (verses 28-29).

Are you a caring mother? Are you sensitive to the needs of your children? Can your children and husband praise you for your care and watchfulness over them? God is expecting every mother to be caring and industrious over her children and husband. You cannot do less. Happy Mother’s Day!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Point: Pray for all living mothers that actively care and watch over their children.

 

NB

1.     This message is dedicated to my late mother, Hannah Abiola Afolaranmi, my caring wife, Florence Opeyemi Afolaranmi, and all actively caring mothers throughout the world.

2.     The free eBook, “COVID-19: My Spiritual Thoughts” (seven encouraging messages based on biblical teachings about the COVID-19 pandemic), is still available FREE upon request by email to . Thanks.
_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
https://www.facebook.com/afolabayo 
"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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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sat 09 May 2020, 10:21 pm

Dearly Beloved,

ARE YOU A CARING MOTHER?

“[The mother] watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27 NKJV).

“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command” (Hebrews 11:23 NKJV).

The memory of my late mother still lingers in my mind. I can remember how she took special care of me, my siblings, and other children that she had adopted as hers as the practice then in many parts of Yoruba land. Her caring was extraordinary. She was proactive. She was energetic. She was sympathetic. I thought then that she was a super woman. I am grateful to God for given me a wife that is a replica of my late mother. My wife’s caring of her children is superlative. I am not jealous of her nature, but at times, I wish I could be like her when it comes to active caring of children.

It seems this caring nature is characteristic of almost all women. Moses’ mother was so caring that she could not afford losing him to the raging resentment of the then king of Egypt. She (specifically according to Exodus 2:2-3) hid Moses for three months (the writer of Hebrews gave credit to both parents! [see Hebrews 11:23]). Even when the daughter of Pharaoh handed over Moses to her as a caregiver, she did not relent in her efforts to raise Moses in the right ways. No wonder, Moses did not lose his real identity even in the affluence of the palace of Pharaoh (see Exodus 2:9-11).

One of the characteristics of the wife of noble character as described in Proverbs 31:27 is that the mother was watchful of her children. She was active in taken care of her household. No wonder, her children and her husband applauded her for her industrious acts (verses 28-29)..

Are you a caring mother? Are you sensitive to the needs of your children? Can your children and husband praise you for your care and watchfulness over them? God is expecting every mother to be caring and industrious over her children and husband.. You cannot do less. Happy Mother’s Day!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray for all living mothers that actively care and watch over their children.

NB

1.     This message is dedicated to my late mother, Hannah Abiola Afolaranmi, my caring wife, Florence Opeyemi Afolaranmi, and all actively caring mothers throughout the world.

2.     The free eBook, “COVID-19: My Spiritual Thoughts” (seven encouraging messages based on biblical teachings about the COVID-19 pandemic), is still available FREE upon request by email to .. Thanks
_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)..
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Post  Admin on Sat 25 Apr 2020, 9:41 pm

Dearly Beloved,

COVID-19: ENCOURAGE YOURSELF

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance” (Psalm 42:5, 11; 43:5, NKJV).

As COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the whole world unabated for months and more people are dying as a result of the virus, many people have been depressed and disappointed. The fact that it has caused most parts of the world to be on lock down and people are confined to their homes without the opportunity to move freely outside or do normal business has made life boring and monotonous for many people. The worst situation is the fact that people can no longer congregate in worship places to serve their God! No one knows when this situation will come to end. Indeed, this is a trying time for the whole world!

The writer of Psalms 42 and 43 found himself in a similar situation. He was unable to join other people to worship God in the Temple. He longed for that fellowship and yearned for the worship of God. He was depressed. Nevertheless, thrice in those Psalms (believed to have been composed at the same time), the psalmist encouraged himself and expressed his trust in God: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance” (42:5, 11; 43:5, NKJV).

The Amalekites raided the base of David and his men, and took captive their wives in 1 Samuel 30. When David and his men came back to their base and discovered what had happened, they “lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep” (verse 4 NKJV). David personally was greatly distressed because of the calamity. However, the Bible says, “But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (verse 6b NKJV). In other words, he encouraged himself and still trusted in God. He and his men later recovered everything they had lost including their wives.

As the psalmist (in Psalms 42 and 43) acknowledged his emotional struggles in his time of distress, there is nothing wrong for us to admit our frustrations in this trying time of COVID-19 pandemic. We may be remembering the time we used to fellowship with others as we worshipped God in our places of worship, and we may be longing for such fellowships again. In spite of this, in a time like this, each of us needs to encourage him/herself. We should, like the psalmist, continue to hope in God and wait patiently for His appointed time to put an end to this pandemic. We should also, like David, strengthen ourselves in the Lord. We will recover everything that we have lost during this time of COVID-19 pandemic in Jesus’ name. Amen.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will continue to encourage yourself in spite of this frustrating time of COVID-19 pandemic.
_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
https://www.facebook.com/afolabayo 

"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 Sat 18 Apr 2020, 9:18 pm

Dearly Beloved,

COVID-19: …YOU WILL SEE GOD'S GLORY!

“When Jesus heard that, He said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it’” (John 11:4 NKJV).

For almost four months now, COVID-19 has been ravaging the whole world. Millions of people have been infected with the disease. Hundreds of thousands of people have died through it. The economic and social activities of the world have been crippled. In spite of the on-going scientific studies on the cure for the pandemic, there has been no breakthrough in sight. Many religious people have prayed, and are still praying. It seems the gods have closed their eyes and ears to the prayers. Some prophets have prophesied about the end of the epidemic, but such prophecies have refused to be fulfilled. Has the Almighty God abandoned the world to be ravaged by this virus? Will He continue to look as the world helplessly struggles with the deadly pandemic? Will He not act because of His beloved ones in the world?

Martha and Mary in John 11 were in a precarious situation. Lazarus, their beloved brother, was sick. They sent words to Jesus Christ that His friend, Lazarus, was sick. As an intimate friend of the family, they wanted Jesus Christ to come and heal their brother. When Jesus Christ heard this news that one of His beloved friends was sick, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (verse 4, NKJV). Surprisingly, Jesus Christ stayed where He was for two more days. By the time He got to where Lazarus was, Lazarus had died and been buried for four days. To the two sisters and other well-wishers, the situation had become helpless. It was like both Martha and Mary were blaming Jesus Christ when He eventually arrived (see verses 21, 32). Jesus Christ, who had known what He would do, reassured them that He is “... the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (verses 25-26 NKJV). He further reminded them that if they “... would believe [they] would see the glory of God” (verse 40). He eventually raised Lazarus from the dead, and He was glorified. The sisters were expecting Him to come and heal their sick brother, He tarried to prove that He cannot only heal the sick, but also raise the dead who had been buried for four days!

The whole world is indeed in a precarious situation. Christians and non-Christians have prayed and called on God to intervene and put an end to this ravaging COVID-19 pandemic. It seems the prayers have not been answered. The prayers have been answered! God is staying back for His appointed time to be glorified. He will arise in His own time and stop the epidemic. He will do more than the expectation of the people.

You also may be in a particular precarious situation apart from this global crisis. You might have prayed, and it seems that God is not answering your prayers. He will answer your prayers. He is waiting for His appointed time when He will be fully glorified in your situation. If you believe, you will indeed see the glory of God.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will continue to believe in God as you pray for breakthrough over this COVID-19 pandemic till He glorifies Himself on the matter.
_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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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 12 Apr 2020, 11:28 pm

early Beloved,
IF JESUS CHRIST HAS NOT BEEN RAISED 
"If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised.... But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead...." (1 Corinthians 15:13-20 NIV).
Every year, the Christians all over the world set aside a Sunday in either late March or early April to remember and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why do they attach much importance to the celebration? Does it have any difference today if Jesus Christ is dead or alive? After all, famous world religious founders are dead. What if Jesus Christ has not been raised from the dead? Do we still have an anchor for our souls?
One of the problems of the first-century Corinthian church that made Paul to write his first epistle to them was the denial of bodily resurrection - a belief that crept into the church through the influence of Greek viewpoint of immortality of only the soul. To an average Greek, there was no bodily resurrection of the dead. Even the Sadducees - a sect of the Jews - did not believe in the resurrection of the dead (Matthew 22:23; Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27; Acts 23:8).
The basis of Christian message and life is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we, the twenty-first-century Christians doubt the resurrection of the dead, then we have to agree with these six logical arguments:
The first argument for the resurrection of Jesus Christ and other believers is that the Christian message would be useless if Christ has not been raised. Paul boldly stated in 1 Corinthians 2:2, "For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (NIV. See also 1:22; 15:3-4; Galatians 3:1; 6:14). Crucifixion in the first-century Greco-Roman world was a notorious punishment for criminals. If Christ has not been raised, what would be the pride in preaching about a crucified person?
The second argument is about our Christian faith. The Christian faith rests on the crucified and resurrected Jesus Christ. There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Peter put it clearly in his defense before the Sanhedrin: "…then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.' Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:10-12 NIV). Jesus Christ is the Way! Such faith in Christ would have been useless - empty, without cause, without success if Christ has not been raised.
Preachers of the gospel are notorious liars - false witnesses - if Christ has not been raised. The Scriptures would also be one of those misleading literatures in the world. However, hear Peter again: "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (2 Peter 1:16 NIV).
Jesus Christ is our sacrificial Lamb that 'propitiate' for our sins through His death (Roman 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). He was a substitute for the punishment we deserve due to our sins. Because of this, we will not be judged again (Roman 8:1), we have been justified (Roman 5:9). No doubt, if Jesus Christ has not been raised from the dead, His death would be useless, and we would still be in our sins and still carry the guilt and condemnation of sin. The reason is that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the proof that His death actually atoned for our sin.
Jesus Christ promises in John 11:25-26, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (NIV. See also John 3:36; 5:21; 6:39-40, 44). If Jesus Christ has not been raised from the dead, then such promises are vain promises and the departed and even the living Christians would find themselves in hell. Eternity would have been an illusion.
If the above argument is true, then Christians should be pitied most because all reasons and purposes for life itself are destroyed. If Christians have hope only for this life, unbelievers are better off than then. It would have been most disastrous for them.
Whether the Greeks, the Sadducees, and even the whole world believe in the bodily resurrection or not, the good news is that Jesus Christ was indeed raised from the dead (Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:2-7; Luke 24:4-7; John 20:1-9; Acts 1:3; 2:23-24, 32; 13:30; 17:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Hebrews 13:20). He is alive! He has defeated sin, death, and the devil!
In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Paul chronicled some historical events that served as proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many other extra-Biblical sources attest to this historical event. In fact, His appearance to this people for over a period of forty days is a convincing proof that He is alive (Acts 1:3). He is still appearing to many people today. Praise the Lord!
Glory be to God for fulfilling His promises in raising Jesus Christ from the dead. Nevertheless, does His resurrection have any meaning to you? Has it had any impact in your life? Have you experienced the work of salvation that Jesus Christ perfected in His resurrection? Commemorating this historic event should not be on a special day each year alone, or even on every first day of the week only, but on every day of our lives.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that the resurrection of Jesus Christ will have great impact in your life every day.

_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
+2348055159591
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spiritualdigest2003/ 
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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 Sat 04 Apr 2020, 7:53 pm

Dearly Beloved,

JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING

“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5 NKJV).

When the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic first started and as it spread from one country to the other, I was worried for the havoc it would cause especially in the underdeveloped and developing world because of the standard of living in those parts of the world. My worries grew as news of the death of hundreds of people is reported every day. I have counselled and preached to people not to worry, but a Yoruba hymn ministered to me one night. The lyrics of the hymn in Yoruba (inter alia) are: “Gbori re soke alare, tori ayo n bo lowuro. Olorun so n'nu oro Re pe ayo ma n bo lowuro. Ayo ma n bo lowuro, ekun le pe titi dale sugbon ayo n bo lowuro.” [Its English lyrics: “Oh, weary pilgrim, lift your head: For joy cometh in the morning! For God in His own Word hath said that joy cometh in the morning! Joy cometh in the morning! Joy cometh in the morning! Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning!”]

Mary M. Weinland (1818-1899) composed this hymn. Little is known about this lady, but it is evident that she based the hymn on Psalm 30:5 possibly when she or some people around her were passing through a trying time. In the hymn, she referred to the trouble person (or persons) as “weary pilgrim”, “trembling saints”, “weeping mourner”, “every burdened soul”, and “every trembling sinner”. She reminded this person (or these people) that God has said in His Word, “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5 NKJV). So, this person (or these people) should cheer up for the trying time is momentary. What a great assurance!

Apostle Paul explained this futuristically, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NKJV).

Yes, joy will come in the morning! Do not be dismay with this raging COVID-19 pandemic. The world will survive it. It is just a “night” of confusion, uncertainty, lock down, stay at home, social (or physical) distancing, sickness, and even death of some people. The “morning” of victory is imminent. There will be solution to this pandemic. Most of those that have contacted the virus will get well. The world will come back to its normalcy. People will soon be able to socialize with others and go about their normal businesses. You will outlive this trying period. Joy will indeed come in the morning!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be one of the people that will experience the joy that will come in “morning” of this trying “night” of COVID-19 pandemic.
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Post  Admin on Sun 29 Mar 2020, 11:54 pm

Dearly Beloved,
COVID-19: WATCHFULNESS PRECEDES PRAYERFULNESS! 
“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36 NKJV).
“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41a NKJV).
When the outbreak of COVID-19 initially started in China some months ago, the government's and people of the western world were either complacent or indifferent to the outbreak thinking that the virus cannot penetrate into or wrought any havoc in that part of the world. Some were even making jest of the Chinese people. Unfortunately, before they realized what is happening, the virus has crept into the parts of the world considered to be civilized and developed beyond uncontrolled outbreak of any disease. Today, people are dying in hundreds every day. There was superstition that the virus cannot thrive in the tropical Africa or do any harm to people of Black descent. This has also been proved wrong as the outbreak is now rampant in Africa and there have been reported cases of death as a result of the virus even in Nigeria, the most populous black nation. There have been directives from government and religious authorities to curtain the spread of the virus in Nigeria, but it is disheartened to see many so-called "spiritual" people violated these directives on the ground that they were gathering to worship and pray to God.
Jesus Christ did not make a mistake when He placed watchfulness before prayerfulness in His admonitions to His disciples on two occasions. The first time was in Luke 21:36 (quoted above) when He warned His disciples to live as if the end of days was just imminent. The second time was in Matthew 26:41a (also quoted above) during the night before His crucifixion. He was in the garden praying and wanted His disciples to join Him, however, the disciples had fallen asleep. He categorically told the disciples on the two occasions to first watch, then pray so that they would not fall into the snares of the world and the devil. Jesus was not belittling the power of prayer, but He wanted His disciples to put prayer in its right place.
It is good to worship God and pray unto Him against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we as Christians need to be watchful that we do not advance the spread by our actions or inactions. We are to “…be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16 NKJV) in obeying established authorities (Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14; Mark 12:17; Hebrews 13:17) especially when it is for our well being. It is like the popular and true saying: Prevention is better than cure. Be watchful and prevent dangers before thinking of praying to cure the dangers. No complacency! No indifference! No blame game! No hyper spirituality or religiousity! Play safe! Stay safe! Encourage social distancing! Prevention is better than cure! Watchfulness precedes prayerfulness!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Lord, help me to be watchful and prayerful as I take necessary precautions against the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Post  Admin on Mon 23 Mar 2020, 12:31 am

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2020 10:40:56 PDT
Dearly Beloved,

COVID-19, PEACE, BE STILL!

“Then [Jesus Christ] arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39 NKJV).

The raging storm of COVID-19 (also known as Coronavirus disease) has started over three months ago. Health and government authorities all over the world have been doing everything they can to stop or curtail the spread of the epidemic. However, the pandemic had defied all odds in spreading like wild harmattan fire to every part of the world. In fact, it has shut down many countries. Interestingly, it has started to affect the religious lives of people also as the restrictions of gathering of people have started hindering corporate worship in many parts of the world. More efforts are still being employed by the authorities to prevent the spread of this global menace. Nonetheless, it is high time the whole world went back to the Source of the Universe and cried out for divine help.

Jesus Christ was with His disciples in a boat when a great windstorm started. Since many of the disciples were experienced fishermen who were familiar with how to handle such storms especially on the turbulent Sea of Galilee, they might have tried all their professional acumen to stop the raging storm (compare Mark 6:48), however, when they realized that they were about to be overwhelmed by the storm, they did the needful by calling on Jesus Christ. He arose and rebuked the storm saying, “Peace, be still!” Amazingly, the storm listened to Him and stopped.

COVID-19 is ready to listen to the Master of the Universe if the whole world can put aside their differences and call sincerely on God. He has promised in His word, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” Psalm 50:15 NKJV). The COVID-19 epidemic has proved the wise of the world wrong. The scientists, philosophers, politicians, and the likes of this world have seen that their wisdom is nothing though they may still be trying to find a worldly solution to the COVID-19 epidemic. Only God can stop this pandemic. Call on Him now. He is ready to speak to the raging storm of COVID-19 pandemic, “Peace, be still!”

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Points:

1.     Pray earnestly that God should stop the spread of COVID-19 epidemic in the world.

2.     Pray that God should protect you from contacting this disease, as you take necessary precautions against it.

3.     Pray that God should heal those that have been infected by the disease.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sat 21 Mar 2020, 9:48 pm

Dearly Beloved,

COVID-19, PEACE, BE STILL!

“Then [Jesus Christ] arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39 NKJV).

The raging storm of COVID-19 (also known as Coronavirus disease) has started over three months ago. Health and government authorities all over the world have been doing everything they can to stop or curtail the spread of the epidemic. However, the pandemic had defied all odds in spreading like wild harmattan fire to every part of the world. In fact, it has shut down many countries. Interestingly, it has started to affect the religious lives of people also as the restrictions of gathering of people have started hindering corporate worship in many parts of the world. More efforts are still being employed by the authorities to prevent the spread of this global menace. Nonetheless, it is high time the whole world went back to the Source of the Universe and cried out for divine help..

Jesus Christ was with His disciples in a boat when a great windstorm started. Since many of the disciples were experienced fishermen who were familiar with how to handle such storms especially on the turbulent Sea of Galilee, they might have tried all their professional acumen to stop the raging storm (compare Mark 6:48), however, when they realized that they were about to be overwhelmed by the storm, they did the needful by calling on Jesus Christ. He arose and rebuked the storm saying, “Peace, be still!” Amazingly, the storm listened to Him and stopped.

COVID-19 is ready to listen to the Master of the Universe if the whole world can put aside their differences and call sincerely on God. He has promised in His word, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” Psalm 50:15 NKJV). The COVID-19 epidemic has proved the wise of the world wrong. The scientists, philosophers, politicians, and the likes of this world have seen that their wisdom is nothing though they may still be trying to find a worldly solution to the COVID-19 epidemic. Only God can stop this pandemic. Call on Him now. He is ready to speak to the raging storm of COVID-19 pandemic, “Peace, be still!”

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Points:

1.     Pray earnestly that God should stop the spread of COVID-19 epidemic in the world.

2.     Pray that God should protect you from contacting this disease, as you take necessary precautions against it.

3.     Pray that God should heal those that have been infected by the disease.
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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 Mon 16 Mar 2020, 1:03 am

From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 2020 10:56:12 PDT
Dearly Beloved,

CORONAVIRUS SHOULD BE DISCUSSED IN THE CHURCH!

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2 NKJV).

Since the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in many parts of the world and its dramatic entrance into Nigeria some weeks ago, many facts, rumours, and even jokes have emerged about the epidemic. One may be tempted to say that the global epidemic should not be discussed in the church. However, the issue of the epidemic that has affected almost every facet of life and other trending issues should be discussed informatively in the church.

The church should not be indifferent to prevailing issues in the society. In fact, the church should be actively involved in what is going on in the society because the church is in the society, though it may not be of the society. The church should be a platform to inform its members about prevailing issues in the society. This information should include enlightenment, warnings, advice, suggestions, observations, comments, and the likes on the prevailing issues. If the church is not ready to do this, then, we should be ready for misinformation that will eventually mislead church members. The Bible says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...” (Hosea 4:6 NKJV).

On the issue of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the church should rise up to enlighten its members about the possible causes of the disease, how to prevent them, the symptoms of the disease, and how to handle people that have been infected by the disease. Undoubtedly, there are many promises in the Bible against pestilence. Nonetheless, people should be enlightened not to take these promises for granted by not being precautious of possible causes of Coronavirus and all other diseases, and try as much as possible to prevent their infection. There is power in the blood of Jesus to heal one from any illness or disease, but, the church must not become healing centres while hospitals and other medical centres are neglected. Pastors and other spiritual leaders should not turn themselves overnight to healers of Coronavirus or any disease.

It is the will of God that every church member should enjoy good health (see 3 John 2; Psalm 20:1-5; 91:10; Philippians 2:4, 27; Deuteronomy 7:15; Exodus 23:25; Isaiah 33:24). Therefore, Coronavirus should be adequately discussed in the church.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Points:

1. Pray that as you take precautions, God will protect you from being infected with Coronavirus disease and other diseases.

2. Pray for divine healing for people that have been infected with the virus.

3. Pray that God will provide a sure cure for this disease.

4. Pray that our governments and other health institutions will expedite actions to control the spread of this deadly disease.

 

NB

To put this message into practice, let me briefly give some facts about Coronavirus disease (COVID-19):

Also called COVID-19, 2019-nCov, 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Coronavirus disease is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that had not been previously identified in humans. The virus causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever and in more severe cases, pneumonia. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face.

HOW IT SPREADS: It spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

SYMPTOMS: It is characterized by mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. Illness can be more severe for some people and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with other medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), may be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.

PREVENTION: There is currently no vaccine to prevent the disease. However, you can reduce your risk of infection if you:

- Clean hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;

- Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow; and

- Avoid close contact (1 metre or 3 feet) with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

TREATMENTS: There is no specific medicine to prevent or treat the disease. People may need supportive care to help them breathe.

If you have mild symptoms, stay at home until you’ve recovered. You can relieve your symptoms if you:

- rest and sleep;

- keep warm;

- drink plenty of liquids; and

- use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough.

If you develop a fever, cough, and have difficulty breathing, promptly seek medical care. Call in advance and tell your health provider of any recent travel or recent contact with travellers.

 

If you have Coronavirus disease, you will be isolated from the public immediately to prevent the spread.

Please create awareness, not panic, about Coronavirus disease!

(You can know more about this disease through the Internet.)

(Source: World Health Organization)
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Post  Admin on Sun 08 Mar 2020, 9:54 pm

Dearly Beloved,

IT IS FOR GOD’S GLORY

“I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD” (Exodus 14:4b NIV).

God does His thing in amazing ways. He does things that people may not understand at times. However, everything He does is to bring glory to Himself. Such was the case of Pharaoh who God deliberately allowed to pursue the people of Israel as they set out on their exodus out of Egypt. God had done ten distressing plagues in the land of Egypt before the Israelites were set free. Yet, to bring glory to Himself, God promised to leave Pharaoh with a heart that is devoid of making sound decision to pursue the Israelites, so that He would perfect His work of deliverance in the lives of the Israelites. He did, and the Israelites glorified Him for their deliverance when they saw the total destruction of Pharaoh, his chariots, and his army (see Exodus 14:27-31). It should be reminded that Pharaoh had been unfair to the Israelites by enslaving them and making them to do hard labour in Egypt. Pharaoh yielded himself to the wrath of God (See Romans 1:28), and God used him to glorify Himself as He set the Israelites free.

God is always at the side of the oppressed and the helpless such as the orphans, widows and the fatherless (Psalm 10:18). How are you treating other people around you? How fair are you to your fellow human beings? Treat people that come your way justly. Remember, God will glorify Himself in every situation if you do otherwise. Do not let the glory of God manifest in your life in an adverse way. Determine to treat people fairly.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: O Lord, help me to be just in the way I treat others.
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Post  Admin on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 12:42 am

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR CO-TRAVELLERS IN LIFE!
From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Sat, 29 Feb 2020 09:53:03 PST
Dearly Beloved,

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR CO-TRAVELLERS IN LIFE!

“And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose...” (Acts 27:42-43a NKJV).

There was a controversial scenario in the political and legal landscape in Nigeria when the highest law court in the country ruled against the inauguration of a state governor-elect and his deputy governor-elect on the eve of the inauguration day. This is because it was proved that the deputy governor-elect has a forged certificate. Both of them were disqualified since they held joint ticket during election. This devotional write-up is not about the morality or legality of the judgment. It is about the being mindful of people one travels with in the journey of life.

Jonah travelled with some people as he was trying to run away from God. There was great storm on the sea because of Jonah, and the people lost their possessions in the course of lightening the ship (see Jonah 1). Apostle Paul traveled with some people en route Rome. There was a storm that threatened the lives of everyone on board. Even when there was a glimpse of landing, the soldiers on board planned to kill all the prisoners in the ship so that the prisoners would not escape. However, because of Paul, the centurion prevailed on the soldiers not to kill anyone. They all safely reached the shore. The presence of Paul miraculously saved all of the travelers (see Acts 27:33-44). Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, had an alliance with Ahab, the wicked king of Israel. This nearly cost Jehoshaphat his life if not for divine intervention (see 2 Chronicles 18:1, 31; 19: 2).

Who is your co-traveler in this journey of life? The person (or people) may be one that you deliberately choose, or they may coincidentally be with you in the journey. The presence of this person (or people) will have great influence either positively or negatively on your life. Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians: “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits’” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NKJV). Conversely, good company encourages good habits and brings good omen. Be mindful of your associates and co-travellers in life. They may make or mar you. The Lord will not allow you to travel with people that will be hindrance to your breakthrough in life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will always be mindful of people you associate with in life.
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Post  Admin on Sun 23 Feb 2020, 11:45 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHEN YOU ARE BEING MALTREATED

"Joseph's master took him and put him in prison. But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; He showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warder" (Genesis 39:20-21 NIV).

The story of Joseph has always been an attention-grabbing one to me. His father loved him because his mother was the favourite wife of his father. Nevertheless, there was another reason for the special love of his father for him. The Bible says, "he brought their father a bad report about [his other brothers]" (Genesis 37:2 NIV). The father's love and Joseph's action made his brothers to hate him. Their hatred notwithstanding, Joseph told them about his future as he had seen it in dreams. This also made them to hate him more. The thought that came to their minds when they had the opportunity of harming Joseph was to kill him! They maltreated him by throwing him into an empty cistern. They later decided to sell him as a slave to some merchants. The merchants in turn sold him to an Egyptian officer. In slavery, he was accused wrongly of an offence he did not committed by the wife of his master. Unfortunately, the master did not verify the authenticity of the accusation before sending Joseph to the prison. What a series of maltreatment!

However, in all these, God did not forsake Joseph. He showed him kindness and favour both in the house of the Egyptian officer and even in prison. God made everything entrusted to Joseph a success. Even when he was been forgotten in the prison by an officer of Pharaoh, the Lord was still with him. No wonder, in God's appointed time, he was remembered and elevated to the highest position in Egypt second in rank to Pharaoh.

Are you being maltreated for doing good thing? When you are being maltreated, be sure that it is because of doing good thing, not because of any other reasons. Peter says, "It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil" and "So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good" (1 Peter 3:17; 4:19 NIV). God will indeed promote you when you are being maltreated for doing good thing.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Points:

1. Are you being maltreated for doing good thing? Pray that God will give you the grace to endure it till the time He will elevate you.

2. Pray that God will arise to vindicate those that are being maltreated for doing good thing and give Himself glory in their lives.
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