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

Post  Admin on Sun 17 Jan 2021, 6:34 pm

Dearly Beloved,
SAFE IN THE ARMS OF JESUS
“The eternal God is our hiding place; he carries us in his arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27 CEV).
I am always captivated with hymns composed by Fanny Crosby – one of the most prolific hymn writers in Christian history. Although the hymn, “Safe in the Arms of Jesus,” is probably not her most well-known hymn, it is another inspiring hymn. Fanny Crosby’s personal testimony is not only powerful, but her writings are a constant reminder to maintain the proper perspective about life, about grace, about trials and tribulations, and about God.  The story behind this particular hymn is a rather difficult one.  According to a source, the thought behind this hymn came to Mrs. Crosby after an awful tragedy in her life.  She was pregnant, but lost the baby during childbirth.  She was so personally devastated by the event that she hardly spoke to anyone about it.  Years later, a musician, William H. Doan, stopped by her apartment and wanted her to write words for a tune he just composed.  Having listened to the tune, Crosby exclaimed, “That’s ‘Safe in the arms of Jesus!’”  She at once retired to an adjoining room, where she spent half an hour alone and wrote the words of this hymn. She felt that it was written for the bereaved, especially mothers that have lost their children. 
Fanny Crosby felt safe in the arms of Jesus Christ and on His gentle breast where His love over shaded. So, her soul sweetly rested in the arms. She felt safe from corroding care, and from the world’s temptations. Thus, sin cannot harm her there. She was free from the blight of sorrow, and from her doubts and fears, though there remain only a few more trials and a few more tears. Jesus was her heart’s dear Refuge because she believed that Jesus has died for her. Consequently, her trust was ever firm on the Rock of Ages. Confidently, she could wait here with patience, till the night was over, till she saw the morning Break on the golden shore. In spite of her life’s travails, she was indeed safe in the arms of Jesus Christ.
What trying time are you passing through? Are you safe in the arms of Jesus in your trying times? Will you not throw yourself into those safe arms and gentle breast of Jesus Christ? Your soul will surely find rest from all corroding care, the blight of sorrow, doubts and fears of this world if you do.
Safe in the arms of Jesus!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: I pray that you will be safe in the arms of Jesus no matter the corroding care, the blight of sorrow, doubts and fears of this world you may be facing in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Jan 2021, 12:46 am

WALK WITH GOD FAITHFULLY
From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 2021 09:16:04 PST
Dearly Beloved,

WALK WITH GOD FAITHFULLY

“And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24 NKJV).

“By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:5-6 NKJV).

Once again, I welcome you to the Year 2021, a year that one should walk with God more faithfully. What does it mean to walk with God? To walk with God means to live for Him, and to be ready to die for, and in Him. Apostle Paul summarised this in Philippians 1:21, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (NKJV). Anyone who will walk with God must first believe that God exists, and that He is omnipresent and omniscient. This is comforting and at the same time a caution. It is comforting because you are walking with Someone who is there to protect you and take care of you wherever you may find yourself this year. No wonder, the psalmist could say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You [that is, God] are with me…” (Psalm 23:4 NKJV). It is, however, a caution because you cannot hide anything from Him, and He “will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14 NKJV). He is the One and the only Supreme Being to trust and worship. He is to be faithfully sought. This is the only way to please God and have His favour in the New Year (see Hebrews 11:6).

Enoch was the first person in the Bible to be recorded to walk faithfully with God, and he was rewarded greatly by not experiencing physical death (see Genesis 5:21-24; Hebrews 11:5). Noah also walked with God in a generation that made God to grieve that He created human beings. God favoured him, and he (together with his family members) was saved from the flood that destroyed the whole world (see Genesis 6:8-9). Abraham walked faithfully with God, and he became a friend of God and father of faith and father of many nations. Jehoshaphat walked with God, and God established his kingdom (see 2 Chronicles 17:3-5).

As you continue in the journey of the year 2021, be ready to walk with God faithfully in prayer, personal and corporate Bible studies, and fellowshipping with other Christians. It shall be well with you. You shall prosper in all your endeavours. You shall be established in Jesus’ name. Amen.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).


Prayer Point: Pray for the grace to faithfully walk with God this year 2021 so as to have His favour in the year. 

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Post  Admin on Sun 03 Jan 2021, 10:06 pm

Date: Sat, 02 Jan 2021 10:38:32 PST
Dearly Beloved,

YOU WILL NOT BE FORSAKEN THIS YEAR!

“‘For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,’ says the Lord, your Redeemer” (Isaiah 54:7-8 NKJV).

Once again, I wish you a Happy New Year (2021)! The year 2020 has come and gone with all its ups and downs. Glory be to God for surviving that unique year! It was as if the year would not come to an end. In spite of all odds, the year has become history. It was as if the Lord forsook the world in the year. However, He did not! He still demonstrated His faithfulness over the affairs of the world in the year. COVID-19 might have ravaged the whole world throughout the year causing untold hardship on people worldwide, yet, the Lord is still good to His people. Even, in spite of the fact that the world has entered the seemingly second wave of the global pandemic, the Lord is still faithful. He has not forsaken the world, and He will not forsake His creation.

The people of Israel found themselves in captivity in Assyria and Babylon, though because of their sins. They were tormented by their captors. They became devastated. They were like barren women in their lands of captivity. However, God promised that they would become fruitful again. He promised that they would sing songs of victory again. The reason is that God with His everlasting kindness would have mercy again on His people. He would lavish them with His lovingkindness. He would establish His covenant of peace with them. He would also make them to stand firm and prosper their endeavours (see Isaiah 54:7-13).

This is the promise of God for the world in this year 2021. COVID-19 and other devastating events of 2020 might have ravaged the world, both individuals and corporate bodies. It might have seemed as if God has forsaken the world. However, the Lord will have compassion on the people of the world with His great mercy and everlasting kindness in this year 2021. He will lavish people with His lovingkindness. He will establish His covenant of peace with them. He will make them to stand firm and prosper their endeavours this year.

Do you believe this? You will not be forsaken this year. The Lord will have compassion on you with His great mercy and everlasting kindness. He will lavish you with His lovingkindness. He will establish His covenant of peace with you. He will make you to stand firm and prosper your endeavours this year in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Happy and prosperous New Year!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will experience the great mercy and everlasting kindness of God this year.
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Post  Admin on Fri 01 Jan 2021, 10:32 pm

Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2020 16:27:58 PST

Dearly Beloved,
OUR PRAYERS FOR YOU IN THE YEAR 2021
Wow! Here is another brand new year 2021! Thanks be to God for enabling us to witness another year. Happy New Year (2021).
On behalf of my wife, Opeyemi, and our children, Boluwatife, IfeOluwa, Michael and Abraham, I am welcoming you to this New Year with these prophetic prayers adapted from Isaiah 54:7-13 (AMP).
This New Year:
- the Lord will have compassion on you with His great mercy and everlasting kindness;
- He will lavish you with His lovingkindness;
- He will establish His covenant of peace with you;
- He will make you to stand firm and prosper your endeavours this year in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Happy and prosperous New Year!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor),
Baptist Building, Oke Bola,
PMB 5113, Ibadan 200001,
Nigeria
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Post  Admin on Sun 27 Dec 2020, 10:57 pm

GOD IS STILL FAITHFUL!
From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2020 09:29:25 PST
Dearly Beloved,
GOD IS STILL FAITHFUL!
“It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is your stability and faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 AMP).
“But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not ‘Yes’ and ‘No’” (2 Corinthians 1:18 NIV).
Apostle Paul planned to visit the church at Corinth, but some circumstances beyond his control hindered him from doing so. It seemed the church doubted his sincerity. His adversaries there sought all occasions to blemish his character, and reflect upon his conduct; and, it seemed, they took hold of this to reproach his person and discredit his ministry. In emphasising his commitment to what he planned to do for the Corinthians in his second epistle to them, he used the faithfulness of God as example. When God promises to do anything, He will do it. He is not the type of person that is not consistent with His words. In fact, Jeremiah exclaimed, “It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is your stability and faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 AMP).
God is indeed faithful to His promises for His children. His words are “yes” and “Amen.” He will certainly do what He promised that He will do, because “the one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV. See also Hebrews 10:23).
Has God promised to do something for you this year? Have you lost hope in Him or are you doubting Him? He is faithful, and He will do it. Continue to rely on Him because as late as the year is, God can still surprise you. The Yorubas have this saying: “Oorun ti o ku ni oke yii si to aso i gbe.” Literally meaning “the sun that remains in the sky can still dry a wet cloth.” In other words, there is still hope in a seemingly hopeless situation! The fulfilment of the promise of God may tarry, but it will surely come. No matter the case, God is still faithful! Do you believe this? If you have faith, you will see the glory of God (cf. John 11:40).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Demonstrate Your faithfulness in my life, O Lord, even in the remaining days of this year.
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Post  Admin on Sun 20 Dec 2020, 10:47 pm

WHAT DOES THE CHRISTMAS MEAN TO YOU?
From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2020 09:32:13 PST
Dearly Beloved,
WHAT DOES THE CHRISTMAS MEAN TO YOU?
“[Mary] will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21 NIV).
One of the most celebrated seasons in the year is the Christmas season. The season is here again. Many people, especially the children, have been caught with the “fever” of the season. There has been this controversy about the origin of season. Many are of the opinion that it originated from a pagan festival. This has made some Christian denominations and sects to distance themselves from the season. Other people would argue that there is no such celebration in the Bible. Many people believe that the Christmas day is the birthday of Jesus Christ, although, this has been disproved from many evidences. However, what does the Christmas mean to you?
Christmas is just a festive season to some people. Therefore, such people are ready to celebrate it just as they celebrate any other festive period. They see the season as a time to entertain themselves. Among such people are the ones that believe in taking their children to visit Father Christmas who will entertain the children and gives them gifts for a token. Christmas season is a period that some people feel they can make quick profit in their business or enterprise. Therefore, they inflate the cost of their wares and services. Most people, especially Christians, attach the season to the first coming of Jesus Christ into this world. However, some people are indifferent. To them, Christmas season or even the Christmas Day is like any other season or day.
However, one has to consider the popular opinion about Christmas – the birth of Jesus Christ. Why did He “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:7 NIV) by coming to this wretched world? The main reason is to save people from their sins (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; Acts 13:38-39; 1 John 3:5; Revelation 1:5-6) so “that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV). This singular act entails many other things that give Christmas different meanings to different people.
Regardless of any other meaning attached to the Christmas or any controversy about it, the paramount thing is that Jesus Christ came to this world in a time in history for the salvation of humankind. Have you been saved by Him? What does the Christmas season mean to you?
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that the Christmas season will be meaningful to you by being saved from your sins.
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Post  Admin on Sun 13 Dec 2020, 10:51 pm

Dearly Beloved,

I AM GREATLY FAVOURED!

“The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you’” (Luke 1:28 NIV).

Although I have started broadcasting my fiftieth birthday on social media a month before the D-Day, I did not have the financial resources to roll out the drums on the day I would celebrate my golden jubilee on earth. I had to resort to fate and decide to celebrate the unique day with thanksgiving to God and posting of some of my old pictures and personal quotations on the social media which have become my main platforms of ministering to people. Some people that are close to me were asking me what and how I would celebrate the day. My response was that there would be no special event that day.

Birthday wishes by text messages from some of my banks woke me up some minutes past midnight on the D-Day, December 8, 2020. I decided not to do any other thing but to look back and reflect on my life in the past fifty years and appreciate God for what He has done in my life in this half a century. I could remember vividly how I started primary school education at age six. In appreciation to God, I continued to mention as many things as I could remember since 1976 till 2020. I did this for almost an hour. I realized that I have been greatly favoured and honoured by God.

At day break, my wife and children prayed with me and I went to my office. Countless messages through phone calls, SMS, WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and email came to felicitate with me. I was not happy that I could not afford a birthdate cake or entertain people with some delicacies or drinks as it is the practice where I live. My office mates were expectant, but nothing came forth. In spite of this, I was glad on the other hand that the Lord could favour me to witness my 50th birthdate in good health. I was appreciative of God for the gift of life He has graciously given me. I have to confess that some people actually blessed me financially and materially later that day. One unexpected blessing even came from an over-eighty-year-old woman that enabled me to do the needful in the African way. Indeed, I am greatly favoured!

You may not be celebrating any birthdate now. Nevertheless, do you know that you are also greatly favoured by God? Think about your life. Even, if God has not done what you are expecting from Him this year, the fact that you are still living is a great favour. Many have died. Some are dying as you are reading this message. Be appreciative of God. Thank Him for what He has done for you in the past. Thank Him for what He is doing presently. Even, thank Him for what He has not done. He will continue to favour you in His own time, and in His own way. As for me, I am thankful because God has greatly favoured me.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will always be appreciative of God as He is favouring you every day.

NB: I am appreciative also to everyone that felicitated with me before, during, and after my 50th birthday on December 8, 2020 through phone calls, SMS, WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and email (some are still sending their birthday wishes!). I am greatly honoured by your wishes. The Lord will continue honour and favour you in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Sun 06 Dec 2020, 8:47 pm

THE BIGGEST NEWS OF CHRISTMAS
From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 09:43:59 PST
Dearly Beloved,
THE BIGGEST NEWS OF CHRISTMAS
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16, NIV).
As usual, the Christmas celebration for this year has started with many fanfares and will end on December 25 in grand services in most of our churches. However, many people have lost or forgotten the biggest news of Christmas. This news is summed up in the most popular Bible verse: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NIV).
The news started with God, the Creator of the universe. The Holy Bible does not try to prove the existence God. It just started by saying, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1 NIV). It is interesting to see some people today claiming that there is no God. The Christmas news cannot be appreciated without acknowledging the existence of God that initiated the basis of Christmas.
This God is the God of love that so loved the people of the world in spite of their unworthiness. He demonstrated His unconditional love to mankind and did what an ordinary man would find difficult to do - giving the most precious thing to an undeserving person.
This act of giving should be paramount in us as we celebrate Christmas. This is not a kind of giving where you will be expecting the recipient to give you something else back in reciprocal. It is not the kind of giving associated with Father Christmas where you have to pay some amount of money before receiving the gift. It is a sacrificial giving.
The object of this giving is the most precious Gift of all time - Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God! Many people find it difficult to believe that the Creator of the universe could have a Son. To them, it belittles Him of His majesty. However, that is part of the reasons Paul exclaimed, "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! `Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counsellor?' `Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?' For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen" (Romans 11:33-36 NIV).
What God requires from us for His giving is faith in Jesus Christ so that we will not perish (having eternal separation from Him), but have eternal life - an infinitely high quality of life in living fellowship with God, both now and forever given graciously by Jesus Christ to everyone who believes in Him (see John 1:4; 10:10, 28). Do you have this life?
This is the biggest news! No matter how you celebrate the Christmas or if you are indifferent to it, let the news has positive impact in your life.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that nothing will hinder you from accepting the eternal life through the giving of Jesus Christ to the world.
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Post  Admin on Thu 03 Dec 2020, 12:30 am

 
ARE YOU REMEMBERING TO COME BACK?
From: [email=spiritualdigest@yahoo.com?subject=Re:%20ARE%20YOU%20REMEMBERING%20TO%20COME%20BACK%3F]BAYO AFOLARANMI[/email]
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 2020 23:27:02 PST

Dearly Beloved,
ARE YOU REMEMBERING TO COME BACK?
“When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back, praising God in a loud voice” (Luke 17:15 TEV).
Many people are only serving God for what they can get from Him. They can do anything possible in praying for His blessings. However, it has been difficult for them to really worship God for who He is. No wonder, they usually do not remember to thank Him for the goodness He has done, or is doing, in their lives. What an ungrateful set of people!
Such people are like nine out of ten men who were suffering from a dreaded skin disease that met Jesus Christ on His way to Jerusalem (Luke 17:12-19). These men beseeched Him to heal them from their disease. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests in anticipation that they would be healed before getting there. These men went in faith, and on their way, they were cured of their dreaded disease! Out of these ten men, only one counted it worthy to come back to Jesus Christ to praise God for what He has done. The other nine men went away ungrateful. Jesus Christ commended this grateful man and confirmed his faith that made him well. The man apparently received spiritual healing as well. His healing was total!
There are many reasons that make many people to hardly remember to come back to God to praise Him for the goodness He has done for them. Some people do not know that they should come back to God to thank Him. To some, it is not necessary to return all the glory to God. To some, the goodness is by chance. After all, God is blessing those people that do not ask for it. Nevertheless, such people are depriving themselves of more blessings from God. Interestingly, the proportion of people that remember to come back to thank God is almost one to nine like those ten cured men.
Are you like one of those nine ungrateful men or the one grateful man? Are you remembering to come back to God to express your gratitude for the goodness He has done for you? Are you serving Him for what you can get from Him, or worshipping Him for who He is? Remember to come back to thank God, and He will bless you the more. The Psalmist says, “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (103:1-2 NIV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will not be ungrateful to God and other benefactors, but that you will always remember to come back to express your appreciation.


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Post  Admin on Sun 29 Nov 2020, 9:51 pm

WHAT BELONGS TO CAESAR?
From: [email=spiritualdigest@yahoo.com?subject=Re:%20WHAT%20BELONGS%20TO%20CAESAR%3F]BAYO AFOLARANMI[/email]
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 2020 09:37:13 PST

Dearly Beloved,
WHAT BELONGS TO CAESAR?
“[Jesus] said to them, ‘Then give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God’” (Luke 20:25 ERV).
We were in a Sunday School class recently when a participant privately told me that we can sin at times since Jesus Christ said that we should give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. He further said that giving to God what belongs to God is when we come to church to worship Him. I immediately refuted his opinion and explained that Jesus was not talking about sin in that reference, but mainly about our civic responsibility to the government and the society. He reluctantly nodded his head in agreement.
This wrong allusion to what belongs to Caesar made me think more about what really belongs to Caesar and what really belongs to God. If one has a close look at the passage (and other parallel passages - Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17), one will have more understanding on this. The Pharisees and the Herodians colluded together and sent some of their disciples to Jesus to trap Him. They asked, "Tell us, is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" (Luke 20:22 ERV). If Jesus approved paying taxes to Caesar, He would offend the Jews, and this might discredit His ministry among them. If He disapproved paying of taxes to Caesar, the religious leaders would readily have a proof to accuse Him before the ruling Roman powers. However, being omniscient, He knew their antics. So, He asked them to give Him a coin. Having provided the coin, He asked about the image on the coin. They told Him that the image was that of Caesar. He thereby told them to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.
The coin and other materials used as monetary values have the images of this world and its rulers, and they belong to this world and the rulers of this world. They should be given back to the world. Other things including rules and regulations created by the world should be strictly adhered to if they are not contrary to the rules and laws of God (see Acts 4:19; 5:29). However, people that use the money are created in the image of God and belong to God. So, they should give their lives that carry the image of God to God. Apostle Paul put it this way: “So I beg you, brothers and sisters, because of the great mercy God has shown us, offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him—an offering that is only for God and pleasing to him. Considering what he has done, it is only right that you should worship him in this way” (Romans 12:1 ERV).
If one can give one’s life totally to God, it would not be difficult to give to the world and its rulers what belong to them and even use that thing that belongs to the world to glorify God. The person that has given his life totally to God will find it difficult to violate the rules and laws of the world (when they are not contrary to the rules and laws of God), and he will willingly obey the rules and laws of God.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to give your life totally to God and as you give to the world what belong to it you will be able do so and use them to His glory.


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Post  Admin on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 11:21 pm

YOU WILL BECOME A REFERENCE POINT TOMORROW!
From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2020 09:22:40 PST
Dearly Beloved,

YOU WILL BECOME A REFERENCE POINT TOMORROW!

“The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot” (Proverbs 10:7 NKJV).

Proverbs 10:7 (quoted above) is widely quoted mostly when remembering the dead. However, many good people can be remembered while they are still living, and their memory will be a blessing. Conversely, the memory of many people who are still living is a curse!

An incident that happened recently confirms this. One of my old secondary school mates posted a funny cartoon of a teacher beating a student with a long cane on the WhatsApp group page of our old classmates. He then asked members of the group a question to identify who among our former teachers that the teacher in the cartoon represents. Many of us started mentioning some of our former teachers when we were in school in the 1980s that we believed were notorious for disciplining students with cane. As each of us was mentioning a teacher, the other old school mates would pass a funny comment about the teacher, and the others would attest to it with other hilarious comments. This continued until one of the old school mates asked about the whereabouts of a particular former teacher. The discussion changed immediately from jesting to praise singing as the old classmates started talking about the good character of this particular teacher and how they could not forget him for the positive impacts he has made in their lives even after thirty years. I was greatly moved with these good reports about somebody who had diligently and unwittingly done his duty over thirty years ago, and people can still be remembering him for his good deeds years after. Fortunately, the teacher is still living and I did not hesitate to share the discussion on the group chat with him. The memory of the righteous is indeed blessed.

What would people say about you if your name is mentioned in their hearing? What would you be remembered for even now that you are still living? Would you be glad if people start to recount what you have done many years ago? This reminds me of a Yoruba axiom: “Arise ni arika; arika ni baba iregun. Ohun ti a ba se ni oni, oro itan ni bi o ba di ola” [literally: “What one did or does is what people will recount; what people will recount about one is the father of reference point. What one does today will definitely become history tomorrow”]. Beware of what you are doing today. You will become a reference point tomorrow either for good or for evil. Here is another Yoruba axiom: “Iyan ogun odun a maa jo ni ni owo” [literally, one can still feel the warmth of the pounded yam of twenty years, that is, one will still have repercussions for what one did many years ago]. Will your memory by other people be a blessing or a curse, even while you are still living?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will be mindful of what you are doing today so that your remembrance will be a blessing, and not a curse, to you and your descendants.

Do not heed to fables
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Post  Admin on Mon 16 Nov 2020, 11:12 pm

Heaven and Holy Mountain

2 Peter 1: 18  And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

There are terms in the Bible and also in regular life which we use without realizing their actual sense or dimension of reference i.e. today’s scripture uses the terms ‘heaven’ and ‘holy mountain’.

The term Heaven Greek word ‘ouranos’ used here refers to sky or upper atmosphere. When we say sky we always refer it to be up but do not realize the earth being round the sky is all around the earth. We say ‘up’ keeping our reference point as being standing on the surface of the earth. The actual Heaven/s (plural) refers to the various levels / realms of God’s creation. We dwell in a level which is amongst the lower levels of Heaven/s having 2 levels below us. The upper levels which is usually referred to as ‘Heaven’ are 3 levels and these are the levels the Angels, Cherubs and the Throne of God (symbolic) exist in. There also exist a transit level between these two sets of levels. There too up and down does not mean literally up or down for there are only 2 directions in the Spirit world unlike 4 directions in the physical world (north, south, east, west in a plane and also up and down in 3 dimensional world).. In Hebrew the words used for north and south come from the same root words as east and west.

Coming to the term holy which actually means separated (from all that is corrupt), it symbolizes perfection that is why when Jesus as man although have no blemish in Him yet said only the Father is holy/good (perfect). It is only a spirit being can be perfect and even the Heavenly beings like Angels are not, but yet we find the Angels, man and at times things like mountain like in today’s scripture also called ‘holy’.

When the glory of God is manifested on any being or place that being or place becomes ‘holy’. The Upper Heavens are called Holy place because His glory is manifested there, although even in Hell God is present and His glory exist there too but since it is not manifested therefore not referred to as holy Hell. We learn this from the incident of the burning bush, where the Lord manifested His presence in a bush on fire but not consumed by the fire. Moses was on the mountain and as he neared the bush the Lord asked him to remove his sandals stating it as ‘holy ground’. The ground itself is was not holy but during the presence of manifestation the Lord’s glory it became hoy. Note the Angels in Upper Heavens are called holy and not those fallen.

Since we are corrupt the glory of God is on and off in us and thus our holiness is not permanent, we will have permanent holiness when we receive the Fruit of Holiness as we become one with the Father in Heaven.

People foolishly run to places as ‘holy place / holy land’ or claim objects like water or oil to be holy. Even a human race like Israel is not a holy people unless the glory of God is manifested amongst them. The Jews / Israel rejected Jesus as both their Christ/Anointed One (Messiah) and King who saves (Mosiah/Mosiha) therefore they ceased to manifest His glory (they manifest only His mercy due to the promises given to their fathers).

For us to experience Heaven we do not need to go up but need to go out, out of this physical / materialistic world and if we want to be holy (reflected holiness) we need to manifest the glory of God. Just because we believe in Christ we do not become holy people, we need to manifest Christ in us to be a holy people.

[Prayer Starter]
Lord You are Almighty God. You Lord created all things with purpose and in its time we will bring glory unto You. Lord we pray we are not deceived by terminology use by worldly people that contradict scriptures. We pray we seek true Holiness and experience Heaven on earth...

This prayer we make in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

[Reference Scriptures]
2 Corinthians 12:2  I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

Mark 10:18  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God.

Acts 7:33  Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.

Matthew 16:10,19
10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven.
19  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

John 3:31  He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.

Acts 7:49  Heaven [is] my throne, and earth [is] my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what [is] the place of my rest?

1 Peter 1:15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

1 Peter 2:9  But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Dated 16 Nov 2020
Bro Rollwyn

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Post  Admin on Sun 15 Nov 2020, 10:15 pm

Dearly Beloved,
ARE YOU REMEMBERING TO COME BACK?
“When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back, praising God in a loud voice” (Luke 17:15 TEV).
Many people are only serving God for what they can get from Him. They can do anything possible in praying for His blessings. However, it has been difficult for them to really worship God for who He is. No wonder, they usually do not remember to thank Him for the goodness He has done, or is doing, in their lives. What an ungrateful set of people!
Such people are like nine out of ten men who were suffering from a dreaded skin disease that met Jesus Christ on His way to Jerusalem (Luke 17:12-19). These men beseeched Him to heal them from their disease. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests in anticipation that they would be healed before getting there. These men went in faith, and on their way, they were cured of their dreaded disease! Out of these ten men, only one counted it worthy to come back to Jesus Christ to praise God for what He has done. The other nine men went away ungrateful. Jesus Christ commended this grateful man and confirmed his faith that made him well. The man apparently received spiritual healing as well. His healing was total!
There are many reasons that make many people to hardly remember to come back to God to praise Him for the goodness He has done for them. Some people do not know that they should come back to God to thank Him. To some, it is not necessary to return all the glory to God. To some, the goodness is by chance. After all, God is blessing those people that do not ask for it. Nevertheless, such people are depriving themselves of more blessings from God. Interestingly, the proportion of people that remember to come back to thank God is almost one to nine like those ten cured men.
Are you like one of those nine ungrateful men or the one grateful man? Are you remembering to come back to God to express your gratitude for the goodness He has done for you? Are you serving Him for what you can get from Him, or worshipping Him for who He is? Remember to come back to thank God, and He will bless you the more. The Psalmist says, “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (103:1-2 NIV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will not be ungrateful to God and other benefactors, but that you will always remember to come back to express your appreciation.
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Post  Admin on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 11:30 pm

Dearly Beloved,
THE HUNDREDTH PSALM
"Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations" (Psalm 100 NIV).
Psalm 100 is one of the most popular psalms. Many people have memorized it. In fact I have learnt it since my primary school days. Why is the five-verse psalm popular? The reason is that it is a thanksgiving psalm. Recently, the beauty of this praise poem stirs my heart.
Verses 1 to 2 invite us to reverence God with gladness. How often I forget to ponder on the reasons why we should do this.
Verses 3 and 5 give five reasons. First Reason: we serve THE God, the one and only God. All other gods are not gods. They are sheer idols. They cannot be compared with Him (cf. Deuteronomy 4:35, 39; 1 Kings 19:39; Psalms 86:8; 89:6; 95:3; 96:4-5; 97:9; Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 40:18; Jeremiah 10:10-16). Second Reason: the Lord created us. Before He created us, He created everything we need so that we will lack nothing (Genesis 1; Job 10:8-13; Psalms 139:13-24). Third Reason: we belong to Him, so He takes care of us; He sustains us; He protects us; He provides for us, etc (Psalms 74:1-2; 78:52; 95:7; Isaiah 40:9-11; Ezekiel 34:11, 30-31; John 10:14-16, 26-28). We belong to Someone who cares! (Psalm 34:15; Matthew 6:26; Luke 12:30; 1 Peter 5:7). Fourth Reason: the Lord is good and He does good things (see Psalms 86:5; 106:1; 107:1, 8, 15, 32; 119:68; Jeremiah 33:11). The Bible presents it this way: "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him" (Acts 10:38, NIV). Is He still doing good till today? Yes, indeed! Think about your own life. Fifth Reason: the love, mercy, and faithfulness of God are permanent (Exodus 34:6-7; Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalms 36:5; 103:17; 119:90-91; Lamentations 3:22-23; Luke 1:50).
The above reasons made the psalmist to rejoice and advise us to always worship God with thanksgiving and praise in verse 4.
Nevertheless, why do we need to adore, glorify and bless Him when, at times, we do not receive answer to our prayers? The hundredth psalm counsels us to simply serve God for who He is, and what He is doing for us, not because of what we get from Him. He is more than what we need. Those who rejoice in their unpleasant situation are convinced of God’s love which never abandons anyone that hopes in Him. Feed your soul with the hundredth psalm and you will see that the Lord is indeed good!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will always have reasons to shout for joy in praises of God all the time.

NB
Please find time to read and meditate on each of the Bible references above. I extensively referred to them for your further studies. God bless you as you do so!
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Post  Admin on Sun 25 Oct 2020, 11:12 pm

IS PROTESTING RIGHT?
From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2020 10:14:08 PDT
Dearly Beloved,

IS PROTESTING RIGHT?

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2 NKJV).

For over two weeks, there have been nationwide protests against police brutality and bad governance in Nigeria. Initially, the protests were peaceful and well organized and coordinated. However, some days ago, suspected hoodlums hijacked the protests and started destroying and looting properties. Unfortunately, the Nigerian government could not handle the situation as there were video evidences that the government allegedly hired thugs to disperse the peaceful protesters, and when this did not work, government security operatives allegedly started killing defenceless protesters. The attitudes of the nation's political leaders especially the long silence of the president of the county do not help matter.

In spite of the fact that I joined the protests online and made my stand known on some social media platforms, I did not have any intention to base my weekly devotional message on the unfortunately events. However, a post in a WhatsApp group condemning the peaceful protests on the ground that it is against a religious tenet is making me to look at the matter biblically. Does the Holy Bible support bad governance and inhuman actions against fellow humans? Do people have rights to make known their demands to, and protest against the constituted authorities? Are we to remain silent in the face of injustice and bad governance because we want to be obedient to the power that be?

Christians are called to be a light in the darkness of the world. They are to speak up for those who have no voice. It is the opinion of some people that protesting is a sign of disrespect for authority. Nevertheless, Christians are also to call out and condemn evil and sinful behavior, injustice and bad governance. While the Holy Bible teaches in many places that Christians should submit to those in authority and obey the laws of the land (see Romans 13:1; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14), the sacred Book also admonishes Christians to speak up against injustice and bad governance (see Proverbs 31:8-9; Romans 12:9; James 4:17).

Let me round up this message by a word study on the last word in the key verse quoted above: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people GROAN” (Proverbs 29:2 NKJV). The word “groan” as it is used here means to mourn, to sigh, to complain, to protest! Christians as well as other people under bad governance have been groaning (protesting) inwardly for a long time! The recent public protests in Nigeria are the manifestation of the private groaning that has been going for years because of bad governance of successive governments in Nigeria. It is right to protest and speak out so that the government will know that people are suffering. While I commend the peaceful and well-coordinated protests by the Nigerian youth for over two weeks, I sternly condemn the forcefulness the government tried to stop the protests and the looting and destruction of properties by hoodlums.

IT IS RIGHT TO HAVE PEACEFUL PROTESTS. I SAY NO TO BAD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA AND IN ANY OTHER PLACE!

In His service,   

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Lord, the hearts of people in governance are in Your hands. Lead them to govern the people rightly.
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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 18 Oct 2020, 8:52 pm

From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2020 11:34:01 PDT
Dearly Beloved,
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
"Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses" (1 Timothy 5:23 NIV).
The above Bible passage has been one of the most misinterpreted and misapplied ones. In fact, it is one of those controversial verses of the Bible. Drunkards and those that are inclined to drinking too much wine and alcoholic drinks are quick to refer to it in support of their action. However, as I was in a Sunday school class one Sunday, I saw a different application to the instruction of Paul to Timothy: Timothy should take care of himself. The means of doing this was taking of some wine. Other places where the Bible refers to wine as something of medicinal substance are: Second Samuel 16:2 where it was said to revive the faint; Proverbs 31:6 where it was said to be suitable as a sedative for people in distress; Luke 10:34 where the Samaritan poured oil and wine on the wounds of the injured traveler; and Matthew 27:34 and Mark 15:23 where it was mixed with a drug to ease suffering.
Well, this devotional write-up is not aimed at supporting or not supporting the use of wine, but to underscore the importance of taking care of oneself. Paul was concerned about the well being of Timothy, and he recommended to him a way of taking care of himself. No doubt, Timothy yielded to this advice to his own good.
Medical and other advices have been given to many people today, and many people do not yield to such good advices to their detriment. Are you one of such people that do not yield to medical, professional, ministerial and other specialized advices about your health, business, family or other endeavors? Part of taking care of yourself is yielding to such good advices.
"Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise" (Proverbs 19:20 NIV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will always listen to medical and other advices that have been given to you.
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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 12 Oct 2020, 9:05 pm

WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF YOUR WEALTH?
From: [email=spiritualdigest@yahoo.com?subject=Re:%20WHAT%20IS%20THE%20SOURCE%20OF%20YOUR%20WEALTH%3F]BAYO AFOLARANMI[/email]
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2020 13:51:48 PDT

Dearly Beloved,
WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF YOUR WEALTH?
"The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it" (Proverbs 10:22 NIV).
When one is talking about wealth, one's mind quickly goes to the popular definition of the word "wealth" which a dictionary gives as "(possession of a) large amount of money, property, etc." Another meaning by an encyclopedia is "an accumulation of goods having economic value." It is simply referred to as "riches." However, this write-up is aimed at the broader meaning of the word - a large amount of something. This thing may be education, knowledge, understanding, wisdom, skill, talent, experience, intelligence, etc.
A Yoruba proverb literally goes thus: the source of wealth is filthy. One is bound to agree with this proverb if one thinks of getting wealth in the worldly way. To be wealthy either in monetary or material term or in the general term is not an easy thing. The curse of God on man after the fall in the Garden of Eden is part of this hardship in getting wealth (see Genesis 3:17-19). Those that are wealthy in term of any of these will explain better what they passed through before they could become what they are today. In fact, the source of the wealth of many rich people today cannot be exposed to other people because of its filthiness morally.
Nevertheless, the proverb is in great contrast to the teachings of the Bible. In spite of the curse that makes things difficult for man, the Bible says, "Wealth and honor come from you [i.e. God]; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all" (1 Chronicles 29:12 NIV). In another place, God told the people of Israel, "...remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth" (Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV). It is this kind of wealth that comes from the blessing of the LORD to which He adds no trouble. The source of such wealth is not filthy. It is clean and godly. Anyone who has it will enjoy it to the fullness. But the worldly wealth will always bring insatiable desire for more that will make one who has it not to enjoy it.
What is the source of your wealth? Is it filthy or godly? As you are aspiring to become wealthy financially, materially or in other areas, what would you want to be the source of your wealth? Ask for the blessings of God that bring wealth with no sorrow.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will not be involved in sourcing for wealth and other material things "filthy" and ungodly means, rather seek for God's blessings that bring wealth with no sorrow.
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Post  Admin on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:34 pm

WHAT IMPACT WILL YOU MAKE?
From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Sat, 03 Oct 2020 11:07:26 PDT
Dearly Beloved,
WHAT IMPACT WILL YOU MAKE?
“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).
I am always fascinated by the life of Frances Jane van Alstyne née Crosby (March 24, 1820 - February 12, 1915), more commonly known as Fanny Crosby whenever I sing any of her hymns. Here was a woman who was blind for most part of her life (she was blinded by an incompetent doctor at six weeks of age). In spite of this, she wrote over 8,000 hymns. An online source quoted her saying: “It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank Him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.”
Some of Crosby's best-known songs include "To God Be the Glory", "Blessed Assurance", "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour", "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home", "Praise Him, Praise Him", "Rescue the Perishing", “All The Way My Saviour Leads Me”, “Take The World But Give Me Jesus” and many others. Crosby wrote over 1,000 secular poems, and had four books of poetry published, as well as two best-selling autobiographies. Additionally, she co-wrote popular secular songs, as well as political and patriotic songs, and at least five cantatas on biblical and patriotic themes, including “The Flower Queen”, the first secular cantata by an American composer. Crosby was committed to Christian rescue missions, and was known for her public speaking. Undoubtedly, her works have inspired and blessed millions of souls throughout the world.
Apostle Paul was “...hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV). He was in a Roman prison awaiting death sentence when he wrote many of his epistles. In one of such epistles, the Epistle to the Philippians, Paul expressed his desire to exalt Jesus Christ in spite of his predicament. He was even ready to die for the cause of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Philippians 1:20-21). No wonder, he also made a lot of impact in the lives of many people.
What are you passing through now? What impact will you make in spite of your situation? What legacy will you leave behind when you are no more? Determine to make a positive impact in your generation. Do not let any situation hinder you.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that God will help you to make positive impact in your generation in spite of any situation you may be passing through.

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

Post  Admin on Sun 27 Sep 2020, 10:28 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHAT AN AVOIDABLE SITUATION! (in honour of late Rev. Mrs. Sarah Oladimeji)
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17 NKJV).
I was not happy as I wrote this message for the week (I am still not happy!). One of my pastor-colleagues (late Rev. Mrs. Sarah Aderonke Oladimeji) died in an avoidable situation in one of the so-called government specialist hospitals recently because of human negligence and lack of basic equipment for emergency situations. The husband of the deceased who is also a pastor recounted mournfully how he rushed his dying wife to this hospital when situation was going out of hand. He had applied known first-aid treatments to resuscitate her when she slumped and fainted in his presence. The medical personnel at the said hospital did not show enough concern and give expected immediate treatment to the woman who coincidentally was also a trained nurse. Even if they wanted to help, the hospital lacks the needed equipment to treat her and save her from the preventable death as she died there in the hospital because of lack of immediate treatment. 
Apart from lack of basic medical equipment in most of the public (and even private) hospitals in Nigeria, the unprofessional and nonchalant attitude of many of the medical personnel in these hospitals have caused many avoidable deaths to thousands of people leaving their loved ones in everlasting sorrow. While most of the medical personnel in government hospitals have lost the motivation to be dedicated to their noble humanitarian profession because of the shabby treatments they receive from the government, most of their counterparts in the private sector place financial gain over the sanctity of human life. That is why it is common to see these medical personnel in the private sector refusing to treat patients (even the ones on danger list) except some amount of money is deposited. Thousands of people have died in such a situation because they did not have the needed money to pay. One may argue that such private hospitals are for profit making. However, that should not be at the detriment of losing a life or causing untold pains to patients. One would wonder about government hospitals that are not profit-oriented. Lack of (or the use of obsolete) medical equipment has sent many people to their early graves or deformed them if they were lucky to still be alive. It is shameful that political leaders and other government functionaries that are expected to provide basic health facilities and take good care of the existing government hospitals refuse to do the needful. They are ready to embark on medical tours to other places in the advanced world for medical treatment whenever they have any slightest ailment. What a country!
This indifferent attitude of the sanctity of human life cuts across every sphere of the society in Nigeria. Most of the roads in Nigeria are death traps. Many avoidable accidents that caused many human lives have occurred on these roads. Pipe-borne water is not available in most parts of the country as the government leaves the citizens to fend for themselves. Electricity is erratic. Government schools (especially the tertiary institutions) do not have stable academic calendars as the employees in these schools embark on industrial actions at will because of lack of commitment in the part of the government to take good care of these schools and the employees there. The list is endless. How long will the country continue in these avoidable situations after sixty years of independence in spite of the divine endowments of human, material and natural resources that the country have? I weep for my country!
You can make a difference in the little corner that you are. The needed change to all these avoidable situations begins with me. It begins with you. Be patriotic. Stop being self-centred. Have human feelings and selflessly care for other people. The people that have the opportunity of being in government (or close to those that are there) should arise and build this country. Let us join hands to stop all these avoidable sad situations. “…to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17 NKJV).
Adieu Sarah Oladimeji!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
 
Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to contribute your quota to the positive development of where you are, and the betterment of people you come across.
 
NB: This message is dedicated to late Rev. Mrs. Sarah Aderonke Oladimeji who died avoidably on September 22, 2020.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sat 19 Sep 2020, 6:45 pm

Dearly Beloved,

SUCCESS OR FAITHFULNESS?

“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2 NKJV).

Some time ago when I was leading a stewardship seminar among some Christians who were mainly church pastors, I referred to the saying attributed to Mother Teresa: “God has not called us to be successful, but to be faithful..” One of the pastors at the meeting disagreed vehemently with the statement. He insisted in spite of my explanations that he will be successful in the ministry. His argument may be right to some extent. However, the primary purpose of the call of God on any Christian in general and any pastor in particular is being faithful to God. Success may come later.

The lyrics of the hymn, “OUR BEST”, composed by Salathial Cleaver Kirk (1847-1917) reminded me of the fact. To be specific, these parts of the hymn reiterate faithfulness above success: “Do then the best you can, not for reward, Not for the praise of men, but for the Lord.” Kirk emphasized doing one’s best, that is, being faithful, without thinking of getting reward or praise of men, that is, success. This is the sound biblical teaching! In many places, the Holy Bible teaches about being faithful (see Matthew 24:45-46; Luke 16:10-12; 1 Corinthians 4:2). Regardless of whether what one is doing is small or great, what matters most is faithfully doing one’s best in it. Even if it seems that people do not appreciate one, one should continue to be faithful in one’s calling or endeavour.

It is a misplacement of priority when one places success above faithfulness because the success of one’s life or ministry depends on God, and He has the prerogative to give it as He likes to anyone. Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians this principle when he told them that in spite of his efforts and those of Apollos, that it is God that brings growth (or success) (see 1 Corinthians 3:6). Moses also echoed this principle to the Israelites that it is God that brings wealth (or success) (see Deuteronomy 8:18). Paul further said that it is our labour, “our best” (in Kirk’s words), or our faithfulness that God will reward (see 1 Corinthians 3:9), not our success. Twice, in the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25, the master of the servants said “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things…” (verses 21, 23). In spite of the varied successes of the servants, it was their faithfulness that was commended, not their success. The reason is that God is more mindful of our faithfulness, not our success. No wonder, Paul emphasized it: “…it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2 NKJV).

God has not called anyone to be successful, but to be faithful. If success comes out of one’s faithfulness, that is good. However, remember that God will not reward success, but faithfulness. Focus on faithfulness rather than on any form of success. Do your best to be faithful.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will focus more on faithfulness, instead of success, in your calling, ministry, and other life endeavours.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sat 12 Sep 2020, 10:12 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHAT WILL POSTERITY READ ABOUT YOU? (in honour of Rev. Dr. S. T. Ola Akande)
“At Joppa there was a certain disciple named ... Dorcas … [who] was full of good works and charitable deeds…. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died…. And all the widows stood by [Peter] weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them” (Acts 9:36-37a, 39b NKJV).
Some days ago, when I read about the news of the home call of Rev. Dr. Samuel Titilola Oladele Akande (1926-2020) on social media some hours after his demise, I received the news with mixed feelings. As a growing Baptist boy, I knew Rev. Dr. S. T. Ola Akande in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a great icon of the Nigerian Baptist faith. He was then the President (the chief presiding officer) and later the General Secretary (the chief executive officer) of the Nigerian Baptist Convention. I looked up to him as a role model that was worthy of emulation, and I aspired to be like him. He later joined the Nigerian politics in the early 1990s. When I joined the workforce of the Convention at its headquarters in Oke Bola, Ibadan, Nigeria, I heard many stories about him. These stories made me to have mixed feelings when I heard the news about his demise. His demise reminded me of a controversy about what one should say about the dead. Expectedly, many accolades have been said about the late S.. T. Ola Akande since his demise few days ago. Many more tributes will still emerge about him. Undoubtedly, S. T. Ola Akande was an enigma personified in the annals of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, and this write-up is not to praise him or do otherwise. One thing is certain: Rev. Dr. S. T. Ola Akande has become a history. Nevertheless, the death of this great orator and indefatigable preacher of the gospel is to remind each one of us that we will die one day, and whether we like it or not posterity will read about what we lived for on earth.
When Dorcas (also known as Tabitha) died, people gathered together to recount the good deeds she had done. In fact, a message was sent to Simon Peter to come and wake her up because she was too good to die (see Acts 9:36-43). The books of the Kings and the Chronicles in the Old Testament chronicled the lives and deaths of many kings of Israel and Judah. Each king was measured with either the phrase “he did what was right in the sight of the LORD” or the phrase “he did evil in the sight of the LORD”. Posterity is reading about each of these kings today.
You also will become history one day. Your words, actions and/or inactions today will become what people will use to measure you. Whether people will be allowed to honestly say what they know about you or not, posterity will read about you one day. Remember the Yoruba axiom: “Arise ni arika; arika ni baba iregun. Ohun ti a ba se ni oni, oro itan ni bi o di ola.” [Literally: “What one did or does is what people will recount; what people will recount about one is the father of reference point. What one does today will definitely become history tomorrow.”] What will posterity read about you after your demise?
Adieu, Rev. Dr. S. T. Ola Akande!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
 
Prayer Point: Pray for the grace to do the right things now that you are living so that posterity will read good things about you after your demise.
 
NB
This message is dedicated to Rev. Dr. SAMUEL TITILOLA OLADELE AKANDE (ST Ola Akande) (1926-2020).


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

Post  Admin on Sat 05 Sep 2020, 10:00 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHAT WOULD YOU SEEK FIRST?

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33 NIV).

Can you imagine a person that wants to buy something in the market whose main concern is the additional thing the seller would give him for patronizing him? Or can you imagine a person that has more interest in the insignificant addition to a gift rather than the actual gift? This is what most people do in their approach to God. They would want God to do any other thing for them while they leave the main thing. Many people are ready to spend most of their time asking God for material and financial blessings while they neglect the most important spiritual blessings that He is ready to give those that ask for them. Many would do anything they can to get what they want from God while they refuse to do want God wants from them.

The above Bible verse sums it up: "But seek first [God's] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33 NIV). We are to firstly seek the kingdom of God. A Bible commentator puts it this way, "Seek first to be righteous, and to become interested in His favor, and all necessary things will be added to you. He has control over all things, and He can give you what you need. He WILL give you what HE deems best for you." When we firstly seek God and live according to His commands, He will give us even those earthly things that we do not ask for.

King Solomon is a good example here. God asked him to ask for anything from Him. Rather than asking for earthly things for his selfish gain, he asked for God's wisdom, and God did not only give him unparalleled wisdom, He gave him even those earthly things that he did not requested for (see 1 Kings 3:1-15).

It is a good thing to ask God for material and financial blessings. Everybody needs them. However, the first thing to seek from God is the wisdom to do His will. The psalmist says, "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart" and "He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them" (Psalms 37:4; 145:19 NIV. See also Psalms 34:9-10; 37:18, 19, 25; 84:11; Mark 10:29-30; 1 Timothy 4:8).

Many do not have or/and enjoy material and financial blessings because of their misplaced priority. What would you seek first?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Points:

1. Lord, help me to seek You and Your righteousness first in all my endeavors.

2. As I am seeking you first Lord, add all these material and financial blessings to your spiritual blessings for me.

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

Post  Admin on Mon 31 Aug 2020, 12:54 am

Dearly Beloved,
WHAT ARE YOU DOING SECRETLY?
"[The LORD] said to me, ‘Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, "The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the land."’ Again, he said, ‘You will see them doing things that are even more detestable’" (Ezekiel 8:12-13 NIV).
Some people of the Judah had been deported to Babylon because of the sins of the people. In spite of this, the other people in the land of Judah continued in their sins. The Spirit of God lifted Prophet Ezekiel up in visions and took him to the city of Jerusalem to show him some of the detestable things that the people of Judah were doing secretly. Interestingly, the people were thinking that because God had forsaken them due to their sins, He did not see them as they continued in the sins. The Spirit showed Ezekiel from one place to the other as these people were doing more and more detestable things that were not hidden from God (see Ezekiel 8). Definitely, these people were punished for their sins (see Ezekiel 9).
Many people like those Jews in Ezekiel’s time are doing bad things secretly today thinking that God does not see them. The psalmist vividly described such people and concluded, "Does he who implanted the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? Does he who disciplines nations not punish? Does he who teaches man lack knowledge? The LORD knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile" (Psalm 94:9-11 NIV). Some are doing bad things secretly because they have been disappointed in one way or the other. Others are doing so because they are just wicked. Most of such people prefer acting in the secret or darkness because they would not want their wickedness to be exposed (cf. John 3:19-21).
What are you doing secretly thinking that nobody sees you? If nobody sees you, God does! What are you thinking secretly in your heart right now? Would you be proud of your secret acts and thoughts when they are exposed? You may hide things from man. You cannot hide them from God. Always remember the conclusion of the writer of the Ecclesiastes, "For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" (12:14 NIV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
 
Prayer Point: Pray that God will deliver you from secret/hidden sins.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 23 Aug 2020, 11:28 pm

Dearly Beloved,
O WORSHIP THE KING
"Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain" (Psalm 104:1-2 NKJV).
One of the attributes of God that is prominently pronounced in the Holy Bible is royalty or kingship. Apart from the fact that God is presented as Someone who has a throne (Psalm 9:7-8; 45:6; Psalm 47:8; Isaiah 37:16) and a kingdom (Psalm 145:11-13; Matthew 6:10; Luke 4:43), He is addressed in many places in the Holy Bible as the “heavenly King”, “everlasting King”, “eternal King” (1 Timothy 1:17), “King of kings” (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16), "the King of all the earth" (Psalm 47:6-7), "a great King" (Psalm 47:2; 95:3), "the King, the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5), "the King of Israel" (Isaiah 44:6; John 1:49), "King of the nations" (Revelation 15:3), and so on. This concept of kingship might have inspired Sir Robert Grant (1779-1838) to compose the popular hymn, “O WORSHIP THE KING”. In fact, Grant based the hymn on Psalm 104 that describes God in His royal majesty. As a trained lawyer-turned politician who was directly involved in royal affairs, Grant knew what it means to be in power and have control over other people. As a devout Christian, he began to compare the kingship of Jesus Christ to the British royalty as he was meditating on Psalm 104. His meditation resulted in the composition of the hymn.
In the hymn, Grant enjoined people to worship the King in all His glory above and gratefully sing His power and His love because He is our Shield, our Defender, and the Ancient of Days. This heavenly King is pavilioned in splendour and girded with praise. Grant wanted people to tell of the might of this eternal King and sing of His grace because His robe is the light and space is His canopy. No tongue can recite the bountiful care of this great King. This care is demonstrated in the air and in the light as well as in the dew and the rain. Because the mighty King (who is our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend) can never fail, and His mercies are tender and firm to the end, we children of dust (that are feeble and frail) should put our trust in Him. This King of kings is the measureless Might and unchangeable Love whom angels delight to worship above. His ransomed creation, with glory ablaze, will sing to His praise in true adoration!
Earthly kings and other rulers may have some splendour, glory and honour, but they can never be compared to the heavenly King who is splendour, glory and honour personified. The earthly rulers are temporal and mortal while the heavenly King is eternal and immortal. The heavenly King is the real unquestionable King. In fact, He is incomparable to any earthly ruler. He alone is worthy of our worship. O worship the King all glorious above!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
 
Prayer Point: Pray that you will always ascribe the splendour, glory, honour and worship only unto the eternal King.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Empty Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sat 15 Aug 2020, 10:04 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHEN YOU FAITHFULLY SERVE THE LORD...
"After these events, in which King Hezekiah served the LORD faithfully, Sennacherib, the emperor of Assyria, invaded Judah. He besieged the fortified cities and gave orders for his army to break their way through the walls" (2 Chronicles 32:1 TEV).
King Hezekiah of Judah was one of the good kings that did well in following the ways of the Lord. He served God faithfully and brought the people back to God. He made them to also faithfully serve Him and observe the Law in an unprecedented way in the history of the kingdom of Judah (see 2 Chronicles 29—31). Nevertheless, in spite of his faithfulness in serving God, a powerful enemy, King Sennacherib of Assyria, rose against his kingdom and wanted to conquer him (2 Chronicles 32:1). King Hezekiah, however, trusted in his God and encouraged his subjects to trust in God. God did not only save him and his kingdom from the enemy, but He also humiliated the enemy (2 Chronicles 32:20-22). Hezekiah later became renowned for his greatness because he served God faithfully (2 Chronicles 32:23).
There are many such situations whereby persecutions, sufferings, difficulties and the like arise because of being faithful to God. Faithful people normally face such hardships because of their faithfulness to God. "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12). However, God knows how He rescues His faithful from the hardship and gives them victory over their adversaries (see 2 Peter 2:9; Psalm 34:15-17). The only prerequisite is total trust in Him. No matter the opposition, the faithful will triumph at the end.
Have you been serving God faithfully and it seems that you are being rewarded with opposition and hardship? Continue your faithfulness. Trust totally in Him. You will soon triumph over your enemies. The enemies will be humiliated over your life in Jesus’ name. Amen.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray for God's vindication over your adversaries.
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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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