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Post  Admin on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 12:03 am

DearlyBeloved,

TODIE IS GAIN?

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

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

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

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

InHis service,

BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).

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

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

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

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

Dearly Beloved,

“JESUS LOVES ME, THIS I KNOW”

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus loves me, this I know!

In His service,

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

Dearly Beloved,

DO NOT MISPLACE YOUR PRIORITY!

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

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

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

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

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will have thespirit of a servant-leader who is ready serve those that you are leading.
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Post  Admin on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 1:12 am

Dearly Beloved,

THE BLESSED OF THE LORD

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

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

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

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

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

In His service,

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

Dearly Beloved,

OUR PRAYERS FORYOU IN THE YEAR 2018

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

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

This New Year:

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

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

- It will be wellwith you;

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

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

- Indeed, you willsee the goodness of your generations.

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

Happy andprosperous New Year!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi(Pastor),

BaptistBuilding, Oke Bola,

PMB 5113, Ibadan200001,

Nigeria

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dearly Beloved,

ROCK OF AGES

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

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

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

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

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

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).


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


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

Dearly Beloved,

DO NOT JUST BE A CHANNEL OFBLESSINGS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do not just be a channel ofblessings!

In His service,

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

Dearly Beloved,

BEAR FRUIT TO THE GLORY OF GOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His service,

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

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

Dearly Beloved,

COME YE THANKFUL PEOPLE, COME

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

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

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

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

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that youwill be able to live your life in thankfulness of God, and in a way that Hewill be able to harvest you into His presence forever.
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Post  Admin on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 10:45 pm

Dearly Beloved,

STAND UP, STAND UP FOR JESUS

“Stand therefore, havinggirded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness”(Ephesians 6:14 NKJV).

The popular hymn, “Stand Up,Stand Up for Jesus”, was an inspiration that Dr George Duffield, Jr.(1818-1888) received from the dying words of his friend, Reverend Dudley AtkinsTyng (1825-1858): "Stand up for Jesus, father, and tell my brethren of theministry to stand up for Jesus." Tyng had been a prolific preacher in theearly nineteen century in Philadelphia, USA. The arm of Tyng was amputated dueto an injury he sustained in an accident that he had with his mule in his farm,and this led to his death few days later. Duffield, Jr. was moved by the dyingwords of Tyng that he preached a sermon the following Sunday, exhorting hiscongregation to stand firm for Jesus Christ. His text was Ephesians 6:14, “Standtherefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplateof righteousness” (NKJV). At the end of the sermon he recited a poem he hadwritten. The poem is the lyrics of the hymn, “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”.

This hymn has a distinctlymilitary tone because it refers to believers as Christian soldiers, andpictures Christ leading His followers in a battle against evil forces. Itmentions obeying Christ’s trumpet call. It encourages putting on Gospel armour,an allusion to Ephesians 6:10-18, where Paul said that the armour of God is thebelt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, footwear of peace, the shieldof faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, which is the wordof God, and prayer. In deed, the hymn writer was right in saying that “the armof flesh will fail you” because the warfare is not carnal but spiritual (see 2Corinthians 10:3-6; Ephesians 6:10-18). The last stanza holds out a promise ofpeace that “the strife will not be long.” We may be at the warfront today, a day is coming when we will sing “thevictor’s song”. Therefore, anyone that overcomes will be rewarded with “a crownof life” and reign eternally “with the King of Glory” (see James 1:12).

Many people may disagree withthe lyrics of this hymn of its aggressiveness and a sort of militant song. Suchpeople prefer jolly and easy life where they can get anything they want withoutany struggle. However, the hymn accurately portrays the Christian life as beinga life full of struggle against evil. Christian life is indeed a warfareagainst the devil and his cohorts, and every Christian must be ready to standup for Jesus if he/she will win the spiritual battle. Are you ready to stand upfor Jesus?

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to stand up for Jesus and fight against the devil and his cohortstill victory is yours.

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Post  Admin on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 2:09 pm

A HEBREW SAGE MIGHT SAY. . .
In this life — if you are not confused. . . you are not paying attention.

KNOWING GOD
"Through faith in CHRIST, the righteousness which is from GOD by faith; that I may know HIM and the power of HIS resurrection, and the fellowship of HIS sufferings, being conformed to HIS death." [Philippians 3. 9 - 10]

Paul’s greatest desire was to know the LORD MESSIAH Y’SHUA in an intimately, cherished way — and to experience an even deeper relationship with HIM. Thru this longing, Paul gives three things, means by which we too will know so we can also have this personal relationship with our BELOVED MASTER.

THE POWER of HIS RESURRECTION: The victory CHRIST had over sin and death exhibited HIS great power and HIS resurrection. Paul not only looked forward to his an ultimately resurrected body, ["…if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead." [Philippians 3. 11], but he also yearn for the power over sin as well, "to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to GOD in CHRIST JESUS our LORD." [Philippians 6. 11]

THE FELLOWSHIP of HIS SUFFERINGS: Paul’s desire to know MESSIAH was so great, he was willing, if necessary, to suffer as Y’SHUA suffered. Paul indeed did suffer in many ways — "in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness — besides the other things, what comes upon me daily." [2 Corinthians 11. 23 - 28]

Then, when Paul pleaded with the MASTER, Y’SHUA answered him — "MY grace is sufficient for you, for MY strength is made perfect in weakness." [Paul continued]..."Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of CHRIST may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for CHRIST'S sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." [2 Corinthians 12. 9 - 10]

"For to this you were called, because CHRIST also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow HIS steps." [1 Peter 2. 21] "If indeed we suffer with HIM, that we may also be glorified together." [Romans 8. 17]

BEING CONFORMED to HIS DEATH: Paul was willing to die as the LORD Y’SHUA died and soon did die a martyr’s death by being beheaded in a Roman prison. But this is not what he was considering here. In point of fact, Paul wanted to be like MESSIAH in HIS death, gaining complete victory over all sin. "He who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin." "For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with CHRIST, we believe that we shall also live with HIM, knowing that CHRIST, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over HIM." [1 Peter 4. 1; Romans 6. 7 - 9]

For us to know the LORD Y’SHUA ha’MASHIACH in this way, to be conformed to HIM as Paul chose to do, above all demands that we too develop a servant’s heart and selfless humility that took the LOVING SAVIOR to the cross making it possible for us to know HIM. "Let this mind be in you which was also in CHRIST JESUS, WHO, being in the form of GOD, did not consider it robbery to be equal with GOD, but made HIMSELF of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, HE humbled HIMSELF and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." [Philippians 2. 5 - 8]
Thank YOU LORD GOD, our ETERNAL KING for the honor and privilege of knowing YOU!

Sha’alu (Pray) for the shalom (Peace) of Jerusalem and all of Israel!
Redeem Israel, O ELOHIYM, out of all their troubles!
The LIVING GOD is the GOD of any problems you may have, as well as any success you may experience. The believer’s hope is born of confidence based on the historical fact that HEAVENLY FATHER raised up MESSIAH, our PRECIOUS REDEEMER, from the dead — so HE can certainly handle anything you bring to HIM.

Praying for the peace of Jerusalem, is praying for the return of our Messiah and Lord and for the Kingdom of God He is bringing when He comes. Then God's Will shall be done on earth as it is in Heaven and the world will experience true godly universal peace which is the fruit of Righteousness.

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Post  Admin on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 2:06 pm

Dearly Beloved,

PRAYER OF DEATH?

“But I say to you whohear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curseyou, and pray for those who spitefully use you” (Luke 6:27-28 NKJV).

Recently, I was in apublic transport. Two ladies were discussing openly what was happening in theirworkplace. I was not interested in their discussion, but a statement of one ofthe ladies caught my attention: "I no longer have mercy for anyone. I willpray the prayer of death for anyone who does any evil against me!" Ithought within me, "Prayer of death? Is this what the Bible teaches?"I could not ascertain whether this lady is a Christian or not, but I am awarethat that has become the main prayer point of many so-called Christians in thispart of the world. It will not be a surprise if some people after reading thismessage argue in favour of such prayer points against perceived and realenemies.

Prayer of death? Istill cannot find any of such in the Holy Bible, especially the New Testament.There are enemies, agreed. However, how do we relate with them according to theBible? How did Jesus Christ and His disciples relate with their enemies? Whatare their teachings about enemies? Did they encourage us to pray for the deathof the enemies? Here are some of their teachings:

“Do not rejoice whenyour enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest theLord see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him”(Proverbs 24:17-18 NKJV).

“But I say to you whohear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curseyou, and pray for those who spitefully use you” (Luke 6:27-28 NKJV. See also Matthew5:43-48).

“Bless those whopersecute you; bless and do not curse.... If your enemy is hungry, feed him; ifhe is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire onhis head” (Romans 12:14, 20 NKJV).

“...not returning evilfor evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing thatyou were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9 NKJV).

Jesus Christ andStephen demonstrated these teachings while they were about to die in the handsof their enemies (see Luke 23:34; Acts 7:59; 1 Peter 2:21-23). The apostleswere persecuted by the power that be. They did not pray against these"enemies". They rather prayed for themselves for more enablement. Theoutcome of their prayer was awesome as they were refilled with the power of theHoly Spirit (see Acts 4:23-31). What has been the outcome of your prayer inresponse to the action of the enemies against you?

Instead of praying"the prayer of death" against your enemies, pray for yourself formore power of the Holy Spirit to be able to withstand all the wiles of theenemies.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Help me, Lord, not to pray against my enemies, to beable to be filled with your Spirit to overcome all the wiles of these enemies.
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Post  Admin on Sat 14 Oct 2017, 10:22 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHEN GOD STIRS UP YOUR NEST!

“As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers overits young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings,so the Lord alone led [the people of Israel], and there was no foreign god with[the people of Israel]” (Deuteronomy 32:11-12 NKJV).

An eagle is a unique birdamong other birds. Many lessons can be learnt from its uniqueness. One of suchlessons is its deliberate stirring of the nest where it keeps its chicks (oryoung ones) in order to teach them how to fly and be stronger. An eagle alwaysbuilds its nest on tall trees or high cliffs where enemies cannot easily reach.The eagle that has been taking good care of its chicks for some time in thissafe and comfortable nest would without warning stir up the nest thereby makingthe chicks to be in danger of falling from the high place. As the chicks try tofly, the eagle would hover over the chicks and spread its wings to catch themand carry them on its pinions to safety. This is repeated on several occasionstill the chicks could fly perfectly on their own to safety without the help ofthe mother eagle.

In the Song of Moses as Moseswas about leaving the people of Israel after forty years of leading them to theverge of the Promised Land, he compared the dealing of God with the people ofIsrael to the stirring of nest of an eagle so that the people of Israel wouldbe able to be strong (see Deuteronomy 1:31; 32:11). He recounted how God hadbeen with the people of Israel in the wilderness for forty years, leading them,encircling them, instructing them, keeping them as the apple of His eye,protecting them, feeding them, and taking them to where they were about toenter the Promised Land. The people of Israel did not know that God wastraining them to become a strong and formidable nation when they were passingthrough the wilderness experience.

Are you also wondering why Godis stirring up the nest on your comfort? Why would He allow you to face thedifficulties you have presently? Why can He not make everything rousing foryou? Why is He allowing the righteous to suffer? He is stirring up your nest sothat you will become stronger. Job testified of God: “But He knows the way thatI take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10 NKJV).Apostle Peter considered this test as something done by fire (see 1 Peter 1:7).In spite of this, it is to bring “praise, honor, and glory” to God. As theeagle is always with its chicks during and after the stirring up of the nest,and even taking the chicks to safety, so also the Lord is with us (see Hebrews13:5). He will hover over you, carry you on His wings, and lead you to yourPromised Land (see Psalm 36:7; 61:4; 63:7; 91:4). So, when God stirs up yournest, it is to make you stronger.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Thu 12 Oct 2017, 11:16 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DO NOT BE A RUMORMONGER!

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehoodand speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body”(Ephesians 4:25 NIV).

I have had my message for the week ready bothin English and Esperanto languages. However, like Jude in the Bible who had tochange the subject of his epistle (see Jude 3), I have to set aside the initialmessage and write about a trend on social media in this part of the world.Undoubtedly, access to social media has made dissemination of informationeasier these days. However, this has made many people out of falsehood, deceit,pretense, inferiority complex, identity theft, plagiarism, and the likes tomislead others by what they disseminate through social media. This trend hasled to ascribing information to renowned religious or political leaders to givecredence to such information. Recently, a leading famous religious leader hadto release an official statement to refute a message credited to him. Unfortunately,this opportunity of easy access to social media in disseminating informationhas made other people to disseminate further the misleading, untrue, semi-trueor even sensitive information to other people without verifying theauthenticity of the source of the information. Some people are even ready toargue blindly in support of such baseless information.

In Ephesians 4:25, Apostle Paul admonished, “Thereforeeach of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, forwe are all members of one body” (NIV). Apostle John added: “Dear friends, donot believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are fromGod, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1NIV). Although the admonition here was about false spirits, however, it isapplicable also to false information. Furthermore, God warned the people ofIsrael in Exodus 23:2: “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong” (NIV).

Therefore, why would you be involved indisseminating misleading, untrue, semi-true or sensitive information to otherpeople? Why would you not first verify any information before forwarding it toothers?

While it is good to be informed and let otherpeople benefit from the information you have, be mindful the information youwill disseminate to other people. It is better to be sure of the source of anyinformation and its veracity before passing such information to others. Do notbe a rumormonger!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).


Prayer Point: Pray that you will not joinothers to spread rumor, but that you will always verify any information beforespreading it.


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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Oct 2017, 11:01 pm

Dearly Beloved,
“RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTS ANATION…”

“Righteousness exalts anation, but sin is a reproach to any people.... [Therefore] let justice rundown like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream” (Proverbs 14:34; Amos5:24 NKJV).

Nigeria as a nation willcelebrate its 57th independence anniversary on October 1, 2017. To mark thisand as a result of the prevailing situations in the country, ChristianAssociation of Nigeria (the national body of Christians in the country) hasdeclared the day as a day of prayer for the nation. As I reflected on thisdeclaration, I felt sorry for the body in particular and the nation in general.The nation needs prayers, agreed. However, the people of the nation needre-orientation. Here is a nation and people that are largely divided byChristianity and Islam. Everybody is either a Christian or a Muslim. Even,handful of the citizens openly identifies with traditional religion. Churchbuildings and mosques are found on almost every street of villages, towns andcities of the country. Almost everybody is a pastor or imam in Nigeria. Peopleare trooping into prayer mountains/camps everyday seeking blessings andmiracles. Religion has become the major export of the country to other parts ofthe world.

In spite of these, the moralsituation of the country is like that of the people of Judah as described inIsaiah 59 where the hands of the people were defiled with blood ofinnocent people; their fingers were tainted with iniquity; their lips spokelies; noone called for justice, nor does anyonepleaded for truth; they trusted in empty words; their works were works of iniquity, and theact of violence was intheir hands; their feet ran to evil; their thoughts were thoughts of iniquity;justice and righteousness were far from them; they spoke and acted inoppression and revolt; and they conceived and uttered words of falsehood fromthe heart (see Isaiah 59:3-13). In fact, “Justice is turned back, andrighteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannotenter. So truth fails, and he who departsfrom evil makes himself a prey” (verses 14-15 NKJV). The so-called religiousleaders are not helping matters as most of them are like the shepherds in thedays of Ezekiel who fed themselves instead of feeding the flock (see Ezekiel34:1-10). No wonder, Isaiah earlier said that the people had been separatedfrom God by these sins, and these sins had hidden the face of God from thepeople. Is this not the true picture of Nigeria and its people?

It isgood to be religious as many Nigerians are today. But it is far better to begodly and righteous. It is good to cry out to God in prayers for the prevailingsituations of Nigeria, or any other country or person. But it is far better tolive holy and righteous life. For God to hear and answer our prayers, we mustbe ready to yield to the advice of another prophet, Amos: “But let justice rundown like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24 NKJV). Godcategorically told King Solomon: “If My people who are called by My name willHUMBLE THEMSELVES, and pray and seek My face, and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS,then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”(2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV emphasis added).

Righteousness indeed exalts anation and its people. I wish Nigeria and Nigerians Happy Independence Day!

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that youwill not only be religious, but godly and righteous.
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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Sep 2017, 12:27 pm

Posted by: "Bayo Afolaranmi"
spiritualdigest
Dearly Beloved,
“LISTEN TO HIM!”
“Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters-one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’” (Matthew 17:4-5 NIV).Many people nowadays enjoy being in the presence of God (in churches, prayer mountains, camps, religious conferences and seminars, and the like) serving Him and most especially praying (and possibly fasting) to Him for one thing or the other. However, most of these people are not ready to listen to and obey Jesus Christ in that presence of God and in their day-to-day activities. This was the error about which God corrected Peter and the other two disciples when Jesus Christ was transfigured in their presence on a mountain. They were so overwhelmed with the experience that Peter suggested that they should remain there. However, God reaffirmed His declaration that Jesus Christ is His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased, and that they should listen to Him. Listening to Jesus entails total obedience to His commands and wills for one’s life especially in one’s day-to-day activities. No wonder, He led the disciples to where they could really listen to Him.It is good to be in the presence of God and worship Him. It is good to serve Him in any way we can. However, it is better to listen to Him and obey Him in our day-to-day activities. Going to churches, prayer mountains, camps, religious conferences and the likes to worship God without listening to Him and obeying His commands is like wasting one’s precious time. Samuel candidly told Saul: Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22 NIV). Jesus Christ also said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15 NIV). Note that He did not say, “You will serve me,” though serving Him is also good, but listening to Him and obeying His commands are more paramount.In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will learn to always listen to God when you are serving Him. _________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 11:49 pm

| Dearly Beloved,
LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY!“
Now it came to pass, as [Jesus Christ] was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1 NKJV).Our Lord Jesus Christ while on earth knew the importance of prayer, and He did not play with it. He started His earthly ministry with prayer and ended it with prayer. One of the instances of His prayer life is the verse quoted above.As He finished His prayer, one of His disciples came to Him asked Him to teach them (i.e. the disciples) how to pray. This indicates that they had been seeing Him praying, and probably they had partaken in His time of prayer, but they did not know how to pray. The Bible does not disclose the identity of this particular disciple. However, one of them asked, and it led to the teaching of what we know today as "The Lord's Prayer."The prayer life of a Christian cannot be over-emphasized. It is proper for us to meditate beforehand what we are to ask of God, and to arrange our thoughts, that we may not come thoughtlessly into His presence.As Christians, we are in the war front against the devil and his host. The Bible clearly states this that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the satanic powers (Ephesians 6:12), and that though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). We can use the efficacy of prayer against these satanic powers. But, how can we use this power effectively?Promises of God abound in the Bible that we should ask Him anything in prayer and He will do it for us. How can we rightly utilize these promises in prayer? We have to ask God to teach us how to pray.There are various ways of prayer. Only God can teach us the proper method of praying if we are ready to learn. Indeed, we cannot pray acceptably at all unless God take us through the course of prayer. Somebody has suggested the acronym "ACTS" to describe the ways of prayer. The acronym stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. While praying, what method should we use? We need to ask God to teach us.Lord, teach us to pray!In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that the Lord will teach you how to correctly pray unto Him so that your prayers will be acceptable to Him. |

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Post  Admin on Sun 03 Sep 2017, 11:56 pm

Dearly Beloved,
THE MAJORITY!"
But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there" (Acts 27:11-12 NIV).In a democratic society, majority always have their way while the minority have their say. In other words, majority carry the day while the minority are left in the cold. That is the ideal. However, at times, majority opinion or decision may be dangerous and be detriment of the whole society.Paul the apostle was in a voyage to Rome as a prisoner. It was evident that the sailing had become dangerous. So, he advised the sailors against continuing the voyage. The centurion who was leading the journey and majority of people in the ship thought otherwise. The majority had their way while Paul had his say. However, the decision of the majority nearly cost them their lives after losing everything they had in a storm that led to a shipwreck.When Moses was leading the Israelites to the Promised Land, twelve spies were sent ahead of them to the land. Ten of the spies brought bad reports while only two brought good reports. The Israelites followed the majority and rebelled against God. This made the whole generation of those people not to get to that land except the two people that brought the good reports (see Numbers 13, 14).In leadership, while it is good to listen to the view of the majority and follow it, it is better, at times, to thoughtfully consider the view of the minority. Majority may have the same view, but they are not right all the time. The majority view may be dangerous at times. Therefore, pray for the discerning spirit, especially, the leadership of the Holy Spirit, before following the majority.In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray for the discerning spirit, especially, the leadership of the Holy Spirit, before following the majority. _________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Wed 30 Aug 2017, 3:01 pm

Dearly Beloved,
TAKE HIS YOKE!“
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30 NIV).A Bible commentator defined a yoke as “a bar or frame of wood by which two draft animals, especially oxen, are joined at the necks or heads for working together, for drawing a load or pulling a plow.” It is a primitive tool used mostly by farmers. It takes two animals for a yoke to be effective. No animal can work effectively without a yoke. A yoke has been used figuratively to mean many other things. Mostly, people have been using it to mean suffering or affliction. Therefore, to hear anything like taking or having a yoke connotes a bad feeling. In fact, a yoke speaks some hardship. However, Jesus Christ enjoins us to take His yoke! (Matthew 11:29-30). What is His yoke? What does it mean to take it? To take the yoke of Jesus Christ upon us means to put ourselves into the relation of servants and subjects to Him. It means to conduct ourselves accordingly, in a careful obedience to all His commands, and a cheerful submission to all His disposals. It is to yield ourselves totally to Him. He has appointed this yoke. He has Himself drawn in it before us, for He learned obedience. He wants anyone that will take His yoke to also learn some characters from Him. These characters include humility, gentility, diligence, submission, patience and other Christ-like attributes. In spite of its seeming hardship, the yoke of Jesus Christ is easier and lighter than any other yoke. No wonder, anyone who takes it finds rest in Him.People are taking many yokes today. No one is exempted. What kind of or whose yoke are you taking? Are you yoked with people, belief, value, or situation that are heavier than you? Yield to the advice of Jesus Christ. Take His yoke. Commit yourself to Him. His yoke is easy and light. Learn from Him and find rest for your soul.In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to commit yourself to Jesus Christ by taking His yoke and learning from Him. _________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
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