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Post  Admin on Sat 18 Apr 2020, 9:18 pm

Dearly Beloved,

COVID-19: …YOU WILL SEE GOD'S GLORY!

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

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

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

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

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

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will continue to believe in God as you pray for breakthrough over this COVID-19 pandemic till He glorifies Himself on the matter.
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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Post  Admin on Sun 12 Apr 2020, 11:28 pm

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

_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spiritualdigest2003/ 
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"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Post  Admin on Sat 04 Apr 2020, 7:53 pm

Dearly Beloved,

JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING

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

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

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

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

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

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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

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

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

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

COVID-19, PEACE, BE STILL!

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

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

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

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

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Points:

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

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

3.     Pray that God should heal those that have been infected by the disease.
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Post  Admin on Sat 21 Mar 2020, 9:48 pm

Dearly Beloved,

COVID-19, PEACE, BE STILL!

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

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

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

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

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Points:

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

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

3.     Pray that God should heal those that have been infected by the disease.
______________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
+2348055159591
https://www.facebook.com/afolabayo 

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Post  Admin on Mon 16 Mar 2020, 1:03 am

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

CORONAVIRUS SHOULD BE DISCUSSED IN THE CHURCH!

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

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

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

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

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

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Points:

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

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

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

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

 

NB

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- rest and sleep;

- keep warm;

- drink plenty of liquids; and

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

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

 

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

Please create awareness, not panic, about Coronavirus disease!

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

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

Dearly Beloved,

IT IS FOR GOD’S GLORY

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

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

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

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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

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

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR CO-TRAVELLERS IN LIFE!

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

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

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

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

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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

Dearly Beloved,

WHEN YOU ARE BEING MALTREATED

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

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

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

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

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Points:

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

2. Pray that God will arise to vindicate those that are being maltreated for doing good thing and give Himself glory in their lives.
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"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Post  Admin on Sat 15 Feb 2020, 9:35 pm

Dearly Beloved,

BE ESTABLISHED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS

"In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you" (Isaiah 54:14 NKJV).

In Isaiah 54:14-17, God promised that He would establish His people in righteousness. To be righteous is to be virtuous, blameless, morally upright, and be in right standing with God. A synonym of the word "righteousness" is justice: to be just, fair, impartial and honest. A person that wants tyranny and terror of the evil ones to be far from him must be righteous. Such person must have allowed God to really establish him/her in act of righteousness and he must remain in it.

Allow God to establish you in righteousness by moving closer to Him in prayer and meditation of His words this year. Be just and fair with people around you. Be in right standing with your God. "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34 NKJV). Then, tyranny and terror of the evil ones will indeed be far from you.

Being established in righteousness does not mean that there will be no hitch. In God‘s promise in Isaiah 54:14-17, God made it clear that His people will be attacked, but, such attack will not be His doing, and He will definitely give His people victory over the attackers. Jesus Christ gave the same assertion (see John 16:33). Three truths can be deduced from this assertion. One, the fact that God has established a person in righteousness does not mean such person will not be attacked. A child of God who is doing the will of God is not free from the attack of the enemy. This attack may come in any form. Two, such attack is not from God. In the Parable of the Weeds, Jesus said of the enemy, the Devil, who came while everyone was sleeping and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away (see Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43). Christians are facing many attacks today that are not God‘s doing, but the handiwork of the Devil and his cohorts. Three, no matter the attack, victory is sure for those that have been established in righteousness. The Lord will enable His loved ones to overcome any trouble that may come their way. No wonder, the Psalmist could boldly say, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5 NKJV. See also John 16:20-22). In spite of the fact that many troubles will come this year, know that they are not God‘s doing. If you are established in righteousness, your attackers will surrender to you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

God is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and everything in them. However, the fall of man recorded in Genesis 3 distorted the good creation of God. In spite of this, God never disowns His creation. The fact still remains that He was, and still is, the Creator. This is what He was reminding His people in Isaiah 54:16. He does have the power to restrain the evils. No matter what man does to harm God‘s people, it shall not overcome them. In fact, God‘s people will triumph over such evil at the end of the day.

The prophecy ends with the affirmation that it is the heritage of the servants of the LORD. Who are these people? They are the people that have dedicated their lives for God to be used by Him as instruments of honor in His vineyard (see 2 Timothy 2:21). These are people that are living consecrated or sanctified lives to the glory of God. It has to be noted that they are not people that are living self-achieved righteous lives, but people that have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ and have the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ through faith in Him (see Romans 1:17; 3:21-22; 5:17; 10:4; Philippians 3:9).

The promises in Isaiah 54:14-17 and many other comforting promises of God in the Bible are not for all and sundry. They are for people that are ready to dedicate their lives to God and allow Him to sanctify them and make them His instruments for noble purposes. Are you one of those people?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: O Lord, establish me in Your righteousness so that evils and the evil ones will not be able to overcome me.
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Post  Admin on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 8:56 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHAT A LASTING COVENANT!

“The Lord has sworn in truth to David; He will not turn from it: ‘I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body. If your sons will keep My covenant and My testimony which I shall teach them, their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore’” (Psalm 132:11-12 NKJV).

“Attempt great things for God and expect great things from God.” This is a popular saying attributed to William Carey. It described best the situation of King David when he wanted to build a befitting house for the Ark of the Covenant that symbolized the presence of God with the people of Israel (see 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17).. Although, God did not allow him to achieve this feat, nevertheless, God promised that his son that would reign after him would carry out the project. God made more promises to David that included a covenant that his descendants would rule forever. This covenant is ultimately fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ who is the promised Son of David (see 2 Samuel 7:15-16; Matthew 1:1; Romans 1:3; Revelation 22:16). David indeed got greater things than what he expected from God as he attempted great thing for God.

Solomon, the son of David who reigned after him, started and completed the building of a befitting temple for God in Jerusalem. Many people believe that Solomon composed Psalm 132 to be sung at the dedication of the temple. He beseeched God to remember the afflictions of his father, David. He reminded God that it was David that originally had the intention of building the temple (verses 1-5). He recalled how the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines and later found in the fields near Kiriath-Jearim (verse 6, see 1 Samuel 6). David later brought the ark to Jerusalem, the seat of power (see 2 Samuel 6). The people yearned to go and worship God by this ark (verses 7-9). As David planned to build a befitting place for the Ark, and God hindered him from doing so, God made a lasting covenant with him and his descendants (verses 11-12). Verses 11 to 18 record the contents of this covenant: descendants of David would be ruling; Jerusalem has been chosen as a dwelling place for God; blessings and provisions would abound; there would be deliverance and joy; the dynasty of David would be firmly established; and David’s enemies would be put to shame.

It is interesting to note that God promised not to turn away from this covenant, though He put a condition there that if the descendants of David would keep the covenant (see verses 11-12). God fulfilled all the promises in the covenant in spite of the fact that Solomon and other descendants of David later breached the covenant. God fulfilled the covenant in the life of Jesus Christ when He (Jesus) was on earth, and the covenant will be ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ when He (Jesus) will reign supremely over the whole universe at His second coming. Believers in Christ are enjoying the ingredients of this covenant now. They will ultimately enjoy the covenant when they reign with Jesus Christ at His second coming. What a lasting covenant!

Do you want to enjoy this lasting covenant? Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour. Obey Him and consciously keep His commands. Do great exploits for God, and He will do greater things for you.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you always obey God’s commands so as to enjoy His covenant for your life.
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Post  Admin on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 9:03 pm

Dearly Beloved,

THE LORD WILL BLESS YOU EVEN IN AFFLICTION

“Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people. All who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the posterity whom the Lord has blessed” (Isaiah 61:9 NKJV).

Whoever God blesses is blessed. His blessings are irreversible even in the troubles of this life. Similarly, whoever God curses is cursed, even when it seems the person is living in affluence. God is the only One that can reverse such curse. When one is been afflicted in this world, one can still enjoy the blessings of God because they go beyond physical or material blessings. They include spiritual and eternal blessings. No wonder, someone that is blessed of God can rejoice in affliction.

In spite of the disobedience of the people of Israel to God that caused their predicaments in captivity, God still promised to bless them. Isaiah 61:4-9 reveals how the Israelites had been humiliated, shamed and suffered from Babylonians who had taken them into captivity. God used the Assyrians and Babylonians to punish the people of Israel. However, God judged the Assyrians and Babylonians by tearing down their kingdoms because of their cruelty to the people of Israel. God is always jealous because of His own people.

Suffering happens for so many reasons. It could be either by personal mistakes, mistakes of others or by injustice. Individuals get what they deserve from their mistakes. Although, the Israelites (the people of God) suffered because of their sins against God, God in His mercy, blessed them for their suffering from their oppressors. He still fought for them and restored them back to their land.

Apostle Paul has said, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2 NKJV). If you are suffering because of your sins against God, repent today and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and bless you. If you are suffering for being righteous, just or faithful, God will fight for you and reward you greatly. Do not stop being faithful no matter the affliction. You will still enjoy the blessings of the Lord even in the affliction.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: O Lord, help me to walk righteously before You so as to enjoy more of Your blessings even in life’s troubles.
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Post  Admin on Sun 19 Jan 2020, 9:14 pm

Dearly Beloved,

CAN THESE BONES LIVE?

“The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ So I answered, ‘O Lord God, You know’”  (Ezekiel 37:1-3 NKJV).

I am not happy with the level of corruption in my country, Nigeria. Corruption has eating deep into the fibre of every place from the highest level in the corridors of power in the country to the lowest level one can think of. Even, our religious (and especially Christian) settings are not left out of this moral decadence. I have been thinking if there would be any remedy from this situation. Will Nigeria ever be corruption free again?

As I ruminated on this, the vision of Ezekiel in Ezekiel 37 came to my mind and specifically, the question of the Sovereign Lord: “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel could not answer the question, but the Lord asked him to command the dry bones to come back to life. After the dry bones had come back to life at Ezekiel’s command, the Lord gave the meaning of the vision: the dry bones were the whole house of Israel who thought that “[their] bones are dry, [their] hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!” (verse 11 NKJV). The Lord then asked Ezekiel to prophesy to the people that He (God) would open their graves and bring them up from their scattered places; that He would bring them back to the land of Israel. After these, the people of Israel would know that He is the Lord, when He opens their graves and brings them up from the far places. He also promised to put His Spirit in them and that they would live (see verses 12-14).

In spite of the level of corruption in Nigeria, I believe that Nigeria will be free of corruption one day. Only, I cannot say how soon this will be. However, what role am I playing to make this come to reality sooner? What roles are you playing to make Nigeria corruption free? For non-Nigerians, what roles are you playing to make your society corruption free? The bones of uprightness can live again wherever you find yourself by contributing your own positive quota towards it. Shun corruption in any form!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Post  Admin on Sun 19 Jan 2020, 12:31 am

Dearly Beloved,

CAN THESE BONES LIVE?

“The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ So I answered, ‘O Lord God, You know’”  (Ezekiel 37:1-3 NKJV).

I am not happy with the level of corruption in my country, Nigeria. Corruption has eating deep into the fibre of every place from the highest level in the corridors of power in the country to the lowest level one can think of. Even, our religious (and especially Christian) settings are not left out of this moral decadence. I have been thinking if there would be any remedy from this situation. Will Nigeria ever be corruption free again?

As I ruminated on this, the vision of Ezekiel in Ezekiel 37 came to my mind and specifically, the question of the Sovereign Lord: “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel could not answer the question, but the Lord asked him to command the dry bones to come back to life. After the dry bones had come back to life at Ezekiel’s command, the Lord gave the meaning of the vision: the dry bones were the whole house of Israel who thought that “[their] bones are dry, [their] hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!” (verse 11 NKJV). The Lord then asked Ezekiel to prophesy to the people that He (God) would open their graves and bring them up from their scattered places; that He would bring them back to the land of Israel. After these, the people of Israel would know that He is the Lord, when He opens their graves and brings them up from the far places. He also promised to put His Spirit in them and that they would live (see verses 12-14).

In spite of the level of corruption in Nigeria, I believe that Nigeria will be free of corruption one day. Only, I cannot say how soon this will be. However, what role am I playing to make this come to reality sooner? What roles are you playing to make Nigeria corruption free? For non-Nigerians, what roles are you playing to make your society corruption free? The bones of uprightness can live again wherever you find yourself by contributing your own positive quota towards it. Shun corruption in any form!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that the Sovereign Lord will break every yoke of corruption in your life and society.
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Post  Admin on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 1:45 am

YOUR SITUATION WILL NOT OVERCOME YOU!
From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2020 10:18:55 PST
Dearly Beloved,

YOUR SITUATION WILL NOT OVERCOME YOU!

“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God....’” (Isaiah 43:1-3a NKJV).

There have been controversies among Bible scholars about the date and authorship of the later part of the Book of Isaiah especially Chapters 40-66. However, whether this part was written as a futuristic prophecy or immediate one, it is a fact that the prophecy is applicable to us today. Let me focus my devotional message this week on the first verses of Isaiah 43. From history as confirmed by many Bible passages, the people of Judah were taken to captivity in Babylon. It seemed that all hope was lost for them. They were indeed depressed and downcast. However, in this hopeless situation, God reminded them that He was their Creator who have redeemed them and summoned them by name, therefore, they needed not be afraid. God promised to be with them in their miserable situation and that the situation would not overcome them. He reminded them that they were precious to Him and that He would rescue them out of their disheartened situation and bring them back to their home land. God did fulfil these promises for the people of Judah.

The Lord has been faithful in fulfilling these promises for His people, especially those that diligently put their trust in Him. They may pass through many waters and rivers of life, but they will not be drowned in them. They may walk through the fire of life, it will not burn them nor shall it scorch them. They need not fear all these adversities of life because the Lord will be with them (compare Psalm 23:4).

What are you passing through now? Do not lose heart! No matter the seeming hopeless situation, the Lord is with you. The situation will not overcome you. You will indeed overcome the situation for the Lord is with you.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).



Prayer Point: According to Your word, oh Lord, save and deliver me from all my adversities and do not let my situation overcome me in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 12:02 am

Dearly Beloved,

YOU WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME

“For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited. Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore” (Isaiah 54:3-4 NKJV).

Once again, I welcome you to the New Year. As my family and I prayed for you on the first day of the year, I pray again that in this New Year, you shall increase in all ramifications; you shall inherit the nations; you will overcome what used to be insurmountable in your life; you will not be ashamed; you will not be disgraced; and you will forget your past shame and disappointments this year in Jesus’ name. Amen.

As it has become my tradition, my first message for the New Year will be based on these prayers as adapted from Isaiah 54:3-4. The Israelites were in exile because of their disobedience to God. Nonetheless, God did not abandon them. He had promised a “Suffering Servant” that would atone for their sin in the previous chapter. He was now promising them blessings, safety and peace under new covenant that He would make with them. This is a promise of a new covenant that was amplified in Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36.

Isaiah 54 is an anticipation of salvation and restoration of the people of Israel from the exile, though the promises in the chapter go beyond the people of Israel as they portray the climax of all of the covenant promises of God at the end of the age. The promises particularly in verses 3 and 4 have to do with restoration and expansion of the once-neglected people of God. Like a barren woman who used to bear much shame, but later has many promising children, the Lord promises to restore His people and turn their shame to honour and expand them in all ramifications. The positive turnaround will be so enormous that the people will no longer remember their shame. 

The Lord that we serve is a covenant-keeping God. He fulfilled these promises in the lives of the people of Israel. He fulfilled it when Jesus Christ came to this world. He fulfilled (and still fulfilling) it by sending the Holy Spirit to be our Comforter.

Yes! The Lord that we serve is a covenant-keeping God. He has made a new covenant of eternal inheritance with as many people that believe in, and accept Jesus Christ – the Mediator of the new covenant – as their personal Lord and Saviour, and continue to abide in Him by obeying His commands. For such people, there is no more fear, shame, and frustration. He has promised as part of the covenant not to let you be ashamed. He has promised not to let you be disgraced. He has promised to make you forget the shame and disappointment of the past years.

As we begin another year, you need to align yourself with this new covenant by deliberately giving your life to Jesus Christ who is the Mediator of the new covenant. If you have done so, I congratulate you. However, you need to rededicate your life to Him by serving Him more than how you have done so in the past years. You will not be put to shame this New Year. You will not be disgraced. You will not remember your past reproach again in Jesus’ name.

Welcome to your year of new covenant! Once again, Happy New Year (2020)!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will align yourself with the new covenant in Jesus Christ so as not to be put to shame this year.
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Post  Admin on Thu 02 Jan 2020, 1:40 am

OUR PRAYERS FOR YOU IN THE YEAR 2020
From: BAYO AFOLARANMI
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2019 16:55:58 PST
Dearly Beloved,
OUR PRAYERS FOR YOU IN THE YEAR 2020
Praise the Lord! He has given us the opportunity to start another year. To Him alone be the glory! Happy New Year (2020)!
As we always do every year, Opeyemi (my wife), Boluwatife, IfeOluwa, Michael, Abraham (my children) and I are welcoming you to this New Year with these prophetic prayers adapted from Isaiah 54:3-4 (NKJV).
This New Year:
- you shall increase in all ramifications;
- you shall inherit the nations;
- you will overcome what used to be insurmountable in your life;
- you will not be ashamed;
- you will not be disgraced; and
- you will forget your past shame and disappointments 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 29 Dec 2019, 9:26 pm

Dearly Beloved,

ANOTHER YEAR HAS ROLLED BY

“Through the Lord’s mercies weare not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning;great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV).

When I was growing up in thevillage, one of the hymns that we were sure we would sing at the service of theNew Year’s Eve in Yoruba is “Odun Miran ti Koja, Waawaa ni akoko naa n lo”[Another year has rolled by, The time flies so quickly by]. The hymn used tosignal the end of an old year, and the beginning of a new year. As a young man,I never thought deeply about the lyrics of the hymn and its meaning. However,recently, two of the principal officers in my workplace led us in singing theEnglish version of the hymn in one of our Chapel services. It was as if I neversang the hymn before. As advised by the senior officers, I ruminated on thelyrics of the hymn, and discovered that the hymn is really worthy of singingand its lyrics are worthy of pondering about at the end of every year.

Interestingly, the hymn is nota popular one, and its writer and the person that set it to music are unknown.I could not even find its history online like many other hymns. The lyrics ofthe hymn can be found in just a number of websites.

Indeed, another year hasrolled by, and the time flies so quickly by! When did we start this year? Weare now in the last days of the year. Unfortunately, this year that is to passby may be the last year for some people as many will still die within theremaining days of the passing year. That hymn writer was right to note that itis the mercy of God that kept us through. It is by His compassion andfaithfulness that we have not been consumed. The hymn writer went further toask a rhetorical question: “Have we been benefited [from the passing year]?”And he enjoined us to ask ourselves whether we are prepared if we are calledhome this year?

This world is undeniably a battleground.Thousands are falling down dead, and the arrows of death that fly can be sentto anyone. The hymn writer warned that we should hear and meditate on the word ofGod that is been preached every time because the close of eternity is at hand,we are standing on the brink of this age. He then prayed that we would be savedfrom our sins by the grace of God divine and hear Him say, “Come home”.However, we need divine mercy the coming new year, and a year that is more fullof joy.

Another year has rolled by....Have you pondered on the grace of God over your life in this passing year? Doyou really appreciate God for leading you thus far in the year? Will you stillunderestimate the mercy of God over your life? How are you handling the word ofGod that you have access to this year? This year will not be the last in yourlife. You will witness more years with divine mercy and more full of joy inJesus’ name. Amen. However, what if this year is your last?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Appreciate Godfor thus far He has led you in the passing year, and pray that you will notunderestimate His mercy and faithfulness over your life.
 
 

Verse 1
Another year has rolled by
The time flies so quickly by,
This year which is to pass by
May be the last year for some,
It's Thy mercy kept us through
Have we been benefited?
We should ask, are we prepared
If we are called home this year?

Verse 2
This world is a battle ground,
Thousands are falling down dead,
The arrows of death that fly
Can be sent to me, to you
When the word is preached, we hear
Help our hearts to meditate,
Eternity's close at hand
We are standing on the brink.

Verse 3
If we are saved from our sins
By the grace of God divine
We shall hear Him say, `Come home,`
May we see His face in heav'n;
For Thy people here on earth
Grant us mercy this new year;
The year that's more full of joy
Is the one that sees them home.
http://apostolicfaithweca.org/content/another-year-has-rolled 
Another year has rolled by
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Post  Admin on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 10:22 pm

“SILENT NIGHT, HOLY NIGHT”
From: [email=spiritualdigest@yahoo.com?subject=Re:%20%E2%80%9CSILENT%20NIGHT%2C%20HOLY%20NIGHT%E2%80%9D]BAYO AFOLARANMI[/email]
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2019 11:24:00 PST

Dearly Beloved,
“SILENT NIGHT, HOLY NIGHT”
“And [Mary] brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:7-8 NKJV).
Undoubtedly, one of the most loved and most sung hymns during Christmas season is “SILENT NIGHT, HOLY NIGHT”. Though highly romanticized, the story of the hymn is one of the most endearing and enduring in Christian hymnody. Joseph Mohr (1792-1848) composed the hymn in German, and John F. Young (1820-1885) translated it to English. Circumstances brought Mohr (who was a Catholic priest of humble background) and Franz Gruber (1787-1863) (an organist also of humble background) together as friends. The hymn was composed because Mohr needed a carol for worship.  Mohr had written a poem some years back. He brought the poem to Gruber who set it to music immediately. That evening in 1818 at Midnight Mass, Gruber led the congregation at St. Nicholas (their church) in the first rendition of “Silent Night”.
Although the popular hymn has gone through various versions as it is been widely translated to many languages from its original German, yet, the essence of the hymn and what inspired the composer to compose the hymn are still maintained in the various versions of the hymn. According to history, Joseph Mohr initially composed the poem that was later set to music when he was meditatively walking around on a hilltop and he looked down on the silent peaceful snow-covered village. The scenario reminded him of a calm and bright silent night, and the wonder of a tender and mild newborn Child born by a virgin as recorded in Luke 2. He reflected on the shepherds that trembled at the sight of angels that brought the news of the Christ the Savior that was born and sang “Alleluia to our King.” The silent and holy night revealed the Son of God with radiant beams from His holy face with His birth bringing the dawn of redeeming grace. Joseph Mohr concluded his reflection with an appeal to people that they should now join the angels to sing, “Christ the Savior is born!”
Yes! “Christ the Savior is born!” He was born at “...the fullness of the time... to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5 NKJV). That is everlasting news. The event is being celebrated every year with the name “Christmas”. Regardless of your view about the celebration, the event of the birth of Jesus on that silent and holy night should have eternal impart on your life. “[Jesus Christ] came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13 NKJV). Have you believed in His name? Have you been redeemed by His blood?
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (2020) in advance.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
 
Prayer Point: Pray that the coming of Jesus Christ on that silent and holy night will have eternal impart on your life.

 


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Post  Admin on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 9:18 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHO WILL YOU GIVE HAMPER THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NKJV).

Ordinarily, a hamper is a large basket, usually with a cover, used for the packing and carrying of articles. There has been a long tradition of community and social philanthropy and charity related to hampers, whereby persons or community groups donate to needy people a hamper of food, clothing, toiletries, cleaning products, or other household necessities, to assist with their family needs. Until recently, in the Western tradition, such hampers containing tinned or packaged goods are given out to employees, business clients, family and friends during Christmas season, though some people do so anytime of the year. This practice is somehow associated with the Boxing Day.

Interestingly, the purpose of giving of hampers during this season has been defeated as most people are giving it for selfish motives. This is applicable to corporate bodies that give hampers out to their clients. Many of these organizations are using hampers as a way of endearing their clients more to the organizations. Even many of those that are receiving the gifts are selfish too, as only the superior officers share the gifts, neglecting the junior staff.

Jesus Christ is the greatest Hamper of all time given by God not because of Himself but because of the salvation of the world. The most popular verse of the Bible, John 3:16, confirms this. Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given...” (NKJV). Many people celebrate the Child that was born, but neglect the Son that is given and do not follow the spirit of love that made God to give the Son.

Giving of hampers should not be restricted to corporate bodies alone. Individuals can also give “hampers” to other people, especially the less privileged so that they also can celebrate this season. As you are planning to celebrate this Christmas, who will you give hamper this Christmas season?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that the Lord will open your eyes to the people that really need “hampers” from you this Christmas, and that you will be able to give them the gift.

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Post  Admin on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 1:34 pm

Dearly Beloved,

THE MYSTERY OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NKJV).

We are in another Christmas season! It is a season set apart to commemorate the birth of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ over two thousand years ago.. The season is one of the most celebrated seasons throughout the world. There have been many arguments for and against the season. Some say that the season has a pagan origin. Others rightly observe that December 25 could not be the birthday of Jesus Christ. Most people that celebrate it devote the season to the birth of Jesus Christ. However, no matter your position about the season, have you ever pondered on the mystery of the birth of Jesus Christ? What was special in His birth?

The Child that was born in Bethlehem by the Virgin Mary is the King of kings. The Son that was given to us is the Creator of the heavens and earth. As the Mighty God, He is so powerful that He did not need any help to carry the government of this world on His shoulders. He was born as an ordinary new-born baby, but He is the Everlasting Father. He is the Wonderful Counsellor and the Prince of Peace. 

The birth of this special Child has brought light, peace and joy to the lives of many people, especially people that put their total trust in Him. He is ruling and reigning in their lives now. But He will rule and reign over the whole universe one day when His kingdom will have no end.

It does not matter whether you believe in the celebration of Christmas, the supposed birthday of Jesus Christ, or not. What matter is: have you experienced the light, peace and joy that Jesus Christ brought to the world? Do you have His inner peace and joy? Are you sharing these light, peace and joy with other people? Are you shining His light to the darkness of the world? Will you rule and reign with Him when He finally establishes His eternal kingdom over the universe? 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (2020) in advance!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will really experience the light, peace and joy that Jesus Christ brought to the world.________________________
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Post  Admin on Sun 01 Dec 2019, 8:16 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DO NOT BE AFRAID, JUST TRUST INGOD!

“Moses answered the people, ‘Donot be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bringyou today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD willfight for you; you need only to be still’” (Exodus 14:13-14 NIV).

What would you do if you findyourself in a very precarious state? Would you resign to fate and be expectingthe worst to happen? The people of Israel found themselves in a verythreatening situation as they started their exodus from Egypt to the PromisedLand. The Red Sea was before them; mountains were in their left and rightsides; and the chariots of the army of Egypt were advancing to consume themfrom the rear! Expectedly, they were afraid, and they expressed their fear toGod and Moses. They even expressed their displeasure by blaming Moses forbringing them to such a fatal situation. Moses, on the other hand, was calm andassured the people that God would fight for them. What they needed was to standstill and see the deliverance of God. God also assured them through Moses thatHe would deliver them.

God did fight for theIsraelites as He led them through the Red Sea on a dry land. God made His angelthat was leading the people of Israel to go in between them and the raging armyof Egypt. He also made the cloud of light that was accompanying the Israelitesto shine light to them while the army of Egypt was in total darkness.

God is still in the businessof fighting for anyone who is ready not to be afraid, but stand still and trustin Him. Will you stop to be afraid, and start trusting in God today? You havebeen afraid and worried that this year is going to an end, and you are stillsurrounded by unpleasant situation. You have called on God, and it seems Hewould not answer you before the end of the year. You might have been blamingyourself and/or other people for your predicament. Do not be afraid! If you canstill trust in God, you will not see that raging challenge of life again beforethe end of the year. The psalmist said, “Trust in the Lord and do good.... Delightyourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm37:3-4 NIV).

Stop being afraid of anyunpleasant situation, and start trusting God to fight your battles. As theIsraelites sang song of praises later when God fought for them, you also willsoon sing song of praises and testify to the goodness of God in your life inJesus’ name. Amen.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: O Lord, give methe grace to always trust in You in whatever situation I find myself.
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Post  Admin on Sun 24 Nov 2019, 10:14 pm

Dearly Beloved,

O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES TO SING

"My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long" (Psalm 35:28 NIV).

Charles Wesley is known as the co-founder (with his brother, John Wesley) of the Methodist Church, however, he is more known for his hymns. He is the author of some 6,000 hymns which after more than 200 years are showing no sign of losing their appeal. One of his hymns is titled "O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES TO SING." He wrote this hymn while he and his brother were studying under the Moravian scholar Peter Böhler in London and he framed the title which now becomes the first line of the hymn from Böhler's words, "Oh, Brother Wesley, the Lord has done so much for my life.  Had I a thousand tongues, I would praise Christ Jesus with every one of them." Undoubtedly, Böhler said this in appreciation of God's goodness to him, Charles Wesley, and the humankind. According to history, the Wesley brothers had earlier had suffered a bout of pleurisy. The ailment led Charles Wesley to renew his faith in God, and as a commemoration of that, he composed this hymn.

A thousand tongues are not enough to sing about the praise of the great Redeemer, about the glories of God the King, and about the triumphs of His grace! The reasons are not far-fetched. As Charles Wesley put it in the hymn, "Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease; 'tis music in the sinner's ears, 'tis life, and health, and peace. He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free; His blood can make the foulest clean; His blood availed for me. He speaks, and listening to his voice, new life the dead receive; the mournful, broken hearts rejoice, the humble poor believe." Charles Wesley was talking about the redemptive works of Jesus Christ here. He knew that Jesus did not only heal him from physical ailment, but that Jesus saved him from spiritual death that everyone is experiencing since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. He therefore prayed that God should help him to proclaim His goodness to all.

Without doubt, you also would have had many reasons to praise God for who is and what He is doing in your life. Will you not join Charles Wesley to pray: "My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim, to spread through all the earth abroad the honors of thy name"? Will you not praise Him with the tongue and other resources He has given you? Indeed, a million tongues are not enough to sing about the goodness of God to mankind!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Lord, I praise You for Your righteousness demonstrated over my life every day.
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Post  Admin on Sun 17 Nov 2019, 4:39 pm

Dearly Beloved,

EVERY MORNING OR EVERY MOMENT?

“Through the Lord’s mercies weare not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning;great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV).

The words of Prophet Jeremiahquoted above have been turned to axioms and most especially songs in praise of Godfor the renewing of His mercies, compassions and faithfulness every time. Therewas a mild drama in a departmental prayer meeting of in my workplace recentlyas one of such songs was sung in appreciation of the goodness of God to us.Customarily, every one sang, “…they are new every morning…”, but the prayerleader that day whispered loudly: “every moment!” Intuitively, most of us inthe prayer meeting changed the lyrics to “…they are new every moment…”, and theprayer meeting continued. Nevertheless, as we continued in the prayer session,I was pondering on the two phrases: “every morning” and “every moment”. Isthere any difference in them? Does it really matter if the words areinterchanged as that prayer leader suggested?

Yes! The mercies, compassionsand faithfulness of God are not only being renewed every morning, but everyMOMENT! The best illustration is our breathing in and out and the pumping ofour heart every second. If any of these stops, that is the end of the person,and God is so merciful, compassionate, and faithful that these bodily systemsare functioning in the life of every living organism including human beings.

Prophet Jeremiah in hisreasoning thought that these mercies, compassions and faithfulness of God arebeing renewed every morning as he woke up. He was right! It is by the mercies,compassions and faithfulness of God that we are being awaken every morningafter some hours of partial death in sleeping. However, more than ProphetJeremiah and many other persons could (or can) think, it is by these mercies,compassions and faithfulness of God that we are being alive and agile to dothings every moment. It is by these mercies, compassions and faithfulness ofGod that we are being protected from all evils every moment. We can think ofmany other things that these mercies, compassions and faithfulness of God aredoing for us every moment. In fact, mercies, compassions and faithfulness ofGod are being renewed in our lives every moment.

Do you recognize thesemercies, compassions and faithfulness of God every moment in your life? Or, areyou one of those ungrateful and foolish people that are thinking that they areexisting by chance? The mercies, compassions and faithfulness of God are beingrenewed in our lives every moment, not only every morning. Appreciate Him forthese moment-by-moment renewed mercies, compassions and faithfulness.

While the words of God cannot bechanged or be rewritten, yet, next time you are singing that song, sing it thisway: “The steadfast love of our God never ceases, His mercy never comes to anend, they are new every MOMENT, new every MOMENT, great is Thy faithfulness, OLord, great is Thy faithfulness.”

The mercies, compassions andfaithfulness of God are indeed new every moment!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Appreciate Godfor the renewing of His mercies, compassions and faithfulness every moment inyour life._____________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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