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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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Post  Admin on Sun 10 Nov 2019, 10:34 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DO NOT LOOK DOWN ON THEM!

“He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, but he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding” (Proverbs 12:11 NKJV).

I am not happy as I type this message. One of my elder sisters, Lady Evangelist Omolade Olowokere (nee Afolaranmi) (1968-2019) went to be with the Lord about twenty-four hours ago. She died in a hospital after a brief illness. She will be burry tomorrow. As we were planning for her burial today and looked endlessly for a moderate coffin in her vicinity for the burial, I remembered my experience on my way to the northeastern part of Nigeria some weeks ago. There is a town that it seems the booming business in the town is making and selling of coffins.  As we went through the town and saw makers and sellers of coffins, we were making jest of them that they do not have other business apart from this. However, I value their entrepreneurship as one of my cousins and I were combing the town where my late sister lived today for a coffin seller or someone that can help us make one. We eventually got one in another town.

The lesson I learnt today is that there is goodness and dignity in some businesses and professions that we normally look down on because such businesses and professions like coffin making, taking care of corpses, vulcanizing, and people like auto mechanics, and other professionals that their professions connote evil things. They are part of the necessities of life that one cannot do away with. In fact, they would be appreciated very well the day one needs them. Inasmuch as these professions are legitimate, they should not be looked down on. They are as important as any other legitimate work.

The Bible on many occasions admonishes on the dignity of work (see Psalm 104:23; Proverbs 10:4; 12:11, 24; 14:23; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13; 9:10; Romans 12:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:10). These admonitions are not only for works that we consider being good and desirable. Even the other undesirable works, but works of necessity, also have their dignity. You will need them one day. Do not look down on them!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Points:

1.     Pray that you will always appreciate workers of necessities in life.

2.     Remember my siblings, other loved ones and me that my late sister left behind in your prayers in these mourning moments.


NB: I dedicate this message to my elder sister, late Lady Evangelist Omolade Olowokere (nee Afolaranmi) (1968-2019).
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Post  Admin on Sun 03 Nov 2019, 11:31 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHEN BEING MERCIFUL IS WRONG

“I charge you before God andthe Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these thingswithout prejudice, doing nothing with partiality” (1 Timothy 5:21 NKJV).

I went to an Automated TellerMachine (ATM) gallery to withdraw some cash recently. When I got to the place,there was a long queue of people waiting for their turn to use the availablemachines. I joined the queue and some other persons later queued behind me aseach of us was using the machines in turn. A lady behind me cited another ladyshe knows who was using one of the machines. She called her, and the other ladybeckoned on her. The lady in the queue went to the lady using the machine andthey started chatting. As the other lady completed her transaction, the firstlady used the opportunity to start her own transaction while they continuedtheir chatting. Other people in the queue started protesting for the trick theladies used to make one of them use the machine when it was not her turn. Thetwo ladies did not say anything until both of them completed theirtransactions. As they were leaving the ATM gallery, people continue to rainwords of abuse on both of them. One of the ladies replied, “Is it wrong to bemerciful?”

Although, other people repliedher, but I was pondering within me, “Is it wrong to be merciful?” When doesbeing merciful become wrong? Was that act a merciful act or an unfair act? Canone be merciful at the detriment of other people? Many other questions came tomy mind as I made use of the ATM and left the place. This scenario is a goodexample of what is called situational ethics. I know that many people willsupport it while many other people (including me) will frown at it and condemnit.

What does the Bible say aboutfavouritism and other similar acts like partiality, nepotism, discriminationand the likes? Apart from the fact that the God we serve is not a partial Godneither does He show favouritism (see Deuteronomy 10:17; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Job34:19; John 3:16; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25), theBible sternly speaks against favouritism and other similar acts. Here are someof the biblical injunctions:

“You shall do no injustice injudgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of themighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15 NKJV.Also see Deuteronomy 16:19)..

“To show partiality is notgood...” (Proverbs 28:21 NKJV).

“I charge you before God andthe Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these thingswithout prejudice, doing nothing with partiality” (1 Timothy 5:21 NKJV).

“My brethren, do not hold thefaith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.... If youreally fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love yourneighbor as yourself,’ you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin,and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2:1, 8-9 NKJV).

“These things also belong tothe wise: It is not good to show partiality in judgment” (Proverbs 24:23 NKJV).

While it is good to be kindand merciful to other people, beware that your kindness and mercifulness doesnot turn to favouritism at the detriment of others.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that theLord will help you not to turn your mercifulness to favouritism at thedetriment of others.
_________________________
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 Mon 28 Oct 2019, 2:44 pm

Dearly Beloved,

O JESUS, I HAVE PROMISED

“You are my portion, O Lord; I have promised to obey your words” (Psalm 119:57 NIV).

“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go’” (Luke 9:57 NIV).

“Mo ti seleri, Jesu” the Yoruba version of the hymn, “O Jesus, I Have Promised” was one of the hymns I loved when I was growing up as a teenager. I could sing off-hand almost all the lyrics of the hymn in Yoruba. It is a hymn of commitment composed by John Ernest Bode (1816-1874), an Anglican clergyman serving a small parish near Cambridge, England when his three children, a daughter and two sons, were ready for confirmation.  As the priest of the church, he would preside over the ceremony. So, he composed the hymn to remind the children of their commitment to Jesus Christ, the spiritual warfare that is associated with Christian life, and the fact that if Jesus Christ is with them, they will overcome and in the end be with Him in Heaven.

In this hymn, John Bode declared that he had promised to serve Jesus to the end and asked Jesus who he knew as “my Master and my friend” to be near him forever. He confessed that he would not fear the battle if Jesus is by his side, nor wander from the pathway if He would be his guide. Because of many temptations that the world often offers the Christian and the fact that foes are ever near both within and without, John Bode prayed that he feels Jesus near him and shield his soul from sin. He continued to pray that he hear Jesus speaking in accents clear and still above the storms of passion and the murmurs of self-will. Because Jesus is the guardian of his soul, he wanted Him to speak to reassure him and make him listen to Him. John Bode reminded Jesus that He has promised all who follow Him that where He is in glory there shall they also be. Therefore, he reaffirmed his promise to Jesus to serve Him to the end. John Bode also prayed that he see the footprints of Jesus, and desired to plant his own footprints in them.. He affirmed that his hope is to duly follow alone in the strength of Jesus. He wanted Jesus, his Savior and Friend, to guide him, call him, draw him, uphold him to the end, and receive him in Heaven. What a great commitment!

What is your commitment to Jesus Christ? Have you promised to follow and serve Him till the end? Are you ready to listen to Him and let Him be your Guide? You will never regret you did!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
+2348055159591
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Prayer Point: Pray that you will be committed to faithfully following and serving Jesus for the rest of your life.  
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 13 Oct 2019, 7:37 pm

Dearly Beloved,
“GOD TALKS NONSENSE!”
"We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew.... the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:7-8a, 14 NKJV).
Times without number, I have met people online who declared that there is no God. If I tried to point to the Holy Bible, they would say that the Book is one of the fabricated stories of some Jews. If I went further to assert that the Holy Bible is the Word of God, they would conclude that God, if He exists, is talking nonsense!
Let us agree that such people are atheists, agnostics, liberals, free thinkers or simply unbelievers or non-Christians. Apostle Paul referred to them as "natural men." However, many so-called Christians can also be referred to as natural men because they find it difficult to believe some teachings of the Bible, not to talk of practicing such teachings.
Apostle Paul admitted in 1 Corinthian 2 that the Word of God is a mystery, and only people that have the Spirit of God can understand it. No wonder, he had earlier said, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing" (1 Corinthians 1:18 NKJV). The Word of God is foolishness to the natural man because he is not of the Spirit of God, and does not reason with the Spirit of God.
God does exist, and He does NOT talk nonsense! He has made Himself known to all. Only a fool will have a contrary opinion on this. There may be difficult messages in the Word of God. Yet, they are understandable. Only those that yield themselves to the leadership of God will understand Him and His Word.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Lord, give me a humble spirit to seek You and a teachable heart to learn and understand Your words in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Sun 06 Oct 2019, 9:24 pm

Dearly Beloved,

PASS ME NOT, O GENTLE SAVIOR

"Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!' Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!'" (Mark 10:46-48 NIV).

Undoubtedly, the hymn, "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior," is one of the most popular hymns of all time. Interestingly, it was composed (like many other popular hymns) by Fanny Jane Crosby (1820-1915), a woman that became blind at six weeks of age. There are two stories associated with this hymn. One, it was reported that Ms. Crosby had a dream one night. She dreamed that the Lord Jesus was walking among the people in her church and touching each of those who would go to Heaven with Him. As He got closer she started to fervently pray that He would not pass her by. When she awoke she penned the words to this lovely song and was able to describe in detail the people in her church even though she had never seen them. Two, it was believed that the inspiration for this hymn was the result of a visit to a prison by Ms. Crosby during spring 1868. After she had spoken and some of her hymns had been sung, she heard one of the prisoners cry out in a pleading voice, "Good Lord, do not pass me by." That evening, she wrote a hymn that incorporated the line, “Pass me not, O gentle Savior.”

Whichever of the incidents that made Ms. Croby composed the hymn, the lyrics are so inspiring. The hymn is a humble cry of Fanny Crosby and any other person that does not want the gentle Savior to pass him/her by while He is calling other people. Kneeling at the Savior's throne of mercy in deep contrition, Crosby sought to find a sweet relief for her unbelief. She trusted in the Savior's merit and grace for healing of her wounded and broken spirit. She confessed that the Savior is the Spring of all her comfort, who is more than life to her because He is the only One she had on earth and in heaven.

What is your own situation presently? Will you not also cry unto this Savior of the world not to pass you by? Call unto Him like that blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46. He will surely listen to you if you can call Him in faith (see Psalm 50:15; 91:15; Jeremiah 33:3; Zechariah 13:9; James 5:13).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray for the courage to always cry out to God when you need Him most.

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Post  Admin on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 7:16 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WARN YOUR EYES!

"I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a [lady]" (Job 31:1 TLB).

The world is full of detestable things - things that can drive people away from their Creator. Unfortunately, people are the instruments that the devil is using to propagate these detestable things. Most of these things are what are appealing to the eyes. This was the strategy that the devil used to deceive the first woman, Eve. The Bible says, "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye..." (Genesis 3:6 NIV). Many things, even good things like that forbidden fruit, are pleasing to the eyes, and they have lured people to their destruction. One of such things is the female physical body. Ordinarily, every woman is created to be attractive, but the devil has made many women to use this to mislead men, especially men that are not careful. Most women have turned their physical bodies to tools in the hands of the devil to ruin men. Some of them are doing this deliberately while others are doing it unconsciously. This has made many men to look lustfully at women even at times involuntarily. As if Job had known the teachings of Jesus Christ in Matthew 5:28 "that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (NIV), Job made a covenant with his eyes not to look at women with lust (see Job 31:1, 9). In order words, he had warned his eyes on what to look at.

That resolution will be a good one for any man. A man should warn his eyes not to look lustfully at women no matter how tempting they may be. This warning has to be extended to what type of book to read and (especially in this era of the Internet) what to look at on the Internet. Women also should resolve not to make themselves a ready tool in the hands of the devil to lure men into lust. 

Either man or woman, we have to decide like Job to live against lust and anything that has to do with it because: it is a sin (Matthew 5:27-30); it is dangerous (Proverbs 6:25-29); it is contrary to the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-18); it hinders prayer (James 4:2-5); and it will pass away (1 John 2:15-17). We can only live in dominion over lust and anything that can cause it through the power of the Holy Spirit by: self-determination (Job 31:1); self-crucifixion (Galatians 5:24; Romans 6:12-13); and the grace of God (Titus 2:12).

Do not let what or who you behold lure you away from your God. Warn your eyes and your behaviours!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to always caution yourself on things and people you are beholding so that they will not lure away from God.
_____________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Post  Admin on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 11:39 pm

Dearly Beloved,

FULFILLING ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS

"Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15 NIV).

Like John the Baptist, one would wonder why Jesus Christ would present Himself for a baptism of repentance. However, Jesus' response to John the Baptist was that it was appropriate for Him to take part in John's baptism at that time in order to fulfil all righteousness. Since there was no requirements about baptism in Mosaic Law, Jesus could not have had in view anything pertaining to Levitical righteousness. Nevertheless, John the Baptist's message was a message of repentance, and those experiencing it were looking forward to a coming Messiah who would be righteous and who would bring in righteousness. If Jesus Christ as the Messiah were to provide righteousness for sinners, He must be identified with sinners. It was therefore in the will of God for Him to be baptized by John in order to be identified with sinners. This identification received the approval of God as God sent down His Spirit on Jesus and declared that Jesus is His beloved Son.

Jesus Christ did not only identify with the people by His baptism, He actually came to serve them and give His life as ransom for them (see Matthew 20:28;  Philippians 2:4-8). Because of this, He was exalted to the highest place and given a name above all names "...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11 NIV).

Most of people in high places and positions of leadership find it difficult to be identified with people they are leading and are in low places. They think that they are "too big" to be identified with the downtrodden. They are not ready to sacrifice their pleasure to satisfy the people that are under them. They have forgotten that in God's reckoning, "The greatest among you will be your servant" (Matthew 23:11 NIV). No wonder, Paul admonished in Romans 12:16, "Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position" (NIV).

In what way do you identify yourself with the people you are leading or serving? Do not be "too big" to really serve others around you. To fulfil all righteousness, find ways you can identify with people around you. The Lord will indeed reward you for this.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will not be too proud to identify with people around you.
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Post  Admin on Sun 15 Sep 2019, 1:37 pm

Dearly Beloved,

GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS

"Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV).

Almost all the Christian hymns have touching and striking stories that made their composers to compose them. Interestingly, the popular hymn - "GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS" - did not have any such story. The writer of the hymn, Thomas O. Chisholm, confessed that there were no special circumstances that prompted him to write this great hymn. He got his inspiration just from his experience and Bible truth. He said in a letter written in 1941 that in spite of the fact that his small income as a result of impaired health in his earlier years, he was aware of the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that God had given him many wonderful displays of His providing care.

In the hymn, like Jeremiah in his lamentations, Chisholm declared that because the compassion of God never fails, great is the faithfulness of God. God renews this faithfulness during summer, winter, springtime and harvest, in fact, every morning. This faithfulness is manifested in the courses of sun, moon, and stars above. The whole nature joins in witnessing this faithfulness. The faithfulness includes pardon for sin and an enduring peace, God's cheering and guiding presence, strength for today, bright hope for tomorrow, and countless blessings. Indeed great is the faithfulness of God!

You are also experiencing this faithfulness of God every day. Do you realize this? If yes, do you appreciate God for it? If you do not realize it, it means you are not focusing on God and you have placed your trust either in yourself or any other thing apart from God. Focus on God and you will have many reasons to declare His faithfulness over your life.

Great is thy faithfulness, O God!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will always experience the faithfulness of God every day.
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Post  Admin on Sun 08 Sep 2019, 10:25 pm

Dearly Beloved,

BENEFITS OF BEING RIGHTEOUS

"Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord" (Psalm 112:6-7 NIV).

More and more people are becoming religious especially in this part of the world. However, it is becoming more difficult to find righteous people who really fear God in his day-to-day activities. In spite of this fact,  the writer of Psalm 112 enumerated some of the benefits that a righteous man would enjoy.

Who is a righteous man? Firstly, a righteous man is a person that is uncompromising. He is principled and is known for what he stands for. He is indeed purpose-driven. Secondly, a righteous man is a person that is upright and just in his dealings. While he may not necessarily be blameless, he must be trustworthy and of good reputation. Thirdly, a righteous man is a person that is in right standing with God. He must be somebody into whom God has imputed His righteousness in Jesus Christ and he is living in a way that is pleasing to God.

Building on the end of the previous psalm, the writer of Psalm 112, in verse one, said that one who fears the LORD and delights in His Law is blessed. Five blessings or benefits that come to one who is righteous and fears God are enumerated: Firstly, the righteous is blessed with physical and material prosperity because God is righteous (verses 2-3). Secondly, light is given even in darkness for the righteous (verse 4). This could refer to success (in place of failure) or to discernment. Thirdly, the  righteous receives goodness in return for being generous and just (verses 5 and 9). Fourthly, he will be firmly established in his faith, and unshakable with no fear of what man might do to him (verses 6-8). In fact, the righteous' memory will be eternal and blessed (cf. Proverbs 10:7). Fifthly, because the righteous gives generously and is just in his affairs (verses 5 and 9), he will be made strong and honourable by the LORD.

Undoubtedly, everyone would want to enjoy all of these benefits. However, how many people are ready to be righteous and genuinely fear God? How many people are uncompromising, upright and are in right standing with God? It may seem as if it does not pay to be righteous in this present-day society, but it really pays to be righteous and genuinely fear God.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray for the enablement to be righteous in this world full of unrighteousness.

_________________________
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 01 Sep 2019, 7:26 pm

Dearly Beloved,

A TEMPLE INDEED!

“Or do you not know that yourbody is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God,and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV).

As I was waiting for mybreakfast to be served one morning, I saw a news flash on my phone that reads,"If my body is a temple of God, who am I to stop people from entering thehouse of the Lord?” I clicked on the link and discovered that the statement wasmade by a so-called pretty lady in one of her tweets on Twitter. She based herargument on the above verse! Interestingly, thousands of people have retweetedand liked the tweet. I would not know if these people agree or not with thelady. However, the lady and all her followers miss it! They are one of thosepeople that interpret and apply the words of God to suite their selfishinterests. 

This verse is applicable onlyto those who have accepted Jesus Christ their personal Saviour and Lord. Yourbody being the temple of the Holy Spirit means the Holy Spirit is living in you.Apostle Paul had earlier categorically said, “Do you not know that you are thetemple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16NKJV). Ordinarily, a temple is a building used for the worship of a god orgods. It is a sacred standout place that is restricted to certain people whousually have consecrated themselves before entering it for worship of the god.It is not a place that anybody can enter. In fact, it is the abode of the gods.

Referring to 1 Corinthians6:19, apostle Paul was referring to each Corintian Christian and by extensionevery other Christian as the dwelling place of God on earth. The body of aperson does not belong to the person that carries it. The person is just thecarrier. Every Christian is expected to consecrate him/herself as a dedicatedvessel of his/her Creator. Apostle Paul put it in another words in Romans 12:1:“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you presentyour bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is yourreasonable service” (NKJV). He/She should not see him/herself as ordinaryperson, and should not allow anybody to misuse him/her. He/She is peculiar.Apostle Peter used four words – chosen, royal, holy, and special – to describesuch a person (see 1 Peter 2:9). 

So, your body being the templeof God should be cherished and handled with care. You should not use it as youwant or allow anyone to use it as they want. You will give account on how youuse your body or allow other people to use it (see 1 Corinthians 3:17). You area temple indeed! 

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that youwill be mindful of how you use your body as the temple of God.
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Post  Admin on Sun 25 Aug 2019, 9:08 pm

Dearly Beloved,

REVIVAL AGAIN?

“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6 NIV).

Psalm 85 is one of the popular psalms especially its sixth verse that talks about revival. The title of the Psalm, “For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm,” does not give the name of the author or its background. It was evidently composed in view of the fact that God had, on some former occasion, stepped in when His people were in trouble, but that now for similar causes He was again angry with them, and they were suffering similar calamities (see Judges 2:18, 19 and Psalm 78:8). The psalm contains a fervent prayer that God would again appear for them, and it implies a confident expectation that He would do this, so that the calamities which had come upon them would be removed.

Verses 1-3 of the psalm deal with God’s goodness in the past. It begins with praise to God for restoring the nation. This res­toration showed the fact that God had forgiven and covered all their sins, and had set aside His wrath and anger. One can liken this situation to the era of the Judges in the history of Israel. Verses 4-7 are about people’s prayer for revival. The verses partly described the state of the people. It is clear that the nation was suffering from some calamity; that the anger of God seemed to be upon them; that it appeared as if His wrath would never be turned away; and that unless He should interpose the nation must perish. This may likely be related with the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of the Jews in 2 Kings 25, Jeremiah 39. The psalmist prayed that the Lord would again turn His wrath away and deliver them. He wanted the Lord to put away His displeasure, and not con­tinue to be angry. Apparently the past restoration referred to in verses 1-3 in­spired this prayer for another restoration. By been revived, they would again be able to re­joice and experience His unfailing love. Perhaps no other prayer is more welcome in the ears of God than the one for revival, as expressed here in verse 6.

Verses 8 and 9 are the promise from God. The psalmist said he would listen for word from the LORD who promises peace to His saints. He gives salvation so that His glory may be evi­dent in the land. "Glory" here means the manifestation of God’s presence (cf. Isaiah 60:1-2; Zechariah 2:5). These ideas expressed in God's reve­lation to Israel find their ultimate fulfilment in Christ. This promise of peace and salvation through the glory of the One who dwells among men may have been in John's mind when he wrote John 1:14. Verses 10-13 are about the faith of the psalmist. He was confident that the LORD would cause His attributes (love, faithfulness, and righteous­ness) to work together to provide peace, righteousness, and prosperity.

It should be noted that only a child of God can be revived. Sinners cannot be revived; they need to be resurrected. A dead person cannot be revived; only a live person can be or should be revived. God is ready to revive us if we sincerely pray for revival. However, we must not, because of this, continue to sin. God will forgive and revive, but the scars of the sins will still be there! (see Romans 6:1).

Revival again?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray for revival from God in every area in your life that you think needs revival.
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Post  Admin on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 10:45 pm

Dearly Beloved,

YOU CAN FALL VICTIM!

“Therefore let him who thinkshe stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12 NKJV). 

“Be sober, be vigilant;because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whomhe may devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)..

Although I was once dupedthrough an Internet fraudster some twelve years ago, yet my almost two decadesof experience as a computer and Internet expert had made me to be boasting thatI can no longer fall victim of Internet frauds. I was proved wrong some weeksago when I fell easily to another Internet fraudster and one of my Facebookpersonal pages was hacked. It took me over twenty-four hours of efforts toregain the total control of my Facebook account from the impostor. Some of the peoplethat heard about the incident were surprised that such could happen to me.

Samson was one of the judgesin the pre-monarchical era of the people of Israel. He was a powerful man thatcould kill a lion with bare hands (see Judges 14:5-6), catch three hundredfoxes and tie them tail to tail in pairs (see Judges 15:4), kill a thousand menwith a fresh jawbone of a donkey (see Judges 15:15), and take hold of two pillarsof a city gate and carry them to the top of a hill (see Judges 16:3). However,he fell easily to the hands of his enemies – the Philistines – throughcarelessness on the lap of a woman (see Judges 16:4-22). One would wonder howsuch a mighty man could fall like that.

David was a man after God’sown heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). He killed the giant Goliath at a tenderage (see 1 Samuel 17). He fought and won many wars. In fact, hardly is thereany record of battle that he lost in his lifetime. However, he could not winthe battle of sin of adultery and murder (see 2 Samuel 11). This sin remains likea scar in his history (1 Kings 15:5). Here is another surprise of the fall ofanother notable man!

Simon Peter was an outspokenand courageous disciple of Jesus Christ. He was one of the “inner circle” ofJesus Christ (see Matthew 17:1; Mark 5:37; 14:33). When Jesus Christ predictedthe denial of the disciples as He was about to go to the Cross, Peter boastedthat he would die with Jesus Christ if need be (see Mark 14:30-31). He eventried to defend Jesus Christ as He was about to be arrested by cutting off theear of one of the people that came to arrest Him (see John 18:10). However, Peterfell as he denied Jesus Christ three times after the arrest of Jesus Christ(see John 18:15-18, 25-27).

Any person can fall into erroror sin especially if the person does not take care. No amount of experience,power, affluence or education can prevent falling victim of error or to peoplethat want to take advantage of any careless person. No wonder, Apostles Pauland Peter admonished, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest hefall” and “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks aboutlike a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Corinthians 10:12; 1 Peter5:8 NKJV). Beware, you can fall victim!

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that youwill always be careful so that you will not fall victim of any error or sin.
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Post  Admin on Fri 09 Aug 2019, 4:28 pm

Dearly Beloved,

BE MINDFUL OF EXCESS LUGGAGE!

“Therefore we also, since weare surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight,and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the racethat is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV).

One of the unforgettable experiencesI had when I was in the United Kingdom for a postgraduate study was whathappened to my wife at Heathrow as she was returning to Nigeria after her two-weekvisit to me. There was a misunderstanding of the information about luggagefound on the website of the airline that would convey her back to Nigeria. Asshe was about to check in her luggage, it was discovered that she had excessluggage! As a rule, she either had to pay for the excess luggage or reduce thecontents of her luggage to the approved weight. She was not ready to pay, so westarted sorting out what she could remove to make her luggage conform to theapproved weight. The time we used to do this made her to almost miss herflight.

Many people in life arelikewise living with excess luggage that is hindering them to move forward intheir God-giving purpose in life. They are like Abram (later known as Abraham)in the Holy Bible that left his people with an excess luggage in person of Lotfor Canaan to fulfill the divine call (Genesis 12:4). As long as Lot was withAbram, he (Abram) could not hear directly from God. Lot was a clog in theprogress of Abram. There was no peace for the servants of Abram till Lot andhis servants separated from Abram and his servants (see Genesis 13). Even whenLot left to take the better part of the land that was meant for Abram, Abramstill needed to care for Lot by rescuing him from some rampaging kings (seeGenesis 14). It is interesting to note that it was after Abram did away withhis excess luggage (that is, Lot) that God spoke with Abram and even made acovenant with him (see Genesis 15). 

Like Abram, the excess luggagein the lives of some people is other people. The excess luggage may be sin. Onmany occasions, it is desires for mundane things that may not be sins inthemselves. Nonetheless, these mundane things are weighing people down.

The writer of the book to theHebrews admonished us to be mindful of excess luggage in order to be able torun the heavenly race that is set before us. This is so because many heavenlywitnesses (faithful people that have lived before us) are watching us. What arethe things (or even people) that may be regarded as excess luggage in yourlife? Shed such luggage now before they hinder you from reaching your divinelyappointed goal in life. Be mindful of excess luggage!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Point: Pray that youwill always be mindful of things or people that may serve as excess luggage inyour life journey, and be able to do away with them.

_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spiritualdigest2003/ https://www.facebook.com/afolabayo 

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Post  Admin on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 11:15 pm

Dearly Beloved,

BE MINDFUL OF EXCESS LUGGAGE!

“Therefore we also, since weare surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight,and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the racethat is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV).

One of the unforgettable experiencesI had when I was in the United Kingdom for a postgraduate study was whathappened to my wife at Heathrow as she was returning to Nigeria after her two-weekvisit to me. There was a misunderstanding of the information about luggagefound on the website of the airline that would convey her back to Nigeria. Asshe was about to check in her luggage, it was discovered that she had excessluggage! As a rule, she either had to pay for the excess luggage or reduce thecontents of her luggage to the approved weight. She was not ready to pay, so westarted sorting out what she could remove to make her luggage conform to theapproved weight. The time we used to do this made her to almost miss herflight.

Many people in life arelikewise living with excess luggage that is hindering them to move forward intheir God-giving purpose in life. They are like Abram (later known as Abraham)in the Holy Bible that left his people with an excess luggage in person of Lotfor Canaan to fulfill the divine call (Genesis 12:4). As long as Lot was withAbram, he (Abram) could not hear directly from God. Lot was a clog in theprogress of Abram. There was no peace for the servants of Abram till Lot andhis servants separated from Abram and his servants (see Genesis 13). Even whenLot left to take the better part of the land that was meant for Abram, Abramstill needed to care for Lot by rescuing him from some rampaging kings (seeGenesis 14). It is interesting to note that it was after Abram did away withhis excess luggage (that is, Lot) that God spoke with Abram and even made acovenant with him (see Genesis 15). 

Like Abram, the excess luggagein the lives of some people is other people. The excess luggage may be sin. Onmany occasions, it is desires for mundane things that may not be sins inthemselves. Nonetheless, these mundane things are weighing people down.

The writer of the book to theHebrews admonished us to be mindful of excess luggage in order to be able torun the heavenly race that is set before us. This is so because many heavenlywitnesses (faithful people that have lived before us) are watching us. What arethe things (or even people) that may be regarded as excess luggage in yourlife? Shed such luggage now before they hinder you from reaching your divinelyappointed goal in life. Be mindful of excess luggage!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 

Prayer Point: Pray that youwill always be mindful of things or people that may serve as excess luggage inyour life journey, and be able to do away with them.
_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
+2348055159591
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spiritualdigest2003/ https://www.facebook.com/afolabayo 

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Post  Admin on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 6:10 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHAT IS THE WORTH OF JESUS CHRIST?

“Then one of the Twelve - the one called Judas Iscariot - went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?’ So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over” (Matthew 26:14-16 NIV).

Judas Iscariot is known for his nefarious act of betraying Jesus Christ to Jewish leaders for the sum of thirty silver coins only. That was the worth of Jesus Christ to him. He later regretted his action, returned the money to the leaders and went to hang himself.

The worth of Jesus Christ varied to the other disciples and followers of Jesus Christ. Joseph of Arimathea valued even the corpse of Jesus Christ that he “wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock” (Matthew 27:59-60 NIV). He gave to Jesus was special to him because he valued Him greatly. Mary Magdalene and the other women that had been serving Him before His death were still loyal to Him even after His death. They brought spices and perfume to anoint His body. Paul’s statement about the worth of Jesus Christ is classic: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21 NIV). Jesus Christ worth the whole life to Paul. No wonder, he later said, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8 NIV). Simon Peter had earlier said similar thing: “We have left everything to follow you!” (Mark 10:28 NIV).

Jesus Christ does not worth a dime to many people. Like Judas, such people do not care about what happen to Jesus Christ and the cause of the Gospel. Such people may even be so-called Christians. Inasmuch as their interest is not affected, they can sell Jesus Christ for any amount. On the other hand, Jesus Christ is all the world to some people. Like Paul and other faithful followers of Jesus Christ in the Bible, such people are ready to give everything to Jesus Christ and the cause of the Gospel.

What is the worth of Jesus Christ to you? Does He worth anything to you? What can you give up or give away because of Jesus Christ? Like Will L. Thomp­son (1847-1909), I have the courage to say, “Jesus is all the world to me, and true to Him I’ll be; O how could I this Friend deny, when He’s so true to me? Following Him I know I’m right, He watches o’er me day and night; Following Him by day and night, He’s my Friend.”

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will always value the worth of Jesus Christ and the cause of the Gospel above any other thing in your life.

_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
+2348055159591
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spiritualdigest2003/ https://www.facebook.com/afolabayo 

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Post  Admin on Sun 21 Jul 2019, 11:26 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHERE IS YOUR DWELLING PLACE?

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalms 91:1 NIV).

Psalm 91 is one of the most popular psalms. It is popular especially because it is a psalm of assurance of the protection and security of God. However, there is a striking truth in the opening verse of the psalm: the divine protection and security are only for those who live a life of communion with God. People that can apply this psalm to themselves are the people that totally trust in God. They are the people that are living by His standards because only such people can abide in the presence of the holy God without any fear of His holy wrath. “The secret place of the Most High” in verse one (KJV) was probably in reference to the Holy of holies. Under the Old Testament law, only the high priest who entered legitimately there would be covered with the cloud of God’s glory (the protection of the all-sufficient God), but under the new covenant, all believers in Christ have boldness to enter into the invisible holiest place by the blood of Jesus and those who thus enter are safe from every evil. No wonder, the writer of the Proverbs said, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (18:10 NIV).

The writer of this psalm enumerated how the people that “dwell in the secret place of the Most High” would be protected: (a) by being delivered from dangerous attempts against their lives (verse 3a; cf. Psalm 124:7); (b) by being under divine safety and comfort (verse 4a; cf. Psalm 17:8; 36:7); and (c) by enjoying divine faithful protection with the “covering of His feathers and wings” (verse 4b; cf. Psalm 57:1; 61:4; 63:7). These will result in the absence of fear in spite of prevailing danger (verses 5-8; cf. Psalm 3:6; 27:1-3; 46:2; 112:7; Proverbs 28:1). Because of the fact that these people have made God their “dwelling place,” angels will be their invisible bodyguards that will be taking care of them (verses 9-13; cf. Psalm 34:7). Interestingly, the devil misapplied this when he was tempting Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:6). 

In verses 14-16, the psalmist wrote as if God Himself was confirming the psalmist’s faith. The Lord promises anyone that is abiding in Him: (a) deliverance from danger, (b) protection from harm, (c) divine presence in trouble, (d) honour, and (e) long life. 

“If you make the Most High your dwelling -- even the Lord, who is my refuge” (verse 9), all kinds of danger mentioned in this psalm are ineffective against you. In fact, you will be confident of the divine security. There is no confidence or rest in any other place. Where is your dwelling place?

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will always make God your dwelling place so as to be secure from all dangers.
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Post  Admin on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 6:17 pm

Dearly Beloved,

DO IT AGAIN!

“But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net’” (Luke 5:5 NKJV).

Simon Peter and his colleagues were professional fishermen who knew all what it took to catch fish successfully in the familiar Lake of Gennesaret. They worked all night to catch fish but they could not. At daybreak, Simon Peter had given up hope of catching any fish that day as he was preparing to go back home empty handed. However, his boat became a preaching platform for Jesus Christ. After His ministration, Jesus told Peter to let down his net into the deep of the lake. Ordinarily, Peter would have argue with Jesus that that time was not the right time to carry out such an action, after all, he and his colleagues did it at the best time in night without success. However, because Jesus said so, Peter was ready to obey. He let down his net into the lake and he had a great catch of fish. 

Many people have been making efforts to succeed in many endeavours. They have applied their professional know-how without success. Many of such people are contemplating of giving up or have even given up on such endeavours. However, more efforts and commitment will make them have success, especially if they can put their faith in God who can turn the impossibility to possibility. 

What have you done or are still doing that is without desired result? Are you contemplating abandoning the project? Do not give up on it! Do it again especially with faith in God. "Everything is possible for him who believes" (Mark 9:23 NIV).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Help me, O Lord, to be able to continue making efforts by faith till You turn the impossibility to possibility for me.  

_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spiritualdigest2003/ https://www.facebook.com/afolabayo 

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21 NIV).
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Post  Admin on Tue 09 Jul 2019, 11:08 am

Dearly Beloved,

BEWARE OF YOUR PRAYER REQUESTS!

"In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, `This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.' Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, `Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.' And Hezekiah wept bitterly" (Isaiah 38:1-3 NIV).

While God may decide not to answer our prayers in our own ways, He may sometimes leave us to have our ways in our self-centred prayers to our detriment. That is why we have to be very careful of our prayer requests. 

King Hezekiah was ill to the point of death. The absolute will of God for him was to die, presumably because he had fulfilled his assignment as a king and the next thing for him in God's agenda was to die honourably. As any other man, Hezekiah did not want to die. He made his mind known to God. He prayed and reminded God how faithful he was in serving God. It was evident from the content of the prayer that Hezekiah was self-centred. In His infinite mercy, God heard the prayer and extended Hezekiah's life by fifteen years. However, those fifteen years were his undoing! A God-centred king suddenly became self-centred. He was no longer conscious of God's glory, but his prowess. No wonder, when a foreign king sent emissaries to him to congratulate him on his recovery, instead of pointing them to God, he was busy showing them what he had as a king. God rebuked him harshly on this and it led to the fall of his kingdom, though during the time of his descendants (see Isaiah 39). The land of Judah would not have had a wicked king in Manasseh who was born during those added fifteen years if Hezekiah had accepted the absolute will of God for his life (2 Kings 20:21; 22:1; Jeremiah 15:4).

On many occasions, we also are preoccupied with what we consider "good" for ourselves. We are not mindful of "the best," the absolute will of God for our lives. We pressurize God to do what we want, and at times, He may let us have our way which may have bad consequences. Jesus Christ, in the Garden of Gethsemane, allowed the absolute will of God to be done in His life, even when He knew that it would result in His death (Matthew 26:39-42). God was indeed glorified in the life and death of Jesus Christ and Jesus was given a name above all names (Philippians 2:5-11).

Beware of your prayer requests especially when you are desperate in getting anything from God. It is better to allow the best absolute will of God to be done in our lives than to impose our good will on Him.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will not be desperate in asking anything from God, but that you will always allow His perfect will to be done in your life..
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