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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Aug 2015, 9:48 pm

Dearly Beloved,

RESOLVE TO STAND OUT

"But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royalfood and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himselfin this way" (Daniel 1:8 NIV).

The people of Judah were led into exile in captivity because of theirdisobedience to God. The temple of God and the city of Jerusalem - the pridesof Israel - were destroyed. The self-esteem of the people was dented. They wereno longer a nation free of external forces. In fact, they were now captives ina foreign land. They could not worship their God in the way they preferred, andtheir children were now slaves that were serving their captors. In spite ofthese predicaments, Daniel and his colleagues resolved to distinguishthemselves in that foreign land in not defiling themselves with things thatseemed ordinary but that could make them be far from their God. 

These four Jewish young men were not like many people today thatare ready to do anything that is in vogue. They resolved to stand out, and Godrewarded them with prestige and position of authority in that land ofcaptivity. Are you also ready to resolve to stand out in this depraved world? TheBible says, "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong" (Exodus 23:2NIV). Resolve to stand out for God in refusing to do even those seeming goodthings that can tarnish the image of God in you. Joshua told the people ofIsrael, "But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose foryourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathersserved beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you areliving. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15NIV).

Resolve to stand out for God!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Lord, help me to resolve to stand out to do yourwill even when it is contrary to what is in vogue.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 02 Aug 2015, 10:26 pm

Dearly Beloved,

ANGUISHED, YET TRUSTED INGOD

“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me? ... But I trust in your unfailing love;my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:1, 5 NIV).

King David was a manafter God’s heart (see Acts 13:22). He got this appellation because of hisunique relationship with God. Here was a man who was sanointed as king ofIsrael in place of Saul at a tender age but could not ascend the throne until aftermany years full of persecution, suffering, hardship and the likes. He could notstay at home. He became a wanderer with many other distressed people (see 1Samuel 22:1-2). At a point, he had to relocate his parents to a foreign land (1Samuel 22:3-4), and at another occasion, he had to seek refuge with the enemiesof Israel to be safe (1 Samuel 27). 

Probably, David wrotePsalm 13 during this period of suffering. He complained that God had forgottenhim and had hidden His face from helping him. He reasoned that his enemies weretriumphing over him. In spite of his anguish, he expressed trust in theunfailing love of God, and still rejoiced in His salvation. What acontradiction! How could he trust Someone that had seemingly forgotten him? Howcould he rejoice in the salvation of Someone who seemingly allowed his enemiesto triumph over him? 

David could trust inGod in spite of his anguish because he knew the Lord that he was serving. Heknew that God could deliver him from his suffering, and that that deliverancewould come at God’s own time and God’s own way. No wonder, he normally enquiredof the Lord before he ventured into any endeavour. Even when the lives of hisloved ones were at stake, he enquired of the Lord before he pursue theircaptors (see 1 Samuel 30). He was never in a hurry more than God. He waitedtill the right time and he eventually became the greatest king of Israel.

Many people cannottrust in God because of their predicaments. Some have even denied His existencebecause of one disappointment or the other that they have experienced in thepast. To such people, if God exists and is powerful, He would not have allowedthem to pass through such ugly experiences. Well, God remains God no matterwhat. He will act in His own way and at His own time to deliver. He does notforget nor abandon His own. Continue to trust in Him. You will soon testify toHis goodness over your life.

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 19 Jul 2015, 10:59 pm

Dearly Beloved,
THE HANDS OF ESAU "Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, 'The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau'" (Genesis 27:22 NIV). Esau and Jacob were twin brothers that were favorites of their father and mother respectively. Isaac their father wanted to give his last blessing to his favorite who was Esau the firstborn, but Rebecca their mother wanted the blessing to be the lot of her favorite, Jacob. Therefore, she colluded with Jacob to deceive Isaac in order that Jacob would get the blessing. Part of the conspiracy was that Jacob would use goatskin to cover some parts of his body so that Isaac would believe that Jacob was indeed Esau who naturally was a hairy man. In the course of their conspiracy, Isaac detected that the voice of the person that had come for his blessing was that of Jacob, but the goatskin deceived him to think that the hands of the person were those of Esau. Many people are still using this tactic of the voice of Jacob and the hands of Esau to deceive people to have their ways today. It is interesting to discover that many people even try to use it with God to get His blessings! However, the Bible says, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked" (Galatians 6:7 NIV). He is omniscient! The Jews, especially the Pharisees and teachers of the law, in Jesus' time on earth, and many people today, were hypocrites that tried to use their religiosity to deceive other people and God. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ has this to say about them: "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men" (Mark 7:6-8 NIV). In what way are you also using the hands of Esau to deceive people? Are you trying to do that with God also? Are you a hypocrite? A Yoruba proverb literally says, "A thief [and a deceiver] may have his way for many days, but nemesis will apprehend him one day." Moreover, you cannot deceive God. "A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life" (Galatians 6:7-8 NIV).In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 28 Jun 2015, 11:19 pm

Dearly Beloved,
IF NOT FOR GOD..."Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV).We are already in the middle of the year. Have you ever looked back to see what God has done in your life this very year? I did, and I realized that if not for God, especially for His faithfulness over my life, probably I would have been no more by now.I have a first cousin that grew together with me. Our intimacy then made people to refer to us as "husband and wife." However, marital and other commitments of life kept both of us away from each other for many years, though we do communicate regularly on phone. Her recent visit to my family was a reminiscence of our childhood years. We looked back to when we were growing up and now that both of us are happily married with children. We discussed our experiences in the past years. As a practicing nurse, she recounted many experiences of dying people who died in her presence. She noted that many of such people were younger to her in age. What normally comes to her mind whenever such people die is that what makes her better than these people that makes God to still preserve her life until the present. I also looked back and remembered many times I have travelled especially on the dangerous road from my school. Why has God preserved me from all sorts of dreaded accidents that have claimed the lives of many people? My cousin and I concluded that it is the grace of God that makes us to still be alive today. If not for God’s faithfulness and grace, we would have been consumed by the storm of life!If you look back, you will see many things that God has done in your life. In that popular hymn, "Count Your Blessings," Johnson Oatman, Jr. wrote, "When you look at others with their lands and gold ... count your many blessings money cannot buy.... Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, See what God has done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God has done."If not for God’s faithfulness and grace....In His service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). 
Prayer Point: Pray that you will always look back and appreciate God for what He has been doing in your life. _________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 11:41 pm

Dearly Beloved,
THE GREATER LOVE OF A FATHER
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (1 John 3:1 NKJV).
King David was such a loving father. He loved his children so much that he did not want any harm to befall them, even when the children were wayward and sought his life. The case of Absalom is a good example of this. Here was a son who wanted to overthrow his father and did not even care if the father was dead (see 2 Samuel 15). In spite of this, David still cared for him and commanded his army commanders to take care of the life of Absalom in the ensued civil war (see 2 Samuel 18:5). David wept bitterly when he learnt about the eventual death of Absalom and wished that he (David) had died in place of Absalom (see 2 Samuel 18:28-33). What a great love of a father!
However, there is a greater love demonstrated by our heavenly Father. God, the Creator of the Universe loves man so much that He made him the crown of His creation. He made man to have dominion over every created being (see Genesis 1:28-30; Psalm 8:5-7). In spite of this, man disobeyed God and fell out of favour with God. God cast man out His garden (see Genesis 3). However, God quickly began a way of salvation for man (Genesis 3:15, 21). Although man continued his waywardness (Genesis 6:5-7), God did not abandon man totally. He still preserved a remnant in person of Noa and renewed His covenant with man (Genesis 9). God called Abraham out of his kindred and established a nation through his descendants. “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised” (Acts 13:23 NIV). Jesus Christ came to the world and paid the ultimate sacrifice for man’s sin. As caring and loving Father, God did all these when man continued to be wayward. Apostle Paul summarized it thus: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV. See also John 3:16; 15:13; Romans 3:5; 5:6-7; 8:39; 1 John 4:10). Every one who believes in Jesus Christ is giving the right to become a child of God (see John 1:11-13). No wonder, Apostle John could exclaim: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1 NKJV). What a greater love of our heavenly Father!
The heavenly Father has demonstrated such great love for us even while we do not deserve it. Have you appropriated that love into your life by receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord? As a father, do you love your children in spite of who they are or what they are doing to you?
Happy Father’s Day!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that fathers will be able to love their children in spite of all odds.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 9:55 pm

Dearly Beloved,
I BELONG NOT TO EVERYBODY
“You know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God, don’t you? You do not belong to yourselves, because you were bought for a price. Therefore, glorify God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ISV).
On May 29, 2015, in his inaugural speech as the newly sworn-in fifth executive president of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari inter alia said, “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.” This statement instantly became famous and many people gave it several interpretations. However, less than twenty-four hours after the statement was made, there was an emanated picture of a seemingly couple where the husband was querying his wife why she was not faithful to him and the wife was answering, “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.” The originator of the picture and people that were spreading it on social media were undoubtedly making fun out of the statement. Unfortunately, there have been many other funny pictures and captions relating to this statement.
While this message is not intended to give the meaning or application of the said statement, it is clear that it is not meant for fun or unfaithfulness in the part of any spouse or any other person in a serious relationship. Nonetheless, the statement should remind you as a Christian about an important fact that you do not belong to everybody or nobody. In fact, you do not belong to yourself. You belong to God. You have been bought for a price, and you must, therefore, glorify God with your body (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
The implication of this for a Christian is that the Christian must abstain from things that will dishonor God in his/her actions and words, and he/she must always present him/herself as a living sacrifice unto the Lord (see Romans 12:1). You cannot use your body as if it belongs to you or any other element outside you. Everything about you must always glorify God. Apostle Paul explained this thus: “If we live, we live to honor the Lord; and if we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:8 ISV. See also 1 Corinthians 10:31; Philippians 1:20; Colossians 3:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:10; 1 Peter 2:9). This fact settles all arguments about what we put on, what we put into our mouth, and how we live our lives.
I belong NOT to everybody or nobody. I belong to Somebody. I belong to my God!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will always be conscious of the fact that you belong to God.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 31 May 2015, 6:29 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 Requests: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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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 17 May 2015, 11:42 pm

DearlyBeloved,

ISERVE THE WONDER-WORKING GOD! 

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

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

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

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

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

InHis service,

BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).

 
PrayerPoint: Pray that you will experience the wonder-working God wonderfully inevery sphere of your life.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 11 May 2015, 10:09 pm

Dearly Beloved,

SPARE THE ROD...

“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24 NIV).

“The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother” (Proverbs 29:15 NIV).

The heroism or otherwise of Ms. Toya Graham, the woman who publicly spanked her teenage son during the recent riot in Baltimore, USA, still baffles me. What is really heroism in this act? The publicity the incident attracted and people’s reactions and comments for and against it prove the depravity in the role of parents to bring up their children in the right way.

It is unfortunate that discipline and upbringing of children have been given different meanings in many parts of the civilized world. In these places, parents cannot freely discipline their children because of some so-called laws of child abuse. Unfortunately, many children and youth have become wayward and depraved in their thinking and behaviours and the society is becoming more and more corrupt morally.

This is not so in Africa as well as in the Ancient Near East where discipline of children is primarily the responsibility of the parents and at the same time the joint responsibility of the society at large. However, some children and youth, and even some adults, in Africa and other parts of the world where there is value for child discipline are clamouring for freedom of children and youth in the name of human rights. In spite of this, many people all the world still value parental discipline of children. No wonder, what the Baltimore woman did publicly was acclaimed by many as act of heroism and made many to even declare the woman as the mom of the year!

The Holy Bible is clear about parental discipline of children. Consider these Bible passages:

“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24 NIV).

 “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death” (Proverbs 19:18 NIV).

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6 NIV).

“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15 NIV).

“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death” (Proverbs 23:13-14 NIV).

“The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother…. Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:15, 17 NIV).

“[Parents], do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 NIV).

Regardless of views of the world about parental discipline, parents should not be hesitant to discipline their children either publicly or privately. This will surely make this world a better place. Spare the rod, and spoil not only the child, but the society as well.

To parents like Ms. Toya Graham, I wish you Happy Mother’s Day!

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 03 May 2015, 7:54 pm

Dearly Beloved,

ABIDE WITH ME

“And they constrained him, saying, Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in to abide with them” (Luke 24:29 ASV).

One of English favourite hymns is “ABIDE WITH ME” composed by Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847), an Anglican clergyman who served nearly half his life as vicar of a church at Brixham, England. According to history, Lyte composed the hymn on the afternoon of the Sun­day he gave his fare­well ser­mon in the par­ish he served so ma­ny years. It was as if he was prepared to die that day as he battled the deadly disease of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis. He died few weeks later.

The hymn is lovely in both language and sentiment. However, it seems odd that a hymn about death could become as popular as this one.  On closer reflection on the hymn, the reason seems clear because the hymn speaks to us, not only about death, but also about life.  It assures us of God's presence and help in life and in death. The hymn is a hymn of hope in God who can abide with one in whatever situation even when all hope is lost and seemingly earthly helpers fail to help. The hymn is a hymn of peace and comfort. The world may be unstable and unreliable, but the hymn reassures us that the unchangeable God will abide with us. The hymn reminds us of the need for the presence and grace of God in every passing hour. These can foil the power of the devil. Because the Lord is there to abide with us and bless us, there is no need of fear of any foe, sickness or even death.

In spite of his deteriorating health, Henry Francis Lyte could compose this inspiring hymn because he had put his trust in God. He was ready to die because he had surrendered his life to God and allowed Him to abide with him. The two disciples on the way to Emmaus invited Jesus Christ to abide with them, and they experienced Him more (see Luke 24:28-35). Only those who put their trust in God and invite Him to abide with them can enjoy His presence and grace both in life and in death. Such people will be able to say like Apostle Paul, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21 ASV).

Lord, abide with me!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

 Prayer Point: Pray that the Lord will help you to allow Him in your life to abide with you so that you can experience His presence and grace both in life and in death.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 27 Apr 2015, 11:37 am

Dearly Beloved,

WHEN YOU FAITHFULLY SERVE THE LORD...

"After these events, in which King Hezekiah served the LORD faithfully, Sennacherib, the emperor of Assyria, invaded Judah. He besieged the fortified cities and gave orders for his army to break their way through the walls" (2 Chronicles 32:1 TEV).

King Hezekiah of Judah was one of the good kings that did well in following the ways of the Lord. He served God faithfully and brought the people back to God. He made them to also faithfully serve Him and observe the Law in an unprecedented way in the history of the kingdom of Judah (see 2 Chronicles 29—31). Nevertheless, in spite of his faithfulness in serving God, a powerful enemy, King Sennacherib of Assyria, rose against his kingdom and wanted to conquer him (2 Chronicles 32:1). King Hezekiah, however, trusted in his God and encouraged his subjects to trust in God. God did not only save him and his kingdom from the enemy, but He also humiliated the enemy (2 Chronicles 32:20-22). Hezekiah later became renowned for his greatness because he served God faithfully (2 Chronicles 32:23).

There are many such situations whereby persecutions, sufferings, difficulties and the like arise because of being faithful to God. Faithful people normally face such hardships because of their faithfulness to God. "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12). However, God knows how He rescues His faithful from the hardship and gives them victory over their adversaries (see 2 Peter 2:9; Psalm 34:15-17). The only prerequisite is total trust in Him. No matter the opposition, the faithful will triumph at the end.

Have you been serving God faithfully and it seems that you are being rewarded with opposition and hardship? Continue your faithfulness. Trust totally in Him. You will soon triumph over your enemies. The enemies will be humiliated over your life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 3:49 pm

Dearly Beloved,

TO BE RELIGIOUS IS NOT ENOUGH!

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23 NIV).

Here, in my part of the world (to be precise, in Nigeria), people are becoming more and more religious that religions have positively and negatively affected many spheres of life. Our streets are dotted with places of worship like churches, mosques and even at times shrines! Almost everybody is now a pastor, prophet, imam, or priest. Even many vehicles (including commercial ones) are tagged “clergy”.

In spite of this religiosity, the society is getting worse every day with all sorts of perversion and corruption. Even, in the places of worship, perversion and corruption are prevalent to the extent that it is very difficult to ascertain true worshippers. Unfortunately, many religious leaders are accommodating and even perpetrating these acts of perversion and corruption.

It seems Jesus Christ had known that religiosity will descend to this level when He queried, “...when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8 NIV). He had earlier warned that not everyone that claims to be religious would enter the kingdom of heaven. He knew that many would do many religious activities even in His name. However, He will disown them because they are doers of evil (see Matthew 7:21-23). Such people are honouring Him with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. They are worshipping Him in vain because their teachings are merely human rules (see Mark 7:6-7) and they are not ready to do His will.

It is good that more and more people are becoming more religious every day. However, to be religious is not enough. Attending and being active in church or any other place of worship is not enough. You must be ready to really do the will of God (see also Matthew 12:50; Mark 3:35; Luke 11:28; John 6:40; 7:17; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 5:18; Hebrews 13:21; 1 Peter 2:15, 4:2; 1 John 3:21-24; Revelation 22:14). Only this will guarantee you a place in the kingdom of God.

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Mon 06 Apr 2015, 7:31 pm

Dearly Beloved,

BEWARE OF SYCOPHANTS!

“Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person” (John 2:23-25 NIV).

A dictionary defines sycophant as “a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage.” Such a person is not reliable, but only the discerning ones would discover him/her and relate with him/her accordingly. Gullible people easily fall into the deceit of sycophants and later regret such action.

Jesus Christ knew this well and He did not allow people to mislead Him by their eye services. Twice, in the Gospel of John, Jesus Christ did not entrust Himself to the people. On the first occasion, during a Passover festival in Jerusalem, many people started following Him, but He knew who they were (see John 2:23-25). On another occasion, because of the miraculous signs that Jesus Christ did, many people began to praise Him as the expected Prophet. They even intended to forcefully make Him their king. However, He withdrew from them and went to another place (see John 6:14-15). It is interesting that the crowd in Jerusalem that honoured Jesus Christ as He rode triumphantly on a donkey into Jerusalem (see John 12:12-18) were the ones less than a week later crying “Crucify him! Crucify him!” They opted for the release of a criminal and insisted that Jesus Christ should be crucified (see Luke 23:13-25).  

This is a great lesson for every one especially those in position of leadership. Not every one that is singing your praise or that is seemingly loyal to you has your interest at heart. Many people are loyal to people in leadership position because of what they can get from the leaders. Only discerning people will act wisely and do not allow sycophants to deceive them with their false praises. People that are shouting “Hosanna” today may cry, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” tomorrow.

Beware of sycophants!

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 11:00 am

Dearly Beloved,

RIDE ON, RIDE ON, IN MAJESTY

“The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’" (Matthew 21:6-9 NIV).

Henry Hart Milman (1791-1868) wrote this popular hymn, RIDE ON, RIDE ON, IN MAJESTY, to commemorate the Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem as He prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. The hymn unites meekness and majesty, sacrifice and conquest, suffering and glory. Each stanza of the hymn begins with "Ride on, ride on in majesty." Majesty is the theme of the hymn as Henry Hart Milman helps us to experience the combination of victory and tragedy that characterizes the Triumphal Entry. Jesus Christ is hailed with "Hosanna" as He rode forth to be crucified. People honoured Him with palms and scattered garments on the road He would pass through. He knew He was going to die in Jerusalem, but His death would bring victory. It is his triumph "o'er captive death and conquered sin". The hosts of heaven were looking down with sad and wondering eyes awaiting the victory of Jesus Christ as with expectation. As Jesus Christ was about to have His last and fiercest strife, God the Father was also expecting Him in victory. Finally, Henry Hart Milman exclaimed that Jesus Christ rode forth "in lowly pomp ride" in spite of the mortal pain to take His "power and reign!"

This event was a significant event, not only to the people of the days of Jesus Christ on earth, but to all Christians throughout history. It is significant because it is the story of the King who came as a lowly servant on a donkey, not a dancing horse, not in royal robes, but on the clothes of the poor and humble. Jesus Christ did not come to conquer by force as earthly kings, but by love, grace, mercy, and His own sacrifice for His people. His is not a kingdom of armies and splendor, but of lowliness and servanthood. He conquers not nations, but hearts and minds. His message is one of peace with God, not of temporal peace.

If Jesus has made a triumphal entry into our hearts, He reigns there in peace and love. As His followers, we exhibit those same qualities, and the world sees the true King living and reigning in triumph in us. Allow Him to ride on in majesty in your life!

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Mon 16 Mar 2015, 7:26 pm

Dearly Beloved,

IN WHAT DO YOU DO BASE YOUR FAITH?

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he shouldask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will begiven to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he whodoubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man shouldnot think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man,unstable in all he does” (James 1:5-8 NIV).

I had an encounter with one of my BBMcontacts early in the morning recently. He commented that the Bible verse Iused for the day talking about being optimistic was for him as he was going towrite an examination later that day. He then requested that I should say somewords of prayer with him which I did immediately. However, he insisted and evenbegged me that I should record my prayer and send it to him as audio messagebecause he believes more in audio prayer than written prayer. I made himunderstand that if he could not believe in the simple written prayer, it willbe difficult for him to believe in my continuous prayer with him. I even doubtif the audio prayer he wanted would be effectual if I granted the request. Iwonder why he based his faith in audio prayer.

This BBM contact was different from thecenturion that his story was recorded in Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. One ofthe servants of this centurion was sick to the point of death. The centurion cameto Jesus Christ and begged Him to come and heal the servant. Jesus Christ agreedto follow the man to his house, but the man replied, "Lord, I do notdeserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servantwill be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me.I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I sayto my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it" (Matthew 8:8-9 NIV). JesusChrist did commend such a great faith and the sick servant was healedinstantly. The centurion did not believe in the physical presence of JesusChrist, but he based his faith in efficacious words of Jesus Christ. 

Many people nowadays would havepreferred that Jesus Christ is physically present to heal them or intervene intheir situations. Since this is not possible, these people resort to basingtheir faith on what they can see, touch, feel, hear, and/or smell before theycan believe that they are healed or that Jesus Christ has intervened in theirsituations. No wonder, such people are being deceived by fake prophets/pastorsand modern-day “prayer merchants”. 

In what do you base your faith? Baseyour faith in the efficacy of simple prayer offered in faith to God. Anythingshort of this is mere wasting of one’s time (see James 1:5-8; Matthew 21:22;Mark 11:22-24; Hebrews 11:6).

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 08 Mar 2015, 3:38 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHO IS YOUR ASSOCIATE?

"Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts goodcharacter.’" (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV).

"Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied againstJehoshaphat, saying, ‘Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORDwill destroy what you have made.’ The ships were wrecked and were not able toset sail to trade" (2 Chronicles 20:37 NIV).

King Jehoshaphat of Judah was one of the good kings that didwell in following the ways of the Lord. The writers of the Scriptures wrotegood things about him and his reign. God in turn blessed him by being with himand making him prospered (see 2 Chronicles 17:1-5). He had successes in all hismilitary endeavors (verse 10; 2 Chronicles 20). Because of the peace that Godgranted him, he built many forts and store cities in Judah, apart from theexperienced fighting men that he had (see 2 Chronicles 17:12-19). However, heassociated himself with wicked kings, Kings Ahab and Ahaziah of Israel (see 2Chronicles 18:1; 20:35). This made him to have marriage alliance with them. Hejoined them in battle, and tried to make trade with them. Each of thesealliances had adverse effects on Jehoshaphat. He was nearly killed in thebattle (2 Chronicles 18); the partnership with Ahaziah failed woefully (2Chronicles 20:37); and the marriage alliance renewed idolatry and wickedness inJudah. In fact, Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab who married the son ofJehoshaphat, later nearly wiped away all the royal lineage of Jehoshaphat. Shecommitted great atrocities in the land before God intervened (see 2 Chronicles22:10—23:15). What a great consequence of bad company!

Many people today have been causing bad effects on themselvesbecause of the people with whom they associate themselves. Most of such peopleare good people, but their associates are not. Some of such people have evenbecome corrupted because of their associates. Since they cannot beat them inmost cases, they join them in their corrupt practices. Besides, how can Godbless such partnerships? God categorically told Jehoshaphat He would destroysuch partnership, and He did! (2 Chronicles 20:37). He had earlier warned him,but he did not yield to the warning (see 2 Chronicles 19:2).

Who are your associates? With whom do you work in partnership?Will your partnership with such people incur the blessings of God, or His wrathand destruction? Associate with godly people so that you will be moresuccessful in all your undertakings.

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 01 Mar 2015, 10:19 pm

DearlyBeloved,

OUR TIME ONEARTH IS BRIEF

“Our time onearth is brief; the number of our days is already decided by [God]” (Job 14:5CEV).

The death ofReverend Tunde Taiwo (1969-2015), the senior pastor of Zion Baptist Church,Ilorin, Nigeria, is another evidence that anybody can die at any time withoutprior notice. Here was a man who left the seminary where he was doing hispostgraduate study early in the day for a couples' retreat of pastors andinteracted with many pastor-colleagues before going back home late in thenight. He was awake still studying late that night when death struck him. Itwas a surprise to many people that saw him both at the seminary and the retreatearlier that day that somebody they interacted with some hours ago is dead. Hedied with many unfulfilled aspirations: aspirations for his life, aspirationsfor his wife, aspirations for his children, aspirations for his church andchurch members, aspirations for his country, aspirations for many people andthings.

Job, in hisanguish, lamented about the brevity of life. Hear him: “Life is short andsorrowful for every living soul. We are flowers that fade and shadows thatvanish.... Our time on earth is brief; the number of our days is alreadydecided by [God]” (Job 14:1-2, 5 CEV). Gone were the days when a person couldlive nearly for a thousand years like Methuselah (see Genesis 5:27). Hardly dopeople live up to a hundred years nowadays. Moses, in his psalm, was of theopinion that “We can expect seventy years, or maybe eighty, if we are healthy,but even our best years bring trouble and sorrow. Suddenly our time is up, andwe disappear” (Psalm 90:10 CEV). The bitter truth here is that regardless ofour aspirations and status, death can come at any time without warning. Inspite of this, God is not caught unaware about anyone’s death. 

If our lifeon earth is brief and death can come calling without prior notice, are youprepared to die? Someone has posited that we are not ready to live until we areprepared to die. If you die today, what will people say about you? Where willyou find yourself after death? Death is never the end of anyone’s life. Thereis life after death. The writer of the book to the Hebrews succinctly put it:“We die only once, and then we are judged” (Hebrews 9:27 CEV). For thisjudgement, see also Ecclesiastes 11:9; Romans 14:9-12; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 20:11-15. Our time here on earth isindeed brief, but, what kind of judgement will be your lot after death? 

In His service,

BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).

NB

This messageis dedicated to late Reverend Oluwole Olatunde Taiwo (born on September 19,1969, died on February 21, 2015 and buried on February 26, 2015), the seniorpastor of Zion Baptist Church, Ilorin, Nigeria. May the Lord continue to upholdhis wife, children, church and other beloved that survived him.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 23 Feb 2015, 12:12 am

Dearly Beloved,

DOING THE RIGHT THING RIGHTLY

"[David] said to [the priests], ‘You are the heads of theLevitical families; you and your fellow Levites are to consecrate yourselvesand bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel, to the place I haveprepared for it. It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the firsttime that the LORD our God broke out in anger against us. We did not enquire ofhim about how to do it in the prescribed way.’" (1 Chronicles 15:12-13NIV).

How often people do the right thing wrongly. Some do so out ofignorance. Some do so out of zeal. Others do so out of negligence. Eachinstance does not bring good and desired result in most cases. Rather, they allbring adverse effects on the doers and/or people around them. This was whathappened during the reign of David as the king of Israel. He was zealous forthe Lord in appreciation of what the Lord had done to him. So, he wanted tobring the ark of the Lord, the symbol of the presence of God, to his capitalcity. However, he did the right thing wrongly, and it cost the life of Uzzah, alayman that was recruited to guide the sacred object (see 1 Chronicles13:7-10). David later retraced his step: he recruited the priests that had beenset apart for that duty (see 1 Chronicles 15:11-15). The latter action wassuccessful because David did the right thing rightly.

No matter how a cause may be good, it has to be done rightly.This is the fact that most people that especially want to serve or worship Goddo not know. They think they can just serve Him anyhow. Some of them areignorant of the right way to serve Him. Some are too zealous to serve Him theright way, but they are not, even when they know the right way. Others areserving Him out of negligence because of their so-called familiarity with Him.

Have you realized that you can do the right thing wrongly? Thismay have an adverse effect on you and/or people around you. Therefore, what areyou doing presently? Are you doing it rightly? Are you worshipping God rightly?Peter said, "...And there is salvation in and through no one else, for thereis no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved[except the name of Jesus Christ]" (Acts 4: 10-12, AMP). Any act ofworship to God (no matter how good it is) that is not through Jesus Christ willlead to doom.

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Mon 16 Feb 2015, 10:43 am

Dearly Beloved,

DO YOU LOVE ME?

“The third time [JesusChrist] said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurtbecause Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, youknow all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep’” (John21:17 NIV).

As a matter of fact,most of the followers of Jesus Christ were following Him because of what theycould get from Him (see John 6:26). No wonder, when it seemed to them that Histeaching was hard, many of them no longer followed Him (see John 6:60-66). Fromthat incident, it seemed His twelve disciples were different because they stoodby Him (verses 67-69). However, as Jesus Christ predicted, one of the Twelve -Judas Iscariot - betrayed Him (verse 70; 13:21-30; Luke 22:1-6, 47-48) and SimonPeter - the spokesperson of the disciples - denied Him trice (see Luke 22:54-62).This same Peter led some of the disciples to go back to their old professionafter the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (see John 21:1-3). When JesusChrist appeared to them, He asked Peter that important question three times: “Doyou love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus could ask him this question threetimes. Then, Jesus told him what was required of him if he truly loved Him: heshould act in favour of Jesus Christ, NOT in his (Peter’s) favour.

The Valentine’s Day forthis year has just been celebrated. Many people (especially men) asserted thatthey love some ladies. Most of such ladies have been used and dumped after suchassertion. The real meaning of the day (that is, sacrificial love asdemonstrated by some people that were coincidentally named Valentine betweenthird and fourth centuries AD that were killed because of their love-relatedactions) has been defeated. If anybody asserts that he or she loves you, youshould ask him or her again and again, “Do you really love me?” If he or sheanswers in the affirmative, then let him or her prove it by acting in YOURfavour. 

Jesus Christdemonstrated the real love by laying down His life for us. We also ought to dolikewise for our fellow human beings (cf. 1 John 3:16). Why are you followingJesus Christ? Is it not to get something from Him? Are you ready to reallysurrender your whole being to Him and do His biddings? Why do you love thatperson that you claim to love? True love is rooted in what a man or woman cangive, not what he or she can get from the object of his or her love.

Do you really love me? 

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi(Pastor).
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 08 Feb 2015, 9:50 pm

Dearly Beloved,

GIVE GOD THE GLORY!

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

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

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

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

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
http://www.thewordthruthenet.org/
"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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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Tue 03 Feb 2015, 10:02 pm

Dearly Beloved,

I MUST TELL JESUS

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he willnever let the righteous fall†(Psalm 55:22 NIV).

The author of the hymn I MUST TELL JESUS Reverend ElishaAlbright Hoffman (1839-1929) was pastor of a church in Lebanon, Pennsylvania,United States, when he visited a woman who had gone through many sorrows andafflictions. The woman was discouraged because of her predicament. With heavyheart she asked Reverend Hoffman what she would do. Hoffman encouraged her fromthe word of God and concluded that she cannot do better than to take all of hersorrows to Jesus. The woman was for a moment seemed to be lost in meditation,then her eyes lighted as she exclaimed, Yes, I must tell Jesus.†As ReverendHoffman left her home, he was inspired to write the wordings of the hymn.

As the woman exclaimed, Hoffman re-echoed many times in thehymn, I must tell Jesus. You must tell Jesus about all your trials becauseyou cannot bear your burdens alone. Because He ever loves and cares for His ownHe will kindly help you in your distress. You must tell Jesus about all yourtroubles because He is a kind, compassionate Friend. He will surely deliver youif you ask Him, and quickly put an end to your troubles. The world may bealluring you to evil and tempting your heart to sin. You must tell Jesus, andHe will help you to have victory over the world and its temptations.

No matter the situation you are passing through, tell it toJesus. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I willgive you rest†(Matthew 11:28 NIV). "If anyone is thirsty, let him come tome and drink†(John 7:37 NIV). You can see similar calls in Psalm 37:5; Isaiah50:10; 55:1-3; Jeremiah 33:3; Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-13; Philippians 4:6; 1Peter 5:7). 

This great hymn indeed reminds us of the need to rely on ourwonderful Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, in every situation and trial of life.I must tell Jesus!

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 25 Jan 2015, 11:41 pm

Dearly Beloved,

GOD OF IMPOSSIBILITIES?

Now to [God] who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above allthat we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be gloryin the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV).

Some people in one of my BBM networks were surprised to see myBBM display message in that BBM network: "I serve God ofImpossibilities". They thought that it must be a mistake, and they calledmy attention to it. To them, God cannot be God of impossibilities. I tried toexplain that God is both God of possibilities and God of impossibilities. Tobuttress my point, I explained further that God is God of impossibilitiesbecause He specializes in turning impossibilities to possibilities. 

It is easy to accept God as God of possibilities because Henaturally does that every day. However, it is difficult to see Him as God ofimpossibilities because we hardly take note of His actions of turningimpossibilities to possibilities. There were many people in the Bible who alsofound it difficult to see God as God of impossibilities. Abraham and Sarah weretypical examples of such people. In Genesis 17, God promised Abraham that He would bless [Sarah] and also give [Abraham] a son by her... and she shall be amother of nations [and] kings of peoples shall be from her (verse16 NKJV).Abraham did not believe and even suggested a human possible way to accomplishsuch promise. However, the God of impossibilities assured Abraham that He wouldindeed do the impossibility through Sarah. In Genesis 18, God re-echoed thispromise. When Sarah overheard it, she also did not believe. God questionedAbraham for this: Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time Iwill return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son(verse 14 NKJV). At the very time God of impossibilities promised, He fulfilledHis promise and Sarah gave birth to a son at her old age.

You may read Numbers 11:18-23; 2 Kings 7:1-2; Matthew Mark10:23-27; 11:20-25; Luke 1:11-20, 26-38 to see other accounts of many otherpeople that find it difficult to believe the God of impossibilities in theBible. Look specifically at these Bible verses:

And the Lord said to Moses, Has the Lord's arm been shortened?Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not (Numbers 11:23NKJV).

I know that [the LORD] can do everything (Job 42:2 NKJV).

Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earthby Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You (Jeremiah 32:17 NKJV).

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, With men this isimpossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26 NKJV).

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me(Philippians 4:13 NKJV).

There are many real life stories apart from the biblicalaccounts that attest to the fact that God is not only the God ofimpossibilities, He is above every impossibility. In fact, to say that the GodI serve is God of impossibilities is an understatement. He is the God thatrules over every impossibility of life. He willingly turns impossibilities topossibilities every day. He will do the impossible in your life this year inJesus name. Amen. 

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Lord, you specialize in turning impossibilities topossibilities. Do the seemingly impossible in my life in Jesus name. Amen.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 18 Jan 2015, 6:52 pm

Dearly Beloved,

IT IS FOR YOUR GOOD!

"For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you,says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, togive you hope in your final outcome" (Jeremiah 29:11, AMP).

"It is good that one should hope in and wait quietly forthe salvation (the safety and ease) of the Lord" (Lamentations 3:26, AMP).

Since about four weeks ago that my wife decided to nurture thechicks that suddenly became motherless through the mysterious death of theirmother hen, I have continued to learn more lessons of life. One of such lessonsis the way God handles our situation, especially when we do not like such way.

My wife does not allow the motherless chicks to move freelyaround outside our residence when she is not at home to monitor their movement.Therefore, she normally confines them to an enclosure. Whenever this happens,they normally make pathetic noises. The moment they are released, the joy offreedom is seen in them as they move freely around our courtyard to look forwhat they could eat on their own. One day, when my wife was not at home, out ofpity for these chicks, one of our children released them from their enclosure.Alas, one of the chicks fall prey to a hawk. If the other chicks could reason,they would have blamed the person that carelessly released them, andappreciated my wife that always confines them to safety and allows them to moveout freely under her watchful eyes. They would have known that theirconfinement is for their good.

God, at times, relates with us in a similar way! He"confines" us into His will and purpose so that no evil will befallus. He releases us to be free to do what we want when He knows that there is nodanger ahead of us, or when He is ready to watch over us. In such cases of"confinements," we may be groaning and praying that He should releaseus, but He will not if it is not for our good. Any attempt for us to do thingsagainst His will and purpose may have adverse consequences.

Have you been praying that God should do something for you, andHe has not done it? Probably He is keeping you in His will and purpose for yourlife, and He may be waiting for the appropriate time to answer the prayer inHis own way. Do not be dismayed. It is for your good!

In His service,
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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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 11 Jan 2015, 11:59 pm

Dearly Beloved,

WHO KNOWS THE HOUR?

"Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come?"(Ecclesiastes 9:12 NIV).

The death of Reverend Josiah Adegoke Adeleke (1967-2005), mymentor, friend, and brother in Christ, in a ghastly auto accident with anotherfriend, Reverend Chris Tayo Orodiji (1973-2005), on Tuesday January 11, 2005 isstill a mirage to me. In spite of the fact that I was there at the mortuarygiving them final bath and dressing in preparation for their burial, and thefact that I was one of those that lowered their coffins into their graves, Istill find it difficult to believe that those two great men of God who died attheir prime age in active service have gone forever. I will see them only inheaven when I also die or at the marriage feast of the Lamb after the raptureof the saints.

Both of them were very intimate friends who had shared with memany things about our personal, educational, and especially ministerialendeavors. So, all the plans, dreams, and aspirations they had have gone withthem unfulfilled! So, they have abandoned their promising ministerial careersfor the rest of us! So, they will not publish those books they have writtentheir outlines! So, they have left their wives and very young children behindto face the struggles of life alone! So, they have....

Their short lives and sudden death are indeed a challenge to theliving that "Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. Hesprings up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does notendure.... Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his monthsand have set limits he cannot exceed…. But man dies and is laid low; hebreathes his last and is no more. As water disappears from the sea or ariverbed becomes parched and dry, so man lies down and does not rise; till theheavens are no more, men will not awake or be roused from their sleep"(Job 14:1-5, 10-12 NIV).

Their short lives and sudden death are a strong confirmation ofthe words of Solomon, "'Meaningless! Meaningless!' says the Teacher.'Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless,'" and "What does aman get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under thesun?" (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:22 NIV). What really are we living for if deathcan render everything meaningless within seconds without warning? Why are westruggling to become somebody on earth when it is certain that we will leaveeverything one day? This makes the words of Paul in Philippians 1:21 relevanthere: "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain" (NIV). Livingfor Jesus Christ will make our living on earth meaningful and our death a gainfor us. GOKE and TAYO lived for Christ and their death is indeed a gain forthem and Jesus Christ. Who are you living for?

Their short lives and sudden death are now a warning to me thatI have to "discharge all the duties of [my] ministry" (2 Timothy 4:5NIV). Again, the words of Paul to Archippus clearly come to mind: "See toit that you complete the work you have received in the Lord" (Colossians4:17 NIV). I have to be up and doing because I do not know when God will alsocall me home. I do not know what people will say when I am no more. I do notknow whether my Lord will commend me with words like, "Well done, good andfaithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you incharge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew25:21 NIV). I do not know....

Their short lives and sudden death are indeed a challenge and awarning to us to "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of theeternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in thepresence of many witnesses" (1 Timothy 6:12 NIV). If those two great menof God could die at their prime age, then, anyone may be the next to be calledhome.

Let me conclude with these words of Solomon, "Moreover, noman knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birdsare taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedlyupon them" (Ecclesiastes 9:12 NIV).

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

NB
This message was first sent out on January 30, 2005. I amsending it out again in honour of these two late revered ministers of God.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 05 Jan 2015, 12:06 am

Dearly Beloved,

MY YEAR OF DOUBLE HONOUR

“But you shall be named the priests of the Lord, They shall callyou the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, And intheir glory you shall boast.  Instead ofyour shame you shall have double honor, And instead of confusion they shall rejoicein their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double;Everlasting joy shall be theirs†(Isaiah 61:6-7 NKJV).

I do not usually believe in tagging a year with a particulartheme, but I always use particular Bible passages to pray for people every yearand even base my first message for that year on those particular passages.However, some hours into this year 2015, I was led to tag this year “My Year ofDouble Honour†based on the Bible passage (that is, Isaiah 61:6-7) that theLord has laid in my mind some weeks back to use in my annual prayer for therecipients of my daily and weekly messages.

The people of Israel had sinned against God. They had brokentheir covenant with the LORD. The LORD on His part abandoned them and allowedthem to be taken to captivity in Assyria and Babylon. They became servants ofstrangers in their land of captivity. They were forced to serve foreign gods.Jerusalem, their holy city, and the temple of the LORD in it became ruined. Itwas a great disaster for the people of Israel who were once a pride to manynations. However, the LORD would not abandon them forever. The prophecy inIsaiah 61 is about the restoration of the city of Jerusalem (in particular) andthe land and people of Israel (in general) to their original state. The LORDpromised to restore the people. Instead of serving other people and their gods,they will be serving the LORD. In fact, they will become His special priests.They shall enjoy the riches of the strangers that had enslaved them. The LORDpromised to give them double honour in place of their shame. Their possessionsin their land will be in double portions. 

This promise of double honour was resounded also in Isaiah 40:2and Zechariah 9:12: “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that herwarfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from theLord's hand double for all her sins.... Return to the stronghold, you prisonersof hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you†(NKJV). Thepromise is likened to the double portion of the inheritance that the eldest sonin a family would receive from his father's estate (Deuteronomy 21:17). As theeldest son was given special honour, so also Israel, like the Lord's firstborn(see Exodus 4:22), will be honoured. People everywhere will acknowledge thatthe people of Israel are indeed God's special people because of these blessingsand an everlasting covenant (the New Covenant referred to in Jeremiah 32:40;Ezekiel 16:60; 37:26; Hebrews 13:20) that God is giving Israel.

However, this promise of double honour is not automatic. Esau(the first son of Isaac) despised his birthright, and Jacob enjoyed the honour(see Genesis 25:32-34; Hebrews 12:16-17). Reuben, the eldest son of Jacob couldnot enjoy the double honour because of his sin (see Genesis 35:22; 49:4; 1Chronicle 5:1-2). 

Do you know that you also can receive double honour from Godthis year? Make sure that you have received Jesus Christ into your life (seeJohn 1:11-12). Do not sell your birthright, your authority in Christ, to thedevil by indulging in sins and conscious disobedience to the words of God andthe will of God for your life. 

2015, My Year of Double Honour!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Lord, I want to enjoy your double honour thisyear. Help me Lord not to sell my birthright.
"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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