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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 14 Jul 2013, 10:25 pm

Dearly Beloved,
DO YOU NEED TO ASK FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT?
“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our
hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave,
but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir” (Galatians
4:6-7 NIV).
Recently, one of my online contacts asked me whether one can ask
for the Holy Spirit or not. Let me based my devotional message this week on
this question and the answer I gave the contact. The question about asking for
the Holy Spirit is both theological and semantic. It is theological because it
has to do with the third Person in the Godhead, and it is semantic because it
is somehow a wordplay on when and how the Holy Spirit indwells a believer. Let
me say here that when the Holy Spirit indwells a believer has been a
controversial issue between the Pentecostals and the Evangelicals because of
their different ways of interpreting the Bible. Since I am an Evangelical, I
will first give the Evangelical position and later refer to the Pentecostal
position. The Holy Spirit indwells a believer the moment such person believes
in Jesus Christ and invites Him into his/her life as his/her personal Saviour
and Lord (John 1:12-13; 14:16; Romans 8:15-17; Galatians 4:5-7; Ephesians 1:13)
and He is there forever! However, the Holy Spirit may be “dormant” in the life
of any believer that does not allow Him to operate. That is why Paul urged
against such in Ephesians 4:30 and 1 Thessalonians 5:19. So, it is not out of
place to pray that the Holy Spirit should have full control of one’s life after
one has consciously surrendered oneself to Him.
The Pentecostals on the other hands capitalize on some passages
of the Bible like Luke 11:13; Acts 1:8 and other similar passages (especially
in the Old Testament) to say that one has to ask for the indwelling of the Holy
Spirit. Those passages are interpreted by the Evangelicals in line with what is
called “Dispensational Theology.” How and why will I ask for Who (that is, the
Holy Spirit) God has graciously given me if truly I am a believer in Christ? 
Another mixed-up issue that the Pentecostals make has to do with
the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. These are entirely different
from the Person of the Holy Spirit that is already living eternally with the
believer! A believer can pray for the gifts and/or the manifestations of the
Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:31; 14:1).
Either Evangelical or Pentecostal, the big question is: are you
really a child of God? “[Jesus Christ] came to that which was his own, but his
own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in
his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of
natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband' s will, but born of God”
(John 1:11-13 NIV). Have you received Him into your life? You do not need to
ask for (the indwelling of) the Holy Spirit if you have done so, but you can
ask that He fill you with His power.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you make your life conducive for the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit and that you will yield yourself to His
leadership so that He will manifest His power in your life.
 
____________ _________ ____
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)

-------------------------------
A REPLY
As a Pentecostal minister, I felt a need for an important correction. 

Pentecostals agree with Evangelicals that the Holy Spirit indwells a believer the moment the person believes in Jesus Christ and invites Him into his/her life as his/her personal Saviour and Lord. All Christians are indwelt by the Spirit immediately upon salvation. 

What Pentecostals believe is that there is SECOND experience for the Christian with the Holy Spirit AFTER salvation and the indwelling which is being FILLED with the Holy Spirit to overflowing. Other names for this experience is being baptized (Acts 1:5) (immersed, submerged completely, full competely with the Holy Spirit.) 
Another expression for the same thing is "endued with power from on high"-- Luke 24:49 
We believe this is only for those who are already saved and indwelt by the Spirit. The Spirit has taken up residence in the believer but he wants to fill, anoint, clothe, baptize the believer. 

Jesus told the believers that they should receive this power: 

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me .... unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8) 

Notice it doesn't say they will be saved. They already were. It says they will be witnesses. This experience with the Holy Spirit is for power. Power to witness and work for Jesus. 
This promise of Jesus was immediately fulfilled on the day of Pentecost: 

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:1-4 ) 

It continued to be fulfilled in the Church in Acts in the same way each time a new group of people believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and was baptized in water. 

"Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." (Acts 8:14-17) 

"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. (Acts 10:44-46 ) 

"Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. (Acts 19:4-6 )
Thanks Brother, just wanted to let you know we agree with you that all Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit when they receive Christ, and that we can also ask Him to fill us with His power. 

God's richest blessings on you! 
Larry Clay 
Missionary in Europe
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 07 Jul 2013, 9:41 pm

Dearly Beloved,
DO NOT REJECT YOUR GOD!

"Because this people has rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah...,
therefore the Lord is about to bring against them the mighty floodwaters of
the River...” (Isaiah 8:6-7a NIV).

The kingdoms of Israel and Aram were waging war against the kingdom of
Judah (see Isaiah 7:1). The Lord sent Prophet Isaiah to the people of Judah
to give them the opportunity of trusting in Him for victory. However, the
people of Judah under the leadership of King Ahaz acted foolishly. They
rejected their God and trusted in a seemingly powerful king of Assyria (see
2 Kings 16:7). The Lord prophesied through Isaiah that since they have
rejected their God who is like “the gently flowing waters of Shiloah”, the
“mighty flood of Assyria” that they trusted will indeed overflow their
enemies, but it will also sweep on into Judah and overflow it as well
(Isaiah 8:5-8). It would have been better to trust wholly in God. No
wonder, the psalmist said, “Those who rush to other gods bring many
troubles on themselves” (Psalm 16:4 TEV).

It is unfortunate that many people nowadays are like those foolish Jews.
Like in Paul’s words, they “...claimed to be wise, they became fools and
exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal
man and birds and animals and reptiles” (Romans 1:22-23 NIV). Some of them
even claim that there is no God! Interestingly, these foolish people
indirectly worship what is less than God and they are been tormented by
their self-imposed “gods”. They only will not be ready to openly admit this.

In what ways are you also rejecting your God? Do you acknowledge Him in all
your endeavours? Do you think you can succeed without Him? Do not reject
your God. Trust wholly in Him, and you will testify to His goodness over
your life in Jesus’ name. Amen. Jesus promises, "Come to me, all you who
are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and
learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest
for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew
11:28-30 NIV).

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will in no way reject God, but wholly trust in
Him in all your endeavours.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 30 Jun 2013, 9:47 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHO IS YOUR "GOD" ?
"When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down
from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, 'Come, make us gods who
will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we
don't know what has happened to him'" (Exodus 32:1 NIV).
"As for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken
him" (2 Chronicles 13:10 NIV).
The nation of Israel that Moses led out of bondage in Egypt was
stubborn. Their stubbornness against God's plan started to manifest the day
Pharaoh increased their burden for asking for "a three-day journey into
the desert to offer sacrifices the LORD" (see Exodus 5). However, their
statement in Exodus 32:1 indicates that Moses had become their god. When Moses
stayed with the LORD on their behalf and they did not see him, they wanted
another "god" that would continue to lead them in their journey.
Was Moses really the person that led them out of Egypt or he was
just an instrument in the hands of God, the real Deliverer? Was it necessary
for the people of Israel to see Moses before they could proceed in their
journey to the Promise Land? Should they have any visible "god" that
would lead them to their destination?
Many at times we also think and behave like the Israelites. We
worship a particular person or thing. Knowingly or unknowingly, we idolize such
person or thing. Any attempt to lose the person or thing, we would also lose
hope and try to find alternative in another person or thing.
To some people, pastors and other leaders are "gods."
When the pastors or the leaders are in sight, such people would be active in
the church activities and in their spiritual lives. Reverse would be the case
when the pastor or the leader is not.
Who or what is your "god" ? In who or what do you put
your hope? The writer of the book of Hebrews admonishes, "Let us fix our
eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith?" (12:2 NIV). Fixing
your eyes on any other person or thing will land you in the same syndrome as
the people of Israel. Let the LORD God be your God. Trust only in Him. He will
not let you down.
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in
the name of the LORD our God" (Psalm 20:7 NIV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
NB
This message was first sent out on February 29, 2004.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 24 Jun 2013, 2:35 pm

Dearly Beloved,
MAKING FAILURE YOUR FRIEND
“When these troubles came to him, Manasseh begged for help from
the Lord his God. He humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. Manasseh
prayed to God and begged God to help him. The Lord heard his begging and felt
sorry for him, so the Lord let him return to Jerusalem and to his throne. Then
Manasseh knew that the Lord was the true God” (2 Chronicles 33:12-13 ERV).
Undergoing leadership studies of EQUIP® founded by the renowned
author and speaker, Dr. John C. Maxwell has been fascinating to me. One of the
studies which is seemingly awkward is titled “Failing Forward”.  More awkward is one of its lessons sub-titled
“Make Failure Your Best Friend”. How can one make failure one’s best friend?
The writer of the lesson admitted that the idea may seem odd, but he went
further to explain that “...the truth of the matter is that failure is either
your friend or your enemy, and you are the one who chooses which it is. If you
whine and complain every time you fail, then failure will remain your enemy.
But if you learn from your failures, then you actually benefit from them and
that makes failure your friend.” This can be possible if one is ready to make
one’s failure a stepping stone to one’s future successes. 
Three biblical case studies were used to buttress this point.
One, Jacob, the deceiver who became Israel, a prince with God that God used to
raise a nation separated unto Himself (see Genesis 25-32). Two, Manasseh, a
wicked king in Judah who God taught a lesson in the hard way by making him
become a captive in a foreign land. He learnt from his failure and cried unto
God. God restored him back to his throne (see 2 Chronicles 33:10-20). Three,
the prodigal son in Luke 15 who willfully lost himself. He accepted full
responsibility for his wrong choices and came back the lost joy of his family.
All these people learnt from their failures by admitting their wrong doings and
the end of their stories became desirable.
Twice in Psalm 119, the psalmist endeared himself to failure. Hear
him: “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.... It was
good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (Psalms 119:67,
71 NIV). What are your failures or things that are hurting you? Are you trying
to distance yourself from them? Make them your friend and learn from them as
you allow them to be your teacher. They will indeed become your stepping stones
to your breakthrough.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray for the grace to make failure your friend by
learning from it and making it your stepping stone to your success and
breakthrough in life.
 ____________ _________ ____
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 16 Jun 2013, 10:20 am

Dearly Beloved,

WHAT WILL BE YOUR SCORE SHEET?

“[Jotham] did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father
Uzziah had done” (2 Kings 15:34 NIV).

Recently, the theme of the morning devotional thought in my family was
about following good examples of fathers as it was demonstrated by Uzziah
and Jotham. Both of them were kings in Judah. The former was the father of
the latter. In the early years of Uzziah as king, he did what was right in
the eyes of the Lord, and, undoubtedly, he instructed his children in the
ways of the Lord and laid good examples for them until later in his years
when he was successful and became proud towards God. However, his son
followed his good example.

As I led the devotional thought that morning, I laid emphasis on the fact
that fathers should not only instruct their children to do good things,
that they (the fathers) should be ready to show the example of doing good
things to their children. Since the message that day was directly for me,
the father of the house, I was challenged to allow my children to frankly
tell me the good and bad examples they see in me. It was like giving them
score sheets to evaluate me. Each of the children told me what they
consider as good and bad in my behaviours. I decided not to defend myself
that day for the good and seemingly bad behaviours they pointed out.

As a father or a leader, can you allow your children or subordinates to
openly evaluate you? What will be your score sheet if your children or
subordinates have such opportunity? Fathers have great responsibilities in
showing their children good examples. That is the best legacy they can give
their children. Will your children score you high on this? What will be
your score sheet?

Happy Father’s Day!

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray for fathers that we will lay good examples for our
children to follow.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Jun 2013, 10:50 pm

Dearly Beloved,
HONOR GOD WITH YOUR BODY
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit,
who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were
bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20
NIV).
In 1987, World Health
Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) to be observed every
year on May 31 around the world intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence
from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. Furthermore, the day is
intended to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use
and to negative health effects, which currently lead to 5.4 million deaths
worldwide annually. Since 1988, the day has been observed every year with
different themes. The theme for this year was “Ban tobacco advertising,
promotion and sponsorship”.
Recently, I watched a documentary on a national network
television programme on adverse effects of smoking cigarette in particular and
using tobacco in general to human beings. These effects were analyzed in the
documentary, then some people, especially those that have the smoking habit,
were interviewed. One of the people admitted that smoking is not good, and that
he has been trying to stop the habit, but he cannot stop it because he has been
addicted to it. Another person was indifferent to the adverse effects. To him,
something will eventually kill one, so what is the big deal in warning people against
smoking cigarette or using tobacco?
It is interesting that some people even argue that smoking
cigarette or using tobacco is not condemned in the Bible, so, it is never a sin
to smoke cigarette or use tobacco! Well, it is a fact that the Bible does not
expressly condemn smoking cigarette or using tobacco, but it teaches how to
take care of our body which belongs to God. If smoking cigarette and using
tobacco are dangerous to one’s body, why knowing destroying that body that
really belongs to God? If one does not like oneself or cares about what happens
to one’s body, why not honor God who really owns the body?
Honor God with your body!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray for all that have been addicted to smoking
cigarette or using tobacco that they will conscious make efforts to forsake the
habit.

____________ _________ ____
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 02 Jun 2013, 5:28 pm

Dearly Beloved,
"WHERE DID IT FALL?"
“The man of God asked, ‘Where did it fall?’ When he showed him
the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float” (2
Kings 6:6 NIV).
“The company of the prophets” (or theological students of
Elisha) faced a problem of lack of space for their training, so they tried to
find a way of solving the problem. They suggested that they should relocate to
Jordan where they would have a lot of space. They thought they could solve the
problem on their own. We should not be surprised when Elisha gave them up to
their arrogance. However, one of the students realized their folly and humbly
invited their master to follow them. Surprisingly, Elisha agreed to follow
them.
The students with their master went near River Jordan to prepare
another place for themselves. As they were working, the axe head of one of the
students fell into the river. He could use the opportunity to rest or pretend
as if nothing had happened, but he cried out for help instantly.
Elisha asked the most important question from the embattled
student, “Where did it fall?” He did not ask him how it fell or the cause of
the problem. He asked him about the exact place where the axe head was. God is
not interested in the trivial detail of your problem. His interest is in the
problem and how it will be solved.
The blind Bartimaeus was crying for help to Jesus, but Jesus
seemed to be telling him, “Man, be specific. Do not bother me with the detail
of your problem. What exactly do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51). As
if he also got the message, he declared, “Rabbi, I want to see.” When you are
in any problem, instead of grumbling, specifically make your request known unto
God, and a miracle is waiting at your doorstep. Hannah was childless, she went
to God and specifically told Him about her predicament, and she was blessed
with Samuel (1 Samuel 1:9-20). Jabez cried out to God for a particular problem
in his life, and He bailed him out of the big mess (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).
The Bible says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in
everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to
God” (Philippians 4:6), and “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for
you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Do you involve God in your day-to-day activities, or you are
thinking that you can do without Him? Are you using your problems as an excuse
not to serve God? Who do you turn to when you are in trouble? Only God can help
you. Call upon Him; He is ready to help you. However, you have to be SPECIFIC.
Tell Him exactly what you want, and He will surprise you.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
NB
This message was first sent out on September 15, 2003.
I recently replaced the BlackBerry device that I used to
minister through BlackBerry Messenger. Please add this BB PIN:29275BB9 to your
BBM contact list to be able to receive my daily messages (if you have not done
so). God bless you!
____________ _________ ____
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 26 May 2013, 9:54 pm

Dearly Beloved,
ARE YOU MINDFUL OF DEATH?

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in
me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me
will never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11:25-26 NIV).

Honestly, I am not afraid of death. My favourite Bible verse has always
been Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”
(NIV). However, as I was reading John 11:25-26 some weeks ago, I was struck
with the phrase, “even though he dies…” as if I never heard or read it
before. “Even though he dies….” It was as if the phrase meant that I would
die that day. I paused reading the Bible and started thinking of death.
Death is inevitable. People are dying every minute. I have witnessed and
even officiated in the burial services of many people. In fact, I once
buried a very young niece-in-law who lived with my family. Death is not
strange to me. But, it dawned on me that day that I had not prepared for
death.

Humanly speaking, no one would want to die. We want to have a long life,
and if possible, live forever on earth. Nevertheless, each of us will die
one day. No one knows when it will be his/her turn. This turn is not by age
or any other factor. So, anyone can die at any time. Are you mindful of
this?

While being mindful of death, a believer in Jesus Christ does not need to
be afraid of death. He will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives
and believes in Jesus Christ will never die eternally. It means that
physical death is not the end of a person. This was what Jesus Christ was
asking Martha whether she believed or not. Thank God, Martha answered in
the affirmative. Do you also believe this?

Are you mindful of death? You do not need to be afraid of this. If you die
in Jesus Christ, you will live with Him forever. If you die without Him,
you will die eternally. The choice is yours.

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 19 May 2013, 9:54 pm

Dearly Beloved,
REPENTED, BUT…
"In [Manasseh' s] distress he sought the favor of the LORD
his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he
prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so
he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that
the LORD is God" (2 Chronicles 33:12-13 NIV).
"I will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the
earth because of what Manasseh son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in
Jerusalem" (Jeremiah 15:4 NIV).
Our God is compassionate and forgiving (Daniel 9:9). Yet one has
to be very careful in relating with Him especially in keeping His commandments.
The reason is that if one sins against Him and later on repents, one would
still face the consequence of one's sins (Proverbs 11:21; 16:5).
The story of Manasseh attests to this. Manasseh was one of the
worst kings in Israel. He was the direct opposite of his godly father,
Hezekiah. He did many detestable things to provoke the Lord. Tradition has it
that he was the one that killed prophet Isaiah. After God had warned him and
his people, and they did not heed to God's warning, God made him a prisoner in
the court of another powerful king. However, in his distress, he repented and
asked for God's forgiveness. The compassionate and forgiving God heard his
prayers and restored him back to his kingdom. He later spent his life doing
good things (see 2 Chronicles 33). Nevertheless, his people faced the
consequence of his atrocities (see Jeremiah 15). The Lord promised to make them
suffer because of what he did.
One should not view this as injustice on the part of God. The
people also had their own share of the blame, but that is not the emphasis
here. The emphasis is a particular repented and forgiven person was made as a
reference point for the impending judgment. This indicates that though God
forgave Manasseh, the punishment of his sins were still there.
The punishment of Manasseh' s sins might not be directly on him,
but the cases of David and Paul were different. David committed the sins of
adultery and murder. When confronted by prophet Nathan, he repented and said
the prayer found in Psalm 51. Undoubtedly, his sins were forgiven, but he paid
dearly for them (2 Samuel 12:13-14; 13-21). Paul (formerly Saul) persecuted the
disciples of Jesus Christ. When he had an encounter with God, God promised,
"I will show him how much he must suffer for my name" (Acts 9:16
NIV). He did suffer.
What are you doing now? Is it good or bad? You may be thinking
of later repentance. However, hear the words of Solomon: "Now all has been
heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his
commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed
into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil"
(Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NIV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
NB
This message was first sent out on November 14, 2004.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 12 May 2013, 7:58 pm

Dearly Beloved,
MOTHERS DESERVE MORE HONOUR!
“A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman — who is he who can
find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above
rubies or pearls” (Proverbs 31:10 AMP).
Mother’s Day is a celebration honouring mothers and motherhood,
maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in the society. It is celebrated
on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in March (in most
European countries and especially by the Roman Catholics and some Protestant
denominations) or May (in the United States of America and among many Evangelical denominations) .
Because these various countries and denominations have influences on the
African Christians, the Day is celebrated at least twice in many African
countries around the months of March and May.
A friend on Facebook joking posted on his Facebook wall last
year that the honour for mothers is too much and asked why two days should be
dedicated for them in a year. To him, if care is not taken, women will ask for
more days of celebration in their honour. The post might be a joke, but I
replied him that mothers indeed deserve more days of honour in a year. spiritualdigest@ email.com

My mother was superb when it comes to taking care of her
husband, children, grandchildren, relatives, and even other people that she had
contact with. I can never forget her. My wife is more than excellent when it
comes to exhibiting virtues of motherhood. She demonstrates this even to the
livestock that we rear at home. As young as my daughter is (just above ten
years of age), she has been showing the enviable traits of motherhood! Almost
all my sisters, female cousins, nieces, and female intimate friends have these
virtues in considerable degrees. I thank God for their lives! Indeed, mothers
deserve more honour. It is not too much if every day is dedicated to
celebrating them.
However, not every mother deserves this honour, because there
are some worthless women that care less about their children. They do not have
the virtues enumerated in Proverbs 31:10-31. Their husbands and children cannot
praise them because of who they are and what they have done (and is still
doing). Are you such a mother?
Virtuous mothers deserve more honour. Happy Mother’s Day!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Points:
1. Thank God for all virtuous mothers throughout the world.
2. Pray that the Lord will honor them for all their sacrifices
to their husbands, children and others.
3. If you are a lady, pray that the Lord will make you a
virtuous woman indeed.
NB
I dedicate this message to all virtuous mothers, especially my
late mother, Hannah Abiola Afolaranmi, who slept in the Lord on October 28,
2012. You all deserve more honour!
____________ _________ ____
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 05 May 2013, 9:24 pm

Dearly Beloved,
ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN VOICE
"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ"
(1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV).
"Join with others in following my example, brothers, and
take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you"
(Philippians 3:17 NIV).
My one-year-old daughter has adopted his older brother' s way of
greeting. Instead of kneeling down (as the custom of girls and young women
among the Yorubas), she likes to prostrate (as boys and young men do). She
likes to imitate his brother rather than taking to our (her parents' )
instruction about mode of greeting.
Her action has a spiritual and moral meaning. Young people tend
to imitate what they see more than what they hear. Young ones often look up to
people older than them for direction. To imitate what people do than listen to
their instructions is no doubt natural.
The history of the Israelites points to this. In spite of the fact
that Israelites had the written Law through Moses and many priests and prophets
they loved to do what the ungodly leaders did. However, when godly leaders
reigned, they were focused. Why? Leaders influence followers.
People seldom read the Bible. We Christians, especially
Christian leaders are their "books. " They read us. They have a
tendency of imitating what we do than what we say at times.
You are a leader! Some people are looking up to you as their
role model. Are your actions matching your message? Example is better than
precepts. What will people imitate from you? Can you say like Paul,
"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ" (1 Corinthians
11:1 NIV)?
Whatever our verbal instructions to other people, our action
(character) speaks louder than our voice. Ask God to enable you live a life
that will be a portrait of your message.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Help me, O Lord, that my action will not mislead
other people.
NB
This message was first sent out on June 20, 2004.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 29 Apr 2013, 10:25 pm

Dearly Beloved,
"IS IT TOO LATE?"
"The children born during your bereavement will yet say in
your hearing, 'This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in.'
Then you will say in your heart, 'Who bore me these? I was bereaved and barren;
I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but
these--where have they come from?'" (Isaiah 49:20-21 NIV).
I was with my father in his farmhouse some years ago when he was
telling me his life story. It was the early part of his marriage with my
mother. They had lost their first three sons in succession. All his
contemporaries were successfully having children. It seemed that there was no
hope of having another child. As he was in that same farmhouse one afternoon pondering
about his dilemma, he heard a voice saying: "IS IT TOO LATE?" He did
not know the source of the voice, but he believed that it came from God, and
that it was actually not too late for him and his young wife to have children
that would live.
That was about forty years ago. The Lord has now blessed my
parents with five sons, three daughters and eight other grandchildren - all
alive to God's glory! It was indeed not too late for my father to be a
biological father and even now a grandfather. The bereaved family of two is now
about twenty. My parents still wonder till today that they could have such
number of living children.
I remembered this situation as I was reading the above Bible
passage recently. Hannah was in a similar situation. The Bible introduced her
as a sad childless woman (1 Samuel 1:2-7). However, God changed her story. She
later had three sons and two daughters after giving birth to that great man of
God, Samuel (1 Samuel 2:21).
What is your situation? Do you also have a similar situation? It
may not be childlessness. It may be any other seemingly hopeless situation. Let
me reaffirm it that IT IS NOT TOO LATE! The Lord is not done with you yet. He
will arise in His appointed time and manifest His power in your life. Remember
the words the Psalmist, "When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion,
we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues
with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, 'The LORD has done great
things for them.' The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with
joy" (Psalm 126:1-3 NIV. Read also Jeremiah 31:16-17).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
Prayer Point: Lord, arise in Your appointed time and manifest
Your power in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.
NB
This message was first sent out on October 31, 2004.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 21 Apr 2013, 7:29 pm

Dearly Beloved,
EVERYTHING?
"So they
pulled their boats up on shore, left EVERYTHING and followed him" (Luke
5:11, NIV).
"But all
those things that I might count as profit I now reckon as loss for Christ's
sake. Not only those things; I reckon EVERYTHING as complete loss for the sake
of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For
his sake I have thrown EVERYTHING away; I consider it all as mere garbage, so
that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:7-8 GNB).
In spite of all
their struggles, Simon Peter and his colleagues could not catch a single fish.
But the words of Jesus Christ saved the day, "they caught such a large
number of …" (Luke 5:6 NIV). This event changed their life goals. They
left everything to become disciples of Jesus Christ! Also, Abraham left what he
had to do the will of God (Genesis 22). In his old age, he was ready to give up
his only son to God. In fact, the Bible says he did sacrifice the son (Hebrews
11:17). Undoubtedly, Isaac, the son, was everything to him and his wife. Paul
was an accomplished scholar, yet he considered it invaluable so that he might
experience Christ! All of them prized their faith above the temporal benefits.
Can one say that
all of them were sensible? How could they abandon what they had toiled for -
achievements, status, prestige and the like? Would they gain anything from such
actions? In fact, once, Peter asked the same question: "What is our
benefit?" (see Mark 10:28). Jesus Christ's answer was captivating: "I
tell you the truth… no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother
or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a
hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers,
children and fields-and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come,
eternal life" (Mark 10:29-30 NIV).
Faith is not a
gamble. It is giving of what you cannot keep into the hands of Him who keeps
and multiplies all things for your own benefits, no matter how painful and
unreasonable.
What is your
"everything&qu ot; that God asks you to leave for Him today? Probably God
has just given you what He asks for. Are you ready to leave it? Think of the
outcome of Abraham' s faith. Every decision taken due to God's word is a road to
life. You will get "everything&qu ot; back if you leave them for God (see
Hebrew 11:19). Everything!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi
(Pastor).
NB
This message was
first sent out on November 9, 2003.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 14 Apr 2013, 8:45 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).

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be committed to faithfully following and
serving Jesus for the rest of your life.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 08 Apr 2013, 5:28 pm

Dearly Beloved,
DO YOU RECOGNIZE HIM?

“‘Woman," [Jesus] said, ‘why are you crying? Who is it you are looking
for?’ Thinking he was the gardener, [Mary Magdalene] said, "Sir, if you
have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him’”
(John 20:15 NIV).

This year Easter season has come and gone, but many lessons are to be
learnt from the events that surrounded the season. One of the lessons has
to do with Mary Magdalene. Here was a woman that once possessed seven
demons before Jesus cast them out of her (see Luke 8:2). Here was a woman
that devotedly followed and supported Jesus in His earthly ministry (see
Luke 8:3). Here was a woman that identified with Jesus in His suffering and
death on the cross (see Matthew 27:55; Mark 15:40). Here was a woman who
with other women monitored the burial of Jesus while His disciples were
nowhere to be found (Mark 15:47). Here was a woman who with other women
arose early on the first day of the week to go and anoint the corpse of
Jesus (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1) and even stayed behind to weep profusely
for the seemingly “lost” corpse (John 20:11). What a devoted woman!

Nonetheless, the sorrow that overwhelmed Mary Magdalene did not let her
recognize Jesus Christ when He appeared to her. She thought that He was a
gardener! She could recognize Jesus only when Jesus called her by name.
Interestingly, some of the disciples that went to fish after the
resurrection also did not recognize Jesus until He performed a miracle (see
John 21:1-7).

On many occasions, we allow our circumstances to blind us from recognizing
the fact that God is with us even in those circumstances. The psalmist
said, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
fear no evil, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME; your rod and your staff, they comfort
me” (23:4 NIV emphasis mine). The psalmist recognized God even in his
circumstance, and he put his trust in Him.

What are you passing through at the moment? Are you so overwhelmed with the
situation that you do not recognize God in it? It may seem as if He is not
there, but God is indeed nearby to help you out of the situation because
He “...is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm
46:1 NIV).

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Help me Lord that my circumstance will not blind my eyes to
recognize you in the circumstance.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 31 Mar 2013, 11:13 pm

Dearly Beloved,
JESUS CHRIST IS ALIVE!
"I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for
ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades" (Revelation 1:18
NIV).
I once saw a sticker on a vehicle that reads thus: "If your
God is crucified, try Allah." I laughed to yourself and pitied the
originator of such idea. Apparently it refers to the crucifixion of Jesus
Christ, but the originator of the idea and those that are promoting it do not
know that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was not the end of His story. In fact
it was the beginning of His triumph over death and Satan. Paul put it this way:
"None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would
not have crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Corinthians 2:8 NIV).
It is a historical fact that Jesus Christ was crucified outside
the city of Jerusalem. He died on the cross according the Scriptures. He was
buried in a tomb. But praise the Lord, He was raised on the third day! He
appeared to many of His disciples and others for forty days before He ascended
to heaven (see Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20, 21 and Acts 1). He told
John: "I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and
ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades" (Revelation 1:18 NIV). He is
now at the right hand of God interceding for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 1
John 2:1).
Jesus Christ is alive! He was the only religious leader that
died and was raised again. This is a great assurance that Christians are not
serving a dead God. It is a great hope that when Christians die, they also will
be raised with Him at the end of the age. Jesus said, "I am the
resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he
dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (John 11:25-26
NIV). Do you have these assurance and hope? If you are not sure of your eternal
life, try the eternal living Jesus.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
NB
This message was first sent out on March 23, 2008. There is a
message written by me that proves the logic of the doctrine of resurrection of
Jesus Christ. It is titled "IF JESUS CHRIST HAS NOT BEEN RAISED...."
You may request for it by writing me at .
Happy Easter!

____________ _________ ____
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Mar 2013, 10:13 pm

Dearly Beloved,
ARE YOU GROWING SPIRITUALLY? (Part 3)

“…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2
Peter 3:18 NIV).

Spiritual growth entails knowing the Lord Jesus Christ progressively
better. This process starts after accepting Jesus Christ as your Saviour
and Lord. Spiritual growth is therefore expected from every believer
because no believer reaches a point of no growth while living in this
world.

There are many things that a believer can do to enhance his or her
spiritual growth. Some of these things are: one, being born again: be sure
of being a new creation through accepting the Lord Jesus Christ. To
identify with spiritual growth you must first be born again because it is
not possible for a non-believer to grow spiritually. The moment you accept
Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you become a new creation and gain
entry into spiritual person (2 Corinthians 5:17). Two, abstaining from all
sins: it is not possible to grow spiritually if you still engage in some
ungodly practices (Romans 6:1-2). Three, communicating with Jesus Christ
through prayer: a believer should have a special prayer time (1
Thessalonians 5:17). Four, reading the Holy Bible at all times: the more
you read your Holy Bible, the more you change. The Holy Bible is a mirror
on which your life should reflect. Let the Holy Bible talk to you. Five,
telling others about Jesus Christ: spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ
helps you grow. Six, fellowshipping with other believers: belong to and be
active in a local church (Hebrews 10:25). This makes you have a spiritual
home and the pastor your spiritual leader. These are what spiritual growth
is all about.

Spiritual growth is critical. It is a way of: pursuing righteousness (1
Timothy 6:11); being transformed (Romans 12:2); perfecting holiness (2
Corinthians 7:1); pressing toward the goal (Philippians 3:14); or being
built up in the faith (Colossians 2:7). The goal is the same for every
Christian: to be transformed into the Lord’s image (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Spiritual growth is not an option for any serious Christian. Are you
growing spiritually? In what area are you lacking in your spiritual growth?
There is nothing you can do to substitute your spiritual growth. It is a
necessity.

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Lord, help me to be growing spiritually in all ramifications.

NB
If you missed any part of this message or you want the whole message sent
to you, send a request to me by email at spiritualdigest@ yahoo.com.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 17 Mar 2013, 9:22 pm

Dearly Beloved,
ARE YOU GROWING SPIRITUALLY? (Part 2)

“…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2
Peter 3:18 NIV).

It is a pity that the contemporary Christianity is no longer emphasizing
spiritual growth. Our emphases have been shifted from spirituality to
religiosity and materialism. Many Christians no longer want to grow in God;
they rather want to work for God and expect God in turn to bless them
materially. No wonder, many so-called Christians cannot relate with God
directly without their so-called spiritual leaders.

Spiritual growth has been misunderstood to be some things that it is not.
This has misled some people to think they are growing spiritually. Some of
these things are: One, our position in Christ: we are positionally children
of God (John 1:12-13; Romans 8:16). He sees us as already perfect in His
Son (Colossians 2:10). We are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). Two,
God’s favour: God does not like us better because we are more spiritual
than before. God’s love for us is not conditional upon our behaviour. The
Bible says, while we were still helpless, ungodly, sinners, and enemies,
God showed His great love for us by sending His Son to die for our sins
(see Romans 5:6-10). God cannot love us more just because we grow. Three,
time: maturity in the spiritual realm is not measured by the calendar. It
is possible for a person to be a Christian for half a century and yet
remain a spiritual infant. Four, knowledge: facts, data, information, and
intelligence cannot be equated with spiritual maturity. Unless your
knowledge results in conforming you to Christ, it is useless. Truth that
fails to change your life and behavior may in fact be hurtful, hardening
you instead of bringing you to maturity. Five, activity: some people make
the mistake of assuming that the most mature Christians are always the
busiest ones. However, busyness does not necessarily bring maturity, nor
can it be substituted for maturity. Excessive activity may, in fact, even
hinder what is really vital and important in the Christian life. Busyness
cannot earn salvation, let alone bring about spiritual maturity (see
Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 10:38-42). Six, prosperity: some people so dedicate
themselves to the pursuit of prosperity that they neglect everything else.
God might have allowed you to prosper, but that is no mark of spiritual
growth. Being poor is neither a sign of spirituality as well! Seven,
sinless perfection: some people think that someone who is growing
spiritually will not sin. This is based on misinterpretation of some Bible
passages especially 1 John 3:9.

Have you been equating your spiritual growth with any of the highlighted
things above? That is not it! What spiritual growth entails will be
discussed in the last part next week.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Lord, help me not to equate my spiritual growth with anything
no matter how good the thing may be.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 10 Mar 2013, 11:44 pm

Dearly Beloved,
ARE YOU GROWING SPIRITUALLY?
“…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 NIV).
Growth is very essential to any living being or organization.
Nobody would want to remain stagnant where he/she was last year. Also, no one
would want his/her child to refuse to grow. We all want to grow physically,
mentally, emotionally, financially, materially and in other ramifications. This
should be applicable also to our spiritual life. However, only believers grow
spiritually. Just like any other growth or development, spiritual growth is not
attained instantaneously. It is not dramatic experiences, climactic turning
points, or instant solutions to spiritual problems that many people are looking
for today. God’s design is that we be seasoned to maturity through a continual
process of growth. This made Peter to tell his readers in 2 Peter 3:18 to grow
spiritually.
Peter admonished believers to grow, not any other person. This
is rather a command, not an advice, so you have to desire and determine to grow
spiritually. The determination to grow must be consistent without any
distraction (compare Hebrews 12:2). If you are to be prepared for spiritual
growth, your focus must be right. The focus must not be on what you must do,
but on who you must be!
Peter instructed us to grow spiritually in two things: grace and
knowledge. Grace is important because it is the foundation of the spiritual
life (compare Ephesians 2:8). The spiritual life is impossible without grace.
You cannot know God apart from grace. You cannot grow apart from grace. You
cannot deal with failure apart from grace. Moses knew this, and he asked for it
(see Exodus 33:13). Grace also sustains you when you fail or when things are
not going the way you want (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). To grow in one’s
knowledge of Jesus Christ is not factual knowledge, but the experiential
knowledge of Jesus Christ (see Philippians 3:10). The order of these items is
important. Grace must precede knowledge. Therefore, keep things in order. Grace
comes before knowledge. Without Jesus there is no understanding of grace. You
cannot have knowledge without Jesus. Jesus is the embodiment of grace and
spiritual truth.
The last thing to note in this verse is the purpose of the
growth: God’s glory. Everything we do or whoever we are must be to God’s glory
(John 2:11; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 5:10-11; Jude 25; Revelation 1:6;
5:9-14).
The second part of this message next week will briefly discuss
what spiritual growth is not.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Help me Lord to be growing in Your grace and
knowledge.
____________ _________ ____
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
http://www.thewordthruthenet.org/
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 03 Mar 2013, 6:19 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHOSE DISCIPLE ARE YOU?

“Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from
beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary,
because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the
disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of
God's throne” (Hebrews 12:2 TEV).

Being somebody who wants to minister to as many people as possible through
the Internet, I joined as many Internet groups, forums, blogs, pages, and
the likes, and I allow people to add me to their groups, forums, blogs, and
pages. Some of these people even made me an administrator/ moderator or
co-owner of their groups, forums, blogs, or pages. The fact that I am an
administrator/ moderator or co-owner of any Internet group, forum, blog, or
page does not mean that I agree totally with the activities in, or the
contents of the Internet group, forum, blog, or page. However, I was
embarrassed when I discovered recently that I was made an administrator
(and by implication a co-owner) of a Facebook page titled “Disciples of
[founder of a denomination] .” I could not bear the misrepresentation that
the page gave me: that I am a disciple of a man. Never! I am a disciple of
only my Lord Jesus Christ. I follow no man no matter how great or good the
man was/is!

Because of their love and admiration for a religious leader, it is a pity
that many Christians have turned such leader to a small god. They extremely
revere such leader. They behave like the leader. They speak like the
leader. At times, they value the leader’s words more than God’s words. They
even use the leader’s name to pray to God! While some religious leaders
want their followers to do such for them, some are ignorant of the
activities of their followers, while some who are aware of such try to
dissuade their followers from doing so.

It is good to revere spiritual leaders. The Bible encourages it. However,
there should be a limit to the reverence one would give them. The moment
the reverence for them is being place side by side with, or replacing one’s
reverence for God, one should be very careful. Apostle Paul advised against
this: “...each one of you says something different. One says, ‘I follow
Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Peter’; and another,
‘I follow Christ.’ Christ has been divided into groups! Was it Paul who
died on the cross for you? Were you baptized as Paul's disciples?” (1
Corinthians 1:12-13 TEV). Rather, the writer to the Hebrews advised, “Let
us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning
to end... ” (Hebrews 12:2 TEV).

I am not, and will never be, a disciple of any man. I am a disciple of the
Lord Jesus Christ. Whose disciple are you?

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)

Prayer Point: Lord, help me not to follow any man no matter how good or
great he/she may be, but help me to always fix my eyes on You. Amen.
___________ _________ ____
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Feb 2013, 6:47 pm

Dearly Beloved,
THERE IS NO OTHER INTERMEDIARY!
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No
one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6 NIV).
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the
man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5 NIV).
The supremacy of Jesus Christ (as explained briefly two weeks
ago) cannot be over-emphasized. This was the thrust of the book to the Hebrews.
However, it amuses me to see some people trying to place other prophets,
priests, and even religious leaders side by side with Jesus or even above Him
when these people are relating with God. To some of these people, they are
honouring Jesus Christ by going to God through other means. To others, they are
following the Old Testament examples of relating with God through prophets,
priests and angels. Others are just ignorant of their position in God or are
too lazy to relate with God directly, so, they depend on their religious
leaders to relate with God for them. However, the truth of the matter is that
there is no other mediator or intermediary between God and man except Jesus
Christ, and He has encouraged us to come boldly and directly to Him.
The scope of this message cannot accommodate all the
explanations and Bible verses about this matter. Nevertheless, let me use this
illustration to buttress the matter: my son will boldly and directly come to me
for anything he needs, and I do not need any intermediary to relate with him.
If he cannot come boldly and directly to me, then something is wrong somewhere.
If God is your heavenly Father, and you are genuinely His son or daughter, you
should be able to relate with Him directly without any other intermediary apart
from Jesus Christ.
Let me briefly quote some verses from the book to the Hebrews:
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets
at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us
by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the
universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2 NIV).
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone
through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we
profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our
weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —
yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”
(Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV).
“But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as
the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is
founded on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6 NIV).
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our
faith...” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV).
You may ask about the roles of religious leaders. They are not
intermediaries between God and people like the Old Testament priests and
prophets. Their roles are now advisory. They are like a shepherd to the flock
(see 1 Peter 5:1-4). They are to lead and disciple others who will be able to
lead and disciple other people (see Ephesians 4:11-13; 2 Timothy 2:2).
Are you still relating with God through any other intermediary
apart from Jesus Christ? Or, are you making people to depend on you or any
other means to relate with God? That is an aberration. There is no other
intermediary between man and God except Jesus Christ! Relate with Him directly
and you will really enjoy your relationship with Him.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: God, help me to relate with You directly and
boldly without any other intermediary apart from the Lord Jesus Christ so as to
enjoy You wholly, and do not let me mislead other people to have any other
intermediary between them and You apart from the Lord Jesus Christ.

____________ _________ ____
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 17 Feb 2013, 11:44 pm

Dearly Beloved,
As this year’s Valentine’s Day come and gone, let me resend a
message originally sent on October 16, 2010 to remind us of true love:
LET BROTHERLY LOVE CONTINUE
“Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain
strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember
the prisoners as if chained with them - those who are mistreated - since you
yourselves are in the body also” (Hebrews 13:1-3 NKJV).
The book of Hebrews was mainly about the superiority of Jesus
Christ over the Old Testament prophets and religious systems (as briefly
explained last week). In concluding his message, the writer of the book
admonished his audience to let brotherly love continue. The Greek word
(filadelfia) translated “brotherly love” in most English translations of the
Bible can mean mutual love of brothers (and sisters) or “love for one's fellow
believer, affection for a fellow believer.” It is in contrast with another
Greek word (agapee) also translated “love” which is the unconditional and
unparallel love that God has for the mankind. The implication of the admonition
was that brotherly love already existed among the Hebrews that the book was
addressed to. So, it must continue and the continuation should have no end. The
writer of the book went ahead to give two explanations on how to demonstrate
brotherly love (Hebrews 13:2-3). One, by entertaining strangers: he inferred to
Abraham who unknowingly entertained angels (see Genesis 19). Two, by caring for
the less privileged: Jesus Christ alluded to this in one of His parables (see
Matthew 25:34-46). There are other ways of making brotherly love continue among
us.
It is evident from these two ways of demonstrating brotherly
love that the “brother” that one is to love may not necessarily be a sibling or
a fellow believer (as a commentator put it) or somebody of common interest, but
anyone that one can help at a given time. The Samaritan in the popular parable
of the Good Samaritan has been a classic example of demonstration of brotherly
love (see Luke 10:25-37).
Many people would say that they love God, and they are ready to
do anything for Him. However, do they love their fellow “brother”? Such people
are hypocrites! Apostle John said, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his
brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has
seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20 NIV).
A very important reason why one should let brotherly love
continue is that one may on one occasion or the other be at the receiving end
of such love. The “strange” stranger who leads the love or care may be YOU!
Do you have brotherly love? Be ready to demonstrate it to anyone
that comes your way. Let brotherly love continue!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that God will help you to continue to
demonstrate genuine brotherly love to anyone that comes your way.

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

Post  Admin on Sun 10 Feb 2013, 6:55 pm

Dearly Beloved,
THE SUPREMACY OF JESUS CHRIST
“[Jesus Christ] is the radiance of God's glory and the exact
representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After
he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the
Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he
has inherited is superior to theirs� (Hebrews 1:3-4 NIV).
Some churches and many other uninformed Christians believe in
praying to the angels. It is a common thing seeing them praying to Angel
Michael, Angel Gabriel, Angel Raphael, and other heavenly hosts. It is also a
common practice among these churches to burn incenses and candles to invoke the
spirits of these angels. At times, they even go to the extent of making
sacrifices to the angels. In the theology of some of these churches, Angel
Michael is regarded as the third person of the Godhead! This belief in angel as
mediators is a carry-over of African belief in the fact that God, the Supreme
Being, cannot be approached directly, so one has to go through deities who in
turn take human pleas to God. Interestingly, some Jews also had a similar
belief in angels that made the writer to the Hebrews to address the issue when
he was addressing the issue of supremacy of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ represents the exact Being of God. As the Heir of
all things, He sustains all things by His power. He provided purification for
sins of mankind by His death on the cross. Having done this, He sits at the
right hand of the Majesty in heaven interceding for us. Although, in the past,
God dealt with His people through the prophets (and sometimes angels), now, He
is dealing with the world through Jesus Christ because of the supremacy of
Jesus over any other prophet and angel. A Bible scholar highlighted the
supremacy of Jesus to other prophets who declares God's Word this way: while
Jesus Christ is God the Son, the prophets were mere men called by God; Jesus
Christ is one and only Son of God, there were many prophets of God; and Jesus
Christ brought the final and complete message of salvation, the prophets only
brought fragment and incomplete messages.
Jesus Christ is not only superior to the prophets. He is also
superior to the angels. This is so because of His “inheritance� as a result of
His being the Son of God. No angel could be heir to God’s sovereignty,
authority, and power because no angel was a son. Jesus’ superiority also has to
do with His redemptive work as the Saviour of the world. No angel has done the
work of a Saviour. So, angels (and all other prophets) are not to be worshipped
and should not be objects of our prayers.
How do you see Jesus Christ in the light of other prophets and
angels? Do you see Him as Someone that is superior to other prophets and
angels, or you see Him as just one of the prophets? Acknowledge the supremacy
of Jesus Christ over any other person or being, and you will never regret doing
so.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Jesus, help me to always acknowledge Your supremacy
and worship You only.

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

Post  Admin on Sun 03 Feb 2013, 7:25 pm

Dearly Beloved,
IF THE EARTHLY KING DOES NOT SEE YOU…
“For God will bring every work into judgment, including every
secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14 NKJV).
The Yoruba have a proverb that goes thus: O tafa si oke yi odo
bori, bi oba aye ko ri o, ti orun n wo o. Literally, it means one who is doing
anything secretly, if the earthly king does not see him, the heavenly king is
looking at him. This is applicable to many people who are not only secretly,
but even openly, doing nefarious activities and think that they can get away
with it. Unfortunately, the judicial systems of some countries encourage these
people, and the people think they are above the law. They may be above the law
of their countries, but God will bring them to judgment accordingly one day.
There have been miscarriages of justice in favour of some very
important personalities here in Nigeria recently. Just some days ago, there was
such a case where a high profile public servant was sentenced to two years
imprisonment with a fine option of N750,000 for conspiracy and stealing of
N32.8 billion from police pension funds; a fine the convict happily paid on the
spot and walked away a free man. Although, there have been public outcry
against the judgment and the man has been re-arrested for more criminal
charges, but it indeed sends a bad signal to the younger generation.
There were many misuses of power by many high profile
personalities in the Bible. Although, these people thought that people did not
see them, or could not question them for their injustice, God saw, and brought
them to judgment accordingly. I will cite two cases to prove this. King David
committed adultery with Bathsheba, craftily murdered her husband to cover the
sin, and eventually married her. God sent Prophet Nathan to David to rebuke him
and pronounce judgment on him (see 2 Samuel 11-12). King Ahab wanted to have
the vineyard of Naboth because it was close to his palace. Naboth would not
want to do away with his family inheritance, so Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, conspired
with some people, they murdered Naboth, and Jezebel handed over Naboth’s
vineyard to Ahab. However, the King of kings saw this and sent His prophet,
Elijah, to rebuke and pronounce judgment on the wicked couple (see 1 Kings 21).
Indeed, there are many Bible passages that teach about God’s judgment on every
action either good or bad, done secretly or openly (see Psalm 96:13;
Ecclesiastes 11:9; 12:14; Matthew 12:35; Luke 12:2; John 5:29; Acts 17:31;
Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-20).
Are you in any high position? What are doing with the position?
Do not think that you can get away with any secret thing done in that position.
People may not see you, or pretend not to see you, but, remember that the
Ultimate King – God – sees you and He will judge you accordingly.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: God, let me be conscious of your presence and
judgment both now and hereafter.
NB
COMPILATION OF MY ONLINE WEEKLY MESSAGES
As part of celebrating ten years of ministering through the
Internet, the first compilation of 200 messages out of my online weekly
messages for the past ten year has been published.
The 432-page book is titled “Salient Truths About Christian
Life: A Collection of Pastor Bayo Afolaranmi&# 39;s Online Weekly Devotional
Messages” compiled by Rev. Dr. Emmanuel O. Malomo published as paperback (http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/salient- truths-about-christian-life-a-collection-of-pastor-bayo-afolaranmis -online-weekly- devotional- messages/13515246)
and eBook (http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/salient-truths-about- christian- life-a-collection-of-pastor-bayo-afolaranmis -online-weekly- devotional- messages/13515200).
Order your copies now.
God bless you!
____________ _________ ____
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sat 26 Jan 2013, 10:46 pm

Dearly Beloved,
"SHE CLOSED ONLY ONE EYE!"
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother' s
eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your
brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a
plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother' s eye"
(Matthew 7:3-5 NIV).
Although it is not specifically stated in the Scriptures that we
have to close our eyes when we are praying, but it has become a general norm.
This norm made my five-year old son to accuse his two-year old sister
immediately we finished our morning devotion one day that she closed only one
eye when we were praying. The question that his mother and I asked him was that
how did he know that she did not close her two eyes when we were praying.
Definitely, he did not close his eyes when we were praying. He could not deny
this fact.
This incident reminded me of the words Jesus Christ quoted
above. Many people are quick to see the weakness and wrongdoing of others while
they find it difficult to identify theirs. Actually, it is easier to see the
faults of other people around us, but failure to see our own faults would be an
act of hypocrisy.
Therefore, let us learn to always look inward to ourselves
before we look outward to others to point an accusing finger for anything done
wrong. Even when it is glaring that the other people are at fault, let us be
slow and wise is pointing this out, remembering that we also are not perfect.
King David fell into this act of quick judgment when Prophet
Nathan came to accuse him about Bathsheba affair. He was quick to see the
wrongdoing of a rich man that had cheated a poor man, and even pronounced
judgment on the rich man immediately. Nathan's response was, "You are the man!" (2 Samuel 12:7,
NIV).
Lord, help me to be slow to see the faults of others, but quick
to see mine and even be ready to change my ways for good. Amen.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
NB
This message was first sent on March 20, 2005.

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