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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 26 Aug 2012, 8:40 pm

Dearly Beloved,
BY THIS TIME NEXT YEAR
"Then the LORD said, 'I will surely return to you about
this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son'" (Genesis 18:10
NIV).
Wonders never end. Sarah and Abraham seemed to say when God told
them that they would have their own child "about this time next year"
(Genesis 17:15-16, 19-21; 18:10, 13-14). How would a man of hundred years
impregnate a woman of ninety years? Naturally, it is impossible! Sarah laughed
it off, while Abraham gave God another option to fulfil His promises for his
(i.e. Abraham's) life (see Genesis 17:18; 18:12). However, God insisted that
His promise of making Abraham the father of many nations would be fulfilled
through the son that Sarah would bear to him, "for nothing is impossible
with God" (Luke 1:37 NIV. See also Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17, 27; Mark
10:27; Luke 18:27).
God did fulfil His promise! In Genesis 21:1-2, the Bible says,
"Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for
Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in
his old age, at the very time God had promised him" (NIV). I want to
emphasize two things in this passage:
a. God was gracious to Sarah: it was by the grace (the unmerited
favour) of God that made God to remember her and fulfil the promise; and
b. At the very time: God fulfilled His promise for Abraham and
Sarah at the very appointed time, not earlier, not later, but at the very time.
What are you also trusting God to do for you? Have you lost hope
on it? Are you thinking of another means that God would do it for you? By this
time next year, God would have done that thing for you in His own way, and at
His very appointed time. God will be gracious to you and remember you for good.
It may not even be up to a year. It may be less than a year, a month, a week,
or even a day. Remember, the Lord spoke through prophet Elisha, "Hear the
word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah
of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the
gate of Samaria" (2 Kings 7:1 NIV). The prophecy did happen less than a
day. The officer who did not believe only saw it but never enjoyed it.
By this time next year, you also will have one or more things to
testify about God's goodness in your life. Do you believe it?
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 19 Aug 2012, 8:08 pm

Dearly Beloved,
TRUST IN THAT ROCK!
"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God
is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my
salvation, my stronghold" (Psalm 18:2 NIV).
"There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one
besides you; there is no Rock like our God" (1 Samuel 2:2 NIV).
Some time ago, I was relaxing on a rock when I saw a man coming
towards me with a knife. Since everyone was minding his own affair, I did not
care much about him. However, I discovered that he had tried to find a way to
come up to the place where I sat. He went round that rock many times, but he
could not find the way. So he stopped before me by the base of the rock with a
fury. He swung his dagger at me several times and uttered some inaudible words.
In spite of the shinning of the dagger by which he meant to hurt me, and his
apparent rage against me, I was quietly sitting where I am. He was furious and
tried to roll away the rock on which I sat. He tried again and again till he
was tired, still I was not moved or afraid. In fact, I was enjoying myself
above. Because of his inability to do any damage to me, he went out more
furiously than before.
Problems and challenges of life come in many forms trying to
disturb man's peaceful existence. Man's source of trust when problems occur and
his reaction to it will determine how he will overcome the problems and the
challenges. Jesus Christ is the formidable Rock against any problem or
challenge of life (Deuteronomy 32:4; 2 Samuel 22:32, 47; Psalm 31:2-3; 89:26;
94:22; Isaiah 26:4; 1 Corinthians 10:4). Neglecting Him is like neglecting
one's source of life (Deuteronomy 32:15; Isaiah 17:10).
Are you facing a problem or a challenge of life now. This
problem may interrupt your joy. It may seem that all is against you. Here is a
solution for you! Are you are on that eternal Rock, Jesus Christ? Do you trust Him
to help you in your problem? Are you adding further to this problem by being
anxious about it? Do not let this problem overcome you. Trust in Jesus Christ.
Stand on that immovable Rock and you will overcome your problems.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
NB
This message was first sent out on June 3, 2003.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 12 Aug 2012, 11:10 am

Dearly Beloved,
AMAZING GRACE
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —
and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no
one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
One of the most popular hymns of all time is John Newton
(1725-1807)' s "Amazing Grace." Newton composed the hymn to express
who he was before he was saved and who he was after his salvation experience.
Newton was a wretch, moral pariah whose business was slave trade before he
became a preacher of the gospel of the great Saviour, Jesus Christ who saved
him by grace during a near shipwreck. In his words in his late years, "My
memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things, that I am a great sinner, and
that Christ is a great Saviour."
Beyond the personality of John Newton, his hymn - "Amazing
Grace" - reveals a profound truth about the grace of Jesus Christ to
anyone who invites Him into his life as his personal Saviour and Lord. It is a
message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of the sins
people commit and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy
of God. It is indeed sweet to hear that a wretched person who is lost and blind
spiritually can be found and see spiritually. The grace would teach the heart
of anyone who believes to fear God and be relieved of all other fears. The
grace is indeed precious not only initially but all the time. It is grace that
has brought the believer safe thus far through many dangers, toils, and snares
and it will eventually lead him to eternal home.
The hymn further reveals some benefits that a believer in Christ
who has experienced the grace would enjoy. He would enjoy the promised goodness
of God; his hope would be secured in God's word; as long he lives, his shield
and portion will be God; even when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal
life shall cease, such a believer will possess a life of joy and peace; and in
heaven, he will eternally sing God's praise. It is indeed amazing grace!
Have you experienced this grace? No matter how wretched or
morally bankrupt you think you are. You can experience it. Remember, you cannot
earn it with any kind of work. It is only through faith in the finished work of
salvation of Jesus Christ. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ today, and you will
experience the amazing grace and enjoy all its benefits (see Acts 16:31; Romans
3:24; 4:5, 16).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 05 Aug 2012, 7:52 pm

spiritualdigest Dearly Beloved,
MAN PROPOSES GOD DISPOSES
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's
purpose that prevails" (Proverbs 19:21 NIV).
Human beings have many plans both short-term and long-term that
they intend to accomplish. Most of these plans even have definite times that
human beings want to carry them out. The fact that human beings could carry out
these plans as planned makes them take most of these plans for granted. It is
only when such plans cannot be carried out as planned that human beings resort
to fate or chance. Most of the time, many people do not remember that it is God
that disposes what man proposes. Many people indeed have forgotten the words of
the writer of the book of Proverbs: "In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps" (16:9 NIV).
This fact was evident in my affairs recently. I could not meet
my target in the office that day, so I planned that I will do extra work in the
office the following day. However, as I was preparing to set out for the office
on the following day, I received a phone call from one of my cousins that he
had an auto accident the previous night, that he was in a hospital receiving
treatment from injuries he sustained from the accident, and that I should come
to his aid there immediately. I was destabilized by the news because that would
mean I will not be able to go to my office that day to carry out my daily
duties and even do extra work as I planned the previous day. Though, the
relation was discharged that day from the hospital, I spent the whole day
attending to that his needs and could not do anything that I planned beforehand
for the day. Man proposes, God disposes!
Only if human beings will realize this and always involve God in
their planning. James in his epistle said, "Now listen, you who say,
'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry
on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen
tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and
then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live
and do this or that'" (James 4:13-15 NIV).
What are your plans for the next minute, hour, day, week, month,
or year? Do you involve God in these plans? Can you specifically say what will
happen in the next minute not to talk of next year? The bottom-line is that
only God determines what will happen next minute, hour, day, week, month, or
year. However, this does not mean that one must not have a plan or purpose for
his future activities either short-time or long-time. Only acknowledge God in
everything you are planning to do, and He will keep you on the right track (see
Proverbs 3:6).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 30 Jul 2012, 9:16 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 22 Jul 2012, 11:03 pm

Dear Beloved,
ARE YOU ON THE LIST?
"These
searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were
excluded from the priesthood as unclean. The governor ordered them not to eat
any of the most sacred food" (Ezra 2:62-63a NIV).
"If
anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the
lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15 NIV).
The
school bus was ready to convey some students in a class for an excursion. Every
member of the class wanted to go, but the criteria for going was that one must
have his name in the prepared list of the class teacher. None of them knew the
actual people that were on this list. As they all assembled by the bus, the
teacher started calling them one after another. The funny thing there was that
there was still space in the bus when the teacher finished calling the names on
his list. The other students implored him to admit them into the bus, but he
refused because their names were not on his list.

similar event happened as the Jews came back from exile. The priests had
re-established the worship and sacrifices to God as prescribed by the Mosaic
Law. However, to minister as a priest, one has to establish his genealogy as
Levite - the only tribe that can perform priestly duties. Then came some people
from certain towns who could not prove that they were even Israelites not to
talk of being Levites. These people searched for their family records, but they
could not find them, so they had to be excluded from the priesthood.
Everybody
on earth is enjoying God's universal goodness. God does not discriminate in
blessing many people on earth (Psalm 145:9; Matthew 5:45; Acts 14:17). In fact,
it seems as if God is blessing the ungodly more than the godly. Nevertheless, a
day is coming when God will turn against some people - those that their names
are not in His Book of Life. They will be excluded from being in the presence
of God forever. The reason would be the absence of their names in "the
Book of Life" (Revelation 20:15).
For
you to have your name written in the Book of Life, you have to genuinely accept
Jesus Christ - the only Way to God (John 10:7,9; 14:6; Acts 4:12) - as your
personal Saviour and Lord (John 1:12-13; Acts 16:31). Are you on the list in
the Book of Life?
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
NB
This message was first sent out on June 27, 2004.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 16 Jul 2012, 9:16 am

*Dearly Beloved,*
*I HAVE FOUND A FRIEND IN JESUS*

*"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his
master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that
I learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:15 NIV).*

*The hymn "I have found a friend in Jesus" also known as "The Lily of the
Valley" is one of my favourite hymns. Little is known about the history of
the hymn apart from the fact that it was composed by William Charles Fry
(1837–1882) in Lincoln, England, while working with the Salvation Army. Fry
declared that he had found a friend in Jesus because He is everything to
him. He compared Jesus to the lily of the valley, the "Beloved" in the Song
of Songs' love characters (Song of Songs 2:1). Undoubtedly, this lily of
the valley symbolizes the sweetness, purity, fruitfulness, humility, and
healing qualities of Jesus Christ. Fry could see only in Jesus all he
needed to be cleansed and be made fully whole. He declared that Jesus was
his comfort in sorrow and in trouble because Jesus has told him to roll
every care on Him for He cares. Jesus is indeed "the Lily of the Valley,
the Bright and Morning Star, He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul."*

*Apart from William Charles Fry's declaration in that hymn, Jesus Christ
Himself chose everyone who accepts Him as friend and He did not only
promise to do many things for His friends, He did lay down His life as a
ransom for His friends (see John 15:13; Ephesians 5:2; Romans 5:6-8; 1
Timothy 2:6). As a friend of Jesus, anyone who accepts Him as his Saviour
and Lord will learn many things from Him (John 15:15), in fact, Jesus,
through the Holy Spirit, will reveal many mysteries to him (Ephesians 1:9;
3:5; Colossians 1:26). Such a friend will have direct access to the throne
of grace to approach God without any intermediary except Jesus Christ
(Hebrews 4:14-16; 8:6; 9:15; 12:24; 1 John 2:1). In fact, He "...is a
friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24 NIV).*

*Fry continued in his hymn to testify more about this great Friend who has
taken his grief, borne all his sorrows, and has become his strong and
mighty tower in temptation. He declared that though all the world forsakes
him, and Satan painfully tempts him, he would safely reach the heavenly
goal through Jesus. Therefore, he forsook all from his heart for Him. He
also testified that Jesus will never, never leave him, nor yet forsake him
here, that as he lived by faith and did the will of Jesus, Jesus would be a
wall of fire around him. So, he would have nothing to fear, for from Jesus'
manna He shall fill his hungry soul. Indeed, he found a great Friend in
Jesus! *

*Have you found such a Friend in Jesus Christ? Can you confess like William
Charles Fry that Jesus Christ is everything to you? Invite Him into your
life today and allow Him to take total control of your life. You will
really enjoy Him!*

*In His service,*

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

Post  Admin on Sun 08 Jul 2012, 9:25 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WILLGOD ANSWER MY PRAYERS? (Part 2)
"...God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who
are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28 NASB).
Last
week, I sent out a message on the above subject and emphasized it that God will
answer our prayers ACCORDING TO HIS WILL in His own way and His own time.
Expectedly, some people disagreed with that position. To them, God will answer
whatsoever we ask from Him. Well, let me adapt a message I sent out some years
ago titled, "When God Says NO."
I
pointed it out last week that examples of what I propound abound in the Bible,
and I gave a classic one in the case of David when he wanted to build a temple
for God (see 2 Samuel 7). King David was a unique man - a man after God's heart
(see Acts 13:22). He was such a king that would not do anything without first
enquired from God. God in turn made him successful in his entire endeavour, but
only in one that God said NO. One may wonder why God said no to such a good
heart desire of David.
How
would you react to such an answer from God? Would you be like that pastor that
told his congregation that, "When God says NO, say YES"? How did
David react? He reacted by praising God in counting his blessings (see 2 Samuel
7:18-29). The "NO" answer made him to praise
God! It made him to draw closer to God. It made him to claim God's promises
(verses 28-29).
David
accepted the will of God to his desire, and God fulfilled His plan for him.
Solomon - his son - eventually built the temple to David's credit (see 2 Kings
8). Hezekiah was a different man. God told him that he would die (2 Kings
20:1). Instead of him to accept the will of God for him, he prayed against it.
God, in His permissive will, added fifteen years to his life. Unfortunately,
those added years were the dismay of his life (see 2 Kings 20:12ff).
Jesus
Christ accepted the will of God when He prayed that God should take the cup of
the cross from Him (Luke 22:44). He even cried on the cross to demonstrate the
agony of the "negative" answer He received from God(Mark 15: 34).
However, the NO answer of God to Jesus, and His (that is, Jesus') acceptance of
it gave Him a name above every other name(Philippians 2:10-11). This singular
action of Jesus Christ has also given every Christian the hope that is beyond
any other hope that if we die today, we are going to reign with Him.
Paul
prayed thrice that God should take away a "thorn in his flesh" but
God told him that His grace is sufficient for him (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Instead of refusing the absolute will of God in this unpleasant situation, Paul
rather boasted in his weakness and allowed God to be glorified in it.
God
will certainly not answer all our prayers the way we want Him to do so.
However, it is certain that God will answer our prayers according to His will.
Are you ready to accept God's perfect answer to your prayers in His own way and
His own time? Remember, "...God causes ALL things to work together for good
to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose"
(Romans 8:28 NASB).
In
His service,
Bayo
Afolaranmi (Pastor).
NB
You
can get the full message comprising the two parts and the previous message on
request at spiritualdigest@yahoo.com. God bless you!
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 01 Jul 2012, 10:20 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WILL GOD ANSWER MY PRAYERS?

"This is the confidence we have in approaching
God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know
that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him
" (1 John 5:14-15 NIV).

As I wanted to sleep recently, I received a message
from one of my contacts on WhatsApp asking me whether God would answer his
prayer or not. I summarily answered him that God would answer him if what he is
requesting is in accordance with the plan of God for him at that particular
time. As I also had a prayer request that I have been asking God for my
ministry, I pondered on that question: "Will God answer my prayers?"
The simple answer to it is YES. However, the affirmative answer is with a condition
and may be in various ways.

The condition of answer of God to any prayer request
is the will of God. God will not do anything that is contrary to His will.
Jesus Christ knew this principle, He taught it in the popular "Lord's
Prayer" (see Matthew 6:10), and He applied it in the Garden of Gethsemane
when He about to face the cross. He prayed "that if possible the hour
might pass from him. 'Abba, Father,' he said, 'everything is possible for you.
Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will'" (Mark
14:35-36 NIV).

Someone has said that God answers our prayers in any
of the three ways, vis, yes, no, or wait. God will answer yes to our prayers if
the request is perfectly according to His will at that particular time. He may
ask us to wait till when He deems it fit for us to have the answer to the
request. Likewise, He may answer no to the prayer if the request is NOT
according to His will for us.

Examples of this principle abound in the Bible. A
classic one was the case of David when he wanted to build a temple for God. God
partially answered no to that request but said that David will have to wait
till the time of his son before the request will be granted (see 2 Samuel 7).

Getting "Yes" answer to our prayer is
lovely. However, when God says "No" or "Wait" to our
request, He has something better for us. The reason is, "'For my thoughts
are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. 'As
the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and
my thoughts than your thoughts'" (Isaiah 55: 8-9), and "'For I know
the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to
harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'" (Jeremiah 29: 11-12).

It is certain that God will answer our prayers
according to His will. Are you ready to accept God's perfect answer to your
prayers in His own way and His own time?

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Jun 2012, 9:17 pm

Dearly Beloved,

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

But God will rescue me; he will save me from the power of death (Psalm 49:15 TEV).

The
hymn, It is Well with My Soul is one of the most popular Christian hymns.
Horatio Gates Spafford (1828–1888) composed it. When Spafford was forty-three years old as a Chicago businessman, he suffered financial disaster in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. He and his wife were still grieving over the death of their son shortly before the fire, and he realized they needed to get away for a vacation. Knowing that their friend Dwight L. Moody was going to be preaching in evangelistic campaigns in England that fall, Spafford decided to take the
entire family to England. His wife and four daughters went ahead by a ship, and he planned to follow in a few days. Nevertheless, on the Atlantic Ocean, an iron sailing vessel struck the ship and the ship sank within twelve minutes.
Two hundred and twenty-six lives were lost including the Spaffords four daughters. When the survivors were brought to shore at Cardiff, Wales, Mrs.Anna Spafford cabled her husband with two words: Saved alone. Spafford booked
passage on the next ship. As they were crossing the Atlantic, the captain pointed out the place where he thought the first ship had gone down. That night, Spafford penned the words of the hymn:
When peace like a river attendeth my way...
it is well, it is well with my soul. Horatio and Anna
Spafford later moved to Israel and became channels of God's blessings to many people there. It was indeed well with their souls.

One of the close associates of Jesus Christ betrayed Him. He was arrested, tried and condemned to die on the cross. He was crucified and died. However, as the Psalmist prophesied in Psalm 49:15, God saved Him from the power of death, and
He resurrected on the third day. The suffering and death of Jesus Christ were not pleasant, but He triumphed over everything. Today, His name is exalted above every other name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11 NIV).

Trial, temptation, hardship, calamity, death of loved one, or anything that happens to us is not the end of the road. No matter what you may be passing through, the Lord will indeed rescue you from all of it and you will join Horatio Spafford
to sincerely sing, It is well with my soul, It is well, it is well with my
soul.� Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5 NIV).

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

Post  Admin on Sun 17 Jun 2012, 8:36 am

Dearly Beloved,

HOW RESPONSIBLE ARE YOU?

"If
anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate
family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1
Timothy 5:8 NIV).

In
many part of the world, the Fathers' Day celebration for this year will be
celebrated this week. While I congratulate all fathers throughout the world, I
want to ask each one of us that is a father how responsible we are as fathers.

Modern
civilization has made many fathers to shun their responsibilities as fathers.
Some of such fathers want to have children, but they are not ready to play the
fatherly roles in the lives of the children. Some of them do not have the time
for their children. The children cannot feel the impacts of such fathers in
their lives. Some of such fathers do not want children, but they do not care
impregnating careless women. Infidelity to marriage vows in the lives many
fathers has been another cause of this. Misplaced priorities may cause this
also. Whatever the cause may be, are you as a father responsible?

The
Bible is full of how a father can be responsible and take care of his children.
He is to instruct them (Proverbs 1:8; 22:6). He is to command them (Proverbs
6:20). He is to guide, encourage, and warn them (Jeremiah 3:4; 1 Thessalonians
2:11). He is to restrain them in doing nefarious things (1 Samuel 3:13). He is
to punish them (Deuteronomy 21:18; Proverbs 23:13-14; 29:17; Hebrews 12:9-11).
He is to be considerate of their needs and requests (Matthew 7:10). He should
not provoke them, but instead bring them up in God's way (Ephesians 6:4). He is
to provide for their needs (1 Timothy 5:8).

How
responsible are you as a father? Do you care for your children? Are they
feeling your fatherly impacts in their lives? An earthly father is the best
representation of our heavenly Father. How are you representing God in the
lives of your children? Happy Fathers' Day!

In
His service,

Bayo
Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point:

While
I dedicate this message to responsible fathers worldwide, pray that as God
remembered Abraham, Manoah, and Zechariah in the Bible, He will remember the
waiting fathers who long to express their fatherly responsibilities to their
own children also.
NB
This message was first sent out on June 15, 2008. I am sending it again to commemorate this year's Father's Day and give people that have interest in getting its elaborate version on request. Just write me through spiritualdigest@yahoo.com. God bless you!
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 11 Jun 2012, 11:51 am

Dearly Beloved,
WARN YOUR EYES!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post  Admin on Mon 04 Jun 2012, 9:24 am

Dearly Beloved,
YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL AND STILL BE HONEST

"The
other men tried to find something wrong with the way Daniel did his work for
the king. But they could not accuse him of anything wrong, because he was
honest and faithful and did everything he was supposed to do" (Daniel 6:4
CEV).

There
was a chat that ensued between one of my BlackBerry contacts and me. The person
wanted to know if one can be successful in life without being dubious (in
character). I answered in the affirmative. He wondered how that can be so and
wanted me to prove it to him. I explained to him that the Holy Bible teaches
honesty and that there were many honest people in the Bible who were also
successful in life. I even used my life as an example. He did not believe me.
He even accused me of boasting.

If
one considers what are happening in the world nowadays, especially in Nigeria,
one would think that only dishonest people can succeed in life. Examination
malpractices are so common among students that examination bodies are having
difficulties in curbing them. Many parents are even helping their children in
these nefarious activities! Politics or rather the politicians are so dirty
that righteous people would think twice before joining them, and where you find
anyone who wants to be righteous or just in politics, such a person would be
frustrated out of the system. Bribery and corruption in all ramifications have
been institutionalized in public and private sectors. Even religious
institutions are not left out in these acts of dishonesty! Indeed, it is very
difficult to find honest men and women in the society. The situation of Nigeria
is like the one that Prophet Isaiah described, "Justice is driven away,
and right cannot come near. Truth stumbles in the public square, and honesty
finds no place there. There is so little honesty that anyone who stops doing
evil finds himself the victim of crime" (Isaiah 59:14-15 TEV). No wonder,
many young people think (like that BlackBerry contact) that you cannot be
honest and be successful.

When
Elijah thought there was no more people serving God in the days of King Ahab,
God told him that he had "reserved SEVEN THOUSAND in Israel, all whose
knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him" (1
Kings 19:18 NKJV emphasis mine). In spite of all the decadence in Nigeria,
there are people who are honest and are still successful in the country. There
are people that God can still vouch for. Are you one of such people? It was
very difficult to find any fault or corrupt practice in Daniel, even at his
high-ranking position (see Daniel 6:4). How honest are you in your position?
Are you also of the opinion that you cannot be successful with honesty?

You can indeed be successful and still be honest!

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

Post  Admin on Sun 27 May 2012, 4:22 pm

Dearly Beloved,
AGAINST
ALL ODDS

"After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do'" (Acts 13:22 NIV).

I am not an ardent football fan neither do I have any particular football club as
my favourite. Even the national football teams of my country are not my
favourite teams. However, I follow the trend in football with interest. The
feat of Chelsea Football Club of England to become the European champions
against all odds recently is noteworthy. The club used to change coaches like
changing clothes. The coach that led the
club to the continental glory was an unknown sacked and rejected coach who
acted because the club had no substantive coach. The players in the club are
not world class compared to those in other clubs. The club was inconsistent in
winning games. In fact, it wobbled to be where it was at the end of the final
Barclays Premier League Table this season. Nobody ever thought the club would
reach the quarter final of the European most glamorous football club
competition, the UEFA Champions League. Against all odds, the club at home beat
the defending champion and the favoured club (FC Barcelona) to win the
competition. Even that favoured club could not beat Chelsea FC at its own
backyard. Against all odds, Chelsea FC beat its opponent (FC Bayern München) in
front of its teaming supporters at home (in the Fußball Arena München) to
become the European champion after a century of its existence. Against all
odds, Chelsea FC became toast of many people in a twinkling of an eye. Against
all odds, the club became the proverbial Yoruba man that was supposed to be
sold for a lamp who became one that people now find light to behold.

Against
all odds, David son of Jesse became the king of Israel. He was the youngest in
his father's family. Nobody thought of him even when God sent Samuel to go and
anoint one of the sons of Jesse as the next king of Israel. He was forgotten in
the field where he was taking care of the sheep (see 1 Samuel 16). Against all
odds, he at long last became the king of Israel (see 2 Samuel 5) and did
everything God wanted him to do (see Acts 13:22) and "served God's purpose
in his own generation" (Acts 13:36 NIV). Against all odds, he became a reference
point in the history of Israel (compare 1 Kings 3:14; 9:4; 15:5; 2 Chronicles
17:3; 29:2; 34:2).

What is your background? What are you passing through presently? How long have you been pursuing a goal? Against all odds, you also can be victorious and be
celebrated. Against all odds, you also can become a reference point. Because
the love of the Lord endures forever, He will support you in every area of your
life. Against all odds, He will perfect everything that concerns you and you
will have a fulfilled destiny in Jesus' name. Amen.

In
His service,

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

Post  Admin on Mon 21 May 2012, 8:37 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHAT IS YOUR PRIORITY?

"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).

April1, 2012 was a unique day. It was the first day of the month of April. It was
the first day of the second quarter of the year. It was the day set apart to
commemorate the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem popularly known
as the Palm Sunday. It was also a day known as "All Fools' Day" or
"April Fool Day" - a day set apart to deliberately deceive people.
How people reacted to the day, especially the kind of messages they sent to
people that day, to some extent, demonstrated the priorities of such people in
life. While some people used the occasion of the day being the first day of the
month and a new quarter to wish their contacts well, some people used the
event of the triumphant entry of Jesus
Christ into Jerusalem to pray for their loved ones. While some people in the
spirit of "April Fool Day" did deceive (and make fool of) their
contacts, some other people creatively played on the word "fool" to
bless their contacts. Interestingly, some other people were indifferent to the
uniqueness of the day and did not care to say anything to anyone.

The
way one makes use of a given opportunity will determine a lot about one's
priority in life. Apostle Paul was in a prison when he made the above
statement. While other people were misusing the opportunity they had to preach
the gospel, he determined to use his circumstance to glorify God whether he is
alive or dead. In fact, he wrote many of his epistles in prison and many people
came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through him while he was in prison.

What
is your priority in life? Like Paul, my priority in life is to be channel of
God's blessing to as many people as possible throughout the world. "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21 NIV). What of you!

InHis service,
BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 13 May 2012, 4:20 pm

*Dearly Beloved, *
*HOW OPEN-MINDED ARE YOU?*

*"Although 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. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful
desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their
bodies with one another" (Romans 1:22-24 NIV).*

*I get in contact with different kinds of people on the Internet almost
every day. Some of these people willingly extend hands of friendship to me,
something that I also willingly accept. One of such people is a
fifty-year-old woman whose interest is to be chatting with people online.
From one of our chats, she professed to be a Christian from childhood and a
member of one of the leading denominations of the Christian faith. One day
as we were chatting, she suggested that we share pictures and comment on
such pictures. Naively, I accepted her suggestion and she started sending
pictures to me. The first one was that of her friend. I appreciated the
beauty of her friend. Then she sent another one that she claimed was her
own. I immediately rejected this second one because she was half-naked in
the picture. She was surprised that I rejected it, and she took offence at
me that I did not appreciate her. I told her that I appreciate her, but not
her nude body. She then went ahead to be saying some immoral things to me.
When I told her about my Christian morality, she sent another picture that
is purely pornographic to me. I then asked her whether she has children.
She told me that she has a son, 25, and a daughter, 22. When I asked her if
she could recommend such picture and the immoral language to her children,
she answered in the affirmative and claimed that they are open-minded as
she is.*

*I was baffled with her so-called open-mindedness. How can a woman of her
age be involved in such immoral things and feel proud to encourage her
children in them also? Can a professed Christian be so open-minded that
he/she will be proud of acts of immorality? No matter the part of the world
one may find oneself, should open-mindedness become a licence to sin? The
Bible says, "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are
outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body" (1
Corinthians 6:18 NIV. See also verse 13; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7).*

*Let me ask you also: how open-minded are you? Are so open-minded that you
cannot differentiate from sinful acts and godly acts? Are you so
open-minded that you have rationalized most of the sinful acts? Are you so
open-minded that you cannot check your children and the younger generation
when they are doing something bad? How open-minded are you?*

*In His service,*

*Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).*
*NB*

*2. This message was first sent out on September 24, 2006, and I am sending
it out in commemoration of this year's Mother's Day. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!*
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 06 May 2012, 8:36 pm

*Dearly Beloved,*

*WHAT IS YOUR BRONZE SNAKE?*

*"Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in
the water under the earth" (Exodus 20:4 TEV).*

*"[Hezekiah] destroyed the pagan places of worship, broke the stone
pillars, and cut down the images of the goddess Asherah. He also broke in
pieces the bronze snake that Moses had made, which was called Nehushtan. Up
to that time the people of Israel had burned incense in its honor" (2 Kings
18:4 TEV).*

*On their way to the Promised Land in the wilderness, the Israelites grew
impatient and spoke against God and their leader, Moses. So, the Lord sent
venomous snakes that bit them, and many of them died. After the people
repented, God directed Moses to make a bronze snake and lift it up, that
anyone who looks at it will live. Moses did as God directed and as many as
the people of Israel that looked at the image survived the poison of the
deadly snakes (see Numbers 21:4-9). It is interesting to note that the
people of Israel kept this bronze snake for centuries burning incense to
it. In other words, what God used as a type to save the Israelites from a
calamity was turned by them to a god (named Nehushtan) that they were
worshiping! It took hundreds of years before a king in person King Hezekiah
destroyed this image.*

*Nowadays, people have many seemingly bronze snakes that they are
worshipping knowingly or unknowingly. Even some Christians denominations
and churches are not left out in this error. They have turned many things
that God used one time or the other to accomplish His purposes in their
lives to norms and practices. Such things have become traditions that are
competing with (or even taking the place of) the word of God! No matter how
good such traditions may be, they have to be discarded.*

*What are your seemingly "bronze snakes"? They may not necessarily be
physical images. In what honour are you still "burning incense"? Check your
life, beliefs and practices. Anything that does not conform to the sound
teachings of the word of God should be discarded no matter how popular it
may be.*

*In His service,*

*Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).*

--
____________ _________ ____
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
+234 805 515 9591
+234 816 304 5450
http://www.thewordthruthenet.org/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spiritualdigest2003/
Bible verses.
"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 29 Apr 2012, 9:49 pm

*Dearly Beloved,*
HERE IS HOPE!*

*"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to
prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then
you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you'"
(Jeremiah 29:11-12 NIV).*

*I have read this Bible passage times without numbers. I have heard people
quoting it. I have even used it to preach to or encourage other people
several times. However, when I studied it in its context recently, I have a
clearer understanding of its real meaning.*

*The context of the passage is a letter written by prophet Jeremiah to the
exiled Jews in Babylon. Although, the people of Judah had sinned against
God, and God was punishing them by sending them to exile, yet, Jeremiah was
advising them to have courage and settle down in that foreign land because
God had not abandoned them totally. He presented God as the Yoruba
proverbial father that would punish his child with right hand and draw him
in love back to himself with the left hand. No matter the consequence of
one's sin, God is still compassionate and forgiving (Daniel 9:9). He has
plans of restoring us back to Him. He will not abandon His own forever!*

*The Bible passage is a word of hope for people that are suffering because
of their misdeeds. It is a word of hope for others also that think that God
has forgotten them. It is a word of hope for every child of God. God has
plans for us - plans not to harm us, but to prosper us. Plans to give us
hope. Plans to give us a good future. Plans not to abandon us even when we
go astray. Plans to listen to us when we call on Him.*

*"This is what the LORD says: 'I will restore the fortunes of Jacob's tents
and have compassion on his dwellings; the city will be rebuilt on her
ruins, and the palace will stand in its proper place. From them will come
songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their
numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they
will not be disdained. Their children will be as in days of old, and their
community will be established before me; I will punish all who oppress
them. Their leader will be one of their own; their ruler will arise from
among them. I will bring him near and he will come close to me, for who is
he who will devote himself to be close to me?' declares the LORD. "'So you
will be my people, and I will be your God'" (Jeremiah 30:18-22 NIV. See
also 19:14; 31:27-28; 32:42-44; 33:6-26; Lamentations 3:31-33).*

*No matter the situation, there is indeed hope!*

*In His service,*

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

Post  Admin on Sun 22 Apr 2012, 5:17 pm

*Dearly Beloved,*

*"WHAT IS THAT IN YOUR HAND?"*

*"Then the LORD said to him, 'What is that in your hand?' 'A staff,' he
replied. The LORD said, 'Throw it on the ground.' Moses threw it on the
ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it" (Exodus 4:2-3 NIV).*

*Sometimes, we all feel inadequate, insufficient, incapable, unqualified
and helpless to do something while in actual fact, the resources to do such
thing are at our disposal. Moses found himself in a similar situation. How?
God called him to go and lead the Israelites out of the land of slavery. He
was trying to dodge the divine assignment by giving unconvincing excuses.
He looked down on himself. Then God asked him, "What is that in your hand?"
Moses must have thought: "Of what use would an ordinary staff be in
fulfilling such an enormous task?" However, the "ordinary" staff became an
extraordinary instrument when he surrendered it to God.*

*The disciples of Jesus Christ were also in a dilemma. They had to feed
over five thousand people in a solitary place. How would they do it? "Then
Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up. 'There's a youngster here with
five barley loaves and a couple of fish! BUT WHAT GOOD IS THAT WITH ALL
THIS MOB?'" (John 6:8-9 TLB). How could they feed such a large number of
people with a boy's lunch? They never saw God above their inadequacies.
Nevertheless, Jesus fed the people with that "little" food, and there were
twelve baskets full of the leftover!*

*In the same way, a prophet's widow was about to lose her two sons to
creditors. She ran to Prophet Elisha for assistance. "Elisha replied to
her, 'How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?' 'Your
servant has nothing there at all,' she said, 'EXCEPT A LITTLE OIL'" (2
Kings 4:2 NIV). How would she settle her debt with that "little" oil?
Elisha told her to go and use that "little" oil. She did as she was told
and at the end, she paid her debts and even had more!*

*Likewise, the son of a Shunammite woman was dead. Prophet Elisha gave his
staff to his servant, Gehazi to go and raise the son from the dead. "Gehazi
went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy's face, but there was no sound
or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, 'The boy has
not awakened'" (2 Kings 4:31 NIV). He had no eye of faith. He could not see
the extraordinary power in the "ordinary" staff.*

*Take an honest look at your own life. "What is that in your hand?" What do
you have that looks "ordinary," "little" or "insignificant" ? Look at it
with an eye of faith. You have something that others do not have. Let God
use it to perform His wonders in your life. "[For God has chosen] the lowly
things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to
nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him" (1
Corinthians 1:28-29 NIV).*

*In His service,*
*Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).*
*NB*
*This message was first sent out on February 16, 2004.*
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 9:02 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHOSE BLAME?

"And he said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I
commanded you not to eat from?' The man said, 'The woman you put here with
me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.' Then the LORD God said
to the woman, 'What is this you have done?' The woman said, 'The serpent
deceived me, and I ate'" (Genesis 3:11-13 NIV).

Man
is defensive. He always finds a way of shifting blame. This has been since the
time of our first parents – Adam and Eve. They ate the forbidden fruit of the
tree of knowledge of good and evil. When God pointed out their sin, Adam seemed
to blame God as if God did wrong in giving him the wife. The wife also blamed
the serpent as if it was the serpent that forced her and her husband to disobey
God. No doubt, the serpent would have had someone to blame also if God gave it
the opportunity. However, regardless of their defences, each of them was
punished for his/her action. God cursed the serpent (Satan) forever; the woman
has to bear her children in pains; and the man has to painfully toil the
ground.

Think
about your life. Who would you also blame for your actions? Are you ready to
take full responsibility of your actions? You may blame anybody or even Satan,
but God will judge and reward you accordingly. The Lord declares, "In
those days people will no longer say, 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and
the children's teeth are set on edge.' Instead, everyone will die for his own
sin; whoever eats sour grapes--his own teeth will be set on edge� (Jeremiah
31:29-30 NIV). Apostle Paul also warned, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be
mocked. 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 6:7-9 NIV).

Accept
your flaws. Be ready to take full responsibility of what you do or fail to do.
One of the marks of a matured Christian is acceptance of one's mistakes and
readiness to make correction.

In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
NBThis message was first posted on January 18, 2004.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 09 Apr 2012, 6:43 am

Dear Beloved,
IFJESUS CHRIST HAS NOT BEEN RAISED

"If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And
if Christ has not been raised.... But Christ has indeed been raised from the
dead...." (1 Corinthians 15:13-20 NIV).

Every year, the Christians all over the world set aside a Sunday in either late March or early April to remember and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why do they attach much importance to the celebration? Does it have any difference today if Jesus Christ is dead or alive? After all, famous world religious founders are dead. What if Jesus Christ has not been raised from the dead? Do we still have an anchor for our souls?

One of the problems of the first-century Corinthian church that made Paul to writehis first epistle to them was the denial of bodily resurrection - a belief that crept into the church through the influence of Greek viewpoint of immortality of only the soul. To an average Greek, there was no bodily resurrection of the dead. Even the Sadducees - a sect of the Jews - did not believe in the resurrection of the dead (Matthew 22:23; Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27; Acts 23:8).

The basis of Christian message and life is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we, the twenty-first- century Christians doubt the resurrection of the dead, then we have to agree with these six logical arguments:

The first argument for the resurrection of Jesus Christ and other believers is that the Christian message would be useless if Christ has not been raised. Paul boldly stated in 1 Corinthians 2:2, "For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (NIV. See also 1:22;
15:3-4; Galatians 3:1; 6:14). Crucifixion in the first-century Greco-Roman
world was a notorious punishment for criminals. If Christ has not been raised, what would be the pride in preaching about crucified person?

The second argument is about our Christian faith. The Christian faith rests on the crucified and resurrected Jesus Christ. There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Peter put it clearly in his defence before the
Sanhedrin: "then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by
the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.' Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:10-12 NIV). Jesus Christ is the Way! Such faith in Christ would have been useless - empty, without cause, without success if Christ has not been raised.
Preachers
of the gospel are notorious liars - false witnesses - if Christ has not been
raised. The Scriptures would also be one of those misleading literatures in the world. However, hear Peter again: "We did not follow cleverly invented
stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (2 Peter 1:16 NIV).

Jesus Christ is our sacrificial Lamb that 'propitiate' for our sins through His death (Roman 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). He was a substitute for the punishment we deserve due to our sins. Because of this, we will not be judged again (Roman 8:1), we have been justified (Roman 5:9). No doubt, if Jesus Christ has not been raised from the dead, His death would be useless, and we would still be in our sins and still carry the guilt and condemnation of sin.
The reason is that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the proof that His death actually atoned for our sin.

Jesus Christ promises in John 11:25-26, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and
believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (NIV. See also John
3:36; 5:21; 6:39-40, 44). If Jesus Christ has not been raised from the dead,
then such promises are vain promises and the departed and even the living
Christians would find themselves in hell. Eternity would have been an illusion.

If the above argument is true, then Christians should be pitied most because all reasons and purposes for life itself are destroyed. If Christians have hope only for this life, unbelievers are better off than then. It would have been most disastrous for them.

Whether the Greeks, the Sadducees, and even the whole world believe in the bodily resurrection or not, the good news is that Jesus Christ was indeed raised from the dead (Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:2-7; Luke 24:4-7; John 20:1-9; Acts 1:3; 2:23-24, 32; 13:30; 17:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Hebrews 13:20). He is alive! He has defeated sin, death, and the devil!

In1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Paul chronicled some historical events that served asproof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many other extra-Biblical sourcesattest to this historical event. In fact, His appearance to this people for over a period of forty days is a convincing proof that He is alive (Acts 1:3). He is still appearing to many people today. Praise the Lord!

Glory
be to God for fulfilling His promises in raising Jesus Christ from the dead.
Nevertheless, does His resurrection have any meaning to you? Has it had any impact in your life? Have you experienced the work of salvation that Jesus Christ perfected in His resurrection? Commemorating this historic event should not be on a special day each year alone, or even on every first day of the week only, but on every day of our lives.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
NBThis message was first sent out on April 11, 2004.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 01 Apr 2012, 9:25 pm

Dearly Beloved,

FULFILLING ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS

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

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

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

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

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

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 25 Mar 2012, 8:27 pm

Dear Beloved,

WAIT FOR GOD'S APPOINTED TIME

"Be still before the LORD and wait
patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways..." (Psalm
37:7 NIV).

After the disobedience of Saul to the command
of God to totally destroy the Amalekites and his rejection as king of Israel by
God, God sent Prophet Samuel to anoint David as the new king. David served King
Saul for several years in spite of the fact that he knew that he was the
rightful person approved by God to be the king of Israel. He fought many wars
to the credit of Saul. Even when Saul hated him and sought to kill him, he did
not try to retaliate and forcefully claim the throne. He had two good
opportunities to kill Saul and become the king, yet he spared his life on the
two occasions (1 Samuel 24, 26). He diligently waited for his time. The time
eventually came when the men of his own tribe came and anointed him as king
over them, and when the whole people of Israel came after some years to
proclaim him king over the whole land (2 Samuel 2, 5). He waited for his
appointed time.

In one of the Yoruba legends about destiny, a
man has chosen before he came to the world that he would become affluent when
he clocks the age of forty. When he came to the world, he began to struggle
from one place to another in order to be rich. All his efforts were
unsuccessful. He became a laughing stock among his contemporaries especially
those that were successful in their undertakings. At age 39, when he could not
bear the ridicules of his friends, he committed suicide. When he got to the
gate of heaven, the gatekeeper looked at him with pity and led him to where the
records of people's destinies were kept. When he saw his own record, he
discovered that it remained only a year for him to become affluent. He begged
the gatekeeper to allow him to go back to the world, but he did not have such
opportunity any more. He did not wait for his appointed time.

While I do not believe in all such legends,
there is a lesson in it – waiting for one's appointed time – the God's time
that is the best. Has God promised you something? Do not be in haste to get the
promise. Do not try to help God to fulfil the promise. Abraham and Sara tried
to help God in fulfilling His promises for them. Their help nearly ruined their
peaceful home (see Genesis 16, 21). Wait for God's appointed time. He will
fulfil His promise in His own time in His own way. Even when it seems that the
time does not come. Wait for God's appointed time. Do not lose hope. His
appointed time for you will come!

"You need to persevere so that when you
have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a
very little while, `He who is coming will come and will not delay'"
(Hebrews 10:36-37 NIV).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

NBThis message was first sent out on May 1,
2005.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 3:53 pm

Dearly Beloved,

GOD'S FAITHFULNESS IN SPITE OF ALL
ODDS

"But now, this is what the
Lord says — he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear
not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When
you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the
rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will
not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze'" (Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV).

There is a Yoruba adage: "Bi
alagbede ba n lu irin ni oju kan, o ni ohun ti alagbede fe mu jade nibe
ni." Literally: "When a blacksmith is hitting the same spot on a
piece of iron, he wants to bring something out of it."Â This will be the third message in three weeks
that the Lord would lead me to talk about His faithfulness. The first message
was about the futility in the promises of man compared to the faithfulness in
the promises of God. The second message, based on a popular hymn - "GREAT
IS THY FAITHFULNESS" - composed by Thomas O. Chisholm, reemphasised
magnitude of the faithfulness of God to His people. This message will focus
more on the faithfulness of God to His people especially in difficult time.

It is evident that many people are
experiencing difficult time every day. Many of such people may be inclined to
presuppose that God is not faithful to them. This has made some people to even
doubt the existence and/or the power of God. However, one's disposition and
focus will guide one in this matter. If one focuses on the problem, the problem
will seem to be bigger than God, but, if in spite of one's problem, one focuses
on God, one will discover that God is far above the prevailing problem.

This passage, "Through the
Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are
new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23,
NKJV), is one of the most popular passages of the Bible when one is discussing
about the faithfulness of God. However, it is interesting to note that it is
found in a lamentation of a prophet who was agonizing for the sins of the
people of Judah and the eventual calamity that befell them. Here was a prophet
that was rejected by his own people because he dared to declare the words of
God to them. He wrote the book of Lamentations in despair of this situation.
Nevertheless, because he focused on God, he turned from contemplating his
misery to remembering God's mercy. In spite of his pain and sorrow, he
recollected the faithfulness of the Lord, and this gave him hope (Lamentations
3:19-21). His right focus made him to realize that the Lord is good to those
that focus on Him, and therefore, he advised that it is good to wait patiently and
silently for the Lord to work and accomplish His will in His time (verves
25-28).

The psalmist in that popular psalm
said, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil, for you [that is, God] are with me; your rod and your staff,
they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4 NIV). He went further to declare the
faithfulness of God in providing for, and elevating him even in the presence of
enemies, and he knew that the faithfulness would be his portion forever (Psalm
23:5-6). Job, in spite of his sufferings, said, "Though he slay me, yet
will I hope in him..." (Job 13:15 NIV). There are many other Bible
passages that allude to God's faithfulness in spite of all odds (see
Deuteronomy 31:6-8; Psalm 91:15; Isaiah 8:9-10; 41:10, 14; 43:1-2; Matthew
28:20; Acts 18:9-10; Romans 8:28-39; 2 Corinthians 12:9-12; Ephesians 3:20-21;
Hebrews 13:5).

Are you still doubting about God's
faithfulness over your life? It may be that you are focusing more on your
circumstances. Focus more on God and you will know that surely He is faithful
in spite of all odds.

In His service,

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

Post  Admin on Sun 11 Mar 2012, 9:50 pm

Dearly Beloved,

GREAT
IS THY FAITHFULNESS

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

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

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

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

Great
is thy faithfulness, O God!

In His
service,Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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