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Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 9:25 pm

Dearly Beloved,
ONCE FOR ALL!
“When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11-12 NIV).
Every year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest in the Mosaic Law had to sacrifice with the blood of goats and rams for the atonement of the sins of the Israelites. He was to first of all atone for his own sins by the blood of a ram before using the blood of goats to atone for the sins of the people. This had to be done every year. This is explained in Leviticus 16:3-10 and recaptured in Hebrews 9:1-8. The recipients of the epistle to the Hebrews understood these concepts of priesthood and sacrifice very well.
However, Jesus Christ surpasses any high priest because He came to sacrifice His own blood on the cross of Calvary once for all. While the Levitical high priests had to use the blood of bulls to first of all atone for their sins, Jesus Christ is sinless, so He does not need to do that. While the Levitical high priests thereafter had to use ordinary blood of goats to atone for the sins of the people, Jesus Christ used His own precious blood to atone for the sin of humankind. While the Levitical high priests would sacrifice in man-made tabernacles, Jesus Christ presented Himself to God by “greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made”. While the Levitical high priests would have to repeat this sacrifice every year, Jesus Christ offered Himself once for all. His offering on the cross is the ultimate sacrifice, there is no other. No wonder, He said on the cross: "It is finished" (John 19:30 NIV). 
It is a pity that many people find it difficult to accept the once-for-all finished sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. They still prefer the Levitical order to what Jesus Christ has done. They prefer to offer their own sacrifices of good works. They still want an intermediary that will help them to take their sacrifices to God. Many even still make blood sacrifices to appease God!
It is finished! It is once-for-all sacrifice by Jesus Christ. No other sacrifice is needed or accepted by God. And every one that accepts this once-for-all sacrifice by Jesus Christ will have eternal redemption and eternal inheritance. Have you accepted this sacrifice, or are you still trying to serve God in your own way?
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will totally accept the once-for-all sacrifice by Jesus Christ for your life.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 20 Mar 2016, 11:48 pm

Dearly Beloved,

A LESSON FROM ST. PATRICK

“Do not take revenge, myfriends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine toavenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy ishungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this,you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, butovercome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21 NIV).

March 17 is set apart inthe island of Ireland and many other parts of the world to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick of Ireland born in Roman Britain was captured byIrish pirates during a raiding party when he was around fourteen years. He wasa slave tending sheep in Ireland until when he was twenty when he was able to escape.He later became a priest and was sent to evangelize Ireland where he was ableto do many marvellous things and convert many people to Christianity. In fact,he is considered as the one who brought Christianity to Ireland. He died atSaul, where he had built the first Irish church. He is believed to be buried inDown Cathedral, Downpatrick, Northern Ireland.

Someone has written thisabout him: “Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and totaldevotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. Socomplete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission, he fearednothing - not even death.” However, an important lesson from the life of thisgreat man of God is his love for his enemies who made him slave and treated himcruelly for almost seven years before he could escape. Although, he wassupposedly moved by dream to go back to Ireland and preach the Gospel there, hecould have out of hatred refused to go to Ireland and instead go elsewhere towork for God. He did not repay the Irish people with evil they had done him. Rather,he overcame their evil with good by going back to the place to become a channelof God’s blessings to that generation. Today, he is being celebrated not onlyby the Irish people who used to be his enemies, but by people throughout theworld.

It is unfortunate thatmany people today do not want to be of help to their perceived enemies. They wouldrather wish those enemies dead or ill-luck. Some even waste their preciousprayer times in praying against their enemies while Jesus Christ teaches thatwe should love and pray FOR our enemies (see Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27-36). Hedemonstrated this on the cross (see Luke 23:34) and Stephen followed Hisexample (Acts 7:60).

Who are your perceived enemies?Are you ready to help them if you have the opportunity? Or, are you in the habitof praying against your enemies? Love your perceived enemies and do good untothem. The Lord will reward you greatly for this.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Point: Pray thatyou will be able to pray for your perceived enemies and even help them if youhave the opportunity.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 13 Mar 2016, 6:20 pm

Doulos Meditation on John 1:12

Scripture: John 1:12—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.

Reflection: Salvation from sin is the action God takes in each person who receives Jesus, and John is very clear that this involves “believing in his name.” We have little feel for doing something “in the name.” Names for us are more likely to be mere tags or symbols—just a way of distinguishing horses from elephants. Not so the ancient Jewish thought. A name was authority, power, and indeed the projection of the person himself in all his reality.


Some saw who Jesus really was. They “believed” but this was far different than just having an opinion. Without reservation they trusted themselves to the name; hesitation was over; they surrendered all they were, all they had, and their entire future to the one is whose name they “believed.” Those doing so found themselves changed by God—“new birth” was their description. It caused transformation, obedience, and transcendent hope in all takers. 

Prayer Starter: Father, the world is dying not because you have not taken action, but because humans reject your grace. Fill us who believe with your Spirit, transform us and show us how to bring others to share in this blessing. Amen.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 11:51 pm

Dearly Beloved,
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
"Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses" (1 Timothy 5:23 NIV).
The above Bible passage has been one of the most misinterpreted and misapplied ones. In fact, it is one of those controversial verses of the Bible. Drunkards and those that are inclined to drinking too much wine and alcoholic drinks are quick to refer to it in support of their action. However, as I was in a Sunday school class one Sunday, I saw a different application to the instruction of Paul to Timothy: Timothy should take care of himself. The means of doing this was taking of some wine. Other places where the Bible refers to wine as something of medicinal substance are: Second Samuel 16:2 where it was said to revive the faint; Proverbs 31:6 where it was said to be suitable as a sedative for people in distress; Luke 10:34 where the Samaritan poured oil and wine on the wounds of the injured traveller; and Matthew 27:34 and Mark 15:23 where it was mixed with a drug to ease suffering. 
Well, this devotional write-up is not aimed at supporting or not supporting the use of wine, but to underscore the importance of taking care of oneself. Paul was concerned about the wellbeing of Timothy, and he recommended to him a way of taking care of himself. No doubt, Timothy yielded to this advice to his own good.
Medical and other advices have been given to many people today, and many people do not yield to such good advices to their detriment. Are you one of such people that do not yield to medical, professional, ministerial and other specialized advices about your health, business, family or other endeavors? Part of taking care of yourself is yielding to such good advices.
"Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise" (Proverbs 19:20 NIV). 
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Lord, help me to always take of myself in every ramification.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:35 pm

Dearly Beloved,
THE EIGHTY-SIXTH PSALM
“Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.... Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy” (Psalm 86:1, 6 NIV).
Psalm 86 was supposedly written by King David, though its placement among the psalms ascribed to “the Sons of Korah” made some people to doubt its Davidic authorship. However, its contents and layout resemble most of the psalms that are ascribed to David without any controversy. The writer of this psalm was undoubtedly in a danger, and he called on God to deliver him from his enemies.
The psalmist considered himself as somebody who is “poor and needy,” therefore, he prayed that God should hear and answer his prayers (verse 1). There are at least five different kinds of prayers in this psalm:
One, prayer of protection: because the psalmist was being attacked by people he regarded as “the arrogant” and “a band of ruthless men” in verse 14, his first prayer point was that God should guard his life (verse 2). He could attest to the fact that he was devoted to and trust in God, hence, this prayer.
Two, prayer for mercy: thrice in this psalm, the psalmist cried out to God for mercy (verses 3, 6, 16). He knew that only God could grant him mercy.
Three, prayer of forgiveness: the psalmist regarded God as a forgiving God who is good and abounding in love. By implication, he was asking God to forgive him as he was crying to Him.
Four, prayer of worship: in spite of his predicament, the psalmist worshipped God for who He is (verses 8-10).
Five, prayer of praises: closely related to the previous prayer is this. The psalmist praised God for what He is doing (verses 10, 12, 13). His predicament did not blindfold him to who God is and what His had done in his life.
There are other prayers for joy (verse 4), instruction (verse 11), and the goodness of God (verse 17) also in this psalm. The eighty-sixth psalm is indeed worthy of meditation.
What is your predicament presently? Are you also ready to cry to God? He has promised, “...call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psalm 50:15 NIV). Cry unto Him, and He is ready to answer you.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Lord, help me not stop crying unto You till you answer me.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 15 Feb 2016, 1:50 am

Dearly Beloved,
DO NOT FORGET YOUR GOD
"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day" (Deuteronomy 8:10-11 NIV).
One of the recipients of my weekly messages reacted to the message I sent out last week about the reason why people especially the younger generation no longer go to church in the western world. From his experience for the past eleven years he has been living in this western world, he pointed out that the reason I gave is just one out of hundreds of reasons for the decline in church attendance in the western world. He went ahead to list many other reasons. Most of his reasons bother on the wellbeing of most people in this part of the world. Their problem is how to manage the wellbeing, not the absence of it as it is the case in other parts of underdeveloped and developing world. So, most people in the western world think that they do not need God or the church.
These man’s reasons remind me of Moses' valedictory speech to the people of Israel at his old age that contained warnings. One of such warnings is the one quoted above: do not forget your God when you are at ease. Moses knew that it is easier to remember God when we are in need than when things are going on well with us.
In the same way, the rich man in Jesus' parable in Luke 12:16-21 failed to yield to this warning. He had a bountiful harvest. His possession became his idol and he forgot God the Giver. That day, his life was taken from him, and his possession became other people's possession. Jesus Christ pointed out the meaning of prosperity without God: "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:21 NIV).
Beloved, it shall be well with you! God will satisfy you with many good things. His good promise will surely come to pass in your life. However, will you not forget God when you are satisfied with the desires of your heart? Will you still remember to serve Him with what He has blessed you with?
Do not be like that rich fool nor like most people in the western world. Placing God, the Giver above the gifts is a mark of true achievement. Do not forget your God when it is well with you. Serve and obey Him the more. He rewards.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that your wellbeing will not make you to forget your God.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 07 Feb 2016, 7:08 pm

Dearly Beloved,
ARE YOU NOT AT FAULT ALSO?
“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock”’” (Ezekiel 34:1-3 NIV).
In less than a month of my sojourn in the United Kingdom, I have discovered many pathetic things about the western world. One of those things is the decline in the number of people that go to church, especially the absence of youth in most of the churches. Many church buildings have become empty and been sold because of this. This has been a great burden to me, and I always ask pastors here what they are doing to bring back the youth into the church. Just of recent, I discovered that I have been asking the wrong question! I met a lady in her early fifties who told me that the last time she went to church was when she was sixteen. I asked her why she stopped going to church and she told me a bitter truth about the church here: the church has become institutionalized and the church leaders are not living by example. She cited some examples of the atrocities that the church leaders were doing then which are becoming worse even today. One of such atrocities she emphasized is the fact most of the church leaders are getting richer at the expense of their congregations. She pointed out that the youth here will continue to abandon the church because the people of the church are not practising what they preach. I had no option that day than to agree with her because I know that she was saying the truth. No wonder, many people (especially the younger generation) are no longer interested in the things of the church.
The indictment of the church leaders by this white lady reminds me of the leaders of the people of Israel in the time of Prophet Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 34). The Lord indicted these leaders because they were self-centred. They did not care about the people that they led. The people were suffering under their watch while the leaders continued to live in affluence. This made the people to wander away in search of care. God was not happy with these leaders and promised to hold them accountable (see verse 10).
Are you a church leader? Are you not at fault also of this indictment? Are you not self-centred to the detriment of people you are leading? Do you care about your congregation? Can your congregation follow your example or you are expecting them to just be following your messages? Do you attract people to the church or are you driving them away from the church because of your way of life?
Well, if you are just a member of a church, the infamous way of life of your church leaders should not drive you away from the church. Jesus Christ is our ultimate role Model. He should be your standard (see Hebrews 12:1-2), not any church leader no matter how highly placed or respected. 
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Lord, help me not to mislead the people you have entrusted into my care.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 3:23 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.” 
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). 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.
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).
Prayer Point: Lord, help me to be able to depend on You no matter what befalls me.
_________________________
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 9:17 pm

Dearly Beloved,
GOD WILL FORGIVE, BUT...
“Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ Nathan replied, ‘The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born to you will die’” (2 Samuel 12:13-14 NIV).
I still remember vividly an encounter I had with an elderly man during a Sunday School general session in a village church over twenty years ago. It was question time, and a question was raised about the life of David, especially his issue with Bathsheba. The elderly man was of the opinion that if God could forgive David after his sins with Bathsheba, He will forgive anyone that sins and comes for forgiveness. My response then was (and still now is) if the elderly man wanted what happened to David to happen to him, he should continue to sin and then come to God later for forgiveness. God will really forgive, but....
What happened to David after his sins and confession? The son born out the adultery died (2 Samuel 12:14, 18); there was no longer peace in the household of David; one of his sons, Amnon, raped his half-sister, Tamar (2 Samuel 13:1-14); another son, Absalom, killed Amnon for this (2 Samuel 13:28-29; Absalom planned a coup against his father, David (2 Samuel 15); and Absalom sexually molested ten of the wives of David publicly (2 Samuel 16:21-22). David was forgiven indeed, but the repercussions of his sins were too much. Though forgiven, the sins were like scars of a wound that remained in his life for life (see 1 Kings 15:5). 
There are many Bible passages that teach about the forgiveness of sin. Here are some:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NIV).
“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13 NIV).
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’ — and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:5 NIV).
There are also others like Leviticus 26:40-42 and 1 Kings 8:47, but what of the repercussions of the sins?
Are you also of the opinion that you can go on sinning because God will forgive you if you confess your sin? Good. He will definitely forgive you if you confess, but remember the repercussion of the sin. A scar in the body can never be as the other parts of the body. It is better not to sin than to sin and run to God for forgiveness. He will forgive, but....
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will not play with sin because of the compassion of God.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 2:12 pm

Dearly Beloved,
IT IS NOT ORDINARY!
“I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me” (Psalm 3:5 NIV).
Every morning, my alarm clock would ring by 4.30am and I would wake up and start my daily routine. At times, I would have woken up before the sound of the alarm. This has been happening for years, and I tend to think that it is ordinary or normal to wake up early in the morning either by the sound of the alarm or before its rings. However, it recently dawned on me that it is really not ordinary to sleep and wake up; it is a divine arrangement and grace. If you do not agree with this, place an alarm beside a dead man and see if he would wake up when the alarm rings. 
It is not ordinary or normal to sleep and wake up. Only God makes one to do so every day. The psalmist realized this and declared, “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me” (Psalm 3:5 NIV). “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8 NIV). “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat — for [God] grants sleep to those he loves” (Psalm 127:2 NIV).
Sleeping and waking up are not only things that we consider normal or ordinary. Breathing, eating, drinking, talking, hearing, walking, lifting of hands and any other part of our body, in fact, everything that one can think of as ordinary or normal are not really ordinary and normal. It is God in His infinite mercy that has arranged them and allows us to be enjoying them. As part of His covenant with Noah after the flood, God said, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (Genesis 8:22 NIV). He continues to keep that covenant! 
The implication of this is that we ought to always praise God for the gift of life every day and the ability to do what we are able to do each day. Thank you Lord for everything. It is not ordinary!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Lord, help me not to take the seemingly ordinary things of life for granted, but to always appreciate you for all these things.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 04 Jan 2016, 11:05 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WILL YOU PRAISE GOD THIS YEAR?
“Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” (Psalm 147:1 NIV).
The prayers of my family and me for the year 2016 for people in my Internet ministry was based on Psalm 147:8-9, 13-14. Psalm 147 is one of the “Hallelujah Psalms” – the last five psalms that started and ended with the expression “Praise the LORD.” In Psalm 147, the psalmist highlighted who the LORD is and some of the things that He has done that made him (that is, the psalmist) started and ended the psalm with the expression “Praise the LORD.” The LORD is great and mighty in power, and His understanding is limitless (verse 5). In His greatness and mighty, He determines the number of the stars as numerous as they are and calls each of them by name (verse 4). His deeds include restoration (verses 2-3), sustenance (verse 6), provision (verses 8-9), strength (verse 13), blessings (verse 13), peace (verse 14), satisfaction (verse 14), control over nature (verses 15-18), and revelation of His words (verse 19). No wonder, the psalmist enjoined his audience to sing to the Lord with thanksgiving, make music to Him on the musical instruments, extol Him, and praise Him (verses 7, 12). It is indeed good, pleasant and fitting to sing praises to the LORD (verse 1).
However, as the psalmist was highlighting what the LORD is doing, he briefly mentioned something that delights the LORD – trust in His unfailing love (verse 11). The LORD does not want man to trust in himself or any other thing apart from Him, the LORD (verse 10). Undoubtedly, relying on the LORD is a crucial way to praise Him.
Indeed, the LORD deserves our praises for who He is and what He is doing in our lives. He has done many things in our lives in the past years; He has started doing so in this young year; and He will continue to do so till the end of ages. Can you also highlight what the LORD has done for you in the past and what He is still doing for you presently? Will you praise Him this year especially by totally relying on Him? Praise Him with your whole heart and He will give you more reasons to praise Him and demonstrate His greatness more in your life. Praise the LORD!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will praise the LORD this year by totally relying on Him.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sat 02 Jan 2016, 10:39 pm

Dearly Beloved,
OUR PRAYERS FOR YOU IN THE YEAR 2016
Happy New Year (2016). Glory be to the Almighty God for enabling us to see this brand new year. 
Opeyemi (my wife), Boluwatife, IfeOluwa, Michael, Abraham (my children) and I are welcoming you to this New Year with these prophetic prayers adapted from Psalm 147:8-9, 13-14 (AMP). 
This New Year:
- The Lord will cover you with His splendour;
- He will strengthen and make you flourish in all your endeavours;
- He will specially meet you at the point of your needs and fill you with the finest of His goodness;
- He will bless your offspring wherever they may be; and
- He will give you peace in your borders in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Happy and prosperous New Year!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor),
Irish School of Ecumenics (Trinity College Dublin at Belfast)
683 Antrim Road, Belfast BT15 4EG
United Kingdom
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 27 Dec 2015, 7:20 pm

Dearly Beloved,
FORGET WHAT IS BEHIND
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12-14 NIV).
Glory be to God that we have come to the end of another year. The Lord has done many things for me in the year, and I know He has done many things also for you this year that make Him deserve our praises and worship. Let us return all glory to Him for everything He made us to achieve in the year.
However, I cannot achieve a particular goal that has to do with my study here in the United Kingdom this old year. I thought the goal would have been achieved by the end of the third quarter of the year. God still keeps me waiting to achieve it till now. Nevertheless, He still remains the faithful God that I can rely on. As the year is running to an end, I have learnt to forget what is behind and press on.
Take an honest look at yourself. Have you also been disappointed in one way or the other in this old year? Are you unable to achieve your set goals for the year? Do not be dismayed. Forget what is behind and press on in the coming year. The New Year will be better for you in Jesus' name. Amen.
Have you achieved your goals this year? Did you have many successes in the year? Praise God! However, do not let those achievements and successes blindfold you. God is taking you to higher ground. Do like Paul, "forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…." Aim for higher things. Remember that old song, "Good, Better, Best/ I shall never rest,/ until my good is better,/ and my better's best."
Happy New Year (2016) in advance!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to leave the unachieved goals of this year behind and forge ahead for a better year (2016).

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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Tue 22 Dec 2015, 12:19 am

Dearly Beloved,
HE WILL SELL FEW COWS!
for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10 NIV).
Recently, I was chatting with a pastor-colleague on Facebook and told her about my financial challenge as I continue my postgraduate study here in the United Kingdom. Here was her response: God is faithful. He will do it. That is small. Just a few cows He will sell to settle it.Cows? I questioned. What have cows got to do with my situation and God's faithfulness in meeting my needs? She then referred me to the above quoted verse and explained that God has everything including the cattle on a thousand hills and what He needs to do is just to sell some of the cows to meet my needs. It was then I understood her point. I had a better understanding as I reflected on cattle rearers who usually sell some of their cows to meet their essential needs. 
While God does not need to sell any cow or any other thing for that matter to be able to meet the needs of His loved ones, He knows what to do, how to do it, and when to do it to meet their needs in His own way and in His own time. There were thousands of people that followed Jesus Christ to listen to Him. A time came when these people needed to be cared for. Jesus asked His disciples what they would do to feed these people. However, the writer of the Gospel added this: ..he already had in mind what he was going to do (John 6:6 NIV). The thousands of people were provided for with many baskets full of left over. 
Are you also in need of one thing or the other? Apostle Paul told the Philippians: And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (4:19 NIV). You do not need to be worried or lose hope. Paul had earlier warned: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God(Philippians 4:6 NIV). God is faithful. He will do it. That is small. Just a few cows He will sell to settle it. Do you believe this? 
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will not worry about your needs, but that you will learn to trust God for the provision of your needs.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 14 Dec 2015, 1:09 am

Dearly Beloved,
ENRICHED WITH HONOUR
“But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God.’ ...And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed...’” (Luke 1:30, 46-48 NIV).
The reality of the real meanings of my names (Adebayo Olayinka Afolaranmi) manifested as I celebrated my fortieth birthday anniversary on December 8, 2010. I had similar experience last Tuesday as I celebrated another birthday. In Yoruba language, “Adebayo” means “One who has come to meet joy,” “Olayinka” means “I am surrounded by honour,” while “Afolaranmi” (my father’s name) means “I am enriched with honour.” Actually, the month of December has been a special month in my life: I was born on December 8, 1970; I got married on December 19, 1998; my daughter was born on December 7, 2002; my family moved to our personal house on December 23, 2005; my elder sister gave birth to her new baby on December 6, 2010 in a miraculous way; my wife got a new employment on December 6, 2010 after she was without a job for almost a year; twice God saved me from danger on December 8, 1992 and 2010; this year, in this month of December, I had breakthrough in a particular aspect of my study here in the UK, and my wife had another remarkable breakthrough. December 25 has been set apart to commemorate the birth of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. These incidents were never coincidental. Indeed, I have come to meet the joy and goodness of God; God has surrounded me and enriched me with His honour. I never thought of these things till December 8, 2010 (and this year also) when people were rejoicing with me and I looked back and reflected on the goodness of God to me. Glory be to His holy name! 
As I was reflecting on this, I remembered Mary the mother of Jesus. She was so favoured and honoured by God that she was used as the instrument of bringing the Saviour of the world to this world. The Roman Catholics still venerate her till today, though to an extreme. There were many virgins in Israel when God chose her. Likewise, there are many people on earth when God chose me to be favoured and honoured the way He did, and is still doing it. Once again, glory be to His holy name!
Have you reflected on how God has favoured and honoured you also? Do you appreciate Him for this? Do not say He has not done so. Indeed, “He has blessed us by giving us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world” (Ephesians 1:3 TEV). You might have not got what you want from Him, but I know that He has enriched you also with His favour and honour. I pray that as this year is running to an end, He will enrich you more with His honour and favour in Jesus’ name. Amen.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Points:
1. Thank God for how He has enriched you with His honour, favour and goodness.
2. Pray that you will always appreciate God for His favour and goodness in your life.
3. As this year is running to an end, pray that God will enrich you more with His honour and favour.
NB
I am so grateful to people that sent comments and prayers to me on the occasion of my birthday last Tuesday through e-greetings, SMS, phone calls, messages and comments by email, Facebook, etc. Some even sent birthday gifts to me! I am honoured. God will honour you also in your entire endeavour. Amen.
* Message originally posted on December 11, 2010. 

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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 06 Dec 2015, 11:46 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHOSE SPIRIT?
"When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to" (Acts 16:7 NIV).
I can still remember vividly a little drama in my Yoruba Sunday school class many years ago when an elderly man was reading the above quoted passage. Instead of reading "the Spirit of Jesus," he read "the spirit of the devil." Interestingly, the word for the devil in Yoruba language, "ESU" is short of a letter from the transliteration of the word for Jesus in the language "JESU." The elderly man unintentionally confused the two words together. The other members of the class tried to cleverly correct the old man. Nevertheless, I learnt a lesson from the confusion.
Reading the passage superficially, one may tend to intentionally think that it was the spirit of the devil that was hindering Paul and his companions to enter Bithynia to preach the gospel there. Probably, that was the thinking of the elderly man that misread the verse. However, it was the Spirit of JESUS, not that of the devil that did not allow them to go there because of His own divine plan for the missionary journey of Paul.
The lesson from this misunderstanding of the verse is that there has been confusion to the spirit that is leading many men of God today, especially those that find it difficult to differentiate between the Spirit of Jesus and the spirit of the devil. Do you recognize when the Spirit of Jesus is leading you to do things that are contrary to your seeming good plan? Do you willingly yield to the leading of the Spirit of Jesus when He leads you to do things in His own way?
It is a pity that the spirit of the devil is the one that is leading many people today, and they think that it is the Spirit of Jesus. Whose spirit is leading you, the Spirit of "JESU" or the spirit of "ESU"?
"For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:14 NASB).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 29 Nov 2015, 12:40 pm

Dearly Beloved,
ENDURE HARDSHIPS
"I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love" (Revelation 2:2-4 NIV).
In His letter to the seven churches in the Asia Minor, God commended the church in Ephesus for enduring hardship for His name. However, the commendation was short-lived because the church forsook its first love. 
Many people are like that church who would at first endure hardship and persecution because of being Christians but who would later, because of pressures around them give in to the hardship. The Lord has called each of us into this ministry of reconciliation. He backs His call with many promises that assure us that He is with us (Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:24). Nevertheless, persecutions may come. "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted..." (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV). 
In spite of this, we should not be afraid of any opposition or persecution. When persecution comes, we should remember that God knows how He will deliver us from such persecution. Apostle Peter said, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast" (1 Peter 5:10 NIV). When He does, we become stronger and purer in our faith (see 1 Peter 1:6-9; 2 Peter 2:9). Therefore, stand fast in the ministry God has called you into. He depends on you, and He will not let you down.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Help me, Lord, to be able to endure hardship to the end.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Mon 23 Nov 2015, 1:59 pm

Dearly Beloved,
DO YOU REMEMBER THE DAY?
“The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God — he and his whole family” (Acts 16:34 NIV).
I was invited to a get-together recently where I met a white lady. This forty-year-old lady was so excited to narrate to anyone who cared to listen how she had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ in a similar get-together some weeks back. She narrated how she had previous been religious, how she read the Bible many times and went to church and other religious gatherings before this particular one. She concluded that since that encounter, she is now having an inner joy and peace that she did not previously had. From her countenance, it is certain that she is happy with her new-found relationship with the Saviour Jesus Christ.
The experience of this lady reminds me of many of similar experiences of people in the Bible who also had personal encounters with Jesus Christ. There was great joy in the city of Samaria when many people came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through Philip (see Acts 8:8). The disciples in Pisidian Antioch “were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” after Paul preached to them (Acts 13:52 NIV). The experiences of the Ethiopian eunuch who “went on his way rejoicing” after he accepted Jesus Christ into his life (Acts 8:39 NIV) and the Philippian jailer who “was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God” (Acts 16:34 NIV) are classic when one talks about people with personal encounters with the Saviour. Such day is indeed a happy day! 
Have you had the experience? Do you remember the day you had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ? Can you narrate the experience? Being religious is not enough to have such experience. You have to definitely and consciously accept Jesus Christ into your life. Apostle John asserted, “...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 1:12-13 NIV). It is only by believing in Jesus Christ that you can have that inner joy and peace in life (see John 20:31). The hymn writer Philip Doddridge (1702-1751) put it this way: “Happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away! He taught me how to watch and pray, and live rejoicing every day; Happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away.”
Do you remember that day?
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will continue to have the inner joy and peace of salvation in the Saviour Jesus Christ.

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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 15 Nov 2015, 11:32 pm

Dearly Beloved,
"WHERE ARE YOU?"
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid’” (Genesis 3:8-10 NIV).
This question "Where are you?" supposedly was the first question God asked the first man - Adam. The question led to other series of questions. Does it mean that the omniscient God did not really know where Adam was? If He knew, why was He asking Adam where he was? Why did He not bring Adam out of where he was hiding? Why did He want Adam to expose himself? Why did God have to ask other questions in Genesis 3:9-13? God did not ask these questions because He needed information. Being the omniscient God, He knows everything. Rather, He asked the questions for the good of Adam and his wife to give them the opportunity to face facts, be honest, and confess their sins. Unfortunately, both Adam and Even tried to defend themselves by shifting the blame to others (see Genesis 3:11-13). This made God to pronounce severe judgments on them. Probably if they had admitted their errors and asked for forgiveness, God would had forgiven them.
Many people deliberately sin and think that they can hide from God. In His graciousness, God is asking them, "Where are you?" However, like Adam, they are still not admitting their wrongdoings. In fact, many would rationalize the wrongdoings. They see God as an intruder who does not want them to live their lives as they want. Some people sin unintentionally and God would ask them, "Where are you?" He is doing this in order to bring them back to their senses. He wants them to be honest with themselves and ask for forgiveness. Only few people do admit their sins and come boldly to God for forgiveness.
God is still asking you, "Where are you?" Will you admit your sins and ask for His forgiveness or will you rationalize your wrongdoings before Him? The Bible says, “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13 NIV. See also Leviticus 26:40-42; 1 Kings 8:48-49; Jeremiah 3:12-13; 1 John 1:8-10). God is looking for people that will come boldly to Him to admit their sins and ask for His forgiveness. Will you come to Him NOW? "Where are you?"
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). 
Prayer Point: Pray that you will not rationalize your wrongdoings but always come to God for forgiveness.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 08 Nov 2015, 11:38 pm

Dearly Beloved,
WHAT GOES AROUND...
“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 6:7-8 NIV).
My fellowship with some older adults in a care home in Belfast, UK has been so fascinating to me. The personal interaction I had with one of the old women was spectacular. The old woman who is in her eighties told me her childhood experience, her family background, and the fact that she was once a professional caregiver in one of the care homes in town when she was younger. She concluded that she did not know then that she would end up being in a care home in her old age. Interestingly, her only daughter is one of the professional caregivers in that particular care home where she now receives care.
The life of this old woman reminds of the popular proverb: “What goes around comes around.” What you do now will come back to you in the near future. Indeed, whether good or bad, one will reap whatever one sows in life. It may not directly be in one’s choosing profession. This principle is re-echoed throughout the Scriptures. Here are some of the Bible passages: 
“As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it” (Job 4:8 NIV).
“They will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes” (Proverbs 1:31 NIV). 
“The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward” (Proverbs 11:18 NIV). 
“God ‘will give to each person according to what he has done.’ To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favouritism” (Romans 2:6-11 NIV).
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV).
For more Bible passages, see Psalm 62:12; Proverbs 24:12; Hosea 8:7; 10:12; Luke 16:25; Galatians 6:7-8. This is both comforting and scaring. It is comforting if what one is doing is good because it is certain that good things will be done to one in returns later. It is scaring because if one is doing bad things against other people, one will be rewarded with bad things later in life whether one likes it or not. This is also referred to as “the law of Karma” or “the law of retribution”. 
What are you doing now? Do you wish to be at the receiving end of what you are doing now in the near future? There is no option. What goes around will one day come around. You will one day reap what you are sowing now. 
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will consciously be doing what is good so as to receive good things in turn in future.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 01 Nov 2015, 10:26 pm

Dearly Beloved,
ARE YOU STILL ALIVE?
“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God” (Revelation 3:1-2 NIV).
Many people reacted sadly to my message last week, “TO LET: FORMER CHURCH”. The reactions came both from the developing world and the western world. A reaction from a recipient in one of the online groups I posted the message mostly touches my heart. According to him, “[My] experience and observation in the UK is not just a western phenomenon alone. It is already here with us in Nigeria.” He went ahead to highlight some of the things that are happening in churches in Nigeria. He enumerated how churches have become entertainment centres where CHRIST is not enough anymore in many churches. To attract people to church events, “jesters or stand-up comedians” are needed thereby making people to come to church empty and leave empty. As time goes on, people will prefer to go to entertainment centres than to go church because entertainment is now taking the centre stage in many churches. This recipient also pointed my attention to the fact that the
cross has become old fashion and is absent on the signboards of many churches. Rather, the portrait of church pastor and his beautiful wife is what is prominent on many churches’ signboards. At times, it is the portrait of the general overseer of the church. The pastor or the general overseer has become the centre of attraction in many churches. No wonder, some are fighting now for positions in many churches today in Nigeria. There have been cases assassinations of pastors because of positions in some churches today in Nigeria. To add to his observations, many churches no longer devote quality time to the study of the word of God and discipleship of new believers. The emphasis now is prayer for breakthrough, victory over perceived enemies and other self-centred issues. Holiness, righteousness, the second coming of Christ and the last judgement and other sound biblical teachings have been put aside in many churches. These have made many church goers to
half-baked Christians. Many are only religious, they are not spiritual. The conclusion of this recipient is, “May God forbid... Nigerians churches may one day become... TO LET, FORMER CHURCH”. 
While it is certain that many churches in the western world are dead, many churches in Nigeria are like the church in Sardis. Jesus Christ told the church, “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1 NIV). He went ahead to charge the church to wake up and strengthen what remains and is about to die, or else He would come unexpectedly to judge the church.
Is your church in this category? Is your church still alive and Christ-centred? What of you as an individual? Are you still alive in Christ, or you just have the reputation of being a Christian? Wake up! 
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will not be a dying Christian but the Lord should keep you alive in Him.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 25 Oct 2015, 10:20 pm

DearlyBeloved,

TOLET, FORMER CHURCH

“Gonow to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, and seewhat I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel†(Jeremiah 7:12NIV).

Iwas prepared for many cultural shocks and surprises as I was leaving Africansoil for the Western World for the first time last month. I did have, and I amstill having, many of such shocks in the less than two months of my sojourn inthis so-called developed part of the world. One that baffles me most is the bigchurches and cathedrals with few or no worshippers on worship days. Most ofthese few worshippers are old people. The youth are nowhere to be found. I wasmore surprised one day when I saw an advert placed on a big old church thatreads: "To Let: Former Church" . I looked at the church and grievedwithin me. So, what some people are saying that many of the old churches in thewestern world have become halls for secular purposes is true. I will not besurprised if some of these churches are bought by Muslims and they turn them tomosques.

AsI was thinking over this, the situations of Shiloh and later Jerusalem came tomy mind. The tabernacle (the Tent of Meeting) with the Ark of Covenant was setup in Shiloh (see Joshua 18:1-10). The town became the religious centre for thepeople of Israel (see Judges 21:1-2, 19; 1 Samuel 1:3). Because of thewickedness of the priests of Shiloh (and apparently other people of Israel), Godabandoned the town and allowed the Philistines to capture the Ark of Covenantand destroy the city (see 1 Samuel 3:11-14; 4:1-22; Psalm 78:60). Jeremiahprophesied about the impending similar destruction to the temple in Jerusalem(see Jeremiah 7). Instead of the people to yield to his warning, they werepersecuting him. The temple and the city were destroyed (see 2 Kings 25).

Iwould not want to be judgmental about the decline in the growth of Christianityin the western world that results to abandonment of church buildings, but it iscertain that the Christians there are to be blame. Complacency in their parthas made Christianity unpopular, and many churches are dying gradually whilesome are dead already.

Asan individual Christian, are you as fervent in the Lord as when you firstbecame born again? Is complacency not making you to be far from God? Can Godstill depend on you? Beware that you do not become an abandoned instrument inthe hands of God.

InHis service,

BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).

PrayerPoint: Pray that you will not become an abandoned instrument but that you willcontinue to be relevant in the things of the Lord.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 18 Oct 2015, 7:30 pm

Dearly Beloved,
"O BAAL, ANSWER US!"
"So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. `O Baal, answer us!' they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made" (1 Kings 18:26 NIV).
The story of the contest between Prophet Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel to decide the true God is a fascinating one. The people of Israel under the leadership of King Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel had abandoned the worship of the living God for Baal, one of the fertility gods of Canaan (see 1 Kings 16:30-33). Jezebel had even tried to exterminate all the prophets of the living God from the land (see 1 Kings 18:4). After God had proved through Elijah that He is the only one that can bring fertility, Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a contest to determine the true God. The contest was that each side would prepare a sacrifice and call on his god (or God) to send fire to consume the sacrifice. Because of their large number, the prophets of Baal firstly took their turn. They cried to Baal, their god, to answer them from morning till evening, but there was no response. They did all they could do to get response from Baal, but he
did not respond. Even the jests of Elijah could not make him to save his adherents from the disgrace of their lives. Elijah on his turn did not have to task himself much after he had repaired his altar and filled it with water before the living God answered him and consumed his sacrifice by fire.
Many of us are acting like those prophets of Baal today. We have abandoned the living God for worldly things, and we are expecting those things to give unto us what only God can give. We look unto things like money, occupation, time, sports, pleasure, reputation, position, children, spouse, or even our own self instead of God to give us enjoyment, protection and security. We have placed more priority on these things to the extent that God has been relegated to the obscurity. And we can do anything to get what we want from these "Baals," though most of the time they disappoint us at the crucial moment of our life.
If you do not want to be disappointed, stop crying to these "Baals" and turn to God. He is the only "refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1 NIV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). 
Prayer Point: Help me, Lord, not to put my trust in people and mundane things.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:42 pm

Dearly 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 destine, 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 fulfill 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 fulfill 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).
Prayer Point: Lord, help me to always wait for Your appointed time for my life.
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Re: Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Post  Admin on Sun 04 Oct 2015, 9:56 pm

Dearly Beloved,
 HASGOD FORSAKEN ME?"
MyGod, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, sofar from the words of my groaning?" (Psalm 22:1 NIV).Psalm22 is one of those psalms sometimes called Passion Psalms. Jesus Christ usedthe opening cry on the cross and the amazing choice of words of verses 6-8 and13-18 have made the psalm especially important to Christians. There is withinthe psalm an extraordinary combination of praise and complaint. The psalmistfound himself in a difficult situation that made him think that God hadforsaken him (verses 1-2). Because of his situation and the fact that God didnot act for him at that very point in time made people to mock him (verses 6-8,12-18). However, in the midst of this protest of seemingly neglect, he couldstill praise God for who He is and what He has done, and is still doing (verses3-5, 22-31). It is noteworthy that there is no reference to sin as the cause ofthe trouble, no plea of innocence, no claim of righteousness, and no vengeance.The psalmist just cried to God for help (verses 19-21).JesusChrist also found Himself in similar situation, and He also acted like thepsalmist: He cried out to God (see Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34; Luke 23:46). Itwas evident, however, that God did not forsake Jesus Christ, as He did notforsake the psalmist as well. God allowed the situations to bring out somethingin the lives of the psalmist and Jesus Christ. We may not know what God broughtout in the life of the psalmist through the difficult situation, but we knowthat the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ brought about our eternalsalvation (Romans 5:6, 8; Hebrews 2:14-15; 5:9; 10:5-10). No wonder, thepsalmist could praise God even when he did not know the outcome of hispredicament. Whatsituation are you passing through? Have you prayed and God has not answeredyour prayers? Does it seem as if God has forsaken you? Are people around youmaking jest of you because of your predicament? Well, GOD HAS NOT FORSAKEN YOU!Read this: "But Zion said, `The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord hasforgotten me.' `Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have nocompassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I WILL NOT FORGETYOU! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are everbefore me. Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you.Lift up your eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. Assurely as I live,' declares the LORD, `you will wear them all as ornaments; youwill put them on, like a bride. `Though you were ruined and made desolate andyour land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those whodevoured you will be far away. `The children born during your bereavement willyet say in your hearing, "This place is too small for us; give us morespace to live in." Then you will say in your heart, "Who bore methese? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought theseup? I was left all alone, but these-- where have they come from?"&# 39;" (Isaiah 

InHis service,BayoAfolaranmi (Pastor).
PrayerPoint: Lord, when I think I am forsaken by You, reassure me that You have notforsaken me.
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