MESSAGE FOR THE YEAR 2016 FROM THE PRESBYTER’S OFFICE

Very Rev. Ezekiel Oluyinka Akande

Presbyter/Minister-In-charge of Ikate Circuit

Dear people of God.

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The year 2015 has come and gone. It had gone into history with its pleasant and unpleasant events and experiences. We are all preserved by the Divine power of God and not by our might. Ephesians 2:8-9. Our God remains the same. The year undoubtedly brought to us many good things as members of this Circuit. We were able to consolidate our stand in various ways such as in Outreach and Evangelism, executing of projects and membership drive. We thank God for good leaders that we have to champion many projects and church activities that brought about spiritual and material growth in the church. Most especially, the generosity of Rising Star Society of Folawiyo Bankole Memorial Methodist Church who single handedly built a place of worship for children and youth, this is highly appreciated.

We give glory to God for the life of our Preachers who continued to be faithful to their callings; they discharged their duties effectively well. In the same vein the officers and church leaders in the Circuit who led us under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thank God for the cooperation that we had among the rank and file of the church Hierarchy, all these had made the church growing.

The Theme of Conference, “CHOSEN TO BEAR FRUIT” JOHN 15:16

In the natural world, fruit is the result of a healthy plant producing what it was designed to produce (Gen. 1:11-12). In the Bible, the word fruit is often used to describe a person’s outward actions that result from the condition of the heart.

Good fruit is that which is produced by the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22 gives us a starting place: the fruit of His Spirit is love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. The more we allow the Holy Spirit free rein in our lives, the more this fruit is evident (Galatians 5:16,25)  Jesus told His followers “I choose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that last (John 15:16).

Jesus told us clearly what we must do to bear good fruits. He said, Abide in me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). A branch must stay firmly attached to the trunk to stay alive. As Disciples of Christ, we must stay firmly connected to Jesus to remain spiritually productive. A branch draws strength, nourishment, protection and energy from the vine. If it is broken off, it quickly dies and becomes unfruitful. As leaders, when we neglect our spiritual life, ignore the Word of God, skimp on prayer, and withhold areas of our lives from the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit, we are like a branch broken off the vine. Our lives become fruitless. We need daily surrender, daily communication and daily – sometimes hourly repentance and connection with the Holy Spirit in order to “Walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). Staying intimately connected to the True Vine is the only way to “bear fruits in old age” (Psalm 92:14) “to run and not grow weary” (Isaiah 40: 31) and to not “grow weary in well-doing” (Galatians 6:9)

Therefore, this year and always it behooves of us, to bear fruit, for this is the mandate we have from Jesus. “I choose you and appointed you so that you must go and bear fruits”. Year 2016 will be our year of breakthrough in every facet of life. The Lord will put an end to every forms of fruitless effort in our lives. The Lord will make every impossibility possible in Jesus name. Go and be fruitful in the power of God.

Have a prosperous Year 2016.

Yours in Christ

Very Rev. E. Oluyinka Akande (JP)

Presbyter

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