Pastor Taiwo Odukoya
The Senior Pastor of the Fountain of Life Church, Taiwo Odukoya, stated that children are God’s special gifts and that God is very particular about them. He said this at the May 29 Sunday service, which doubled as the family Sunday service and children’s day celebration in the church.
In his words of encouragement to the children, he said to them, “Children are God’s best gift to us. They are God’s treasure. He loves them so much. Dear children, your parents and teachers love and care for you too. All they want is the best for you. Never mind the class or struggles you might be going through today, you are turning out to be the best in Jesus’ name.”
Reading from Psalm 127:1–5, the minister told the parents to be aware of their roles in raising their children to God’s glory. Sharing the testimony of an Israeli called Tony Campolo, whose mother’s words of how special he was due to his origin as a Jew, resonated with the young Campolo to the extent that he literarily felt special indeed. Pastor Taiwo emphasised the importance of proper declarations of God’s Words on children’s
He further cited Matthew 19:13–15 to note that Jesus subconsciously stops the oppression of the children’s enthusiasm so that they don’t end up with the mindset of insecure adults. He, therefore, admonished his listeners, especially children, to constantly remind themselves that they are the best and that nobody can pull them down. “Dear children, God has put the seed of greatness in you. Don’t look down on yourself nor look down on other people. And don’t let anybody look down on you or bully you in school. Tell yourself, ‘I am the best; nobody can pull me down,'” he said.
Parents were instructed to avoid the pitfalls of unwholesome rebuke, neglect, and overindulgence. He reiterated that God places a high premium on children, as he quoted from Jeremiah 1:5. For emphasis, he mentioned that God does not see things as men do. He, therefore, advised the congregation that it was important to be involved and deliberate in the lives of their children towards accomplishing the purposes of Heaven.
In concluding his message, he cautioned that parents should not dump their weaknesses on their children. Rather, he advised that they should live lives that are full of godly examples because children learn to a large extent by observation. He re-emphasized the importance of declaring the Word of God continually and affirming sincere love for the children. Pastor Taiwo thereafter pronounced blessings on the children to the extent that they would manifest in fullness the purpose of God in their lifetimes.
Pastor Taiwo Odukoya
“The problem is not about the saying, the problem is how to connect your conviction with your saying.” These were the words of Pastor Taiwo Odukoya at the May 26 Thursday Showers service. Pastor Odukoya took his opening scripture from Mark 11:11-24, explaining how Jesus used a natural scenario to teach His disciples an important aspect of the faith walk. In his narration, he noted that Jesus had a need (hunger), approached a fig tree for fruit (expectation), and His expectation was met with disappointment, in that there was no fruit on the tree. The response of Jesus to the situation, which was “Let no man eat fruit from you ever again,” brought about a powerful lesson.
He further explained that Peter, on drawing the attention of Jesus to the dried fig tree the next day, had the most profound answer from Jesus, “Have faith in God”. If you are born again and you live by faith, it is a God-kind of faith, he added.
Pastor Taiwo contextualised prayer as a declaration of faith, hinting that it has to be done with single-heartedness for an effective result. In explaining Mark 11:23, he stated that in order to receive the result, our prayers must always be in accordance with what He said. He related the term “faith” as believing in what you say without having a doubt about getting it. He explained that most declarations never come to fruition because of a wrong understanding of the concept. Hence, the essence of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:17 and Philippians 3:10 remains paramount.
He urged believers to be careful of what they say in challenging moments because it has the potency to either move them forward or backwards. On the flip side, he cautioned believers not to let what others say affect their declarations unless it is consistent with God’s word. He affirms that what you say determines what you get from the situation.
According to II Corinthians 4:13, Pastor Taiwo added that a faith-filled declaration is a kingdom mandate pattern that every believer must latch on to.
Closing with the story of David in I Samuel 17, how he was being sent by his father to check on his brothers at war and how he was being resented and tongue-lashed by them, he urged believers to be careful with the company that attacks their actions and words at the slightest opportunity. He stated that the battle of David and Goliath, which started as a battle of words, found David victorious in his declarations. He concluded by explaining that Jesus was deliberate in His teaching because He knew the just shall live by faith.