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Christ’s Help Offers Inspiring Choices Encouraging Saints! (C.H.O.I.C.E.S)

Ramesh C. Reddy

“If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” (Philippians 1:22-24, NIV)

Approach Question:
What do you base your choices on?

I asked myself what choices was Paul faced with?
Living in the body.
Departing from the body.

I asked myself what were the advantages of both choices?
Living in the body-
This will mean fruitful labor for me.
More necessary for you that I remain in the body.

Departing from the body-
a. This will mean
being with Christ.
b. This will be
better by far than staying imprisoned and chained.

I asked myself the significance of Paul weighing the choices?
Even though Paul saw that departing from the body will allow him to be with Christ, he was thinking more about others than himself. That is really amazing that even in chains and imprisoned his mind was on others than himself. This is evidenced by his response:

“Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.” (Philippians 1:25-26)

I asked myself what
‘this’ meant in ‘convinced of this’ and realized ‘this’ is referring to ‘living in the body meaning fruitful labor for me and more necessary for you’.

I asked myself what choice does Paul make?
So now Paul knows what his choice is going to be which is evidenced by these statements:
I know that I will remain.
I will continue with all of you for your progress in the faith.
I will continue with all of you for your joy in the faith.

I asked myself why?
“So that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account on me.” (Philippians 1:26)

I asked myself what are the implications for my own life?
The purpose of today's devotional is to realize the importance of making choices that will benefit others more than me as I look to Jesus Christ and His Word. Paul applied this principle when he decided that 'Living in the body' will mean fruitful labor for him that will benefit others for their own growth. I too should make choices that will benefit others more than me as I focus on Christ and Christ alone. This is what Paul did. Paul's entire focus was on Christ and the opportunities to use his time here on earth for Christ. I learned this is not always easy when I am faced with choices that I feel will give me the most happiness in the short run but it makes no sense for me to go after those choices if Christ is not in the center of those choices.

Yesterday, during Community Bible Time in John 15 led by Pastor Ridge, my sweety Chandraleela and I looked at the choices we were given either to abide in Christ or abide in self. We saw for a fruitful living the only appropriate choice was to 'abide in Christ' where Jesus used the word 'abide' atleast 10 times. We were also reminded that 'we did not choose Jesus first, but Jesus chose us first to go and bear fruit'.

"You didn't choose me! I chose you! I appointed you to go and produce lovely fruit always, so that no matter what you ask for from the Father, using my name, He will give it you. I demand that you love each other." (John 15:16-17a, TLB)

So, we focused on what does it mean to bear fruit and what came to mind is the 'Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control'.(Galatians 5:22-23) 

Also, we looked at "You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by it's fruit." (Matthew 7:16, TLB)

The central theme in all this was our choices determine the fruit that is produced. If we choose to remain in Jesus abiding in Him and His Word, we will produce lovely fruit. However, if we choose to go our own way, we put ourselves in danger. Pastor Mike exposited John 15:1-11 more in a sermon giving us practical application on how we can choose to abide in Christ. Atleast two ways he reminded us was using  A.C.T.S - (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication) and G.R.A.C.E - (Gratitude, Reading God's Word, Appropriate, Charity, and Expectation) which Pastor Josh used the previous sunday. I reminded my precious wife of P.R.A.Y (Praise the Lord, Repent of your sins, All intercede for, Yourself intercede for).

Pastor Josh, Pastor Lake, Pastor Mike, and Calvin would remind me that our choices should first and foremost be based upon Jesus but we cannot forget our family especially our wives in the decisions we make.

I ask you now dear friends, what are your C.H.O.I.C.E.S based on?
Dear friends, the choices we make should be based on what will glorify Christ the most whether it be in academia, relationships, career, etc and be others focused than self-focused. The key in all this is seeking after God’s will for our lives in every aspect of our lives whatever area it is in. Standing up and speaking out for what you believe in and are convicted of will glorify the Lord if what you stand up for and speak out against is supported by Scripture. This in itself is a choice.

Whatever choices you are faced with, my hope and prayer is that those choices will be made with Christ being in the center of your life and the focus of your life. Surrendering your choices in life to Christ does not mean automatically you will be sent to the remotest places in the world. A lot of people fear that giving every area of their life to Christ would mean misery because they cannot get what they want.

What I have learned is that in the long run it is not worth going our own way if Christ wants us to go in another direction even if it means giving up what we have always done. I have also learned that whatever God’s will for us is that it will work out for our good even if we do not understand it now. Even in suffering we can have the joy of the Lord as Paul experienced.

Practically, that means am I willing to endure shame, rejection, betrayal, persecution, etc from others and still love them as Jesus wants me to love them so that His fruit of the Spirit can be produced through me in their lives?

Will I make my choices based on my hurt, pain, shame, rejection, betrayal, etc or will I make my choices based on abiding in Christ, really abiding in Christ?

When that happens, hate cannot even be part of me but only love. For Jesus to speak of love is so powerful especially since Judas Iscariot went out to betray him. Yet, in John 13 and again in John 15, Jesus talks about abiding in Him and loving one another as a command and not a suggestion. Thank you Jesus. Help me Jesus! It is hard for me to love especially those that have wronged me but I choose to follow your way Jesus!

Paul's focus was on Christ because he knew Christ alone is the Hope of Glory and in Him alone can Jew and Gentile find Salvation because of what Jesus did. I praise the Lord for that. Jesus went to the cross to save humanity by ransoming us by His precious blood so our sins can be washed away and we can be set free. Wow! The Creator of the Universe became the ultimate sacrifice for you and me based on the choice of love. No matter how much we have shamed, rejected, betrayed Jesus by our actions, Jesus still chose to love us and forgive us. Thank you Jesus!

Should I not do the same for others?

It is because God loved us so much that He sent Jesus Christ into this world to save us while we were still sinners. This is amazing to know the choice Jesus made for a fallen humanity. I thank you Lord!

May we seek Christ now and always in all the choices we are faced with and may those choices be based on what brings the ultimate glory to Christ so that we can bear fruit! Amen!

"Christ’s Help Offers Inspiring Choices Encouraging Saints! (C.H.O.I.C.E.S)"/"What are your C.H.O.I.C.E.S based on?"

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you that your help offers inspiring choices encouraging saints. Help us to believe that always, for in the Spirit it is easy to believe that but in our flesh the choices you have for us will not seem inspiring to us. So please help us Lord that whatever choices you have for us we can be encouraged. I am so grateful for the things you have done in my life. I pray Lord that there will be no other place we want to be than in your arms of love. Only your arms of love can hold me still and hold me near whatever choices I am faced with. Thank you for being my Savior. You know the choices we all are faced with. We do want you in the center of those choices so please help us Lord. Thank you so much Jesus that you will help us and you have called us your very own. Help us to completely surrender our lives to you, all that we are and do. Whatever your will is for us, please give us the willingness and strength to bear it. Help us to walk in faith seeking you Lord as we confess our sins, repent of our sins, and yield our lives to you acknowledging what you have done for us at Calvary. Help us to love others because you loved us first no matter what they have done to us. Thank you Jesus for the Ultimate Choice you made for us. Please be our Lord and Personal Savior coming into our heart and making our heart your home. Thank you Jesus! In Your Name I Pray Jesus! AMEN!

If you would like to invite Jesus Christ into your heart and make Him a daily part of your life, you can this very moment. You will never be alone. You can claim God's promises for you in the Bible and see them come true, before your eyes, in His wonderful timing. You don't have to wait for a special time to come to the Lord. You can come right now as you pray the prayer below, meaning it in your heart.

God I am a sinner. I am invaded by this deadliest virus. Many times I feel so guilty and yucky inside. I need forgiveness. I am so sorry for my sins. I have not obeyed you with my whole heart! I have gone my own way and done my own things. I  struggle with sin. I need you Jesus in my life so I can receive forgiveness and a new beginning. In the process, I can forgive others as you help me to. Thank you so much Jesus. I accept the antidote you have sent me. I believe Jesus you died for me and your cleansing blood will cleanse me from all my sins. You came back to life to save me. Thank you God I am set free, free from the bondage of sin. Hear my cry Oh Lord. I accept you Jesus into my heart. I make you my Lord and Personal Savior of my life. Thank you Father God for giving me Salvation. Thank you Jesus for coming into my heart and making my heart your home. Thank you for living in me Jesus and I will live for you and serve you the rest of the days of my life. Thank you for being my Lord and personal Savior! I can live a life of peace with you on my side. Thank you that you have heard my prayer and answered me! In your Name I Pray Jesus! AMEN!

No matter what you feel in your heart, know that Jesus has come in and resides with you! You are not alone! To make your walk strong with the Lord, spend time in prayer talking to Him as you would to a friend. You don’t need special words to talk to the Lord. Spend time in His Word reading Psalms and turning them into prayer. Next allow God to heal you and speak to you through the Gospel of John or Gospel of Mark before moving on to other Books of the Bible! Slowly, let the Lord show you to which Scriptures He wants you to go to next. It is also important to be part of a body of believers to help you grow in the faith. Find a Bible believing church that preaches the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation proclaiming Jesus Christ our crucified and risen Lord who brings us hope, healing, and help!

No matter who you are, it is not ever too late to join a Bible-believing church or a college fellowship. I highly encourage each of you to come to Small Group on Friday nights at 7:30 p.m. and Oakland International Fellowship on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. for prayer, 10:00 a.m. for Community Bible Time in Gospel of John, worship at 11:30 a.m, and fellowship lunch at 12:30 pm.

May the Lord's presence and peace fill you with His love now and forever! Amen!

Friend, if you have prayed this prayer and meant it in your heart, you are a new creation in Christ and all old things are passed away and everything has become new! You may feel something or may not but don’t base it on feelings but base your new life in Christ on the promises of our Savior who will never leave you nor forsake you! Amen!

Feel free to email me at reddy4hisglory@gmail.com if you want to meet to study the Bible, pray with, talk about Spiritual issues or whatever is on your mind! My number is 412-641-9426

"This is my work and I can do it only because Christ's mighty energy is at work within me." (Colossians 1:29, TLB)

Express Your View



Philippians 1:21: "Why D.I.E for Christ?" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 31, 20, 12:11 p.m)

Philippians 1:21: Why L.I.V.E your life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 27, 20, 10:08 a.m)

Philippians 1:20: "Where do you need to have C.O.U.R.A.G.E in life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 22, 20, 10:20 a.m)

Philippians 1:19: "Who do you C.A.L.L often in life to intercede for others?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 21, 20, 10:36 a.m)

Philippians 1:19: "What reason do you have to R.E.J.O.I.C.E in life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 20, 20, 07:11 a.m)

Philippians 1:16-18: "How are your M.O.T.I.V.E.S in life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 18, 20, 08:01 a.m)

Philippians 1:12-15: "What have your C.H.A.I.N.S done to others in your life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 16, 20, 11:50 p.m)

Philippians 1:12: "How can you feel S.P.E.C.I.A.L when things are going so wrong in your life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 15, 20, 2:14 p.m)

Philippians 1:9-11: "What is your L.O.V.I.N.G response based on?" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 14, 20, 6:51 a.m)

Philippians 1:7-8: "How can your A.F.F.E.C.T.I.O.N grow towards others in life?" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 13, 20, 11:00 a.m)

Philippians 1:7-8: "Why can you only be saved by G.R.A.C.E alone?" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 13, 20, 10:51 a.m)

Philippians 1:3-6: "Why be C.O.N.F.I.D.E.N.T in the Lord?" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 08, 20, 09:44 a.m)

Philippians 1:3-5: "How can you attain a P.A.R.T.N.E.R.S.H.I.P in the Gospel?" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 08, 20, 09:44 a.m)

Philippians 1:3: "How will others R.E.A.C.T towards God when they remember you?" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 07, 20, 10:07 a.m)

Philippians 1:2: "When do you B.L.E.S.S others in life?" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 06, 20, 11:10 a.m)

Philippians 1:1: "Why bother to let others T.R.A.I.N you when you are already a leader?" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 04, 20, 11:55 a.m)

Philippians 1:1: "Why should you believe you are H.O.L.Y instead of a sinner?" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 03, 20, 9:53 a.m)

Philippians 1:1: "Who will you be a S.E.R.V.AN.T to in life?" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 02, 20, 6:55 pm)

"What will your P.R.E.S.E.N.T look like in 2020?" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Jan 01, 20, 1:13 pm)





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