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ďChains Have An Inspirational Nurturing Side! (C.H.A.I.N.S)Ē

Ramesh C. Reddy

"I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly." (Philippians 1:12-14, NIV)

Approach Question:
What example from your own life will help someone else speak the Word of God more courageously and fearlessly?

I asked myself what do chains do in Paul's life?
I saw the chains accomplish 4 things in Paul's life:

The chains really served to advance the gospel!
2. It has become clear throughout the whole palace guard that Paul is in chains for Christ.
It has become clear to everyone else that Paul is in chains for Christ.
Because of Paul's endurance in chains for Christ, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly!

I asked myself the significance of Paul writing, 'Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly!'

It is so significant to me because Paul is not banking on things being peachy in his life to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is not banking on what good things (based on world's standards of what good things are) Jesus does for Him so the Gospel can be advanced. His emphasis is not on having a good life but solely on Christ. He is making a point to the Philippians that they should not be upset that he is in chains, for it is those same chains that are helping him to advance the Gospel that he had set out to do with his preaching. That is amazing to see what we think of negative being used in a mighty way. That's how our Lord works. Lord is using the chains to advance the Gospel! Praise the Lord! Also, I believe Paul is making a point that when our love for Christ becomes so paramount, no matter what is happening to us, we will be able to live a life worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that will encourage others to speak the Word of God more courageously and fearlessly too!

I asked myself what are the implications for my life?
Whatever chains I face in my life (losing my job after 22 years), when I take the approach of focusing on the Lord and finding my joy in Him, these chains can actually help advance the Gospel by giving other brothers and sisters encouragement to speak the Word of God more courageously and fearlessly because they see the power of the Gospel :) I don't have to think good things have to happen to me for me to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

There have been many times that I felt that I was financially chained because of the job that I chose to do. Now, not having that job makes it feel like we are really financially chained. But what gives me joy is the opportunity to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ through my writings to influence souls for Christ. We are confident whoever's heart the Lord places to partner with us in this ministry, they will partner with us prayerfully and financially.

Right now though financially our family feels chained, we know our joy is found in the Lord and He provides all things. Even though we feel financially strained, we know Jehovah Jireh is our Provider and will provide for all our needs. Thank you Jesus. These chains have moved us in a direction that my precious wife Chandraleela always wanted me to go, the path of fulltime ministry. Now we are freed to do fulltime ministry though challenging because of fundraising aspect, etc.

I cannot discount the chains in my life thinking these chains will keep people away from Jesus Christ if these chains are a result of following Christ and can bring people to Christ. Whatever form or shape the chains come in whether they are figurative or literal, I realized when I am in chains for Christ, it will be a powerful witness to advance the Gospel because serving Christ amidst the chains becomes a powerful testimony more than 'preaching without persecution'! Wow!

They have been advanced especially in the summer times when I served the Pennsylvania Governor's School of International Studies (PGSIS) students. I had the opportunity to share poems, with a Gospel message for 8 years, advancing the Gospel in the lives of almost 100 students each year. Now, whether they have come to the Lord Jesus is the work of the Holy Spirit. But, what I know is the Lord used me in my job to let others know about Him.

It gave me joy to know that years later one of the students that I served decided to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Campus Crusade for Christ for His honor and glory. Even though she went to Harvard and got her degree, she decided to work for Campus Crusade for Christ to share the Gospel with students. I praise the Lord for Faith Sadar Em and how the Lord used her in the Massachusetts area.

I have to live my life trusting the Lord in all circumstances depending on Him and Him alone. Then, He will use circumstances in my life to encourage others to courageously and fearlessly speak the Word of God for the advancement of the Gospel! That can happen to you too! Sometimes the chains become a choice we make but even through those choices if the chains are for the sake of the Kingdom of God, we will find blessings and joy in the Lord. Thank you Jesus.

Pastor Josh shared with me today that even in ministry when we go on a path thinking it is the Lord's will, there still could be consequences. The question becomes, are we willing to live with those consequences even if they become chains in our lives. Through 35 years of ministry in different capacities, I have come to realize when we are a servant of the Lord Jesus wanting to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there will always be suffering involved. There cannot be servanthood without suffering or sacrifice. At times it becomes very challenging if we are not the only ones that suffer :(

Pastor Lake shared with me if I am going on a path to pursue my passion and see it as a calling, I should be okay with others not agreeing with me because people will have different perspectives. What I don't see as chains in my life, others may see it as chains. Lake exhorted me that I need not convince others to see things my way but it is very important to put the Lord first, family second, and ministry third. I was reminded ministry to others in the Name of the Lord while family is suffering is not the way to go but having the family involved and excited about the ministry. I am so glad that my precious Leela encourages me to do ministry. I remember one day she told me, 'Ramesh, it is okay if you cannot spend time with me. What I want you to do is the devotionals so souls can be reached for Christ'. I was so touched by her response. Whatever jobs I have taken always have been a means to ministry and have experienced chains too. But, the Lord's name has been advanced. Thank you Jesus!

Pastor Mike shared with me the qualifications for being an overseer or elder emphasizing the importance of taking care of my family and making sure my house is in order before I do ministry for those outside my house. All three pastors never said that I cannot do fulltime ministry with Pittsburgh Standard but I need to serve the Lord by also serving my family and being there for them instead of putting Pittsburgh Standard in front of my family. They are right. Thank you Jesus! There is no reward when we bring on the chains ourselves as opposed to when the chains come like they did in Paul's life.

I ask you now dear friends, what have your C.H.A.I.N.S.  done to others in  life?
Dear friend, your chains can actually bring deliverance to others in life, if your chains are chains for the advancement of the Gospel. That is so exciting to know! Now how you handle those figurative or literal chains will determine whether the Gospel is advanced because of your chains or whether your chains keep people from coming to the Lord. Paul's chains actually helped advance the Gospel by making the brothers and sisters speak courageously and fearlessly about Jesus Christ when they realized what Paul was going through and yet how he was able to write with joy because Jesus Christ was being made known.

Whatever chains you feel you are faced with, with the Lord you will never be alone. You can have the Lord by your side to help you endure through these chains. When the chains are chains of persecution for the Gospel, your life becomes a fragrant offering to the Lord and can draw people to Him.

If your chains are chains of slavery to sin, when you hand those sins to the Lord such as addictions, unforgiving spirit, bitterness, hopelessness, pride, etc, the Lord Jesus will free you in His timing. When you are free people will look at your life and realize the change in you is because of Christ and they too can come to experience the power of His love. I speak from experience.

So when you feel chained regardless of the reasons, don't see those chains as captivating you forever but see them as an opening for the Gospel to be advanced through you friend! As you surrender your life to the One who loves you so much and gave His life for you, you will have a new perspective on life.

Yes, friend  you will because Jesus wants to help you! Yes, He does! Come to Jesus as you are. I do not know what you are facing and what is holding you in chains right now. It could be anything but there is Good News friend. Yes, there is! You do not have to face it alone. You can face it with Jesus Christ!

Jesus loves you so much and knows what you are going through. Come to the Lord as you are and  yield to Him. He wants you to come to Him as you are realizing your own shortcomings and lay them in the Hands of the Savior. Allow Him to work in your life. He will take care of the rest. Yes, He will my friend! This cannot happen unless you are willing to surrender your life to Him completely. There should not be any holding back. It will not always be easy but you will come through! Yes, you will! In His timing, He will lift you up! You are never out of His love and never out of His reach! Come as you are! Your changed life will change others too.

Name the chain/s that are captivating you right now and bring it to the Lord for His help. He will use your circumstances to bless others when those chains are seen and handled in light of the cross. Thank you Jesus. Though your situation maybe rough, by seeing others blessed, you will find joy in the Lord. In His timing, He will bring deliverance in your life. Thank you Jesus!

Paul surrendered his life to Christ and even chains could not stop the joy he had for the advancement of the Gospel. In the same way, when we have Christ in our lives, whatever we maybe facing as Christians, we won't have to face it alone. His grace and mercy will be showered upon us!

If we are in chains for our sins and the wicked heart, we can never use those chains to advance the Gospel without Christ's intervention. The Good News is Christ wants to intercede on our behalf. We need to ask Jesus to be part of our lives so He can sanctify us by His grace and when others look at us, they can see the transformational power of Christ to change us by His grace! Praise the Lord! Then, the Gospel will be advanced.

Friend, you nor I can never be in chains for Christ unless we get rid of being  chained to Satan. There is no middle ground. The world is chained to Satan being in bondage to sin and destruction. We too are if we do not acknowledge those chains in our life that captivate us with all kinds of bondages! We need to bring those chains before the Father of Lights to work in us and through us. This work can only be done by acknowledging the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary.

Jesus was chained to the cross for you and me so that by the BLOOD HE SHED to ransom us, we would be freed of our own chains that He took for us. That is so wonderful to know! Jesus being chained to the cross because of His love for us is what helped advance the Gospel to the Nations.

None of us can fight the chains of slavery to sin without Christ's help so we need to come to Christ.

Friend, come to Christ as you are and allow Him to take away the chains that captivate you that are not the chains for Christ. Then, with Paul you can have joy amidst chains when those chains are for Christ. These kind of chains are not the bondage to sin chains but chains for Christ for the advancement of the Gospel which is Good News for the world! Praise the Lord! He will use you friend and bring you to a place of joy. Praise the Lord!

May you know the purpose of today's devotional is to understand that when we are in chains for Christ, the Gospel will be advanced encouraging others to speak the Word of God boldly and fearlessly! Amen!

"Chains Have An Inspirational Nurturing Side!" (C.H.A.I.N.S)/"What have your C.H.A.I.N.S done to others in life?"

Dear Lord Jesus, I love you so much. Thanks for loving me. You Oh Lord know the chains that have captivated us. Many of those chains are chains that hinder the Gospel from going forth. Forgive us Oh Lord and please do help us. Thank you Lord there are chains for Christ that people endure that are for the advancement for the Gospel. Help me never to turn away from those chains if it is for the advancement of your Kingdom. I need your strength for I am weak many times and only your strength can get me through. Help me Jesus. Thanks so much Jesus!
You alone have the pathway to life. Thank you Lord, anytime we mess up and confess our sins to you, you are faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I thank you Lord that we do not have to be perfect to come to you. We do not have to have all the answers. Even as the worst sinners we can come and you will start your transformation in our lives and finish the work you begin in us. I thank you Jesus for coming into my heart and making my heart your home. Help us Jesus! Thank you for living in me and I will live for you and I will serve you, the rest of the days of my life. I thank you Jesus for being my Lord and Personal Savior. I thank you Lord for hearing my prayer and answering me. 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 donít 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 donít 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 1:12: "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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