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Obeying Beautiful Emmanuel Daily Involves Everyday Now Christ's Emancipation!" (O.B.E.D.I.E.N.C.E)

Ramesh C. Reddy

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-13, NIV)

Approach Question:
When do you obey others?

I asked what is 'therefore' in response to?
I was reminded that the ‘therefore’ is in response to what I learned in yesterday’s devotional time on the topic of N.A.M.E.

I asked myself what is the cause-effect relationship here?
Because of the power of the NAME OF JESUS, the Philippians were told 3 things:
As you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence.
2. continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling
3. for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

I decided to look at Point 1 today:

I asked myself what is the significance of the verse, 'As you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence?'
Obedience is not limited to Paul being there with them. Paul wants the Philippians to be much more obedient when he is not there with them. Their obedience should be as a result of the Name of Jesus instead of whether Paul is with them or not, whether Paul sees them or not, and whether Paul hears about them or not.

I asked myself what are the implications for my own life?
My obedience in life should be a result of my relationship with Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. At the Name of Jesus, there should be nothing but obedience but obedience out of love instead of fear. Jesus elicits this kind of response.
Jesus says, 'If you love me, you will obey me'. I want Jesus to be able to say to the Father, that Ramesh loves me because he obeys me.

While I was courting my sweetheart
Chandraleela,  she asked me to watch 10 Telugu movies because she really liked them and hoped I would like them. After she listed the movies to me, I told her, "Chandra, do you remember what I told you about movies? I only like ACTION movies and all the movies you gave me are ROMANCE movies. They are love stories! I don't like pure love stories but for your sake I will watch all of them."

So, I watched the first one called 'Varsham' and surprisingly enjoyed it. Three years later, I had watched it more than 3 times. To my surprise, it was an action-romance movie when I thought it would just be a romance movie. I obeyed what she asked me to do and was blessed at the same time.

One day, Pastor Hugo Cheng reminded the congregations of PCCO & OIF that when we love God and others, we make COMMITMENT to bless others a priority over CONVENIENCE.

When Pastor Hugo was here I remember even though he had to preach on Sunday morning, he would stay with us sometimes until 11:30 pm when we used to have IGN from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm on Saturday nights. He was always the one to pick us up and drop us off after cleanup. I always saw him put commitment to bless others over his own convenience because of his love for us and others. I was most touched when I wanted to wake up everyday at 5:30 am but was having difficulty doing it, he even offered to meet me at Dunkin Donuts at 5:30 am for our meeting just so I could master being up by 5:30 am. This too he was willing to do after dropping his son for baseball practice early in the morning. We have always wanted to put commitment to blessing others a priority over convenience because of what Pastor Hugo modeled about love. Now Dan does the same thing picking us up and dropping us off no matter how inconvenient it is when he is available for IGN.

We have always been touched by Pastor Hugo's wife Heather when we had leadership meetings at church with other leaders because she would always prepare a special Indian dish for us knowing we do not eat pork or beef. She showed her own commitment to bless us even though it was so inconvenient having to prepare a special dish or order a special dish when the convenient thing would have been to say,  "I am so sorry that you cannot eat this stuff. I wish you could have eaten it" On Sundays recently we have been blessed when Pollyn and Phillip make sure we have lunch that does not include pork and beef.

Commitment to bless others is rooted in love and always goes out of it's way. I remember when
Kristen and Chandra blessed Indian students by singing a Malyalam song even though learning the song was not necessarily easy for Kristen but she did it to bless the International Game Night students. Those who knew Malyalam were so touched that an American would learn it to bless them with Chandra. Everytime Kristen, Edwin, Marie, Chandra, or Dan would sing a non-english song to lead the congregation or IGN, we have been blessed.

When Pastor Josh has spent hours with me he always put commitment over convenience when he could have been using that extra time to prepare a sermon, etc when 1 hour has turned to 4 hours at times. So many others have put commitment over convenience. When Pastor Josh and Pastor Mike visited us at home for our convenience over their convenience to meet, it showed commitment over convenience.

Throughout Esther's sickness, when Pastor Hugo, Pastor Mike, Pastor Josh, Pastor Bucknell, Pastor Lake, Pastor Terrence, Calvin, etc prayed, communicated with us these past few days, it showed commitment over convenience showing the love of Christ through their prayers, sickness advice, etc. There were so many others taking the time to pray. Thank you Jesus!

I am reminded of OIF helpers putting commitment over convenience when they have housed Indian students until they found a place of their own, gave airport pick up rides, looked for furniture for students, took them coat shopping, hosted them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc remembering to 'Carry one another's burdens and fulfill the love of Christ' Thank you Jesus. This was all done in love and obedience to Christ.

I share this with you because when we love someone or care about someone deeply, we will  put commitment over convenience. When we say we love Jesus, we will want to obey Jesus even if the things he wants us to do does not appeal to us. This also means we will choose to commit to having a Quiet Time with the Lord, etc instead of saying it is too inconvenient for me with my work schedule, family schedule, etc.

Because of my obedience to Chandra, I was able to learn Telugu more fluently to interact with her relatives. Thank you Jesus.

This again addresses Philippians 2:3 about not having selfish-ambition and vain conceit but in humility thinking about others better than ourselves, not being interested in our own interests but also to the interests of others.

My darling wife has been putting up with so much even though it has not been convenient for her because of her commitment to me showing her love that way to me but most of all to Jesus.

When I say I love my wife, I should be able to do what she wants me to do as the Lord helps me. If I say I love the Lord, I should be obedient to Him. I know Jesus loves me so much and after all Jesus has done for me, this is not too much to ask. Thank you Jesus.

I love the words to the song: 'How Great, How Strong' and must have listened to it at least 33+ times. That's Jesus' love for me. I heard it for the first time at Vacation Bible School 2009 held at Pittsburgh Chinese Church-Oakland and Oakland International Fellowship. Pastor Hugo chose me to play a soldier while he played the role of the apostle Paul in a low point in my life. He did not have to choose me because I had just resigned from a small group leadership position but he did to show the grace and love of the Lord.

"How Great, How Strong, God's love goes on and on and on. This gift we share with the world who needs Him. His love is always, His love is always, His love is always there. He sent His only Son to save us! Only His great love can change us.  He would give everything for He loves us more than anything! How Great, How Strong, God's love goes on and on and on. This gift we share with the world who needs it. How Great, How Strong, God's love goes on and on and on. This gift we share with the world who needs it. His love is always, His love is always, His love is always there!"

There are a lot of things I love to do but don't do them because of my desire to exhibit obedience before my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because He loved me first. His love for me prompts my love for Jesus and makes me want to obey Jesus. Sadly, it has not always been that way. I say I love Jesus but my actions don't always prove that.

On the contrary, my flesh takes over at times like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. My flesh and spirit always battle each other for dominion over my actions. I give in both ways but one way brings sadness and even grief to those around me. That happens when I give in to the flesh instead of walking in the Spirit which will help me obey my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I want to obey Jesus always in my spirit but my flesh wars against that. I thank Jesus so much as written in Romans 7 that He has provided a way out for me and that way is beautifully illustrated in Romans 8.

I can be obedient to the Word of God whether people see me or not because of His love for me and His work in my life. I decided to look more on this topic later. For now, I am so thankful that obedience is something I can exhibit not out of impulse but to show my love to Jesus as His grace works in my life to transform me and sanctify me daily. Praise the Lord.

This verse applies to me even in my home, job, church, etc. I should not shirk from being obedient to God's Word when people are not looking. If anything, I should display the same act of obedience always in Christ depending on Him who will give me the strength! Help me Jesus. You can too!

I ask you now dear friend, what's the point of O.B.E.D.I.E.N.C.E in life?
Dear friend, the point of obedience in life is not to get something in return. We obey because of the Name of Jesus. In the Name of Jesus, there is power. The Name of Jesus gives reasons to obey. The greatest reason to obey is because of what Jesus Christ did for us at the cross of Calvary by shedding His precious cleansing blood to redeem us. Jesus who had no sin became sin for us because of how much He loves us enough to ransom us. That reason alone should make us want to obey Jesus because He loves us and we love Him.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called His dear children!" (1 John 3:1, NASB)

Anyone who loves someone or deeply cares for someone will make it a point to obey them because they know that obedience will make the other person happy and also feel loved.

If we say we love someone and don't obey them for our selfish reasons, is it really true love?

The point of obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ is to show the Lord that we love Him.

"If you love me, you will obey what I command. Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." (John 14:15, 23-24, NASB)

"If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love." (John 15:10, NASB)

The point of obedience to others in our lives should also be to show we love them as long as that obedience does not conflict with the Word of God. We can love because of God's work in our lives. Jesus gave up everything for us and knowing that alone should be the point of obedience. 

"I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word." (John 17:6, NIV)

The love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Word should be the true reason for obedience knowing when God wants us to obey His Word, it is for our own good. He created us and knows everything about us.

When you buy something new, it is usually the case that you refer to the instruction manual on how to operate the product. You obey the instructions to produce the result you want in the product. If you decided to buy a product and assemble it your own way, what would usually happen! Usually, things do not go well and you would have wished, "I wish, I followed the directions more closely"

Think about it! In the same way, we have be given an instruction manual how to operate our lives.  It is called the Bible, the Word of God. The point of obedience is because He who created us also knows everything about us and has given us His manual for our successful abundant living. It starts with Jesus Christ. It is for our own good!

We however cannot obey the Word of God without God's Spirit working in us and through us. It is His Spirit that helps us to obey. I praise the Lord for that. God made it possible when Jesus Christ died for our sins and came back to life to give us a free gift of grace so when we accept it, we will be under the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! Thank you Jesus so much!

We all need Jesus everyday and there will be times we do falter and go our own way. I have done that many times. I have even not followed directions because wanted to do things my way, thinking I can assemble it on my own, do things my way, etc but the results have been destructive.

In the spiritual realm, it is called 'soul sickness' because of human corruption taking over. We are so corrupted and blinded by this sickness, we cannot think or see clearly. We go our own way and do our own things giving disobedience a free pass. Only Jesus Christ can cure this sickness as we yield to Him. Jesus paid the Ultimate price on the Cross of Calvary to provide the antidote for us.

'Soul sickness' is a phrase that is also used by York Moore of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He  uses it in reaching out to the lost with the love of Christ. I first heard about this phrase at Living Acts cell group of Oakland International Fellowship, when Jason and Andrea shared it with Jeremy, Kristen, Josh, Bryan, Lydia, Steve, Zela, Vicki, and me.

Regarding soul sickness, Jesus had some profound words to say to the Pharisees: 

Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me!  For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.” (John 8:42-47, NLT)

The other point of obedience is so we will not be living a destructive life of disobedience by implicitly giving our allegiance to Satan. There is no middle ground. We either obey and belong to Jesus or disobey and belong to Satan. I don't want to belong to Satan and neither should you.  We all need Jesus and Jesus will help us as we surrender our lives to Him and ask Him to sanctify us daily by His grace. I know He will, yes He will! Praise the Lord!

"Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32, NLT)

May we know obeying beautiful Emmanuel daily involves everyday now Christ's emancipation in our lives! Amen!

"Obeying Beautiful Emmanuel Daily Involves Everyday Now Christ's Emancipation!" (O.B.E.D.I.E.N.C.E)/"What is the point of O.B.E.D.I.E.N.C.E in life?"

Dear Jesus, you taught me this morning about the importance of obedience especially because that is how love can be measured. Oh Lord, thanks for loving me so much and giving me the desire to obey. Help me to put commitment over convenience to bless you and others.  I however am not always obedient to your Word and also to others. I am sorry Lord. Please forgive me and renew me daily as only you can. Thanks so much Jesus. I love you Jesus and need your help. Thanks for helping me. Thanks you hear me and answer me. In Your Name I Pray Jesus! Amen!

Please pray this prayer to receive the Lord Jesus into your life or to rededicate your life to the Lord.

Dear Jesus, I heard that you became my sacrificial Lamb of God to save me from my sins. Thank you for shedding your blood for me and coming back to life to save me. I turn to you now. At this moment Lord, I confess to you all my sins and am so sorry for them Lord. I repent of my sins and ask you to help me overcome them for I cannot on my own strength. Cleanse me with your cleansing blood and I will be clean again. Wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Come into my heart Jesus. Please make my heart your home. I believe only you can justify me by your grace. Live in me Jesus and I will live for you and I will serve you the rest of the days of my life as you begin your sanctification by your grace in my life. Thank you Jesus for coming into my heart! Thank you Jesus for making my heart your home and living in me! I acknowledge you as my Lord and Personal Savior. Thank you for being my Lord and Personal Savior. Thank you that you have heard my prayer and that you have answered me. Thank you for being part of my life now and giving me a new beginning. Thank you for my Salvation. Thank you no matter how I am feeling inside, you have saved me. I love you Jesus and want to live for you. Help me to find fellowship with other believers and most of all to have daily fellowship walking with you through your Word and talking to you. 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 2:9-11: "How do you handle the N.A.M.E of Jesus in life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Feb 29, 20, 06:46 a.m)

Philippians 2:8: "What can the C.R.O.S.S do for you in life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Feb 17, 20, 10:51 a.m)

Philippians 2:5-7: "How do you match Jesus' A.T.T.I.T.U.D.E in life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Feb 12, 20, 10:59 a.m)

Philippians 2:3-4: "How do you respond to C.O.M.M.A.N.D.S in life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Feb 11, 20, 10:23 a.m)

Philippians 2:1-2: "What C.O.N.D.I.T.I.O.N are you in life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Feb 10, 20, 11:08 a.m)

Philippians 1:29-30: "How do you handle S.U.F.F.E.R.I.N.G in life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Feb 07, 20, 10:51 a.m)

Philippians 1:27-28: "How do you C.O.N.D.U.C.T yourself in life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Feb 04, 20, 08:38 a.m)

Philippians 1:22-26: "What are your C.H.O.I.C.E.S based on?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (Feb 03, 20, 10:10 p.m)

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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