Expecting Jesus, Our Immanuel Comforts Everyday! (R.E.J.O.I.C.E)Ē
Ramesh C. Reddy
SCRIPTURE: ďFinally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no
trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for
you.Ē (Philippians 3:1)
OBSERVATIONS: I asked myself what are the 3
things Paul states from prison? 1. Rejoice in the Lord! 2. It is no trouble for me to write the same
things to you again! 3.
It is a safeguard for you!
INTERPRETATION: I asked myself why is it significant that
Paul asks the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord and writes the same things? I found it so awesome that Paul is able to talk about rejoicing in the Lord
even though confined to a jail cell. Not only that but he keeps reminding
the Philppians of the
same things, for it will become a safeguard for them.
First and foremost, it
shows me Paulís relationship
with the Lord Jesus Christ evidenced by his own actions. No matter what he is
going through, to emphasize 'rejoicing in the Lord' became paramount
to Paul for he wanted the Philippians to do the same things.
Paul answers that
question by saying, 'It is a safeguard
Wow! How amazing that Paul is able to say
that 'rejoicing in the Lord is a safegaurd for you'
IMPLICATIONS: I asked myself, what are the implications for
my own life? How true it is that
'rejoicing in the Lord is a safeguard for you!' When I rejoice in
the Lord, my focus is taken off myself and the focus is on Jesus
Christ and what He will do for me in my life. Even if nothing
happens and I am in the same situation as Paul was stuck in jail,
there is power in rejoicing in the Lord.
I fix my eyes on
Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my Faith. How it becomes a
safeguard for me is that I don't complain and grumble, 'Woe is me to
be in this situation! Why did the Lord have to make this happen' It
is easier to complain and grumble than to rejoice. But the Lord
inhabits the prayers of His people.
When the Israelites
were slaves in Egypt, they cried for a deliverer. When the Lord sent
Moses and Aaron to deliver them, they were excited to leave but then
along the way they lost their focus on the Lord and started to
mumble and complain. What should have taken them 11 days to get to
their destination, it took 40 years in the wilderness with a lot of
pain and sorrow. They forgot rejoicing in the Lord and became
self-focused on 'Woe is me, we would have been better staying in
I realized that can become me too if I lose my focus on
Jesus and focus on the circumstances at hand. For the circumstances
at hand are not good at all. Even before the COVID-19 virus, our
family has faced a lot and those negative circumstances have not
changed but have become worse.
After 22 years of
working for Sodexo Dining Services where I loved to serve the
students and hire international students, I lost my job last year.
After 29 years of
contracting with the University of Pittsburgh, Sodexo Dining
Services lost it's contract this year.
After 25 years of
living in an awesome neighborhood and location, our lease was not
renewed and we were given a 90-day notice to vacate.
To do a publishing
ministry online to influence souls for Christ to live out a
Christocentric view has been very challenging especially when it
comes to raising support to do fulltime ministry.
While I raise support
to do fulltime ministry, I work at an ethnic specific grocery store
for 10 to 15 hrs which scares my kids and wife because of the
COVID-19 virus so they want me to stay at home :(
It is into these situations, the song
my precious wife Chandraleela was singing yesterday reminded me of the Telugu
song she sang 9 years ago to me which was posted on my facebook
translation to the song is below:
Here why you left me, I
will not ask In this condition why you left me, I will not ask
(x2) Where you leave me, I know it is for my good In what
condition you leave me, it is to honor your Name (x2) I have
realized, (x2) Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus (x2) Even if mother
forgets me, you won't forget me Even if father leaves me, you
won't leave me (x2) This alone is enough for me Jesus Your
grace is all I need Jesus (x2) Here why you left me, I will not
ask you In this condition why you left me, I will not ask (x2)
Where you leave me, I know it is for my good In what condition
you leave me, it is to honor your Name (x2) I have realized, (x2)
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus (x2) When I was in trouble, you
rescued me When I was crying, you comforted me (x2) I have
realized (x2) Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus (x2)
Here why you left me, I will not ask
you In this condition why you left me, I will not ask (x2)
The reason I am
sharing this personal stuff with you is because it can be easy for
someone to say, 'If Paul, Ramesh,
knew what our family is going through, they would not say to
'Rejoice in the Lord'.
Or someone can have
the excuse, how can I rejoice in the Lord, when my children are at
home 24-7, my husband/wife is out of a job, the stock market has
crashed, and we are prisoners in our own home because of COVID-19.
How can we rejoice in these situations?
Anyone can rejoice
when things are going their way but rejoicing in the Lord when
things are not going our way, shows where our trust is.
In this time of the
COVID-19 virus, a family in the Bible has already gone through what
the world is facing right now. God had told Noah to build an Ark and
stay there with his family until the flood dissipates from the
world. Imagine living in an ark for months with all the noise of the
animals, etc and yet his family came out in one piece after months
of being isolated in the ark because of their trust and dependence
on the Lord.
In this time of
crisis when we are stuck at home, make family the priority after the
Lord. Use this time to draw closer to your husband/wife, children,
parents, etc. Don't waste this time or opportunity to do
your own thing. Put the Lord first, family second, and everything
else last. Rejoice in the Lord in this situation.
I want to continue to
rejoice in the Lord to safeguard against the attacks of the enemy.
It is not easy right now when we focus on the circumstances we are in
but if we focus on the Lord instead of the circumstances we are in,
we can find our peace in Him.
"He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose
thoughts turn often to the Lord! Trust
in the Lord God always, for in the Lord Jehovah is your everlasting
strength." (Isaiah 26:3-4, TLB)
"Donít worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God
your needs, and donít forget to thank him for his answers.If
you do this, you will experience Godís peace, which is far more
wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep
your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in
Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7, TLB)
ďI am leaving you with a giftópeace of mind and heart! And the peace
I give isnít fragile like the peace the world gives. So donít be
troubled or afraid." (John 14:27, TLB)
"What I want from you is your true thanks; I want your promises
want you to trust me in your times of trouble, so I can rescue you
and you can give me glory." (Psalm 50:15, TLB)
I ask you now dear friends, why R.E.J.O.I.C.E in the Lord?
Dear friends, to rejoice in the Lord shows our utter dependence on
Him, our utter trust in Him, our utter vulnerability in Him. We
rejoice in the Lord not because things go our way but because of who
He is and because He wants us to. He wants us to because He has His
reasons for it. The number 1 reason is to safeguard us against the
attacks of the enemy.
reminded us of a Bible verse from Habukkak, yesterday in his YouTube
live Sunday sermon from Acts 2:41-47 as we deal with the
ramifications of the COVID-19 virus. I was really touched by this
Bible verse because it is the same Bible verse that
shared with me from Habukkak when I lost my job of 22 years:
"Even though the fig trees are all destroyed, and there is
neither blossom left nor fruit; though the olive crops all fail, and
the fields lie barren; even if the flocks die in the fields and the
cattle barns are empty, yet
I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be happy in the God of my
Salvation." (Habukkak 3:17-18)
led us in three songs for Sunday worship: 'In Christ Alone',
'Christ, the Solid Rock', and 'His Mercy is More' which are so
appropriate during this time.
Take a challenge during this time of the COVID-19 isolation and
write 5 things down everyday, what you can be thankful to the Lord
for and every Sunday, review those 35 things you wrote down to the
Lord. It makes a huge difference. Be thankful for the good and the
bad leaving the results in the Lord's precious Helping Hands! Our
and I have shared 5 things we are thankful to the Lord for from the
previous day almost everyday while I walked her to school when
school was in session. Also, she would recite Bible verses from A-Z.
Once she is done, she would learn new verses from A-Z.
May you find your peace in the Lord amdist these trials and
tribulations as you choose to rejoice in Jesus Christ, our Lord and
"Rejoice Expecting Jesus Our Immanuel Comforts
Everyday!" (R.E.J.O.I.C.E)/'Why R.E.J.O.I.C.E in the Lord?"
PRAYER: Dear Lord
Jesus, you want us to rejoice in you Lord. Paul was able to do that
while in prison. Help us to do that no matter what our circumstances
are Oh Lord. Thank you so much Jesus, when we rejoice in you Lord,
we safeguard against the attacks of the enemy. Our peace, joy, and
contentment can be found in you. It is not easy Lord but we need
your help so please help us Oh Lord. Savior of the brokenhearted and
wounded, come and impart your comfort and grace in the lives of
those who have been affected badly by this COVID-19 virus or what
they are facing right now. Let your peace embolden them to move
ahead in confidence having their peace in you. Help us Oh Lord for
the glory and honor of your Name. Let us be a witness in word and
deed to a world marred in sin and sadness. Let your light please
shine. Thank you so much Jesus! In Your Name I Pray Jesus! Amen!
If you want to give your life to the Lord. You can do it right
now. Don't wait for some other time. Now is the time of Salvation.
Dear Jesus, I want to thank you for dying for my
sins and coming back to life to save me as you love me so much. Your love is
what has imparted to us your free gift of grace to be saved. Lord Jesus, you
alone can save us and not anything we do or others do for us will save us. So
Lord help us to always seek you and know from your grace alone that comes
through faith alone in you is the only way we can be saved according to your
Scripture alone to the Glory of God, our Heavenly Father. No matter what we do
whether it is worshipping you, praying to you, reading your Word, taking
communion, etc let it be because we love you and are excited to fellowship with
you and remember what you have done for us. May they not be for the sole reason
of being saved because we cannot save ourselves by anything we do but only by
So we thank you for your grace to help us win the race
for you are our ultimate Ace! Jesus, as we give our life to you, we ask you to
fill us with your Holy Spirit and guide us so that the good works we do will be
the fruit of righteousness as our relationship with you. They will know we are
Christians by our love shown by the fruit you display of our lives. Help us Lord. Thank you for your cleansing blood that cleanses us from
all unrighteousness. Thank you for saving us as we turn to you for you give us a
promise in Scripture alone saying, ďNeither is there salvation in any other: for
there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be
saved.Ē I claim this promise from Acts 4:12. Help us to live for you and serve
you Lord. Thank you for hearing us and answering our prayers. Thank you for all
that I have learned from your Word. Help me to put it to practice. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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)