Updated on Mon, March 23, 2020 at 11:05 a.m. (EST) & Mon, March 23, 2020, 09:35 p.m. (IST),  MARCH 2020 Edition

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ďRejoice Expecting Jesus, Our Immanuel Comforts Everyday! (R.E.J.O.I.C.E)Ē

Ramesh C. Reddy
Publisher

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.

Why?

Paul answers that question by saying, 'It is a safeguard for you!'

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 Egypt'.

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 wall.



The English 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, or Chandra 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 fulfilled.I 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.

Pastor Josh 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 Pastor Bucknell 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)

Wow!

Campus minister Jesse 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 daughter Esther 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 Savior!

"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 your grace!

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 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 2:25-30: "When will your H.O.M.E.C.O.M.I.N.G begin?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (March 20, 20, 07:43 a.m)

Philippians 2:19-24: "How can you Q.U.A.L.I.F.Y well in other people's lives?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (March 18, 20, 07:49 a.m)

Philippians 2:17-18: "When do you live out your F.A.I.T.H in life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (March 16, 20, 10:33 a.m)

Philippians 2:14-16: "What does your B.E.H.A.V.I.O.R do for others in life?"  By Ramesh C. Reddy (March 13, 20, 08:19 a.m)

Philippians 2:13: "How do you W.O.R.K out your Salvation?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (March 12, 20, 10:49 a.m)

Philippians 2:12-13: "What path have you taken for S.A.L.V.A.T.I.O.N in your life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (March 10, 20, 11:02 a.m)

Philippians 2:12-13: "What is the point of O.B.E.D.I.E.N.C.E in life?"   By Ramesh C. Reddy (March 09, 20, 11:24 a.m)

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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