What would you like to have a
partnership in and why?
I asked myself what does Paul's prayer
1. Thanking God every time He remembers the
2. Praying with joy.
I asked myself what is the cause-effect
relationship I see in Paul's prayer?BeCAUSE
of the Philippians partnership in the Gospel from the first day until
the EFFECT is that in all his prayers for all the Philippians, he is always praying with joy!
I asked myself why does a partnership in
the Gospel matter so much to Paul?
It is because Jesus matters so much to Paul and his love for Jesus wants
to be shown by his actions of proclaiming the love of Christ to others.
And, he realizes he cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ on his
own while he is in chains, so he welcomes the help the Philippians are
giving him. That is why he always prays with joy knowing the Philippians
have partnered with him from the FIRST DAY he met them UNTIL NOW. Their
partnership is not a one time-one day thing but consistent when it comes
to the Gospel.
I asked myself what are the
implications for my own life?
that true joy comes from having a partnership in the Gospel as I love
Jesus Christ and want to make Him known. It should not be a
one-day-one-time thing. I need to attain that partnership in the Gospel
to give others joy especially the Lord Jesus Christ on a consistent
basis. I should always make myself available to be in a partnership when
it comes to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ instead of doing it
alone. Paul did not go at it alone and neither should I. Also, it is
important for me to remember that prayer is tied in very closely with
having a partnership in the Gospel.
I ask you now dear friend, how can you attain a
partnership in the Gospel?
Paul Pruitt, a
missionary supported by Pittsburgh Chinese
Church-Oakland/Oakland International Fellowship
shared about a young woman named Suchria from Indonesia who went on to
get her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Princeton University. She also
passed the bar exam with flying colors and was recruited by a powerful
law firm which was willing to give her a 6-figure salary. Yet, she
turned all that down one day when she was praying to the Lord Jesus
Christ. Instead she decided to be a MAID in Hong Kong so she could be
used of God to reach other maids there. That is awesome! She
wanted to exemplify Philippians 2:1-18 taking Jesus as her example.
I was really touched by this story because it
reminded me of my loving wife Chandra's
testimony about wanting to be a lawyer but
because her daddy wanted her to help the weak and sick, she and two of
her sisters decided to become nurses.
Her testimony brought back memories of how much I
wanted to go to law school and work for the American Center for Law &
Justice (ACLJ) with Jay Sekulow. I emphasize it is ACLJ and not ACLU. I
even studied for the LSAT couple of times but I just could not shake the
feeling that the Lord Jesus wanted me in student ministry with the
mission of Counseling Broken Hearts with the love of Christ. With that
in mind and the support of my staff worker
Kent Walley of
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF).
Kent had told me, 'Ramesh, if you go into law school without ever
filling out the application for staff, you would always look back and
wonder, did you do the right thing. Now, fill out the staff application
and wait on the Lord to see where He leads you. If He leads you into
student ministry, you will be appointed to staff with IVCF. I did take
that exhortation and wrote my application which came to 28 typed written
pages. I never looked back again and proudly did student ministry with
IVCF for 5 years as a volunteer/staff having a partnership with
wonderful staff like Kent Walley, Chloe
Papke, Paul Hassell, Oliver Ferguson, Thomas Grosh IV,
Sadly, due to personal reasons which was
affecting student ministry, I had to leave the ministry of IVCF. I
wrestled with law school again but even though I was not with IVCF, the
Lord Jesus helped me get a job as a food service worker where I had
contact with thousands of students to show them the love of Christ by my
actions and words. To this day, I continue to work in food service with
the hopes of reaching students with the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the
Lord leads them my way. Most importantly, the Lord impressed upon my
heart that He would use the Pittsburgh Standard to reach souls for Him.
It has happened to when students have given their life to Christ by
reading the devotionals on Pittsburgh Standard. Thank you Jesus!
To this day, my heart and excitement
for student ministry has not been diminished. What is exciting is that
my loving wife wants to join me to minister to students the Lord places
in our lives in His timing whether it is through a college ministry or
church ministry. It all started with different partnerships in the
Gospel whether it was with IVCF, PS, etc.
I thank the Lord for
Jeremy Day, Kensley Lewis, Andrew McMullen, Matthew
Bell, etc who asked me to partner with them
with the print edition of the Pittsburgh Standard to reach the masses
with the Truth of Jesus Christ when my articles for the Pitt News were
not accepted anymore.
A partnership can take different forms such as
a prayer partnership, financial partnership, co-laborers partnership,
etc. I don't know specifically all the types of partnership in the
Gospel that Paul was thankful to the Philippians for but it was a
partnership filled with joy. I want to give joy to others too when I am
in partnership with them when it comes to the Gospel first and foremost.
You should want that too because it is worth it and brings joy. Paul is
an example that God has shown me through His Word.
You can attain a partnership in the Gospel too where you are
even without moving many times. It involves a powerful 4 letter
word: PRAY. You can be partnering with campus ministry staff,
missionaries, pastors, etc by praying for them where you are that God
can use them in His infinite wisdom, strengthening them to proclaim His
love in Word and deed. You can also do that with a 5 letter word: MONEY
by supporting them so they do not have to be burdened with financial
costs but can focus on proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
At other times, the partnership in the Gospel
will involve moving and effort on our part, as we depend on the Lord, where we are directly
involved in ministry even as we PRAY, give FINANCIAL SUPPORT, etc.
Apart from Jesus Christ, we
can do nothing for we are the branches and our nourishment comes from
Him and Him alone who is the Vine. (John 15)
We need Jesus to have a partnership in the
Gospel. It starts with us realizing our own sinfulness and wickedness
before an all Holy and Awesome God and taking His free gift of grace
that showers us with His faithful forgiveness and redemptive
restoration. I Praise you Lord. Thanks so much Jesus! Even praying and
financial support should be done in the Name of the Lord for
He is before all things and in Him all things hold
together! (Colossians 1)
You and I need Jesus Christ and understand the
power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its
impact to save if we want to have a direct
partnership in the Gospel with others. For the Gospel of Jesus Christ is
not just about 'Jesus dying for our sin and coming back to life to save us' but
addresses all facets of our daily life and being, that can only be
transformed by the power of the risen Christ through His transforming
grace as Pastor Ed
loves to put it. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that justifies us and
also it is this same Gospel that also sanctifies us.
Until we come to realize our own worthlessness
and have Jesus Christ work in us so we can do a F.A.C.T check: Be
faithful, available, compatible, and teachable as
Pastor Hugo says, our
partnership in the Gospel will become futile and will damage people
along the way instead of building them up. Take it from me for I have
been there on both sides of the spectrum.
I have had multiple opportunities to have a
partnership in the Gospel because of how the Lord Jesus used my
mommy to pray with me
to lead me to Jesus Christ on one Valentine's Day in February. Since
that day as my mommy partnered with me through prayer, I have been doing
ministry in different capacities. I thank the Lord Jesus for the people
He has used in my life to be able to have a partnership in the Gospel of
Jesus Christ especially how it started with my loving mommy. You can too
friend can have a partnership in the Gospel.
It makes no sense for me to be sharing about a
partnership in the Gospel unless I have share my own experiences:
My most recent experiences of having a
partnership in the Gospel has happened when we have partnered with our
small group leader, Calvin Chiang
along side of David, Yvonne, Rebecca, Joel,
Johannes, and Cecilia.
I love how Pastor Hugo emphasizes
having a partnership in the Gospel with all of us and asks prayer for
My best experience regarding partnership in the
Gospel happened three years ago at Vacation Bible School when I co-worked with
Pastor Hugo Cheng of Pittsburgh Chinese Church-Oakland/Oakland
International Fellowship as he played Paul and I
played the Roman guard. I was glad to see God using both of us to make
an impact in children's lives as we had a partnership in the Gospel for
5 consecutive days.
There are other partnerships I have had through my years of ministry too
and it is so awesome when all partnerships have been engulfed in prayer.
Praise the Lord!
More than anything I thank Jesus Christ so much
my wonderful wife whom the Lord Jesus has given me whose partnership in the
Gospel with me is such a blessing. She wants to use the opportunities
the Lord Jesus has given her to make an impact for the Kingdom of God
whether it is through prayer, worship, sharing God's Word, etc.
Recently, she has agreed to be on the worship team and be in a
partnership of prayer with Heather, Linda,
Connie, etc to pray for the needs of the
congregation every Wednesday.
Come as you are and always rest in Christ and
the power of His resurrection to transform you by His grace so you can
begin a partnership in the Gospel. You do not have to have it all
together to partner in ministry for God uses weak vessels to show His
insurmountable glory and does not look for people who think they have it
Jesus chose 12 ragged disciples who did not
have it all together for His honor and glory showing
His strength made perfect through their
weaknesses! Praise the Lord! As an example,
Jesus Christ used the apostle Peter who denied him 3 times to bring the
Gospel to nations and Saul of Tarsus who persecuted Christians to bring
the Gospel to the Gentiles, etc. This same God is the same God that
wants to use you friend as you make prayer a priority in life.
We all need Jesus in our lives to fight the
enemy so Satan does not control us in our sin but instead we are led by
the power of the Holy Spirit who establishes the perfect partnership.
Speaking of partnership, I ask you now friend
to have a partnership in life with Jesus Christ whose partnership will
be the perfect partnership you will ever have. No matter what happens
around you, when you rest in the arms of the love of our Lord and Savior, He
will give you strength and wisdom to move on by His grace. So ask Him to
reign in your life and in all your dreams and you will always praise the
Lord when He is central to your life. I want Jesus to be central in my
life so help me Jesus. Thanks so much Jesus. You should too!
"But He gives us more grace. That is why
Scripture says: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from
you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you
sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4:6-8,
Humble yourself under the mighty Hand of God
and He will lift you up! (James 4:10, paraphrase)
Friend, only Christ can wash us clean by His
precious cleansing blood and wants to do that for us to have a
partnership with Him. That is so exciting to know! Praise the Lord!
Thank you Jesus! You can have that partnership too.
Our partnership in the Gospel should always
start with spending time with Jesus everyday in prayer, meditating on
His Word, and applying His Word in our lives as the Lord Jesus leads us
to a Bible-believing church and fellowship where we do not forsake the
fellowship of believers but join together as the apostles did in Act
2:42-47 for His honor and glory.
May you have a blessed partnership in the
Gospel as you rest in the Lord God Almighty now and forever more
remembering to pray asking Redeemer to nurture everyday readily, so have
indestructible partnership! Praise the Lord! Amen!
"Pray Asking Redeemer To Nurture Everyday
Readily So Have Indestructible Partnership!"(P.A.R.T.N.E.R.S.H.I..P)/"How
can you attain a P.A.R.T.N.E.R.S.H.I.P in the Gospel?"
Purpose of today's devotional is to understand
the importance of having a partnership in the Gospel that turns people's
hearts towards prayer in joy.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you so much for teaching me about partnership in
the Gospel and how joyful Paul was because of the Philippians
partnership in the Gospel even though he is in chains. Oh Lord, please
help us to have a partnership in the Gospel that will bring others joy
instead of sorrow. For that to happen, we need to have a partnership
with you more than anything realizing our own worthlessness and
sinfulness before an all awesome Holy God. We do that Lord and ask you
to cleanse us by your precious cleansing blood, giving us new life.
Thanks so much Jesus you have come back to save. Help us Oh Lord by guiding us in your insurmountable
wisdom for our lives that comes from above. Thanks so much Jesus. I need
you so much Jesus. We thank you for dying for our sin and you choose to
use us in our weaknesses just as you used your 12 disciples and Paul.
Thanks for that opportunity. Help us to always rest in you humbling
ourselves under your mighty hand so you lift us up. We pray asking you
to nurture us everyday readily so we can have an indestructible
partnership in the Gospel. Thanks so much Jesus. In Your Name I Pray