Happy Monday, February 27, 2017, church!

February 27, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Pray your week has started well. It was wonderful to worship with you yesterday. It was glorious as we sang together “Be Unto Your Name.”

We are a moment, You are forever
Lord of the Ages, God before time
We are a vapor, You are eternal
Love everlasting, reigning on high

Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
Highest praises, honor and glory
Be unto Your name, be unto Your name

We are the broken, You are the healer
Jesus, Redeemer, Mighty to save
You are the love song we’ll sing forever
Bowing before You, blessing Your name

Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
Highest praises, honor and glory
Be unto Your name, be unto Your name

Be unto Your name…
(Written by Robin Mark, from “Revival in Belfast.”)

We know we are part of His present Kingdom on the earth as His children and His church. We are part of its advancement to the ends of the earth. We know one day we will experience the fullness of the Kingdom when our King Jesus returns personally and bodily for every eye to see and for every knee to bow before and confess that He alone is Lord. With the saints of all ages we pray, “Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!”

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 20, 2017, church!

February 20, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! It was great to be with you yesterday as we worshipped together and then shared a meal. We learned that as believers we experience freedom as we walk in forgiveness. Forgiveness is something that God will empower every believer to do. Forgiveness is a requirement for the believer and not an option. Forgiveness is an expectation and not anything extraordinary for followers of Jesus. We also learned that forgiveness is an act of obedience and not an emotion. As we obey God by choosing to forgive, we believe that God will help our emotions follow our obedience. Finally we learned that forgiveness is offered in faith and not capitulation. We do not forgive because what was done to us is okay. We forgive on the same basis that we are forgiven. Jesus, by the shedding of His blood, has paid for the sin of the one who wronged us just as that blood pays the penalty for our sins. Don’t place yourself in the prison of unforgiveness but live in the freedom of forgiveness.

Please keep David Juhlin, Hoyt Lovelace and the other members of their team in prayer as they are on their mission trip. We also thank God for Kelsey Pokrandt’s successful arthroscopic knee surgery this morning. Pete has emailed us an told us that it sounds like the procedure went very well. As of the writing of this email, she is in recovery.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 13, 2017, church!

February 13, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! As we worshiped yesterday by the singing of praises, reading of the Word, sharing the Lord’s Supper, and hearing God’s Word taught and proclaimed, we remembered the extreme price paid for us to be saved. There are many who ask why Christians believe that Jesus is the only way. Could there not be another way for people to be saved? This is a good question, one that Jesus Himself asked in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” He intensely prayed essentially this same prayer three times. The answer that came was that it was not possible for people to be saved in any other way than His bloody death on the cross. People could not be forgiven and know God except by the cross. People could not escape an eternity exposed to God’s wrath against sin except by the cross. In the cross, Jesus completely and fully absorbed the wrath of God against us because of our sinful rebellion. Now because of the cross we can be justly forgiven and know, love, serve, worship, and glorify Almighty God. Salvation is ours for the taking if we will turn from sin by believing in Jesus.

I am sure many of you thought of family and friends who have not yet believed in Jesus as you listened to the sermon from Luke about Lazarus and the rich man. You are burdened for them and concerned for them and want them to believe. Remember this: God loves them more than you do and He wants them to believe and be saved. Do not be discouraged because they have not yet believed. Pray for them because God is working in their lives to bring them to faith. Even if they seem far from God, even if they seem uninterested in the gospel, God’s Spirit can move in their lives and show them their need for Jesus. He answers the prayers of His children so keep praying for those family and friends.

Speaking of prayer, I wanted to encourage some of you to come to the prayer time we have on Sunday evenings. We meet at 6:00 PM and share a few minutes about concerns, then we spend the majority of the next hour praying for those concerns and other things that God brings to our minds. Sometimes there are some longer periods of silence as we all silently pray together. No one is asked to pray aloud. You can pray silently with us without uttering a sound. Praying for almost an hour may seem like a long period of time, but truly the hours seems to pass very quickly. Sometimes it has been hard for me to want to go to prayer. I have wanted to watch the end of a Packer game from time to time to be real honest with you. However, there has never been a time after I went that I regretted going and praying with my brothers and sisters at East Madison. Join us and give it a chance and see what you think. No one can come every week so don’t feel bad if you have to miss from time to time. For the next couple of weeks, we will especially be praying for David Juhlin and Hoyt Lovelace and the other men who are going with him on this mission trip across the world.

We will have a pot luck dinner after worship next Sunday, February 19. Bring enough food for your family and a little extra for our guests.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 6, 2017 church!

February 6, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! I pray that all of us are living in the forgiveness found in Jesus. We learned yesterday that no believer needs to be afraid of truth because all truth is God’s truth. We learned that Christ’s disciples seek to continually understand and live by God’s Word while falsely holy people distort and misuse the Word of God. We don’t have to hide anything as believers. We can be transparent with God, ourselves, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and the world. We can acknowledge where we are struggling and failing as believers, knowing that God forgives those who openly acknowledge and confess sin. When we seek to honestly deal with our sins and not hide them, God will forgive and help us. There is no sin that is greater than the sacrifice of Jesus to pay for that sin. As believers all of us know we have not yet arrived so we do not have to pretend that we have it all together. But those who are falsely holy people seek to justify themselves by distorting and misusing God’s Word. They misuse and distort the Word of God and refuse to call sin what God calls sin. They look down on others and justify themselves in the eyes of men. But God knows their heart and because they are not honest about their sins before Him, their sins remain unforgiven. We learned that we could live in the forgiveness that God provides in Jesus. When Satan accuses us by reminding us of the sins of our past, we remember that Jesus has forgiven those who believe and gives them a clean slate and a brand new start. We praise Almighty God for the forgiveness that is ours in Jesus! We praise Almighty God for the wonderful Savior we serve!

I mentioned a website last week that would enable you to pray for your neighbors. The web address is pray4everyhome.com. You can go to that website and sign up and they will send you the names of five of your neighbors every day so you can pray for them. After you get signed up and they start sending you the names of five neighbors, you pray for them and click on the link that keeps track of your praying. I encourage you to use this tool to pray for your neighbors who need Jesus.

Remember we will be observing the Lord’s Supper in our morning worship next Sunday, February 12.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church