Happy Monday, February 24, 2020 church!

February 24, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday, the worship band led us in praising our great God and singing about the Lord Jesus as our Rock and our Redeemer, the One who continually protects and rescues us.  Then we looked in Matthew 26 about the first observance of the Lord’s Supper.  We learned that Jesus invites all who believe in Him to this memorial meal.  At this meal we remember the price paid for our salvation and we remember that Jesus will come again to bring to perfect completion the Kingdom of God.  We also learned that Jesus invites all who will fail Him to this supper.  Peter and the other apostles all fell away from the Lord on the night Jesus was betrayed.  Jesus knew they would fail him.  But even though Jesus knew this, He still invited them to this memorial meal.  Jesus knows we will fail him before we fail Him. But still He bids us to come to Him and His table.  We know Jesus prayed for Peter that His faith would not fail him even when he blew it.  Jesus prayed for Peter that after he had turned from this failure that Peter would strengthen other believers.  We realized that just as Jesus prayed for Peter, today Jesus is praying for us.  Hebrews 7:25 tells us this truth, “Therefore He (Jesus) is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”  Jesus saves us completely, not because we will never fail, but because He continually prays, intercedes for every person who believes.  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for inviting us to your table knowing  all our weaknesses!  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for continually praying for us and completely saving us!

Next Sunday evening, March 1, at 6:00 PM we will have a hymn sing.  This is an informal time of sharing what the Lord has done for us and for singing some of the hymns that are most meaningful to us. Hope you will plan on being here.  You will be blessed!

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.  We all need our brothers and sisters  praying for us.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 17, 2020 church!

February 17, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday was a good day of worship and fellowship as we thought about the hope we continually have in Jesus.  We looked at the importance of understanding correctly Jesus’s death on the cross.  We contrasted Mary’s anointing of Jesus with her most precious treasure of very expensive perfume and Judas’ betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Each of them saw Jesus’ upcoming death in a different way.  Mary saw Jesus’ death through faith and Judas saw Jesus’ death through his own ambition and greed.  Do you understand Jesus’ death and what it truly means?  If you miss what Jesus’ death on the cross was all about, you miss Jesus.  Mahatma Gandhi said this about Jesus’ death: “I could accept Jesus as a martyr, an embodiment of sacrifice, and a divine teacher, but not as the most perfect man ever born. His death on the Cross was a great example to the world, but that there was anything like a mysterious or miraculous virtue in it my heart could not accept.”  Is that how you see Jesus’s death?  Or do you see His death as the only way anyone can be saved?  Are you hardened and unbelieving about His death as one of the world’s most meaningless events or the world’s greatest tragedy?  Are you disillusioned about His death and see Jesus only as a martyr or good example? Or do you see Jesus’ death as the death of the very Son of God sent to save you from your sin?  Will you believe and honor Jesus today, as the true and living Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world?  Jesus’ death to each of us is either one of the most meaningful or the most meaningless events in history.

Sunday, March 1 at 6:00 PM, we will have a hymn sing.  This is an informal time of sharing what the Lord has done for us and for singing some of the hymn that are our favorites.  Hope you will plan on being here.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 10 2020 church!

February 10, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday we worshipped and shared in the memorial supper Jesus gave us to remember Him.  We think of all Jesus has done and is doing for us and especially the purchase of our forgiveness through His sacrificial death on the cross and His resurrection.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us that we were bought from sin and death and hell with the high price of the blood of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”   The Lord’s Supper reminds us of that great price of our salvation.

We also thought yesterday about the truth taught to us from Matthew 25 and many other places in the Bible that we will be judged by God.  Every human being will stand before God and give an account of His life.  We looked at the criteria by which we will be judged.  The only criteria by which we will be judged is how we respond to Jesus Christ.  We saw how you respond to believers and support them as they seek to live for Jesus shows how you respond to Jesus.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”  Jesus supremely and emphatically identifies with those who believe in Him and belong to Him or who will possibly believe in Him and belong to Him through the witness of His children.  Jesus supremely and emphatically identifies with those who join Him in His mission of taking His gospel to every ethnic and people group around the world and extending His Kingdom to the ends of the earth. How you respond to believers and support them as they seek to live for Jesus shows how you respond to Jesus.  How you respond to Jesus determines your eternal destiny on judgement day.

We will have a potluck luncheon after our worship gathering this Sunday, February 16.  Bring enough food for you family and a little extra for our guests. 

Sunday, March 1 at 6:00 PM, we will have a hymn sing.  This is an informal time of sharing what the Lord has done for us and for singing some of the hymn that are our favorites.  Hope you will plan on being here.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 3, 2020 church!

February 3, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday our worship reminded us of the greatness of God and the greatness of the salvation He has provided for all who will believe.  We looked at two parables in Matthew 25 and thought about living prepared lives, always ready for Jesus to come back. We learned from the parable of the ten bridesmaids that each person must individually prepare to meet Jesus and can’t borrow from the preparation of others.  The time to prepare is today and should never be put off!  We learned from the parable of the talents that truly prepared people love Jesus and use whatever they have been entrusted with to serve Him and advance His Kingdom.  Prepared people have a right view of God that see His love for them and desire to love Him with all they have, instead of a warped view of God that does not understand His love and justice.  Prepared people seek to live their lives serving Jesus and others, instead of living it for their personal agendas and themselves.  Loving Jesus and seeking to glorify Him with our life reveals we are truly prepared to meet Him face to face. 

We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper this Sunday, February 9 during our morning worship.

We will have a potluck luncheon after worship on Sunday, February 16.  Bring enough food on that day for your family and a little extra for our guests. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, January 27, 2020 church!

January 27, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters, 

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday as we worshipped, we gloried in our Redeemer and all He has done for us.  We thought from Matthew 24 about continually preparing for Jesus’ return. You can only be ready for Jesus to come by getting ready in this life.  You can trust Him today and then faithfully serve Him now, showing that you are prepared for life with God forever.  We need to be prepared for His return even in the normal routines of life now.  We need to be prepared for Jesus’s coming even if it seems Jesus has delayed His coming or even if it seems death might be far away.  Yesterday and last week were grim reminders that no one knows when his or her life will end.   Readiness for Jesus’ return and readiness for death requires active faithful service to Him even though we cannot know when He will return.  Live life always ready to meet God, either at the return of Christ or at the day of our death.

Patti Holmes memorial service will be at East Madison Baptist Church this Saturday, February 1, at 11:00 AM.  The family will be here to meet with friends between 10:00  and 11:00 AM.  Our church family will provide a meal for the Holmes family after the service.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, January 20, 2020 church!

January 20, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers, 

Happy Monday to all!  We sang yesterday about Jesus being the Rock that we build our lives upon, that Jesus truly is our Rock and our Redeemer.  Then we considered from Matthew 24 how we are to live in the light of waiting for the sure coming of Jesus.  We learned from Matthew 24 some specific things we are to do and not do.  We are not to panic because we live in difficult times for the world and for God’s people.  We are to not to confuse catastrophic happenings in our nation or in the world for the end of the world.  We are to know that Christ will return as the gospel is being preached to all the peoples in the whole world. We are to always be on mission with Jesus in talking His gospel to the whole world until He comes. We are to know when Jesus comes again, no one will misunderstand what is happening. Revelation 1:7 teaches us that: “He (Jesus) is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.”  We wait in hope for the One who purchased us with His blood!  We are to live every day for the glory of God, every day as if it is our last day on earth, every day considering the sure coming of Christ.  Believers in every age seek to be faithful to Jesus every day as if He could return for us on any day. 

Today we remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dr. King continually fought for justice and helped us to see that we should all fight for justice.  We might not have the platform Dr. King had or the severe hatred and opposition that he endured that ultimately took his life in the battle for justice. But we can all strive for justice in our areas of influence even when we are opposed.  Jim Dennison wrote, “Dr. King was brilliant in his diagnosis of the problem facing our nation.”  Then he quoted Dr. King when he said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Reminder, church council members, that we will meet tomorrow night, January 21, at 6:30 PM.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, January 13, 2020 church!

January 13, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  We had a wonderful day of worship as we sang praise to God and read Scripture from Psalm 103, Romans 5 and Isaiah 57.  We then thought about the warnings against religious hypocrisy that Jesus spoke in Matthew 23.  Those warnings teach us to continually guard ourselves against religious hypocrisy.  Jesus warned us against living for the for the applause of men instead of the glory of God.  We don’t want to live before others acting like we love God and others but not actually loving God and others. We can appear clean and alive when truly we are corrupt and dead, if our religion is about what is in it for us instead of being centered in Christ Jesus saving us to live for the glory of God. Don’t live for the applause and praise of men but for the glory and praise of God!

It was also wonderful yesterday to commission and pray for Damon and Megan as they move to Michigan.  We had a great time in our potluck honoring Damon and Megan.  It truly was a joy to celebrate all they mean to us at East Madison.  Yes, it is bittersweet because we will miss them, but we believe God is sending them from us to be used for His glory as they move on. 

Damon and Megan need some help this Friday, January 17, at 5:30 PM to load their moving truck.  They will provide pizza to all who help.  I hope to see you there.  Their address is 880 Garden Dr., Apt. 90, Sun Prairie.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy New Year and Happy Monday, January 6, 2020 church!

January 6, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday and Happy New Year to all!  Yesterday was a wonderful day of worship as we shared the Lord’s Supper together, remembering Jesus, the One who is our salvation.  We considered new beginnings yesterday as we looked at three passage that remind us God is a God who makes all things new.  We saw from Revelation 21 that God ultimately will make all things new by destroying all evil.  We then saw from 2 Corinthians 5 that we don’t’ have to wait for all things to be made new, but that we can right now be made new as we believe in Jesus and are in Him.  We finally saw from Lamentations that every day is a new beginning for us no matter how horrific the circumstances we find ourselves in at the present time.  This is true because “the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases.”  This is true because “His mercies never come to an end.”  God never runs out of love or mercy for those who look to Him.  This is true because His steadfast love and mercies are “new every morning.”  This is true, not because we are always faithful to Him, but because “great is His faithfulness.” We serve a God who makes all things new!

This Sunday following our morning worship, we will have a special potluck luncheon to honor Damon and Megan Tolhurst as they move to Michigan to continue to serve the Lord.  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 Christmas celebration week, 2019 church!

December 22, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Christmas week to all!  When we worshipped, we thought about the truth that salvation was in a person.  Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ.  Jesus is fully God who became fully man to do for us what we could not do for ourselves.  Those who saw Jesus saw salvation. Joseph, Mary and the shepherds saw salvation when they saw Jesus in the manger. Simeon saw and held salvation when he was led by the Holy Spirit to the temple when Jesus was being dedicated as a firstborn Israelite.  The wise men saw salvation when they came to the house in Bethlehem where the toddler Jesus and his family were living, and they fell and worshipped the toddler Jesus.  John the Baptist saw salvation when he saw coming toward him Jesus, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  The thief on the cross saw salvation as he saw the One dying beside him who could remember him when Jesus came into His kingdom.  And we who have believed without seeing in Jesus will one day see face to face the Jesus whom we have trusted our lives to and the One who saved us and made us His children!   We yearn for that day!

Join the East Madison family for a wonderful time of worship on Christmas Eve at 5:00 PM on December 24. 

I want to remind you we will not have Sunday School on December 29.  Worship begins at 10:30 AM.

We are taking up the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions through the end of the month.

Merry Christmas! Remember Jesus is the reason for the season! Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 16, 2019, church!

December 16, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  As we continue to move toward the celebration of the birth of Christ, yesterday we thought about the beginning of Christmas.  Christmas did not begin in Bethlehem 2000 years ago.  It did not begin when God created the heavens and the earth.  Christmas began in the very heart of Almighty God before time began.  Before time began God planned for the redemption of those who believe.  We saw the eternal identity of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was God the Son who eternally has been.  From eternity Jesus is in communion with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was God the Son who was with God and was God and who created all things.  In Jesus is light and life.  And Jesus is God the Son who was made flesh and dwelt among us.  God did not tell us a way of salvation.  Jesus came to us and became fully human to be the Way of salvation.  Jesus is fully God and fully man.  And today, Jesus still comes to us.  Jesus comes to all who will receive Him.  Jesus lives in them by His Holy Spirit.  Jesus of Nazareth is the very God of eternity who alone can save us from sin. 

We will be having a Christmas Eve service at 5:00 PM on December 24. 

We are taking up the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions through the end of the month.

Remember to keep praying for each other as we all seek to deal with the struggles of life and follow the Lord more closely. 

Celebrate Jesus this Christ as the reason for the season! I want to include a link this week to a wonderful worship song.  May it encourage you, as it did me, as you watch it and realize Jesus is truly our Rock and our Redeemer.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpELMk4-3n8

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church