Happy Tuesday, May 28, 2024, church!

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Tuesday to all! I pray all of you had a meaningful Memorial Day yesterday. On Sunday, we worshipped together by singing and reading about God ‘s love for us. Then in the message, we contemplated how we should love one another because of His love. We looked at 1 Corinthians 6 how that church was not demonstrating God’s love among themselves. They were suing each in the courts and bringing dishonor to the name of Jesus! We learned that such things should never happen between fellow believers. We have such a great inheritance because we belong to Jesus. Because of this, we are not to let the petty disputes of this world and our pride bring divisions within the body of Christ and dishonor to the name of Jesus. We are to guard ourselves continually about anything that disrupts our love for God and our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are not to take disputes between ourselves and other believers before the secular world. Remember, Paul is not talking about crimes committed by a believer, which should be taken to legal authorities. Paul is talking about civil disputes over property, money, and reputation that should be handled within the body of Christ. If we have such disputes, Matthew 18 gives us the way to handle those disputes. We are first to take our dispute to the person with which we have the dispute. If it cannot be settled between the two of us, then we call in some wise neutral believers who will help us settle the dispute. Before we call in other believers, we beforehand determine that we will do what these neutral believers advise! Believers are more than qualified to settle these disputes that occur within the body of Christ. Remember, we are new creations in Christ Jesus and the old ways of protecting ourselves, our stuff, and our reputation has passed. We are living now and forever for the glory of God and the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Maturing believers understand it is better to be wronged than act in an unloving way towards brothers and sisters in Christ. Yes, there are many things more important than our pride and personal reputations. Glorifying God and seeing His Kingdom increase is far more important.

We will observe the Lord’s Supper next Sunday, June 2, 2024, during our morning worship service.

Emmanuel Church and East Madison will host a joint Vacation Bible School on June 24-28 from 5:30 PM-7:30 PM. A team from Missouri will be here to help us conduct this Vacation Bible School. If any of you would be able to help, please let me know.

During the weeks between Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day, we are passing out baby bottles for us to collect offerings for the CareNet Pregnancy Center of Dane County. CareNet does wonderful work of saving lives and helping women and families. Take a bottle and fill it with an offering to be returned on Fathers’ Day.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. None of us know fully the burdens our brothers and sisters in Christ might be carrying.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church