Happy Monday to all! Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent as we prepare to celebrate Christmas. We worshipped by singing songs of hope. Hope is knowing that all God has promised will be given. We finished up the book of Hebrews by looking at the gift of leaders from Hebrews 13. All of us have been greatly impacted by God-given leaders. There are men and women who have motivated and helped us to know, love and follow Jesus. They are not extraordinary men or women. They are simply men and women who surrendered to God and through whom God worked. We learned that everyone of us can be that kind of influential leader to someone or some ones. We all want God’s help to follow this kind of God-given leadership. We all need to submit to and pray for God-given leadership. We know that every believer and their leaders share the burdens and blessings of serving God together. We are also aware that God will provide everything we need to do His will and bring glory to His name. God-given faithful leaders help us to know God more intimately and live for the glory of God.
During the Christmas season we take up the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. You ask, “What is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering?” The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is an annual offering collected by believers around the world to support international missions. The offering was officially named in 1918 by Woman’s Missionary Union in honor of the missionary to China who urged churches to start it and give sacrificially. This offering is unique from other mission offerings in that 100% of gifts provide for missionaries all over the world. It is a valuable part of Southern Baptists’ 175-year history of reaching the nations with the gospel and vital to reaching the vision of a multitude from every language, people, tribe and nation knowing and worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 7:9). There are prayer guides and special Lottie Moon offering envelopes at the church building. Also, here is a link to the daily prayer guides for international missions that you can use to pray this week: LMCO Week of Prayer for International Missions – International Mission Board (imb.org)
Remember to keep praying continually for each other.
Happy Monday to all! As we worshipped yesterday, we focused on how great God is and how great is His redeeming love for us. We considered from 1 Thessalonians 5 and Ephesians 5 how to live a life of true thankfulness, especially in this crazy year of 2020. We need to seek to be truly thankful at this time of year and all the time and not just go through the motions of being thankful without real gratitude. Thankfulness does not mean we deny our pain or minimize the bad stuff we are going through. It does not mean that we do not recognize evil as evil. But in the realities of life, we can give thinks even as we grieve and mourn and weep. This happens at the funeral of every believer that we know and love. We grieve because of the separation we will have to endure, but not as those with no hope. We know there is resurrection in Jesus. We know it is better to be away from the body and present with the Lord. So even during sorrow and pain we can give thanks. We are not denying the difficulties but knowing God works even during our pain. We weep and give thanks at the same time because in everything, everything, everything, God is working for our ultimate good and His glory. There can be weeping, grieving, struggling and thankfulness all at the same time. In Jesus we can truly give thanks in everything because God is using the good and the bad to make His people more and more and more like Jesus. God is working in everything to bring glory to His name. Believers filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit remain thankful knowing God is working out everything for His glory and our ultimate good.
Happy Monday to all! Yesterday as we met virtually and physically, we worshipped Jesus, our Rock and our Redeemer. We thought from Hebrews 13 about how to live out our faith because Jesus has changed us. What a difference Jesus makes in our lives when we believe! Jesus is our life. Jesus has changed our hearts and caused us to want to live for Him. Because of what Jesus has done, we are to keep loving each other as members together of the family of God. We also are to keep loving even people we do not know well by using our homes as tools to welcome others. We are to keep loving others by reaching out to those in prisons and otherwise confined. We are to love those closest to us by protecting our marriages and by seeking contentment by refusing to love money. We are to seek to completely identify with Jesus, whether He is popular or rejected in our culture, because Jesus provides us with an eternal city and makes us His own to live for Him and live for eternal values. We gladly accept the mockery that belongs to those who follow Jesus. Believers seek to totally identify with Jesus and live for His glory.
Please join me in praying for an end to this plague of Covid 19. Pray for those who are sick from this virus and those families who have lost loved ones. Pray for God to use this so people would understand how brief life can be and how salvation, forgiveness and eternal life are only found in Jesus. Pray for God’s people to shine forth Jesus in this dark time we are in today. Pray for the leaders of our city, state, and nation to work together to do things that will help in these times of crisis.
If you miss our Sunday services and would like to watch them or perhaps share them with someone you know, you can find video of the services at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3rJ-oFvSS-9W-iWf6Wcvnw.
Remember to keep praying continually for each other.
Happy Monday to all! It was wonderful to worship in the parking lot together yesterday and think of the sacrifice Jesus made for us to be saved from sin. Because we are saved from sin by Jesus’ sacrifice, we can know and love the God who created and redeems us. We shared the Lord’s Supper, communion, together. This reminds us that we are part of one another and need each other. We then looked at Hebrews 12 and considered living out the gospel. There is nothing more destructive to Christian witness than Christians who do not seek to live out their faith. When we claim Christ, but are unloving, untruthful, immoral, unforgiving, ungracious, etc., we hinder others from believing in Jesus. If people look at us but do not see anything that looks like Jesus, they may be hindered from knowing Jesus. So, we must seek always to live out our faith. We must live out the truth of the gospel of Jesus by avoiding destructive and sinful behaviors. We seek to live the truth of the gospel of Jesus by showing people that holy God is near and approachable through Jesus Christ. We want to live out the truth of the gospel of Jesus by heeding His call for us to come to Him and to ultimate reality. We are not fools who turn down His gracious invitation to forgiveness and life. We live out the truth of the gospel so that others may come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Happy Monday to all! Yesterday we consider from God’s Word how to handle the difficult things all of us will face in life and the difficulties we will face as followers of Jesus. Everything that happens in your life can make us bitter or better. Some of the godliest people I have known have been people in life that had suffered the worst of tragedies and circumstances. They grew in and through those tragedies and circumstances. What could have made them bitter and self-absorbed, made them better and Christ-centered. Jesus said in the world his followers would have tribulations. Sometimes those hardships, those tribulations and persecutions will be extremely horrific and tragic. Hebrews 12 gives us truth that will enable us to handle the tragedies, tribulations and trials that come our way. It teaches us to accept the hardships of life as God’s way to teach and train. Hebrews 12 teaches us to help and encourage others in difficulties who are discouraged and weak. Together, we are part of Jesus church that overcomes! Hebrews 12 teaches us to stay focused on Jesus no matter what your circumstances. Accept every difficulty of life as a way to glorify God and grow closer to Him.
We provide multiple ways for you to give to support the Lord’s work through East Madison. Every Sunday morning, an offering box is provided for you to be able to deposit your offerings. If you would like, you can mail offering checks to the church address at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage or you can click this link directly: https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give
Please join me in praying for our city, state, and nation during these difficult days. God’s people need to intensely seek His help, His justice, His mercy, and His peace in these times.