Month: February 2021

Happy Monday, February 22, 2021 church!

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! We worshipped yesterday and sought to “behold our God, seated on His throne.” We endeavored to see Him in all His majesty and adore and love Him. We then saw from John 4 a man who had a desperate need in his life. His young son was critically ill and at the very point of death. He went to Jesus and placed this desperate need before Jesus. We saw that even though this was a man of power and influence, no position of power, wealth or influence frees anyone from the tragedies of life. We learned in the life of this man and in our lives, Jesus will challenge us to truly trust Him when we cannot see Him visibly working. We also learned that Jesus often challenges us to reveal He desires more for us than our earthly well-being. From this passage from God’s perfect Word in John 4, we see this timeless truth for those going through crises in every age: God seeks to use the crises of our lives to cause us to know, love, and more fully trust in Him.

I want to recognize today the faithful team of people who count the offerings, record the gifts of those who give to Lord through East Madison, and who make sure the bills get paid. They have also taken on extra responsibilities during this season of Covid because others who were helping to serve in these areas had to take extra health precautions and could not help during this time. Also, like Pete whom I mentioned last week, they serve the Lord and His church in more ways than just this ministry that I am mentioning. Thank you, David, Annette, Jim, and Tricia for all your work behind the scenes taking care of these things. I want to tell all of you for myself and all of your East Madison family how much we appreciate you. 

We will observe the Lord’s Supper during morning worship this Sunday, February 28. If you are worshipping virtually, you will need a cracker and some juice for each person in your home who is participating. Also, if you would like to stop by the building and pick up the pre-packaged elements during office hours, let me know and I can put them out for you. This would also give me an excuse to see some of you!

We invite you to join us for an adult virtual Bible study on the book of James on Wednesday evenings. We will be studying James 4 and 5 this week. Please email me if you would like to join this study so I can send you the Zoom link.

Below is information and prayer requests for some missionaries we support.  Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 15, 2021 church!

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday we looked from John 4 at the encounter Jesus had with the Samaritan woman whom He met by a well. This woman was like many. She was missing peace, purpose, and satisfaction in life. Her personal life was in shambles, having been married more than five times. When Jesus met her, she had given up on marriage and was just living with some guy. Her standing in the community was as an outcast, to the point where she only came to public places when no one else was around. Her religious life was confused in seeking truth in a cult that did not provide satisfactory answers to the deepest questions of life. She seemed to be bitter, confused, alone and abused when she had an encounter with the One who could provide her with something that could continually quench her thirst for satisfaction. Jesus sought this woman and was looking for her even as she was not seeking God and His truth. She was looking for satisfaction and purpose in life in all the wrong places. Jesus met her and offered her the “living water” of Himself, His continual presence for those who will believe that alone can satisfy. We saw in this passage that Christ Jesus provides ultimate satisfaction and eternal life by His continual presence in the lives of those who will believe.

There are many people who serve the Lord at East Madison that help us fulfill our calling as Jesus’ church. I want to take a little space in the Monday emails starting today to thank some of those people. I was talking to my brother yesterday about my role in planning worship. I told him I do not have to plan much besides the sermons because Pete Pokrandt puts in the hard work of putting our services together. Pete seeks to keep our worship time God-centered. He puts in much time every week prayerfully picking out appropriate songs and Scripture readings for each service. I am often amazed how God’s Holy Spirit guides Pete in his planning. The songs, Scripture readings, and messages seem to fit together like a hand fits in a glove. I wanted to tell you Pete, for myself and for all of us, how much we appreciate you.

We invite you to join us for an adult virtual Bible study on the book of James on Wednesday evenings. We will be studying James 3 and 4 this week. Please email me if you would like to join this study so I can send you the Zoom link.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 8, 2021 church!

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday as we worshipped, we focused on our glorious Savior and the glorious salvation He has provided for us. We learned from the last part of John 3 that we are to make Jesus famous. We are to magnify Him and point to Him. We are to make much of Him and continually make less of ourselves. Jesus is to be the center of attention. We are the friends of the bridegroom, waiting for the groom to come and take His bride the church to be with Him forever. Who do you want people to see through your life? Whom to you want them to remember after you are gone? When they remember you, will they think of you or will they think of you pointing to Jesus? Let us make sure we are pointing to Jesus. Jesus’ followers must always point to Jesus alone as the only One who gives eternal lifeMay it be said of us that we sought to always point to Jesus. Jesus must forever increase, and we must continually decrease.

We invite you to join us for an adult virtual Bible study on the book of James on Wednesday evenings. We will be studying James 3 this week. Please email me if you would like to join this study so I can send you the Zoom link.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 1, 2021 church!

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It was great to worship with all of you virtually and physically yesterday. From John 3 we learned the great need of every person was a new birth that would awaken us to true spiritual life. Because all of us are dead in sin, we need more than counseling, advice, coaching, and reforming. We need to be born from above and made alive. How does that birth from above happen? It happens as we look to Jesus, the One lifted up on the cross. We see as we look at Jesus lifted up that your sin and my sin put Jesus on the cross to die in our place. We only need to look to Jesus, and we are saved! We see that anyone can look to Him and be saved. However, if you refuse to look to Jesus and refuse to believe in Him, you will stay forever in your condemnation. Jesus came to rescue us from the condemnation we are in right now. It is not as though we will be condemned someday. We are condemned now without Jesus and Jesus came to rescue us from our condemnation. Will we love our sin and remain in darkness and condemnation? Or will we look to Jesus and walk in His light and be saved?

We invite you to join us for an adult virtual Bible study on the book of James on Wednesday evenings. God was working last week as we studied the first part of James 2. It was wonderful to learn from God’s Word together! We will be studying the last part of James 2 and possibly some of James 3 this week. Please email me if you would like to join this study so I can send you the Zoom link.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church