Happy Monday, February 8, 2021 church!

February 8, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

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!

February 1, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

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

Happy Monday, January 25, 2021 church!

January 25, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! We had a wonderful time of worship both virtually and physically yesterday morning. We shared in the Lord’s Supper and remembered Jesus and His precious blood providing for our salvation. In John 2 we saw how God is building our faith in Him. We saw in the miracle of turning water to wine that God works in quiet ways according to His timetable to reveal His glory to those who are paying attention.  We saw in the first cleansing of the temple that God works often in loud ways to show religious hypocrites His holiness. Jesus was then asked for a sign that gave Him the authority to cleanse the temple. Jesus’ reply revealed that God was getting ready to work through the resurrection of Jesus to reorder all worship around Jesus alone. We also saw how Jesus works and entrust Himself to those whom He knows truly embrace following Him.  We learned that we must truly embrace Jesus as revealed in the Bible and be careful about having a concept of Him that revolves around ourselves. John 2 reminds us that God works continually in our lives to help us trust Him more fully and walk with Him more closely.

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 2 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, January 18, 2021, church!

January 18, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It was wonderful yesterday to worship our great God and know that we will forever worship with all the saints of every age our “holy, holy, holy God.” Yesterday, we saw in John 1:19-51 how God the Son came and live among us. We saw how the Holy One of the universe shared in the struggles of men, women, boys and girls as Jesus walked among us. We learned that those who believe in Jesus need to continually point others to Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Our mission as believers is to point people to Jesus. We point to Jesus because we are growing in our understanding of who Jesus is, “God with us,” who came to save us from our sin. We also know who we are as those He has saved from sin and who want others to know this forgiveness and salvation. We start by pointing those closest to us to Jesus. This is how the gospel is spread. Someone who knows Jesus invites someone who needs to know Him to check him out. Someone introduced us to Jesus. It may have been family. It may have been a friend. It may have been a Sunday School teacher or pastor or coach. Someone told us about Jesus or brought us to where we could hear of Jesus. Our mission is to continually point others to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

We will be starting an adult virtual Bible study on the book of James this Wednesday evening, January 20, 2021 at 6:30 PM. Please email me if you would like to join this study so I can send you the Zoom link.

We will observe the Lord’s Supper during morning worship this Sunday, January 24. 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.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, January 11, 2021 church!

January 11, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! It was great to worship with all of you yesterday both virtually and physically. We began our journey through the gospel of John by looking at the amazing prologue to this gospel found in John 1:1-18. We looked at the identity of Jesus, the eternal and one and only Son of God. We saw the unity and the community of the Godhead from eternity to eternity. Jesus, the Word, was with God and was God. Jesus, God the Son, became flesh, a complete human and experienced life as a man. Bruce Milne wrote, “There is no parallel anywhere else in the world’s religions to the sympathetic presence of God in Christ Jesus sharing our human struggle with us.” Jesus as both God and man has made God the Father known. Jesus is life and light. Jesus, as the perfect sinless man, came to take our punishment for our sins so we might be saved. Believers are simply to be witnesses of Jesus as life and light and point others away from ourselves to Jesus. Once others see who Jesus claims to be, they must either accept His claims as life, light, Savior and Lord or reject His claim as a lunatic. No one can be neutral about Jesus. Every person must decide. Though we could spend many hours exploring just this prologue, the truth of this prologue aligns with the purpose of this gospel that John stated in John 20: The eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ, became a human being to dwell among us and provide salvation to those who will believe in Him.

We will be starting an adult midweek zoom Bible study in the next few weeks. Be watching for detail about how you can participate.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, January 4, 2021 church!

January 4, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all and Happy New Year! As we worshipped with songs and Scripture, we focused on the Jesus’ mercy, might, and grace. We thought about what it means to be a part of Jesus’ church. The church of Jesus is indestructible. The church of Jesus will stand when every nation has been brought to ruin, and when all the other powers of the world have fallen into oblivion. Jesus’ church has been given a Great Commission to take the gospel to the ends of the earth and Great Commandments to love the Lord supremely and then our neighbors as ourselves. The Holy Spirit empowers the church to carry out the Great Commission and Great Commandments. We have an all-powerful Lord who will bring us to total victory.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Christmas Eve 2020 Virtual Service

December 23, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

We are not having an in-person Christmas Eve service this year. Instead, we had various members of the East Madison Baptist Church community video record songs, scripture readings, greetings, etc, and assembled them into a prerecorded streaming worship service.

You can find the service beginning at 12:00 midnight Thursday December 24 (between Wednesday and Thursday) at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz3FYC_yEVk

We would love to have you join us as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Monday, December 21, 2020 church!

December 21, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! As we worshipped together, we considered the advent theme of love and remembered the Lord Jesus’ great love for us as we celebrated the Lord’s Supper. We looked at responses people make to Jesus from the story of the Wise Men in Matthew 2. Jesus can be met in three ways. Jesus is sometimes met with secret or open hostility, as Herod met Jesus. At other times, Jesus is meet with apathy and indifference, as the religious scholars met Jesus. However, the way to respond to Jesus is to respond to Him like the Wise Men. Fall before Jesus and worship Him as King and Lord. Give your life to Him, worshipping, adoring, and praising Him and then spend the rest of your life following Him wherever He leads. I pray this is how you and I will respond to Him today.

This year, we will send a YouTube link for worship on Christmas Eve. You will hear Christmas carols, Scripture readings, special music, a harpist, a short message, and Christmas greetings from church family.  We want to thank Pete Pokrandt for coordinating the videoing of all who participated and Jessica Pokrandt Bull, who edited it and put it all together. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Wishing all of you a very “Merry Christmas!”

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 14, 2020 church!

December 14, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It was great to worship with all of you as we thought about the advent themes of joy and hope. We rejoiced in the truth that the Lord has come, and earth truly can receive her King. We considered from Isaiah 9 about how every human being needs hope and how hope is necessary, especially in the darkest of time. Hope is the expectation and confident assurance that things will get better. Jesus provides the ultimate hope in that we know things will get better and stay better through Him. Do you need hope today? Do you need to regain a desire for something good in the future, and a biblical hope that is a confident expectation of that? Jesus is that hope for you if you are looking for hope in life. Jesus is the Hope of the world. Is Jesus the Hope of your life? He can be and He wants to be if you will simply turn from yourself and believe, trust Him with your life. Is there some seeming hopeless situation or problem that you see no answer to or solution for? Jesus wants to give you hope specifically in that situation. He wants you to know He can work in any situation and bring good out of bad if you will trust in Him. You can trust Him today no matter what you are going through. Jesus is God’s just and forever King who rules the world in righteousness and gives hope to all who look to Him. No matter how dark it gets, in Jesus there is hope. Hold on to the hope of Jesus! 

We will observe the Lord’s Supper during morning worship on December 20. 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.

During December we take up the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. 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.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 7, 2020 church!

December 7, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday we sang some wonderful Christmas carols that focused on the peace Jesus brings to those who know Him.  We considered from Luke 1 and the event of the angel announcing to Mary her part in the birth of the Savior how great our Savior is. We looked at the inherent greatness of Jesus, in that He is great in and of Himself whether people accept His greatness or reject it. We considered the greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ in that Jesus has the greatest name, the name before which every knee will bow. We thought about the Lord Jesus’ greatness in that He is the one and only Son of God from forever to forever and has an eternal relationship with God the Father. We also considered Jesus has the greatest throne and heritage and Jesus fulfills all the promises the Word of God made about the Messiah. We thought about the greatness of Jesus’ miraculous conception with God as His Father and the human Mary as His mother. As we thought about these things, we realized we are not to reduce Christmas to merely presents and family and food. We are not to reduce Christmas to the to the birth of a child, or the birth of someone who made a huge impact on the world. We are to celebrate and remember this Christmas and every Christmas is about the Great One of the universe, the very Son of God Himself, becoming Emmanuel, God with us, to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. Jesus came to save us from our sin! The story of Christmas forever remains the story of the greatness of the only One providing salvation to the world, Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with us.

During December we take up the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. 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).

Here is a link to a wonderful new song that looks at the events surrounding Jesus’ birth and reminds us of this: “Do Not Fear.”  https://youtu.be/8YC7drPwWf4.  I pray it encourages you as it did me.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church