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Good News for Sunday!
John 1:1-8 (The Voice)
The Word Became Flesh. 

 Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking.

    The Voice was and is God.
This celestial Word remained ever present with the Creator;
    His speech shaped the entire cosmos.
Immersed in the practice of creating,
    all things that exist were birthed in Him.
His breath filled all things
    with a living, breathing light—
A light that thrives in the depths of darkness,
    blazes through murky bottoms.
It cannot and will not be quenched.

A man named John, who was sent by God, was the first to clearly articulate the source of this LightThis baptizer put in plain words the elusive mystery of the DivineLight so all might believe through him. Some wondered whether he might be the Light,but John was not the Light. He merely pointed to the Light. The true Light, who shines upon the heart of everyone, was coming into the cosmos.

10 He entered our world, a world He made; yet the world did not recognize Him. 11 Even though He came to His own people, they refused to listen and receive Him. 12 But for all who did receive and trust in Him, He gave them the right to be reborn as children of God; 13 He bestowed this birthright not by human power or initiative but by God’s will.

14 The Voice took on flesh and became human and chose to live alongside us. We have seen Him, enveloped in undeniable splendor—the one true Son of the Father—evidenced in the perfect balance of grace and truth. 15 John the Baptist testified about Him and shouted, “This is the one I’ve been telling you is coming. He is much greater than I am because He existed long before me.” 16 Through this man we all receive gifts of grace beyond our imagination. 17 You see, Moses gave us rules to live by, but Jesus the Anointed offered us gifts of grace and truth. 18 God, unseen until now, is revealed in the Voice, God’s only Son, straight from the Father’s heart.

Poetry For Sunday
Psalm 98

Compose a new song, and sing it to the Eternal
    because of the unbelievable things He has done;
He has won the victory
    with the skill of His right hand and strength of His holy arm.
The Eternal has made it clear that He saves,
    and He has shown the nations that He does what is right.
He has been true to His promises;
    fresh in His mind is His unfailing love
    for all of Israel.
Even the ends of the earth have witnessed how our God saves.

Raise your voices; make a beautiful noise to the Eternal, all the earth.
    Let your joy explode into song and praise;
Make music to the Eternal with the harp;
    sing a beautiful melody with the harp and chorus.
With trumpets and horns,
    fill the air with joyful sounds to the King, the Eternal.

Let the sea rumble and roar, and all the creatures it holds shout praise;
    let the whole world and all those who live in it join the celebration.
Let the rivers applaud
    and the mountains join in joyful song
In the presence of the Eternal because He is coming
    to judge the earth.
He is coming,
    and His judgment will be what is right for the world
    and just to all people.

Scripture Reading for Sunday. 
1 John 4

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, becauseGod is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has notbeen perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Prayer

Loving King, so often the enemy seems to paralyze as he basks in our chambers of sin.
We scrub and whiten and dress up the filth, the stains, the rags;
Only to find the very self we try to escape ever lurking behind our pretending.
But You, o Lord, know us fully and choose to close the distance in your never failing pursuit.
Let us lay to rest the harm we fear,
and limp into the embrace of our gentle Guardian.
May You quiet us in Your steadfast love.
— written by: Jennifer Jordan For ecclesiahouston.org

Sermon

1 John 4

Fear Motivates.

Check out this Article from the Verge about profiting on  the fear of Ebola

Check out this Article from the Verge about profiting on  the fear of Ebola

WW2 Propaganda.  

1 John 4:7-12
Love is Perfected in Us. 

Transient

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, becauseGod is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

We are Motivated by Fear

Transient

16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has notbeen perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

We are motivated by fear,
But God moves through love..


Reading for the Week. 

Christians: More Like Jesus or Pharisees?

One of the common critiques leveled at present-day Christianity is that it’s a religion full of hypocritical people. A new Barna Group study examines the degree to which this perception may be accurate. The study explores how well Christians seem to emulate the actions and attitudes of Jesus in their interactions with others.

One of the common critiques leveled at present-day Christianity is that it’s a religion full of hypocritical people.

A new Barna Group study examines the degree to which this perception may be accurate. The study explores how well Christians seem to emulate the actions and attitudes of Jesus in their interactions with others.

3 Barriers to the Church's Ability to Love Others

Obstacles to viewing others as human in times of conflict. Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/current/3-barriers-churchs-ability-love-others#Km1EKA05rq65t9UG.99

Obstacles to viewing others as human in times of conflict.
Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/current/3-barriers-churchs-ability-love-others#Km1EKA05rq65t9UG.99

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