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John 1:1-18

In the Beginning was the Word

 Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking.

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

6 A man named John, who was sent by God, was the first to clearly articulate the source of this Light. 7 This baptizer put in plain words the elusive mystery of the Divine Light so all might believe through him.Some wondered whether he might be the Light, 8 but John was not the Light. He merely pointed to the Light. 9 The true Light, who shines upon the heart of everyone, was coming into the cosmos.

Jesus as the Light does not call out from a distant place but draws near by coming into the world.

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.

Jeremiah 29:4-14

Live in the City

4 This is what the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies and God of Israel, says to those He exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses—make homes for your families because you are not coming back to Judah anytime soon. Plant gardens, and eat the food you grow there. 6 Marry and have children; find wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, so that they can have children. During these years of captivity, let your families grow and not die out. 7 Pursue the peace and welfare of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to Me, the Eternal, for Babylon because if it has peace, you will live in peace.”

8 This is what the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies and God of Israel, says to you: “Do not be fooled by the false prophets and fortune-tellers among you. Do not listen to dreamers or their interpretations of dreams, 9 for I did not send them to you. They are prophesying lies in My name!” So says the Eternal. 10 If you want the truth, this is what the Eternal has to say: “You will remain in Babylon for 70 years. When that time is over, I will come to you, and I will keep My promise of bringing you back home. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that. 12 At that time, you will call out for Me, and I will hear. You will pray, and I will listen. 13 You will look for Me intently, and you will find Me. 14 Yes, I will be found by you,” says the Eternal, “and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations where you’ve been scattered—all the places where I have driven you. I will bring you back to the land that is your rightful home.”


Romans 8:31-39

Who can Take Us From God

1 So what should we say about all of this? If God is on our side, then tell me: whom should we fear? 32 If He did not spare His own Son, but handed Him over on our account, then don’t you think that He will graciously give us all things with Him? 33 Can anyone be so bold as to level a charge against God’s chosen? Especially since God’s “not guilty”verdict is already declared. 34 Who has the authority to condemn? Jesus the Anointed who died, but more importantly, conquered death when He was raised to sit at the right hand of God where He pleads on our behalf.35 So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God’s Anointed? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing. 36 As the psalm says,

On Your behalf, our lives are endangered constantly;
    we are like sheep awaiting slaughter.

37 But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us. 38 For I have every confidence that nothing—not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, 39 height, depth, nor any created thing—can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.

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