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Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!  The last Sunday of the year is that odd transition between the fading days of the old year and the anticipation of the new, exciting year ahead!  This is especially true for 2020.  This has been a difficult sequence of events which has created a storm of uncertainty and fear!  In our sermon series Stealing Christmas, Take 2 we have explored overcoming the obstacles to love, hope, peace and joy.  The last installment of this series is Overcoming Power.  What is our source of power?  How will we continue to endure difficulty and hardship? God wants to sustain us and strengthen us, but how?  The early Christians faced great obstacles to living their faith.  Some would give their lives rather than reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  God’s power is available to us.  This week, we turn to 1 John 4:1-10.  The Apostle John warns these Christians of the obstacle of the spirits of their age.  There were many “false prophets” fueled by the spirit of the world.  Yet, he tells them that they have overcome these powers!  These words help us to find the power of overcoming through the Spirit of Jesus Christ!  As you read 1 John 4:1-10, may you be filled with the confidence and hope of our great Savior.  1 John 4:1-10: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (NIV)