Today you will be with Me in Paradise

Originally posted on Bible Aid:

Jesus had been tortured mercilessly and finally nailed on the cross. He was practically drained of all His blood and breathing His last few breaths. This was not enough torture. One of the criminals crucified with Him blasphemed Him and said, “If you are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” ( Luke 23:39 ) There is no record of a response from Jesus. He does not condemn the foolish criminal. That was pretty remarkable. However something rather surprising follows. The other criminal crucified with Jesus who also was witnessing the death of the Christ, and could plainly see that Jesus had done nothing to save Himself, displayed faith. He is not dissuaded by the bloody and dying Christ. He holds firmly to the belief that this Jesus, who appears helpless on the cross, is the son of God, the Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He believed…

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“John 3:36 (Believe and Obey)” 4/17/2014

“Our Daily Bread”  http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie  http://www.harvest.org/devotional

“Homily Grits Devotional”   http://www.homilygrits.com

Written by BJ Richardson for “The River Walk”  @  http://tworiversblog.com/

View original @    http://tworiversblog.com/2014/03/25/john-336-believe-and-obey

John 3:36 (Believe and Obey)

by BJ

soccer edit

And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” (John 3:36)

Daily Bible Reading: Numbers 34:1 – 36:13

Relate: I was on a soccer team that was terrible. We were bad. It was my first year where I was playing keeper rather than midfield as my primary position. In my hubris I would like to think the coach was thinking, “At least we might have a bunch of 0-0 ties” but I wasn’t nearly as good at the position as I would become. If I remember right, we tied two games, and lost the rest. Both of the ties came fairly early in the season. After a while we were just going through the motions. We knew how bad we were and that just made us worse. We knew we couldn’t win and it became a self fulfilling prophesy. I really feel sorry for our coach. By the end of the season he couldn’t get us to do our drills in practice for nothing. We just didn’t believe and so we simply wouldn’t obey.

React: I think I know a few people who respond spiritually the same way a lot of us on that team played. There might be a lot of going through the motions, but there isn’t a lot of true belief. That is exactly what legalism is. I’m going to obey because it is the right, it is the respectable thing to do. I am going to go to church because I don’t want to hear my spouse nagging me about it all the time. I’ll even clap my hands and sing the songs because that way I can blend in better. But following the rules without believing in the Rule giver is like trying to go through those soccer drills while fully believing we will lose our next game 5-0. There is no real motivation because there is no purpose behind it.

In this last verse of John 3 believe and obey are linked. Those who believe will experience eternal life, but those who do not obey will never have it. The fact is, you can’t really have one without the other. If I really believe we can win the championship then I will obey the coach. If I really believe Christ has saved me, then I will live like I’m saved. But if I think that’s just a bunch of religious platitudes and that preacher isn’t truly grounded in the real world I live in then I simply cannot obey. Yes, I might be able to go through the motions for a while but it will be hard, miserable drudgery rather than the joy of an abundant life. Faith motivates obedience and obedience builds faith. The more you do one, the more you will see of the other.

Respond: 

God, You are great, mighty, awesome and powerful. You are the best and the greatest. You are majestic and glorious. You are wonderful. There is nothing greater and no one better. You are all. Thank You so much for the honor and privilege of the invitation of being on Your team. Thank You for the joy of being able to ride with You all the way to victory. You win. We win. Every time. Jesus, I believe in You. 

About BJ

The River Walk, (tworiversblog.com) is a devotional/informational outreach for Two Rivers, a new church that launched in the Binghamton area February, 2013.

 

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“Why Modess Dress Should Matter to ALL Christians” 4/16/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie                                 

http://www.harvest.org/devotional/daily-devotions/home.ht   

“Homily Grits Devotional”   http://www.homilygrits.com

1 Corinthians 6:19-20Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s(NKJV)

If a Christian truly understood what Christ has done for them…they would not disgrace His body by wearing skimpy, inappropriate clothing that can in no way glorify God…  We as Christians have been bought and paid for by the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross…  Dressing in revealing clothing will tell all of those around us the attitude and the intentions of our heart… 

When our hearts are inclined towards ourselves, we will typically have no problem wearing revealing clothing to draw attention to ourselves…with little regard for those around us…  But when our hearts are inclined towards God, He should be the One we are focused on…as well as being aware of how others might be affected by seeing us wearing inappropriate or indecent clothing… 

The following scripture penned by the apostle Paul, gives believers more insight to guide them in all areas of their lives… Romans 12:1-2I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  (NKJV)

Those still living in the world of sin and shame, that the apostle Paul warns us as Christians in this scripture to not  be conformed to…don’t have the Holy Spirit residing with-in them to help guide them in all that they say and do…  But the Christian, should be constantly trying to live in a way that may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfectwill of God…  

Let’s say that you are a young Christian girl who dresses in skimpy clothing, to draw the attention of young men to yourself…  Did you ever stop and think about the kind of guy that would be attracted to your inappropriate attire ??  They would probably be guys that you really don’t want to be seeing in any kind of personal relationship…  The kind of guy you should be looking for might look at you, and for a moment see you through eyes of fleshly lust…  But if he was a Christian living for the Lord (which is the kind of guy you should be looking for), he would immediately turn away, and could not be attracted to you for any kind of long-term relationship… 

As a matter of fact, you would be causing this young Christian man to sin, because Jesus tells us this, inMatthew 5:27-28…  “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 2But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (NKJV)

And guys…if you are a Christian, and you are sexually attracted to a young woman who dresses immorally…you have just committed adultery in God’s eyes !!  I remember the pastor of my previous church, who has now gone home to be with the Lord, telling me that he used the 3 second rule…  If you look with lust in your eyes at a girl for more than 3 seconds before you turn away…or if you turn away and then look back…you are definitely sinning in God’s eyes…  Men are all wired to be attracted by the fleshly lusts of the eyes that the world loves…1 John 2:15-16…  The trick is to turn quickly away, confess your sin before the Lord if you had lustful thoughts (1 John 1:9), and not look back…  This can’t be done in your own flesh without the power of the Holy Spirit helping you… 

For you single Christian guys out there…the lust of the eyes through addiction to porn, or other sins of the world, can be kept under control by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, living with-in the Spirit filled Christian…1 John 4:4… 

If you are a Christian male, have you ever stopped to think about why you shouldn’t consider dating a girl who dresses in immoral attire ??  A Spirit filled Christian girl, who is living for the Lord, would never dress inappropriately…  This girl dressing immorally may be a Christian…but her heart reflects a lack of love for the Lord, and a failure to apply the gospel of Christ to her life…  She should be dressing modestly to show her love for the Lord and for others, as she brings glory to God through appropriate dress…  And worse…a girl dressed in revealing or immoral attire, might not be a Christian at all… 

If you end up marrying a non-believer, the beautiful exterior will eventually fade away with age…and if their heart isn’t filled with the love of Christ, you will find yourself living under very trying circumstances…  This goes for Christian woman as well…  I know several Christian men and women who are now living with a non-Christian spouse, or have been divorced…and they have told me it is not an easy life…  This is the very reason that God has given us His Word, the Bible, to learn how to live in God’s revealed will…  And by God’s grace and our submission to the Holy Spirit, we can live a Christ centered life that will glorify God in all that we say and do…  

The Bible is absolutely clear that we as Christians are NOT  to be yoked to non-believers… The apostle Paul pens this, in2 Corinthians 6:14…  Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness(NKJV) 

I am reminded of a day’s writing on this very topic of “Christ Centered Relationships”, that was titled… “First Priority in a Relationship”…  This writing can be found @    www.Godsmanforever.com by typing 11/08/2013 into the search window…  The absolute most important thing in anyone’s life, is becoming a Christian in God’s eyes; and then doing our best to live as a follower (disciple) of Jesus Christ…  I have to tell you, after wasting 52 years wrongly believing I was a Christian, that the next most important thing in life is not what profession you choose…or how far up the latter of success you climb…or how much stuff you can accumulate in a lifetime…  I believe the next most important thing after living for Christ, is finding a marriage partner where both the husband and the wife are living a “Christ Centered Life”… 

In that day’s writing on our first priority in a relationship, I posted the link to 3 videos done by Francis Chan and his wife Lisa…which were dedicated to explaining the importance of a “Christ Centered Relationship”…  I urge each and every Christian reader looking for the right possible spouse (that is not yet married)…to watch all three of these videos, to see how absolutely beautiful a relationship can be…when both the husband and the wife have Christ at the center of everything they say and do… 

Here are the links to these 3 amazing video’s portraying the ultimate marital relationship, where Christ is first in the life of both the husband and the wife:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihRmM0aVADU&feature=em-subs_digest-vrecs  (Part 1) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gankzqrIipQ   (Part 2 – go to minute 14 mark)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3YNawuuizM  (Part 3)  

For both young Christian men and women who are now involved in pre-marital sex…I urge you to read my writing that was titled… “What !! No Sex ??”…that can be found by typing 12/02/2014 into the search window, at the link I have listed above…  These first years out of high school, until you find the right college (or trade school)…decide on the right occupation…look for the right mate to spend the rest of your life with (hopefully after you have the security of a good job)…and then start to establish a life that you can be proud of…could be accomplished with so much less stress and aggravation with the Lord in control of your life…   I tell you this with 20/20 hindsight, because as I said, I went through all of this without the help of the Lord… 

By choosing to live a Christian life as a follower of Jesus Christ, I am here to tell you that God is bigger than any problem we will ever face…  And with God helping us every step of the way…by opening doors and showing us the right godly path we should take…we can eliminate a lot of the dead-end paths, and the wasted time we will definitely have, if we choose to make our own decisions without God’s help, in this dog eat dog world we live in…

I will end with my favorite scripture, to encourage all of us to seek the Lord…and then let Him direct our path…Ephesians 3:20…   Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  (NKJV)

That power that works in us” is the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, if He is left in total control of the Spirit filled believer who is doing their best to live in God’s revealed will and His ways… 

Heavenly Father, I pray that Your living and powerful Word (Hebrews 4:12-13) would cut right to the very core of those who now choose to live for themselves…instead of living a life that You would abundantly bless, if they were living as obedient disciples of Your Son Jesus Christ…   I pray Lord, that Your Word, with all of its godly wisdom, would become as necessary for daily spiritual feeding as the food we eat…Matthew 4:4…  I pray for this fullness of Christ to abound in all of our lives, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…

Blessings in Christ,  bruce r mills

 

 

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John 4:31-34 (What Is Your Cause?)

Godsmanforever:

Good Word !! Put others ahead of ourselves !!
Blessings in Christ, bruce

Originally posted on The River Walk:

hands Edit

Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.” But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. (John 4:31-34)

Read: Joshua 22:1 – 24:33

Relate: What is your cause? What do you live for? What gets you excited? I want to jump back to the beginning of November a few years back. I’m going to change a name and a little bit about the situation, but I remember meeting with a student who was really having a hard time. He was going through one of those messy relationship break ups that most high school students have at least once or twice. At the same time he had been in a fight with…

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“WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?” 4/15/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie                                 

http://www.harvest.org/devotional/daily-devotions/home.ht 

“Homily Grits Devotional”   http://www.homilygrits.com

Written by Dave Boller for “Working for Christ” @   http://work4christ.wordpress.com/

Original post found @ http://work4christ.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/who-is-your-role-model-2/

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?

by “Working for Christ”

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV)

http://work4christ.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/paycheck.gif?w=640

The things that matter most in a Christian’s work life are not the same things that matter to the rest of the world. It’s not the dollar amount of their paychecks, the impressiveness of their business cards, the prestige they have earned within their trade, or the position they hold within their company. It’s not even about their productivity or the quality of their work – although hard work is certainly an honorable pursuit. Instead, when it comes to their jobs, what matters most is the extent to which they model themselves after Christ from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.

When we attend church on the weekend, we are taught to become more like Christ in the way we live. The problem we encounter is that our intentions are good, but our minds become altered somewhere between Sunday and Monday. The realities of work often keep us from becoming Christ-like at our jobs. Some of these realities are work related, some are simply human nature, but all of them force God out of the forefront and onto the back burner. By Tuesday or Wednesday, our thoughts of God and living for Christ may have completely faded away.

From my experience, that’s a source of frustration for many Christians. We struggle with it. We feel guilty about it. We may even recommit to do things differently, but somehow we manage to backslide and  leave Christ out of our lives – just when we need Him the most!

Perhaps you too have had personal experience with this. Maybe you’ve made some effort to apply your faith in the workplace, only to be discouraged by the results. Perhaps you’ve even reached the point of concluding that real, enduring change is hopeless. It’s not. It’s just a matter of seeing things more clearly – maybe for the first time in your life. And then it’s simply a matter of cooperating with God to defeat the things standing between you and our Savior.

What’s keeping you from being more Christ-like in your job and in your career? What are the barriers that stand in your way? Ask God to give you the strength you need to become more like Christ in your workplace! Your job is an important mission field. Keep Christ “alive” twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week!

http://work4christ.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/work-for-christ.jpg?w=569&h=126

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

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“Do You Have Religion or a Relationship” 4/14/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://dob.org 

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie                                  

http://www.harvest.org/devotional/daily-devotions/home.ht  

“Homily Grits Devotional”   http://www.homilygrits.com

Luke 19:41-42Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that makefor your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. (NKJV)

The opening scripture has Jesus approaching Jerusalem some 2000 years agoon what we now celebrated yesterday as Palm Sunday…  Luke is the only Gospel which recorded the fact that Jesus was weeping, as He sees the Holy City of Jerusalem before Him…  A few verses before this, we see Luke pen this, in…

Luke 19:37b-38the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they hadseen, 38 saying:Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (NKJV)

The crowds had heard this man Jesus was coming into town, and they wanted to get a first hand look at this man who had been healing people, driving out demons, and even bringing 3 people back to lifeincluding Lazarus, in…John 11:1-44…   Jesus drew crowds by the thousands, who were amazed at His many miracles…  We read in all 4 gospels about the feeding of the 5,000 with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread…Matthew 14:13-21…  But scripture reveals that this was 5,000 men  (in V21), which means there could have been upwards of 20,000 people with the women and children included

But this rejoicing and praising Godfor all the mighty works they hadseen Jesus perform, would soon turn to condemnation and ridicule…and Jesus knew that their praises would be turned into cries to have Him crucified… 

Jesus tells us in the opening scripture, that the things that makefor your peacewere hidden from their eyes…  This peace Jesus was speaking about, that those who wanted Him crucified were lacking, Jesus described to His disciples, in…John 14:26-27…  But the Helper, the HolySpirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teachyouallthings, and bring to your remembranceallthings that Isaid to you.  27 Peace I leave with you, Mypeace I give to you; notas the worldgives do Igive to you. Letnot your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  (NKJV)

This God given supernatural peace would come upon the disciples (and all believers at the time) on the day of Pentecost…when God the Father sent the Holy Spirit down from heaven, to live with-in each and every redeemed child of God…   

What better time than this week ending with Resurrection Sunday, to share the love of Christ and the reason for His sacrificial death on the cross, by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with someone in need of hearing the truth from God’s Word…   (See note at the end for more on God’s grace through saving faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ)…   

 It is Jesus’ resurrection from the grave which defeated death and Satan…giving all believers the basis for Christianityand the hope of eternal glory with the Lord upon their death…  It is Jesus’ shed blood at the cross, which will cleanse all past, present, and future sins…for those who by God’s grace alone through saving faith alone in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9), have become redeemed children of God…   Becoming a Christian is not based upon a religion…  It is based upon a one on One personal relationship established with the Lord Jesus Christ…

Anyone who wants to read more about the difference between religion and the personal relationship needed to become a Christian, should open the following link which will explain the difference, backed up with scripture…  http://www.gotquestions.org/true-religion.html

Jesus tells us about establishing this personal relationship with Him, when He tells us this, in…John 14:6Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. Noone comes to the FatherexceptthroughMe.” (NKJV)   The way is through understanding and obedience to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…  The truthis found in the Word of God, and it will set the sinner free from Satan’s chains of bondage to sin...John 8:32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (NKJV)  And the “lifethat Jesus speaks about, is eternal life in heaven with His Father…  

Once the new believer has been graced with salvation, in order to maintain the sweet fellowship with the Lord that the Christian will experience when they are Walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16)…they must remain filled with (totally controlled bythe Holy Spirit...Ephesians 5:18-20…   Any sins the Christian has left unconfessed before the Lord, will sever the sweet fellowship with Him…because any unconfessed sins will grieve the Holy Spirit…Ephesians 4:30…   

I don’t know of any scripture which tells us the Lord will weep when His children are living in sin…  But we see a few times in scripture where Jesus did weep, including the opening scripture…  Here is a link I found interesting, which is titled…”Why Did Jesus Weep ?”   http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2013/11/05/why-did-jesus-weep  

When we grieve the Holy Spirit, and continue to live in rebellion to the godly urging of the Holy Spirit by sinning…the supernatural peace and the joy God gives to His obedient children will fade away…  I experienced this first hand myself, when I had taken back control from the Holy Spirit…  

I am reminded again of a sermon made by REV. C. H. Spurgeon back in 1859…  My peace, and joy, and the ability to understand scripture were gone…exactly as Spurgeon portrays this possibility in his sermon, when the Holy Spirit is grieved when we as Christians are living in continuous unrepented sin…  Here is the link for this sermon…  Part 3 is the most important part of this eye opening sermon, about the effects on our lives as Christians when we are grieving the Holy Spirit…    http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0278.htm

As Christians, let us take every opportunity this week to share our faith with those around us that have never experienced God’s grace…and the amazing peace and the joy that will be experienced as we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), as redeemed children of God who are living with Christ at the very center of our being… 

Heavenly Father, we thank You so much for sending us Your Son Jesus…to provide the only way we can be deemed righteous in Your sight…  I pray Father, that You will open the eyes and draw those to Yourself (John 6:44), who believe they can earn their way into heaven through religion…  I pray that all of Your redeemed children will will be re-energized by this Holy Week, to do their very best to live in Your revealed will and Your ways…  I pray for this fullness of Christ in all of our lives, and the endless peace and the joy that the filling of the Holy Spirit will bring into our lives…in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…

Blessings in Christ,  bruce e mills

P.S. Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, after first being drawn in by God…John 6:44…  http://godsmanforever.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/gods-group-thoughts-for-7112013-the-truth-about-sin/

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“Time for God” 4/13/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie                                 

http://www.harvest.org/devotional/daily-devotions/home.ht   

“Homily Grits Devotional”   http://www.homilygrits.com
 

Written by Rev. Samuel Melendez @ http://bibleaid.wordpress.com/

 

View original posting @  http://bibleaid.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/time-for-god/

 

Time for God

Posted on April 2, 2014

“Yeah! Grandpa is here.” Grandpa had traveled many miles to finally reach the home of his only grandchildren, Robby, Luis and Mary. He loved them greatly and was constantly calling to speak to them. But now he had actually come. He was in their home. What a magical day. They all gave grandpa a big hug and then grandpa just collapsed into the sofa. He was so tired from the trip. He began to tell wondrous stories of his journey, through valleys and up mountains. How could he have endured such a journey at his age? He was truly a remarkable man. Now Mary had found her way to the kitchen and was preparing some mighty fine sandwiches for all. While she worked diligently in the kitchen she could just barely hear the stories. She thought “this is not fair at all”. After a couple of minutes she could endure it no more. She stormed into the living room and demanded the boys to help out. For a moment there was silence. Then Grandpa spoke, “My dear why don’t you come here and sit right beside me. Don’t you know I miss you? Everything else can wait.”

Often even the most hardworking among us can get our priorities mixed up. Mary got caught up in her many responsibilities but forgot that this moment was special because grandpa had come.

In the life of Jesus we see similar events unfold when He visits the house of Mary and Martha. (Luke 10:38-42) Martha was busy in the kitchen preparing all that the guest would need. But Mary knew that a visit from Jesus was like nothing else and there would be time for work later. She listened intensely for every word from the Master, but Martha busied herself with other responsibilities. Martha soon was frustrated with her sister and asked Jesus to encourage her sister Mary to help her. Jesus did quite the opposite and defended Mary. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

In our lives we too can occupy ourselves with activities that at the time seem worthy of our attention; possibly work, school or some other responsibility, but the people in our lives should not be forgotten. The times we spend with loved ones are essential and are the memories that we want to make. It is the stuff that makes life worth living. The most important person in our life should be God himself.

Our relationship with him will take time. I am not suggesting we quit our jobs and move into a monastery, but we all need to reach a happy balance, where there is ample time for work, family, friends and most importantly God. Have we all taken some time to pray and read our bible today? Is a visit to our local church part of our schedule this week? The more we put into a relationship the more we will get out of it. Jesus reminds us of the power of our relationship with Him. He said in John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

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