THE LORD’S FASTING

KEY SCRIPTURE: Mat 4:2 KJV “And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred”.

We continue with our walk with Jesus through the gospels. After considering the Lord’s temptations we must also consider the fast he undertook as well. Fasting is a spiritual discipline in which one abstains from food, so he could focus on things of the Spirit. The Lord fasted for forty days and forty nights without food. During the Lord’s fast, He was tempted, yet he overcame it.

 Fasting is a means of humbling the soul Psalms 35:13 KJV” But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom”. The fast strengthens one’s resolve to keep the flesh under check. Note: the real aspect of one’s ability to hold himself or herself from doing wrong is a renewed mind, that is decided to please God.

Fasting also quickens an individual’s faith. When the Lord’s disciples could not cast out the deaf and dumb spirit from the boy, the Lord said, they could not do so because of their lack of faith. He then added that, this kind can go out only, by prayer and fasting.

Matthew 17:21. The implication is that fasting strengthens faith. Fasting also generates supernatural power. Luke 4:14 KJV ” And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.” Among the many benefits of fasting is that, it also speeds up one’s healing from various ailments (Isaiah 58:8).

Despite the many benefits of fasting, it seems a number of Christians are very reluctant to fast. Fasting is not an option for the Christian. It is a demand from God.  Matthew 6:17 KJV “But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;”

The word did not say if you fast, but when you fast. This means then, that the Christian must fast. Please note, that one of the essences of fasting is to humble the soul. This is achieved through the hunger and weakness the body goes through. Do not be afraid to feel hungry and weak. The most important aspect of the fast is to focus on God in prayer and meditating on the scriptures. Dear child of God, allow your mind to be renewed, your faith built up, and a great supernatural power generated in you, as you fast.

CONFESSION

Thank you, dear heavenly father for the privilege of fasting and prayer. My soul is humbled, yet made more stronger as I fast. My life is greatly enriched in many ways through fasting.

FURTHER STUDIES

Luke 4:14 KJV” And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.”

Isaiah 58:6 KJV” Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

SATAN TEMPTS JESUS 2

KEY SCRIPTURE: Luke 4:6 KJV. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

We continue with the temptation of our Lord Jesus Christ. At this instant the devil shows Him all the kingdoms of this world and their glory in a moment. How could he have done this. I believe he painted that image in the master’s mind. The mind is indeed the devil’s doorway to the whole being. The scripture teaches in 2nd Corinth 10:5, that, there are thoughts, imaginations and opposing ideas that the devil raises in the minds of men. We should be aware to deal with them. Satan does this to instruct his victim to act in a way that dishonour God. In the case of the Lord Jesus, he said all the kingdom and their authority has been given unto him. The Lord Jesus did not challenge that statement. This meant it was indeed delivered unto him. Who gave it to him? Adam, the first man delivered that authority to him

After Satan had shown all the kingdoms and their glory to the Lord, he told the master that he would give all this glory to him if he would bow to him and worship him. Satan presents a bait and then delivers his real intention for giving that bait. This was a call to idol worshipping. Unfortunately, many people including Christians have fallen into this trap.

There are multitudes of Christians whose hearts are dominated by other things and not the Lord.  The love and commitment to win souls, have seriously gone down because they are busily looking for money. Dear child of God, do you sincerely love the Lord? Anything that takes God’s place in your life is an idol and the devil has managed to deceive you into placing that thing before God.

The Lord would not be deceived with the lies of the devil.

Luke 4:8 KJV And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”. Dear child of God in this new year take a stand for the Lord, to worship and serve Him alone. In Matt 6:24-33, the Lord talked about not been anxious for anything. He developed this teaching from the foundation of not serving two masters, God and mammon. Anxiety of various degrees is rooted in placing other things before God. If you would obey what the Lord said, that is worshipping only the Lord, there would be no anxiety over any challenge. If God is in the first place in our lives every other need would be added to us, according to Matthew 6:33. Look into your life and slay every idol. It could be a person, money, even television, or your work. Nothing should take the Lord’s place in your life.

CONFESSION

My heart and life are absolutely for the master Jesus. I refuse to allow the bait of anything in this life to deceive me. Jesus is the only Lord of my life.

FURTHER STUDIES

Matthew 6:24 KJV” No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Matthew 6:33 KJV. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

SATAN TEMPTS HIM

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 4:1 KJV “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”

The Lord Jesus after His baptism and the descent of the Spirit upon Him, was led by the Holy Spirit to be tempted in the wilderness. In St Mark’s account he presented it this way. Mark 1:12 KJV” And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness”. From Mark’s account it seems the Spirit was in a hurry to get that done. The word tempts used in this context has the idea of testing a metal to see how strong it will perform. Could He have failed, or sinned? As a man He had the power of choice, yet He had set up His mind to please the father. Remember, a decided mind cannot be drawn into sin. It was a fact that Satan attempted to move Him to act against God, but failed.

The first temptation was for Him to use power wrongly to satisfy the flesh. Anytime a child of God satisfies his or flesh against the word of God, he or she has accepted the reign of the flesh over God’s rule. In the garden of Eden man fell because of food. Many wrong actions are remotely controlled by the longings of the stomach. The Lord gave the tempter the right answer. It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceed out of the mouth of God. He made it clear that, life is spiritual, and the spiritual should always be paramount. The word of God is spirit and must always rule our actions

The devil tempted him for the second time. This time, since he realized Jesus was quoting scripture to answer him, he tempted him with the scriptures, but twisted the word. Tempting God amounts to dishonouring the scriptures. The Lord knew his scriptures and could not be deceived by the devil. To outwit Satan always you need the Holy Spirit to inspire the right scriptures against the devil. It also involves studying the word to have the scripture ready in your heart. In that second temptation, Satan tried to make the Lord Jesus act foolishly. Many errors men make basically proceed from shear foolishness. Please always use the scriptures to scrutinize thoughts, suggestions, impressions and ideas that come to to your mind. The Lord saw the error and corrected the devil by saying. It is written, you shall not tempt the Lord our God.

CONFESSION

Thank you, heavenly father, for the Holy Spirit, who is my ever-present helper. He always gives me the appropriate scriptures to answer the devil. Through His leading I am always victorious.

FURTHER STUDIES

Matthew 10:16 KJV” Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

John 16:13 KJV” Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

A WALK WITH JESUS THROUGH THE GOSPELS

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 3:15 KJV And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

(Read Matthew 3)

We begin a new series of study as we consider the life of our master Jesus through the gospels. I call it a walk with Jesus. We would be learning a lot about the Lord Jesus. 1n Matt 3:15, the Lord answered John to allow God’s instituted policy to be observed, so they would fulfill all righteousness. The Lord Jesus had no sin, yet had to allow John to baptise Him, as a means of setting Him apart for His public ministry. This act expresses a great degree of humility on the Lord’s part.  John said he is not even worthy to bear Jesus’ shoes, yet it was John who baptized him.

The Lord did not only showed humility, he always wanted the right things to be done. The result of this was an opened heaven and a voice of approval from God’s presence Matt 3:17 KJV” And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Humility coupled with a desire for things to be done rightly will bring God’s approval and His blessings. What produces humility in people. Humility is a product of the fear of God. It is an attitude to put God first and a willingness to please God always. Humility demands that we die to self and take up our cross and follow Him.

A truly humbled man is a man of inner peace. He is a really strong man. He is not petty, but easily overlooks the faults of others.  He has completely eroded away, every dependence on self to depend on God. A humble man is a person of great faith. Humility is an indispensable virtue for greatness.  Jas 4:10 KJV” Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. “The Lord Jesus also taught us that it is humility that gives Him a worry-free life. Mat 11:29 KJV” Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls”. As we take a walk with Jesus may we learn humility from him, knowing that it is the fastest way to receive heaven’s approval, promotion and support.

CONFESSION

I reverence the Lord God and put Him first in all I do. I am meek and lowly in heart. God my father keeps no good thing from me.

FURTHER STUDIES

Psalms 25:9 KJV” The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

Psalms 45:4 KJV “And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.”

FIRST THINGS

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:33 KJV” But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

In the sermon on the mount, our Lord Jesus spoke extensively about a whole lot of issues. He also talked about what makes men to be anxious. As the year has just set off there are a number of things that people will be occupied with. The Lord instructed on one point that should be the focus of everyone of us.  We must all seek first the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness, and all the things whose absence causes men to be anxious would be added to us. Men are always ruled by something of some kind. Some have blatantly opposed the pursuit of God, yet are ruled by things as simple as example cigarette. They are so addicted to it but, it has not made any significant improvement in their lives. Man is a dependant being, and would always depend on something. Men cannot live without depending on oxygen. If we can’t do without something as simple as oxygen, then our Lord Jesus’ suggesting to seek first the rule of God and its righteous ways is very important to everyone of us. He added that if we do so then every other craving of us would automatically be added to us.

What does it mean to seek the kingdom of God? A Kingdom simply means the king and his domain or the king and His reign. Seeking the kingdom of God is seeking to let the will, purposes, and choices of God to become your prime concern in this year. He also added, and its righteousness. Righteousness in the scriptures have two main expressions. Righteousness as a gift of the nature of God, and righteousness as right living. As Christians the first form of righteousness comes first and produces the second in our lives. Beloved as the new year has just set off, put God first. Seek to please God in every engagement.

God has ways that He wants us to go. Please tread on those paths. If we would diligently travel this year along this pathway, then we would never fall into the trap of anxiety, that easily takes its toll on men. I believe some people have even started getting anxious about events that lie ahead of them. Beloved to set off in the year this way, is to get along on the wrong path. Choose the masters way. Seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and every other thing shall be added to you.

CONFESSION

God is first in my life. His word is my strongest persuasion. His ways are always perfect. I travel the journey of life by doing that which pleases Him. Life is always very meaningful when God is first.

FURTHER STUFIES

Prov. 12:28 KJV” In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death”.

Prov. 14:12 KJV” There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

MINISTERS WITHOUT BLEMISH: FREEDOM FROM LEGALITIES OF THE DEVIL

KEY SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 49:24 KJV” Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?”

In our previous study we looked at certain legal grounds that children of God and even ministers give over to the devil. You become a legal captive of an illegal devil when you do so. This is a wrong occurrence and you must stop it.

We saw that the first legal ground that people of God give to Satan is when they live in sin. There are sins of the flesh, which has to do with acts like fornication, etc. and sins of the Spirit (2Corinth 7:1), which include pride, envy, etc. To deal with these sins effectively, consider the harmful effect of sin confess them before the Lord. The next step is to renew your mind concerning who you are. It is Christ alive in you for your former self is crucified with Jesus. If it is Christ alive in you, then your hands, mind and total body is his, for He expresses Himself through you. Now no more wrong actions would you engage in, because it is Christ who is in charge of you and not your flesh.

2 Idle words: Make sure you always speak in line with the word of God. Men say negative words when they are under pressure. Decide that no matter the difficulty, you would not   say anything that is anti-scripture or does not reveal the glory of God. (Number 14:28)

3.Rebellion against fathers: One area that some ministers are found wanting is their relationship and attitude towards the men who brought them up in the Lord, who are also known as spiritual fathers .1Co 4:15 KJV “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus, I have begotten you through the gospel”. Never think you are equal with such men. Respect them, love them and honor them by giving to such men. If it is scripturally dangerous to dishonor our earthly fathers, how much dangerous it would be if you mistreat your spiritual father. (Heb 13:17)

. Dear servant of God, if you have any problems with your spiritual father, then go to him and make amends. Your proper relationship with your spiritual father is a divine protocol for survival and doing well in life. Genesis 49:26

4. Refusal to serve God out of Joy and gratitude (Read Deut 28:47 & 48) Serve God in cheerfulness and gratitude. This would save you from an unnecessary hardship in life and ministry.

CONFESSION

I do not live in sin.  Christ in me takes control of all I do. I do not give place to the enemy. I observe all spiritual protocols and therefore I maintain a covering over my life.

FURTHER STUDIES

Heb 13:17 KJV “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

Deut 28:47 KJV Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; Therefore, shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

MINISTERS WITHOUT BLEMISH: BEWARE OF LEGAL GROUNDS FOR THE ENEMY

KEY SCRIPTURE:2Kings 15:4 KJV. Save that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places.

King Ahaziah was a godly king who followed after the ways of his father Amaziah. The Bible revealed the one thing that he did not correct, and that was to completely destroy the high places, where they still made sacrifices to other gods. The scriptures added that the Lord smote him with leprosy. The meaning of that scripture is, and the Lord allowed leprosy to afflict him. Diseases are always caused by devils although when an individual acts against the natural laws of God, He God may not prevent a sickness from afflicting such a person. Our lesson in this study is that, although he served God diligently there was one aspect of his life that gave legal grounds for Satan or devils to afflict him, and God could not stop them. As servants of God, we must beware of not keeping any door opened for Satan to launch an attack against us.

What are some of the actions of ministers or children of God that can give legal grounds to the enemy to launch an attack against us:

1.Sin of any kind in the life of the minister can give grounds to the enemy. (Gal 6:7 KJV “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

2. Idle words. These are unscriptural words that does not honor God in anyway. Mat 12:37 KJV “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned”.

3.When a minister does not honor his fathers but rebels against him. 2Sa 18:14 KJV” Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.” Absalom died at such a moment of his life because he rebelled against his father. Please Read Genesis 49. Reuben was cursed by his father never to excel.

4. Sins of the fathers in the blood line which have not been addressed and challenged. Abraham came from a bloodline which was idolatrous and even gave their children to Molech. (This means they sacrificed their children in fire for the idols.) This caused barrenness to the wife of Abraham and his lineage. (Gen 12:1-3). The Lord had to call Abraham out of his nation family and from his father’s house.

5. Evil occurrences as a result of demonic aggression. During the days of the Apostles Stephen was first stoned to death, James was killed by Herod and Peter was also held in prison to be killed. It took violent prayers by the Apostles in Acts 12, to break that occurrences. From then the apostles although martyred, lived to later years. They lived to their old ages before they were either killed or died.

6. Ministers who deal treacherously with their covenanted wives. Mal 2:14 KJV “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant”.

This point also goes for every man who mistreat his wife, with whom he covenanted before God.

These things and some more give the enemy access into the life of ministers to afflict their lives or even attack the Ministry.  We would consider how to deal with these things in our next study.

PRAYER

Father, I receive grace and the ability to know where I am erring, and be humble to acknowledge my error. Help me to confront every aggression of the devil rightly in Jesus name.

MINISTERS WITHOUT BLEMISH: BEWARE OF PRIDE.

KEY SCRIPTURE:2Ki 14:10 KJV “Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine heart hath lifted thee up: glory of this, and tarry at home: for why shouldest thou meddle to thy hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee?”

(Read 2 Kings 14)

Success is always a blessing. God blesses our sincere efforts with outstanding success. King Amaziah, started by doing that which was right in the sight of the Lord. God approved of his obedience by granting him victory over his enemies. He was very successful in slaying Edom. After this victory he sent messengers to Jerusalem calling on the king of Israel to come for an open fight. This time he acted out of his ego, without the Spirit leading. Pride is very deceptive and can easily take over a man’s heart. A pastor dared the devil to appear to him and he (the devil) would see power. The devil appeared and this pastor was scared to death. It took the intervention of the Holy Spirit to save the situation.

The Christian by grace is superior to the devil. He must not in any way act out of self will and pride to face the devil. Amaziah called for a fight with the king of Israel, out of shear pride. Pride always comes before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 KJV “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” Dear child of God we are nothing by ourselves. Your success always proceeds from being led by the Spirit of God. Such an action would definitely go to glorify God. God resists the proud but gives more grace to the humble.

Another attitude of pride is when some Pastors who have very large ministries, tend to look down on smaller ones. This is a deception. Every form of pride is always a deception. There are some Pastors with rather small membership yet very proud. They would not submit themselves to be taught in anyway. They are mostly criticizing those with large ministries. Please, this work is not about ourselves and what we have been able to achieve. It is all about seeking the salvation of the lost and establishing them for God. It is a depopulation of hell to populate heaven. Whether you have a large audience or a few thank God and focus on winning more for heaven.

PRAYER

Father I pray for all servants of God, that they may never to be deceived by pride. May their eyes be opened to the deceptive strides of pride as it tries to take dominion of their hearts. Deliver those who are bound by it in Jesus name I have prayed. Amen

FURTHER STUDIES

1Samuel 2:3 KJV” Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”

Job 40:12 KJV” Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.”

MINISTERS WITHOUT BLEMISH: GO FOR TOTAL VICTORY

KEY SCRIPTURE :2Kings 13:19 NET The prophet got angry at him and said, “If you had struck the ground five or six times, you would have annihilated Syria! But now, you will defeat Syria only three times.”

(Read 2 Kings 13:1-25)

The king of Israel went to Prophet Elisha for a divine help against the armies of Syria. The prophet asked him to shoot an arrow but did not tell him the number of times. 2Ki 13:17 NET Elisha said, “Open the east window,” and he did so. Elisha said, “Shoot!” and he did so. Elisha said, “This arrow symbolizes the victory the LORD will give you over Syria. You will annihilate Syria in Aphek!” As the man of God said the arrows symbolized the victory of the Israelites. These shooting of the arrows can be compared to our Prayer times. The king only shot three times and stopped.

Many of us start praying about certain issues, and when we see some initial victories we give up and relax. When the king shot the arrows three times and stopped, the prophet got angry at him and said, “If you had struck the ground five or six times, you would have annihilated Syria! But now, you will defeat Syria only three times.” Dear child of God or minister make sure you have exhausted every bit of the moments through your prayer. Pray till the Holy Spirit tells you to give up.

HOW can one know he has fully dealt with the devil, and can stop praying? On many cases the burden to pray ceases after the Holy Spirit has finished dealing with the case. Like Elijah who prayed till he saw a sign in the heavens, of a cloud as a man’s hand (1 kings 18:44). When the Lord Jesus prayed in the Garden before he was betrayed by Judas, he kept praying, even after the angel had strengthened Him (Luke 22:44) Dear child of God, always go for victory, by making sure there is an assurance of victory. As the curtain for the year 2020 is being pulled down, make sure you have prayed earnestly for your life in the next year. Every year comes along with its issues, yet you can take charge with your prayers.

CONFESSION

Thank you, heavenly father, for the opportunity to pray. I pray through till I breakthrough. The certainty for victory is always guaranteed, and so l go for it.

FURTHER STUDIES

Luke 22:44 KJV “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

1Kings 18:44 KJV “And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.”

CHRISTMAS: A TIME TO THANK GOD

KEY SCRIPTURE :1Chron 16:34 KJV “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.”

The message of Christmas calls for Thanksgiving. The angels said to Mary that, the Son that will be born of her will save His people from their sin. The coming of Christ has brought all those in darkness into the light. Isa 9:2 KJV” The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”  By the coming of Christ, light has been released into every darkness of all men. Thank God for this light that has delivered us from darkness. The Lord Jesus came to bring us healing. Himself took our infirmity and carried away our sorrow (Isaiah 53:4&5) Dear child of God thank God for taking away all your sicknesses. Stop looking at the state of your body and rather thank God for healing you. If he took away your infirmities, then you are well. Start thanking him for this glorious Christmas that brings healing to us.

Christmas means poverty is ended. For he came that the poor might be rich. 2Corinth 8:9 ” For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”. Thank God for this Christmas that makes you rich. Thank God for eternal life as a result of Christmas. 2Ti 1:10 KJV” But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:” Eternal life was made possible because Jesus was born.

The song writer said,” and man will live forever more, because of Christmas day”. The next thing to thank God about in this Christmas season is for bringing you peace. He is the prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6.) Thank Him for peace. Thank God also that, you have been delivered from this evil world.

Gal 1:4 KJV “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:” This world has so much demonic activities. The Lord came that we may be free from all these devils and actually become masters of these devils. Thank God in this Christmas for making you, a master of devils.

CONFESSION

Thank you, dear heavenly father that you did not keep your son, but freely allowed him to die for us. By Him, I am healed from all diseases, I thank you Lord in this Christmas, for eternal life, for supernatural prosperity, for deliverance from demonic dominion. Thank you, Lord.

FURTHER STUDIES

Rom 8:32 KJV “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

John 3:16 KJV For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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