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Posts Tagged ‘Sport Club Corinthians Paulista’


(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– He gives power to the faint – and to them that have no might, He increases strength. – Isaiah 40:29

– Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?  Are we stronger than He? – 1 Corinthians 10:22

This world tends to tell us we have to be tough and strong to make it through these lives on earth.  We can’t show any sign of external weakness – even though we may be wondering inside how much longer we’re going to be able to take everything life throws at us – which can be a lot; at the times we may want it the least.  But – we have no power to do anything – except by that which comes from above (John 19:11, Acts 17:28).

Are we provoking God to jealousy (second lead verse) – if or when we try to be “tougher-than nails?”?  As if He was admiring our self-perceived power and strength.  Whenever we believe we are wise and mighty in our worldly ways – and can weather any storm thrown at us by our own strength and smarts, we’ll that’s conceit.  We’re not admitting weakness.  And, we’ll most likely end up being confounded (Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 12:16, 1 Corinthians 1:27).

This is not why God hung Jesus on the Cross – so the Son of man could be tougher than nails for all of us – all the time.  We can’t just hand things over to Him only when we’re tired of doing so – finally weary of having to be strong all the time – to prove or show to others we are not wimps.  God’s grace is only sufficient – and His mighty strength is only perfected in our weakness – when we glory in our infirmities, not our invincibility (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Only when we admit we are weak in the world, can God be strong through His Word – so the power of Christ can rest upon us (2 Corinthians 12:10).  If we pass on His power within us as Christians (Romans 13:2) – because we still prefer trying to prevail through thick and thin by ourselves, hanging on to handling life our way – He’ll probably keep right on letting us thinking we are strong without Him. That’s pride – and God resists anyone like that (James 4:6).

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(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. – John 8:32

– Pilate said unto him (Jesus), “What is truth?” – John 18:38

A man is on trial for murder.  Under oath, many witnesses come forth to give complete and truthful testimony.  The jury then goes to deliberate.  A unanimous guilty verdict is reached.  When the sentence is handed down by the judge – it’s death. A pardon is out of the question.  There is no escape.

Truth has not freed him  So how can God’s truth set us free?  From what?  This man was going to die because of it.  Outside of prison before his crime, he wasn’t in bondage to anyone – now he was bound to die by truth.  By our understanding, knowing truth this way doesn’t make much sense (Proverbs 3:5-6).

The Jews who Jesus was speaking to (lead verse), also could not figure out what Christ was talking about in regards to truth.  How could it free them if they had never been in bondage to any man?  They could not believe anything Jesus was telling them about truth (John 8:33,45-46).

Truth can set us free – or sentence us to die.  How can it possibly be both?  Because truth is a judgment – a verdict.  It’s saying something is or isn’t – without any room for doubt.  Isn’t that what we really want from truth?  Isn’t it why we want people to tell the whole truth and nothing but it in court?

The word verdict comes from the old Anglo-French “verdit” – meaning “to say a truth”.  Christ often prefaced parables and teachings with the word “verily”, or “truly”.  It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18), so Jesus could only say what was true – or wasn’t – without error.

We are all appointed once to die (Hebrews 9:27).  It’s God’s verdict against us from our very first day on earth.  Although He has not appointed us to wrath, Scripture has concluded all are under sin – carrying with it the sentence of death (1 Thessalonians 5:9, Galatians 3:22, 2 Corinthians 1:9).

Our Father hung the only truth on the Cross.  So we would no longer trust in ourselves, nor in our desperately wicked and deceitful heats any more – but in the One who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:9, Jeremiah 17:9, Proverbs 28:26).  We can’t deliver ourselves from the grave.

By God’s grace Christ tasted death for all men (Hebrews 2:9).  Jesus took the place of sin on the Cross.  Christ became our pardon from death, becoming the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for the sins of the world – while we were all yet sinners (1 John 2:2, Romans 5:8).

Jesus took part of flesh and blood like us, so through death he might destroy him who had the power of death – the devil.  To deliver us all from our fear of death, which we are in bondage to all our lives.  To free us from death’s finality, through God’s truth (Hebrews 2:14-15).

We’ve been turned from the power of darkness, and the father of all lies (John 8:44, Acts 26:18), unto the promise of deliverance through our Father’s truth.  But, death will be the last enemy to be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26).  We’re not free from the devil yet (1 Peter 5:8-9).

We will be freed from the grave by God’s grace – and through our faith in Jesus.  However, this grace will brought to us at the revelation of Christ (1 Peter 1:13).  We are not free in the meantime to grieve God by sinning more as believers – so His grace can abound more (Romans 6:1).

Whenever there is new-found freedom in life, there is the very real potential of it being abused and misused.  The meaning of liberty can be lost through misinterpretation.  Between what the grantor or giver of it intended – and what the recipient decides for themselves it means.

Discipline gets degraded this way.  Teenagers who first get their license to drive may often feel like they can go anywhere – and do anything they want, because their travels are no longer under direct parental oversight.  It is a similar scene when kids leave home for college.

We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us by faith as believers (Ephesians 3:17).  Jesus Christ is that Spirit – and where the Spirit is, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17).  We are to stand fast – not becoming entangled again in a yoke of bondage to this world (Galatians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 7:10).

We have been freed from the pollution of this world – by the Word of truth.  This is by knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – who overcame the world (John 16:33).  If we become entangled in it again and overcome – our end is worse than the beginning (2 Peter 2:20-21).

The Lord’s liberty is not a license to turn us loose, and turn His grace into lasciviousness (Jude 4).  God tells us to take heed, lest our freedom become a stumbling block to those who are weak (1 Corinthians 8:9).  It is not to be used as a covering for evil either (2 Peter 2:16).

We are to use this liberty to be God’s servants. Serving Him by serving one another in love (2 Peter 2:16, Galatians 5:13).  If we look into this perfect law of liberty and continue in it – not being forgetful hearers, but doers of the work – we shall be blessed in our deeds (James 1:25).

Once creatures, we’ve been delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of becoming God’s children (Romans 8:21).  If we use free will to sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of His truth – we’re not wise.  There is no more sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:26).

God brings His judgement to light every morning (Zephaniah 3:5).  A verdict is reached as to whether His mercy will keep us waking each day – or if we are cut off without remedy (Zephaniah 3:5, Lamentations 3:22-23, Proverbs 29:1).  It is His truth which continually preserves us (Psalm 40:11).

If the Son has set us free, we are free indeed (John 8:36).  However, we have to remain steadfast in our faith until the end to be made partakers of Christ (Hebrews 3:6,14).  If we ever hold God’s truth in unrighteousness, we can become subject to His wrath (Romans 1:18).

We can start serving the creature again – more than the Creator – turning His truth back to a lie (Romans 1:25).  Having been enlightened, and having tasted of the heavenly gift, we can still fall away to where it’s impossible for God to renew us again to repentance (Hebrews 6:4-6).

This is like hanging Christ back on the Cross and subjecting God to open shame (Hebrews 6:6).  For things such as these, He has the power to turn us over to reprobate minds – and do things we might think we could never do  – and long to be free of once again (Romans 1:28-32).

Witnesses came forth in the first paragraph above – their truthful testimony meant a mortal man would be killed for his crime.  Though Christ gave truthful testimony about mortal man, some wanted to kill him, for committing nothing worthy of death (John 8:40, Luke 23:15).

Man’s testimony in a human court can send a man to die.  God’s testimony from His heavenly court; the crucifixion and resurrection of His only Son – sets us free from death.  It doesn’t set us free to do whatever we want in the world – or with the Word – as Christians.

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(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ – and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. – 2 Corinthians 5:18

The ministry we’ve all been called to as Christians – is reconciliation (lead verse).  Reconciliation is eliminating enmity – a state of being actively opposed to something or someone.  All sin is enmity – at all times with God.  We are separated from Him at birth by sin – alienated from heaven (Ephesians 2:12, Colossians 1:21).  Spiritual reconciliation means being brought back into agreement and alignment with the Almighty’s ways.

As believers, we’ve been reconciled back to God by the death of His only Son (Romans 5:10).  The enmity of sin between us and heaven was slain at Calvary by Christ (Ephesians 2:16).  We’ve been brought back into agreement and alignment with God through belief in Jesus.  We now have redemption by the blood of Christ ( Ephesians 1:7).  God has regained possession of us in exchange for a price (1 Corinthians 6:20).

We’ve been saved from the grave by the grace of God – through the death of His Son (Romans 5:10, Hebrews 2:9-15).  This is our Father’s desire for all men – not willing that any should perish, but for all to be reconciled back to Him through repentance and remission of sin (2 Peter 3:9, 2 Corinthians 5:20). God takes no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies – but for all to turn from sin and live (Ezekiel 18:32).

God has committed the word of reconciliation to us, because of what Christ accomplished for us through redemption (Romans 3:24, 2 Corinthians 5:19-20). This should be the message of every ministry. But, the seeds of recurring confusion and evil works are planted if we are ever striving, envying, contending, or comparing our Christianity with each other (James 3:16, Proverbs 13:10, 2 Corinthians 10:14-15). This makes it hard to have any ministry of reconciliation, doesn’t it?

We are no different as Christians, than those who are lost and unbelieving (Romans 6:23) – except we have been reconciled back to God.  This was done by His grace – which put Christ on the Cross in place of our sin – while we were yet still sinners (Romans 5:8).  If we are ever unable to resolve and reconcile temporary differences between us as believers (Matthew 5:23-24), how are we ever going to present a message of eternal reconciliation to those who are still lost?

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– Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?  And what communion hath light with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14

When God speaks to us through Scripture about not being unequally yoked, believers with unbelievers, it doesn’t mean we are to avoid them altogether.  The lost are still perishing – and God does not wish for anyone to do so (2 Peter 3:9); nor should we.  The gospel is still hidden to them – and the preaching of the Cross is still foolishness (2 Corinthians 4:3, 1 Corinthians 1:18).

How will they hear about the hope we have as Christians without a preacher (Romans 10:14)? Remember, the Pharisees did not like it when Jesus sat down to eat and drink with the publicans and sinners (Matthew 9:10-11).  But – how were they going to hear God’s truths if Christ wasn’t teaching such to them?

Not being unequally yoked with unbelievers means we don’t go everywhere and do everything they do. Like two oxen hitched together, who “have” to go in each other’s direction – who don’t have the ability or choice to detach themselves.  We do.  We can choose to go after their worldly ways of the lost, because it might mean lots of mutual fun or favor at times (Joshua 24:15).

Or, we can guide them towards the Cross and the ways of God, who broke our yoke of bondage to death and this world when Christ overcame it (Hebrews 2:9-15, John 16:33).  A world we are to no longer be entangled in the pollution of (2 Peter 2:20). However, isn’t that easy to do if we should hitch our wagons to ways of the world – instead of tying them to the truth of the Word?

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(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. – 2 Corinthians 11:14

– But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.  In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them who don’t believe – lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God – should shine unto them. – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

Someone once said we should be always careful if we think we see a bright light at the end of a tunnel – for it could be the headlight on the front of a locomotive coming the other way. Bright lights can be beautiful and beckoning – but also dangerous and deceiving.  They can appear to be receiving and righteous – and we can walk right into a wreck.  They can summon us to fun – a word found nowhere in KJV Scripture.

In the song “Blinded by the Light” written by Bruce Springsteen, there are these lyrics, “Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun – but Mama, that’s where the fun is.” Having as much fun as we can under the sun – is not why we’re Christians. However, we should not marvel, for Satan is transformed into an angel of light (lead verse) – and his ministers into ministers of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:15).

Satan is the deceiver of the whole world – the father of all lies (Revelation 12:9, John 8:44).  These lies can seem very bright and right – like luring lights – but they deceive us because they often look like fun for a while.  It won’t hurt, will it – to enjoy the pleasures of sin for another season (Hebrews 11:25)?  How much more enticing and inviting do the multi-colored and spinning lights of a carnival or county fair look in the evening, than during the day?

Las Vegas can look almost lifeless in the lazy afternoon hours after lunch.  However, when the bright lights on the strip start to shimmer and sparkle just before sundown, people start emerging forth from their hotel rooms – like moths to a flame – only to end up getting burned.  One tempting thing leads to another – and one is in trouble financially or romantically before they know it.  People may think it stays in Vegas, but God has seen it all (Psalm 139:3).

Digging ourselves out of these holes can be much more work than staying grounded and rooted in Christ (Ephesians 3:17). Isn’t reversing a wrong much harder than remaining in a right? We can either choose to suffer the afflictions of God’s people (Hebrews 11:25) – or succumb to an affinity with the world (1 John 2:15).  Do we really expect spiritual growth to occur by doing both (1 Corinthians 10:21, Galatians 5:22-23)?

When we’re born again, God sheds His love abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given to us (Romans 5:5).  It is a baptism of fire – and a flame begins to burn within us (Matthew 3:11).  The middle wall of partition between our hearts and heaven is broken down (Ephesians 2:14).  God has commanded His marvelous light to shine out of the devil’s darkness we once walked in – and for us to walk in this new light as His children (2 Corinthians 4:6, Acts 26:18, 1 Peter 2:9, Ephesians 5:8).

James Thurber wrote there are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.  Jesus reminded us to take heed, lest the light which is in us – be not darkness.  This is evidenced first by our eyes – the light of our soul (Luke 11:33-35).  This is the light of righteousness.  We have to be very careful we’re not walking straight into the wrong lights of Satan – the ones which can obscure obstacles right in front of us (Isaiah 59:9) – tripping us up and causing us to stumble spiritually time and again.

Staring too long at bright lights can cause vision loss. If we keep doing it, we can go totally blind.  Failing to follow the one true light of Christ, and obeying the commandments of God – can make us fall down, frustrate our faith – and make us grope and feel for walls right in front of us like men who have lost their sight (Isaiah 59:10).  Or, we can allow ourselves to be guided by the lights of other men and women of God first – before God; much like Job thought he was for others (Job 29:15). Where does that leave us if they should stray, betray, or fall away?

Christ dwells in such a brilliant light that no man has seen it – nor can even approach it (1 Timothy 6:16).  However, the light of the glorious gospel of God is given to us through the Holy Ghost, to glow steady and strong enough in our hearts – to be a lamp unto our feet, and light our path (Psalm 119:105).  To give us the confidence to be guides of those who are still walking around blindly without the Word – still blinded by the bright lights of this world (Luke 1:79, Romans 2:19).

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(Scripture from the NKJV and KJV)

– For what man knows the things of a man – save the spirit which is in him?  Even so, the things of God knows no man – but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world – but the Spirit which is of God – that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God.  Which things we also speak – not in the wisdom that man’s wisdom teaches – but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. – 1 Corinthians 2:11-13

– Never try to understand something from the outside. – Brad Melzer

Our Father in heaven is never the author of any confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).  Especially in the lives of believers – for we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost to be taught the things of Him.  By Him – and not man (lead verses).  It is impossible for Him to lie to us (Hebrews 6:18, 1 John 2:27). God is the Rock – His work is perfect – for all His ways are judgment.  A Father of truth is He – without any iniquity (Deuteronomy 32:4).  Still, Scripture can seem confusing, contradictory, imperfect, and even untruthful at times – even among long-time believers.

This is very understandable if a person is still lost and unbelieving.  For they have not yet received the gift of the Holy Ghost – when Christ comes to dwell in their inner man by faith (Ephesians 3:16-17).  The gospel is still hidden to them – and the preaching of the Cross is foolishness – for they are still presently perishing (2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 1 Corinthians 1:18). They remain natural men and woman trying to understand God and His Word from the outside-in – as if it’s a history book about Him – and not His story about us (1 Corinthians 2:14, 2 Timothy 3:16, lead quote).

It’s even understandable when new believers – or those trying to build their faith and trust on an unstable foundation – get confused with Scripture.  For they are still unlearned – and wrestle with Scripture to their destruction (2 Peter 3:17).  Being able to compare spiritual things with the spiritual takes time – but it’s a sign of healthy and steady spiritual growth.  With the Holy Ghost inside us – He begins to guide us into all truth with no lie (John 16:13, 1 John 2:27).  This is given freely to us by Him – if His words abide in us – and we in Him; at all times (John 15:1-7, lead verses).

Christ once told a parable – about a parable – to illustrate all this.  Jesus was with the 12 disciples whom God had chosen – and some others whom He had not.  The Son of man said unto them “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God – but to them that are without – all these things are done in parables.  That seeing they may see – and not perceive; and hearing they may hear – and not understand. Lest at any time they should be converted – and their sins should be forgiven them.  Do you not know this parable? How then will you know all parables (Mark 4:10-13)?”

The only thing that makes anyone a Christian is receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost – for many reasons.  We are none of God’s without it (Romans 8:9), we cannot say Christ is Lord (1 Corinthians 12:3); and our Father has no power to quicken (make alive) our mortal bodies and raise us up to salvation when Christ returns (Romans 8:11, Revelation 12:10).  It is the Spirit inside us that makes us alive – our flesh profits nothing (John 6:63).  Otherwise, we may be going to church, Bible studies, etc., – and still be on the outside looking in (1 Corinthians 2:14, 2 Timothy 3:7).

As Christians, we have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).  We are to learn God’s Son the way He wants us to from the inside-out – and the only One inside our hearts is Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16-17, Ephesians 4:20-32).  We now learn how God’s Spirit speaks and teaches within us – so we can do likewise to others – with His wisdom and not our own.  Again, it takes time through continual repentance as our inner man is continually transformed, regenerated, and renewed from above (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Titus 3:5).

Slowly and steadily, we should learn from Him how to compare spiritual things with the spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:13).  Not to trivialize it – but it really is like connecting spiritual dots.  So one verse/passage gets connected to another – and another – and so on.  For the mystery which has been hid from ages – and from generations – is now made manifest to His saints (Colossians 1:26).  Some dots get connected quickly – others take years.  Some never do – and that’s for good reason (Ecclesiastes 7:16, Isaiah 55:8-9, Romans 11:33, 1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

A clearer, pieced together, spiritual picture should being to emerge to us – so we can then share it with others; especially the lost.  No longer cherry-picking singular verses/passages from Scripture that may sound great to ourselves when posted on Facebook (for example) – but meaning nothing to unbelievers when shared – except to add to their confusion as to what Christianity is all about.  So perhaps they may start to think “This is making more sense to me now” instead of “This still makes no sense.”  So God might finally convict their hearts of sin with His sorrow – and give them the gift of the Spirit for repentance unto salvation (2 Corinthians 7:8-10).

So any believer presenting Scripture through writings can slowly start to do so in a less sporadic or spotty fashion than they may have at one time.  So any Christian speaking Scripture in public can be more specific each time they do so – and perhaps less sputtering than they may have once sounded.  A more “jointed” spiritual picture is created in our hearts and minds.  So any of us knows how to answer every man – understanding both what we say and affirm (2 Timothy 2:15, 1 Timothy 1:7).  So Christianity doesn’t sound like a whole bunch of jangling noise (1 Timothy 1:6) – for that likely pushes people further away from the Cross – than drawing them closer.

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(Scripture from the NKJV and KJV)

– Then Agrippa said unto Paul, “You almost persuaded me to be a Christian.” – Acts 26:28

– “A man hears what he wants to hear … and disregards the rest.” – Paul Simon

There was nothing more Paul could do.  King Agrippa had sat and listened patiently – perhaps even intently – as Paul told much of his life story.  From his days as Saul of Tarsus – imprisoning and persecuting Christians – to his life as an apostle preaching Christ after being struck down by God on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6).

It “almost” worked.  Paul “almost” persuaded the king to become a Christian – but he didn’t.  It was all very convincing – but not quite.  So, what did Paul do next?  Nothing.  He didn’t try to persuade, pressure, or push King Agrippa any further – even though he knew the king believed the prophets (Acts 26:27).

We will all believe exactly what we want to believe – and hear what we want to hear – no matter who we are.  We can’t persuade people any further than they want to be persuaded. Well, we can try – but we will probably be viewed as being pushy if we do.  When we become pushy – it can cross over into pressuring very quickly.

When we feel like we’re being pressured into something – it’s usually unpleasant.  Most of us have probably experienced some sort of high-pressured sales pitch in our lives.  Many of these spiels can frequently smack of desperation.  Somebody wants us to buy into something – but we’re not really sure what it is they are selling – or what we will truly get out of it if we do.

As believers, we can’t be like this.  We can’t go around pitching God’s gospel as some sort of commercially-made product we have to pressure people into buying and trying (2 Peter 2:3). Well, we can – but doesn’t that make us come across as those pushy Christians?  We can easily appear as being desperate to the lost – especially if we are just trying to get them to attend church – before they have been persuaded and convicted by God to come to the Cross (John 6:44, 2 Corinthians 7:9-10).

If we do it this way – perhaps even trying to pound some people over the head with Scripture – are we not perilously close to proselytizing?  That’s attempting to induce someone to convert to a particular faith – Christianity not excluded – and/or recruit them into our religion.  If we do this, we are making that person twice the child of hell than ourselves (Matthew 23:15).

Persuasion to become a Christian must come from above – not below (John 6:44, John 6:65, 2 Corinthians 7:9-10).  The apostle Paul simply went around presenting the truth of the gospel as it was revealed to him from above.  He did this according to the persuasion and power of Christ working in his heart through the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:19, Galatians 5:7-8).

Paul did not go around trying to get people saved – for he knew that he wasn’t yet himself (Philippians 3:12-20).  He knew salvation was a hope (Romans 8:24) – and that Satan would be a constant thorn in his side to give him the desire to stop following Christ (2 Corinthians 12:7, Philippians 1:23).  Paul simply kept pressing towards the mark for the prize of the high calling in God by Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

When we witness to the lost and unbelieving – we’ve done all that we’re supposed to do – we’ve sown a seed (Mark 4:14). This seed is the Word of God (Romans 8:11).  From that point on, we are to move on and not look back (Luke 9:62).  God will send someone else along to water that seed – but it is He alone who provides any increase – and who alone decides what any seed becomes (1 Corinthians 3:6, 1 Corinthians 15:37-38).

If any human heart is fully prepared to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost – to become a Christian (Romans 8:9) – it is by God’s persuasion and decision alone. There is no other Saviour but God (Isaiah 43:11).  Unless we hold the keys to hell and death (Revelation 1:18) – we must never believe someone has become a Christian by our own efforts.  Perhaps Paul had a much clearer understanding of this – than many of us seem to have today.

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