MATTHEW 14:28-31: “Answering, Peter said to Him, “Master, if it’s You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water to go to Yeshua. But seeing the wind, he became terrified. And beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Master, save me!” Immediately Yeshua reached out His hand and grabbed him. And He said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” TLV

OBSERVATION: Peter often gets a bad rap for being presumptuous. It is easy to think that Peter simply saw Jesus walking on the water and jumped out of the boat trying to do the same. However, this is not what happened. Peter acknowledged Jesus, and asked Him for His command. It was only when Jesus said “Come!”, that Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water.

There are two very important lessons that we can glean from this account. The first is to always wait for the Word of the Lord. The second is always to hold onto His Word. If we act presumptuously, we will sink. If we succumb to doubt, we will sink. The only way we can walk victoriously in Christ is if we follow His leading, and hold onto His Word.

We have always been taught that Peter began to sink because he took his eyes off Jesus. To be honest, I have always struggled with that interpretation. What does it mean to keep your eyes on Jesus? Was it merely that Peter’s gazing at Jesus empowered him to walk on the water, or was it something else? Since we cannot see Jesus, how do we keep our eyes on Jesus?

Jesus spoke these words to his disciples in John 15:

  • “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.” “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you. Abide in My love! If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy may be full. “This is My commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.” ‭‭John‬ ‭15:7-12‬ ‭TLV‬‬

From these verses we see that keeping our eyes on Jesus, abiding in Him, is keeping His word in our hearts and obeying His commandments. It is the Word of God that produces faith and brings us into a deep and abiding fellowship with Jesus and the Father, through the Holy Spirit. As we abide in His Word we will bear the fruit of the Spirit, grow in God’s love, and experience His joy and peace that is our strength. In other words, we will not sink!

Peter did not sink because he stopped looking at Jesus. I imagine that Peter could still see Jesus at the same time that he saw the winds and the waves. It was when Peter stopped abiding in Jesus’ command, “Come!”, that Peter began to sink. When Peter stepped out of the boat, he stepped out on the Word of God. When Peter began to sink, he let go of the Word of God.

The Word of God will always be tested in our lives by the winds and waves of adversity in this life. The enemy will try to steal it, kill it, or destroy it. The winds and waves of adversity will always try to rob us of our faith. However, if we cling to His Word, if we cry out to Him for grace, and if we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit – we will not sink! This is why Jesus asked Peter – “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

We have all been in Peter’s shoes. We have stepped out on the Word of God, followed the leading of the Holy Spirit, only to lose faith after we take the first few steps. We expect the results to happen immediately, and without a struggle. Yet, faith is a struggle. It is a struggle against sin, against our old nature, and against the enemy of our souls. We are engaged in a battle to protect the “good seed” that has been planted in our hearts. God has given us everything we need to win this battle through the cross of Jesus Christ. The victory is ours if we walk in the fullness of His promises and provision!

  • “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you are able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the worldly forces of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist when the times are evil, and after you have done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm then! Buckle the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. Strap up your feet in readiness with the Good News of shalom. Above all, take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Ruach on every occasion, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, keep alert with perseverance and supplication for all the kedoshim.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:10-18‬ ‭TLV‬‬

Lord, this morning, help me to cling to Your Word! Help me to walk victoriously upon the waters of life!

In Jesus Name!

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MATTHEW 11:28-30: “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and ‘you will find rest for your souls.’ For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” TLV

OBSERVATION: There is a tremendous contemporary worship song today called “Come to the Altar.” In this song the opening lyrics are,

Are you hurting and broken within,

Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin,

Jesus is calling.

Have you come to the end of yourself,

Do you thirst for a drink from the well,

Jesus is calling.

When we hear these words, what do we focus on? Do we identify and focus with the plight of our burden and need, or do we focus on the wonderful truth that “Jesus is calling?” Our focus will determine our outcome!

This is equally as true with this wonderful promise in Matthew. We all know what it is like to be weary and burdened. We all seek rest for our weary souls. Yet, just like in the lyrics above, the pivotal line in Matthew 11:28-30 is – “Come to me.” It is easy to wallow in my weariness and to become preoccupied with my burdens. It takes childlike faith to bring them to Jesus and lay them down at His feet.

Here is the context of Jesus’ wonderful invitation to find rest for our souls.

  • “At that time Yeshua said in response, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and discerning and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was pleasing to You. “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” Matthew‬ ‭11:25-27‬ ‭TLV‬‬

The hidden wisdom of the kingdom, the provision of rest for our weary souls, is not found by the wise and discerning. It is given freely to the infant, to the one who runs to the Son, and to the one whom the Father reveals Himself to. An infant does not try to analyze their situation. An infant simply cries out to their mother, and their mother takes them in her arms and meets their needs.

We enter into faith with Jesus Christ through childlike faith. We come “just as I am”, and we continue in childlike dependence. Yet, somewhere along the line we can begin to forget our need for childlike faith and begin to return to a dependence upon the wisdom and discernment we have attained in our walk with Christ. There is nothing wrong with growing in the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit, but it can never replace our simple childlike walk of faith with Jesus.

Jesus is inviting us DAILY to become “yoked” with Him. What a wonderful invitation. When we are yoked together with our Savior we are placed in the closest possible position to hear His voice and to learn from Him. He is the Great Shepherd, the Good Shepherd. His desire is to lead us to green pastures, to bring us to still waters, and to restore our soul. His promised presence in our lives is what sustains us!

  • “A psalm of David. ADONAI is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me: Your rod and Your staff comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of ADONAI forever.” Psalms‬ ‭23:1-6‬ ‭TLV‬‬

There will be times of weariness and trial. We may even face the valley of the shadow of death. But when we are yoked with Jesus, and are walking in harmony and submission to His Word in our lives, He always leads us to a place of strength and restoration. He pours out His Spirit upon us in an overflowing way. His goodness and mercy are our constant companions. And we walk in the assurance of our heavenly reward. This is the promise to all who hear His call – “Come to Me…!”

Lord, this morning I pray, restore in me the childlike faith that I had when I first heard Your call to follow You. Thank You for all You are teaching Me each day. However, help me never to rely on my wisdom and discernment above the wonderful sound of Your voice speaking to my heart – “Come to Me!” May I surrender to Your will today, become joyfully yoked together with You, and walk into the wonderful refreshing of Your love and presence!

Lord, weary and burdened, I hear Your call! Jesus, I come!

In Jesus Name!

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MATTHEW 6:33-34: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” TLV

‭‭OBSERVATION: Hello, my name is Kirk, and I am a recovering worrier. There should be a Worrier’s Anonymous with a 12 step program for those prone to worrying. The definition of “worry” is – “…to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” These two verses in Matthew 6 are the verses that led me to the Lord, and they are the verses that I return to over and over again when I find myself giving way to anxiety, unease, and allowing my mind to dwell on my difficulty and troubles.

There really is no need for 12 steps to overcome worry. Jesus simplified the cure for worry in two simple steps. They are really simple, but they are also very difficult, in that they run counterintuitive to our natural way of thinking and living.

First, we are called to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. In the previous verses Jesus addressed the common needs of life, what we will eat, drink, and wear. These are the daily issues of sustenance and survival. We could add to that, who we will marry, how will we raise our children, where we will work, where we will live, and what we will drive. And what about, when we will retire, how we will survive on Social Security, and what will we do with our time. All of these issues are important to us.  God knows and understands that they are. So how does seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness address these concerns?

Jesus’ call is not to climb a mountaintop with our Bible, gaze into the heavens, and wait for a voice from heaven. We tend to think of seeking first the kingdom of God as a pursuit or a destination. In reality, to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness is a perspective. It is to look at everything in life through a kingdom perspective. This means that we realize we were created to give God glory. Our life is not our own, we have been bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. In every decision that we make we are to consider how this will help us give God glory, build His kingdom, and reflect His righteousness. As we meditate upon the Word of God each day, and as we worship and pray, we position ourselves to see life through the lens of His kingdom and righteousness. So it is a good thing to start our day this way (first), rather than giving God our leftovers when we are tired and weary (last).

Second, we are set free from worry as we realize that there is only One who holds the future in their hand. It is God Almighty. In all honesty, as I type these words, I do not even know what will happen after I think and type the next word. If I can’t control each second, and I know and serve a God who holds both time and eternity in His hands, then what sense does it make to worry – “…to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” Jesus even adds some humor to this exhortation – “Let tomorrow worry about itself.”

So what is a recovering worrier to do? Trust God, seek first His kingdom and righteousness in everything I do, and live one day at a time. This is not an admonishment against planning or looking to the future. Rest assured, if no plans are made, no goals will be achieved. Yet, there is a difference between planning and worrying. Planning takes steps toward the future, with consideration for God’s kingdom and righteousness, and then places the desired results in the hands of God. One thing I have learned in my life – life is not a straight line. It is filled with twists and turns that are out of our control. What a comfort to know I don’t have to control life, for I have one who hold all of my life in His powerful hands!

  • “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the counsel of ADONAI will stand.” Proverbs‬ ‭19:21‬ ‭TLV‬‬

Lord, help me to seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness in all that I do. I repent of my propensity to worry, and I desire grace to walk in faith. I give You thanks for today, and I place all of my tomorrows in You powerful hand!

In Jesus Name!

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GENESIS 6:22: “So Noah did according to all that God commanded him; he did so exactly.” ‭‭TLV

OBSERVATION: What a contrasting statement in the sixth chapter of Genesis! The chapter begins with,

  • “Then ADONAI saw that the wickedness of humankind was great on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their heart was only evil all the time. So ADONAI regretted that He made humankind on the earth, and His heart was deeply pained.” Genesis‬ ‭6:5-6‬ ‭TLV‬‬

Noah stood out as a single bright light in the midst of all the darkness that was present in the world. Of the entirety of God’s creation, it came down to one man and one family. It is hard to imagine that a generation, so close to the creation of the world, had turned so wicked.

Noah was not just a righteous man that trusted in God, he was also an obedient man. Given a task that in any day would be an almost insurmountable task, the Biblical record records that Noah did exactly as God commanded. The Biblical narrative does not give us much more than that. We don’t have the backstory of the entire construction process, but we can imagine that it was filled with great challenges, difficulties, and opposition from those who did not worship God.

In all honesty it sounds much like the culture we live in today. I am not saying that the depth of darkness is equal to this time in history. Surely God has his righteous ones all over the world. Yet, in the world we live in, if we want to walk a life that is reflecting the light of God, we too will face great challenges, difficulties, and opposition. This is reflected in the way Christians are treated in the media culture of our day. If one lives boldly for Jesus Christ they are identified as an extremist filled with hate and ignorance.

The question I am asking myself today is – how will I respond? Will I hide my light under a bushel basket, or will I count the cost and let is shine? Will I be like Noah and do exactly as the Lord commands, or will I bend to the criticism and pressure of our culture? Noah no doubt had to withstand constant ridicule as his obedience was played out in the public square. You can’t obey God by building an Ark in secret. My obedience needs to be the same. It is not to be a public show of self-righteousness, but a willingness to walk in humility and obedience to the Lord’s commands, no matter what the cost.

The First Century believers lived out their faith even unto death. Their obedience and witness turned the world upside down. If there was ever a time for the world to be turned upside down it is now! While we await the blessed assurance of the return of Jesus Christ, our hope and prayer is for a great outpouring of revival around the world. Revivals do not simply happen. Revival begins with the kindling of prayer and obedience in the people of God.

Lord, help me to be Your kindling I pray.

In Jesus Name!

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JOHN 16:7-11: “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor–Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.” (AMP)

OBSERVATION: Am I an effective Christian? Does my life reflect the truth of Jesus, the character of Jesus, and the power of Jesus? As I read these verses these are the questions that rush to my heart.

How much of my life has been misguided by thinking that “I” was going to do something great for God? In reality, God wanted to do something great in me. I think this is the point I have missed the most. The Holy Spirit in my life desires to help me grow in the truth‬‬, character, and power of Jesus. Yet, I will only realize His desire when I stop trying to live by mine.

The enemy of our souls is always seeking to kill, steal, and destroy. Knowing that he cannot snatch one of God’s dear ones out of His hand, the enemy regroups in an effort to mar the image of Jesus in us, and to diminish our effectiveness. How does he do this the best? – By getting us to rely on our own understanding and strength – rather than the transforming power of the Holy Spirit within. Let’s break it down.

In my own wisdom and strength I cannot convince anyone of the truth (including myself). I can argue with them, I can quote Scripture, I can use logic and great illustrations, but all is powerless without the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. However, when I am seeking His truth, and when I am trusting in the Lord with all my heart, I begin to grow in the revelation of Jesus Christ. The Word of God becomes a living experience within me, and when I share it with others, the Holy Spirit brings conviction into hearts and lives, and leads others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

In my own wisdom and strength I will never produce one ounce of righteousness. However, as I yield to the work of His cross in my life, as I earnestly desire the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, I discover a true righteousness that transforms me from within and empowers me to walk in newness of life. As I walk in this newness of life, through the power of the Holy Spirit, my life bares witness to the reality of Christ’s righteousness, and becomes an example for others who desire to walk in the way of the Lord.

In my own wisdom and strength I will never overcome the enemy. Too many times I have felt like the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19. The enemy has gained an advantage in my life as he has attacked my blind side. Yet, that is not to be the reality of the believer in Jesus Christ. As we walk in the Spirit we are to be manifesting the judgment of God against the enemy. We have no power over sin, self, and the devil – but Jesus has all power! As we walk in His power, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, we become more than overcomers and begin to experience victory upon victory. This is the heritage and calling of the children of God!

All three of these examples remind me of my need to rely daily, moment by moment, upon the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. Jesus indwells our hearts and lives through the Holy Spirit. He transforms our intellect, but He does not indwell our intellect. Jesus indwells our spirit with the Holy Spirit.

It is only the Holy Spirit freely working in and through our lives that will produce the truth, the character, and the power of Jesus in our lives. This is His call and this is His desire.

Jesus, baptize me anew in the Holy Spirit today! May I lay down my wisdom, may I relinquish my strength, and may I take up my cross and follow You as I enter this New Year!

In Jesus Name!

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JOHN 1:14, 16: “And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth. [Isa 40:5]…For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift” (AMPLIFIED BIBLE).

OBSERVATION: What do you want for Christmas? As we scramble to get ready for one of the greatest celebrations of the year, wrapping presents, cooking and baking all the family favorites, is it possible that we might miss the greatest gift of all?

Let’s take an imaginary peak into the home of Mary and Martha as they prepare for their Christmas celebration. Martha is checking her gift list frantically, wrapping presents, baking up a storm, trying to get out the last Christmas card, and cleaning the house to make sure that it is ready for family. What is Mary doing? She is taking time to meditate upon the Christmas story, preparing her heart for worship services, praying for those who need to know the Savior, and reflecting on the wonder of the incarnation.

In all honesty none of us find ourselves in either scenario. Truth be told, we are all somewhere in the middle. Yet, it makes a big difference to which side of center we are. We can always get caught up in the periphery of Christmas, and simply miss the greatest gift of all – CHRIST! Years ago I wrote a song with this chorus.

The greatest gift of all, can’t be bought or sold,

The greatest gift of all, is the story of old,

Of a lowly manger, and a blood stained tree,

Where Christ was born, and where He died for you and me.

The Amplified Version of John 1:14 and 1:16 shows us the wonder of this greatest gift. Take a moment with me and ponder the wonder of the incarnation.

“And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us…”


“…and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth. [Isa 40:5]…”


“For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift” (AMPLIFIED BIBLE).


When we look at the presents under the tree this year, and when we compare them to the one unspeakable gift that was given on that very special night over 2000 years ago, may our hearts truly proclaim…

The greatest gift of all, can’t be bought or sold,

The greatest gift of all, is the story of old,

Of a lowly manger, and a blood stained tree,

Where Christ was born, and where He died for you and me.


In Jesus Name!

Posted in John, Uncategorized | 1 Comment


MATTHEW 26:31-35: “Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples” (NKJV).

‭‭OBSERVATION: What is my New Year’s Resolution? As we look forward to the end of another year, many of us take personal inventory as we think of ways that we can improve our life in the year ahead. I think this is a healthy exercise to do each year. It helps us assess our strengths and weaknesses, and gives us a focal point for our prayer life as we usher in the New Year. However, I think we have to be very careful about how we make our resolutions. As you know from personal experience, New Year’s resolutions usually do not last, or come to pass.

Why is that? I think we make the same mistake that Peter made in his discussion with Jesus in this section of Scripture. Jesus was warning all the disciples of the night ahead and their coming desertion of Jesus in the Garden. However, Peter would have none of this. Peter boldly proclaimed – “…I will never be made to stumble.” And when Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed, Peter doubled down on his resolution – “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”

Within Peter’s words there is one word that reveals the weakness in most of our New Year’s resolutions. It is the word “I.” “I am going to get a new job this year!” “I am going to lose weight this year!” “I am going to be more positive this year!” And the list goes on, and on, and on, and on! Just like Peter, we somehow forget that all of life is to be lived by grace through faith. It really has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with Him! Have you ever wondered what might have happened if Peter had said – “Lord, I do not want to deny You! Grant me grace and strength to stand by Your side, for I am too weak to do so by myself!”

Like Peter, New Year’s resolutions are usually focused on what “I” can do. And many times I make the mistake of misquoting and misapplying this familiar Scripture as I make my resolutions.

  • “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians‬ ‭4:13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬).

Take a moment to read this verse. First, put the emphasis on the word “I.” Now, read it again by placing the emphasis on the word “through.” It totally changes the meaning of the verse. In reality, “I” cannot do all things. I have personal limitations that are physical, emotional, socioeconomic, and circumstantial. In fact, when I read this verse in context, I see Paul wasn’t talking about his own ability at all. He was talking about the power of God’s grace in his life! Through God’s grace Paul was able to do whatever God called him to do, not whatever he wanted to do!

  • “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians‬ ‭4:11-13‬ ‭NKJV).‬‬

Paul had discovered the power of living every moment of his life through the grace of God! His only goal was to know Christ, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings. Paul knew that in this knowing he would discover both the will and purpose of God for his life, for each and every moment of his life. In essence, Paul’s New Year’s resolution each and every year was to live through the power of the Cross, through the power of the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Lord, help me to hold lightly every goal, every resolution, and every dream I have in my heart and life for the New Year that is ahead. Let me rather hold tightly to Your Cross. Teach me each day to live in the power and purpose of Your grace in my life. As I daily live by grace through faith, may I both delight in and discover your will and purpose for the New Year that is ahead.

  • “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians‬ ‭3:13-14‬ ‭NKJV).
  • But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God” (Galatians‬ ‭6:14-16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

In Jesus Name!‬‬

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