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  • Josh Samples

May Scripture Reading and Devotion


PASTOR BERNIE SAMPLES


GOD’S PLAN FOR YOUR FAMILY


May 1st Psalm 128 I see this as the Bible’s picture of a family enjoying the blessings of God. For the next few days I am going to look at this verse by verse to help you know God’s plan for your family. Number one for God’s blessing on your family is to surrender your heart and your life to Jesus; to let Him dictate your life through the Word of God. Verse 1 “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord…” To fear the Lord doesn’t mean to be afraid of Him like you might be of a tornado or rattlesnake, etc. It means you reverence Him by wanting to learn and understand His desires for you in the Bible. If you see God’s will in the Word, you want to change your life to do what He says you should do.


Faith Confession: Jesus, I commit to reverence and honor You by being serious about learning and living my life according to what I see in Your Word. Thank You, Lord for the blessing of God on my family.


May 2nd Psalm 128:1 Number two for the blessing of God, simply do what you know to do according to the Bible every day. “Blessed is everyone … that walketh in God’s ways.” The blessing of God comes when we not only hear His Word, but we incorporate His Word into our daily habits and actions. James 1:22 paraphrased, “It is not what you hear and know, it is what you know and do that gets results.” I made the choice years ago that when the Bible tells me God’s will in any area of life, that if it is not working for me, then there is never a problem on God’s end, it is always on my end.


Faith Confession: Father, I know it is Your plan for my family to be blessed. I know You are the same every day and You never change. If somebody needs to change; it is going to be me. I purpose to be tender hearted and teachable and any changes You want me to make, I will in Jesus Name.


May 3rd Number three: To enjoy the blessing of God, you must enjoy your vocation. Through your labor, earn more than enough to adequately provide for the needs of your family. Psalm 128:2 For thou shalt eat the fruit of the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” If you don’t look forward to going into your job on a regular basis, you need to start praying number one: For God to change you to like your job or number two to show you where the job is that He has for you.


Faith Confession: I know that God’s will is for me to be happy with my job and to earn more than enough to provide for my family. Thank You Lord for Your perfect will for my job life.


May 4th Psalm 128:3 When a man’s life lines up with Psalm 128:1, 2 the result will be verse 3: Your wife will be a happy homemaker, and there will be peace in the home. Also the children will sense it and will love to sit at the dinner table with the family. I realize that in today’s culture many times husband and wife both work outside the home. Consequently, in this case you need the wisdom of God to share the duties of the home. If you are a single parent then the first three points of this study still apply to you. Review days one through three.


Faith Confession: Father, thank You for our home being a sanctuary of love and peace where we all get along and enjoy one another’s company.


May 5th Psalm 128:4 “Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that fears the Lord.” We can see the number one ingredient to the blessings of God for your family, is to fear the Lord. When your family sees that you are genuine and sincerely demonstrate the love and integrity of Christ, then it will be easy for them to love being at home.


Faith Confession: Father, I purpose to live a godly life every day, and my spouse and children will follow me as I follow You and we will always have Your love and peace in our home.


May 6th Now that we have the picture from the previous days of God’s ideal for your family, we are now going to look at individual responsibilities for each member. Read Psalm 127 Verse 1 “Except the Lord build the house (we are talking about your family), they labor in vain that build it …” Verse 2 “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep.” These two verses tell us that we need to follow God’s blue print for laying the foundation for our family. If we don’t follow His plan, we will lay awake at night full of worry and care about all the confusion and turmoil in our home. When we follow God’s plan, we will have sound sleep all night.


Faith Confession: Father, forgive me for all the wasted time and effort that I have had because I didn’t follow Your plan for my family. From this day forward, I will study Your Word for families and put into practice what I see and learn.


May 7th Psalm 127:3-5 Because these verses tell us that children are a blessing from the Lord, and they are His reward to us then we need to agree with Him with the words from our mouth. STOP cursing what God calls a blessing! He says that, “Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them. They are like arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior. They shall help defeat the enemies that come against our home.”


Faith Confession: Father, thank You for the blessings You have entrusted to me. I will do my best to train them up and be a role model in how to pray, how to love, and how to serve You. ********************* Remember Psalm 127 “Except the Lord build the house [our family] we labor in vain.” Now, we are going to study Ephesians 5:21-33 for a few days so we will know God’s plan for building a happy family and study the roles of the husband and wife.


May 8thEphesians 5:21 “Submit yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” To build your family foundation God’s way, both husband and wife must be willing to yield to the other to keep the strife out and unity in the family structure. When you are willing to discuss and compromise in making decisions, you will get God’s best for your home.


Faith Confession: Father, I recognize that I am not the big one or the most important one in our family. Jesus, You are the Lord over our family. My spouse and I will always put You first in decisions that we make and yield one to another in love so that our family will win every battle that comes against us.


BIBLE INSTRUCTIONS FOR GODLY CHRISTIAN WIVES


May 9th Ephesians 5 Verse 22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Verse 23 “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.” Verse 24 “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Although the husband and the wife are spiritually equal, Jesus has given His grace for the man to be the head. Let me give you an example. Years ago I was at the State Fair in Indianapolis with my family. As my two young sons stood with me, we looked up at a long line of wagons being pulled by teams of six Clydesdale horses each. Later on the Lord told me, “This is like a Christian marriage. Although the horses were equal in strength, one horse was the lead horse. The wagon master through the reigns signaled the lead horse directions for what to do. The other five horses were trained to follow the lead horse. This is what these verses mean. God gives directions to the man as the leader and the wife is the helpmeet. This doesn’t mean he is the dictator, the boss, or the master of the wife. This means he has the responsibility to hear from Jesus on how to protect, guard, lead, and provide for the family. The Lord gives him the anointing and direction for the family to be happy and succeed in life. Of course this doesn’t mean to submit to him if he wants you to violate the Word of God and step into known sin. She helps him in what God directs him to do for the family.


Faith Confession For Wives: I choose to be a godly wife according to the Word of God. I recognize that Jesus has given me my husband as part of His plan for my family to enjoy His blessings on earth. To the best of my ability I will submit and cooperate with my husband to bring the blessings of Heaven to our family on earth.


BIBLE INSTRUCTIONS FOR GODLY CHRISTIAN HUSBANDS


May 10th Ephesians 5 Verse 25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; Verse 26 “That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, verse 27 that he might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Verse 28 “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself.” Verse 29 “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church …” Husbands, ask yourself this question, “How does Jesus love us?” If we don’t do things perfectly does He immediately call us stupid, put down on us, or give us the silent treatment? I would say “no”! What does He do? This is an open book test. Go back and read verses25-29 again – that is what Jesus said He would do.


Faith Confession: Father, thank you for sanctifying me, for giving me a special place of honor with You at the right hand of the Father. Thank You for cleansing me with the washing of water by the Word. I know that You don’t fault find, nit-pick, nor judge prematurely; You don’t look for what is wrong, but for what is right. This is how I will love my wife because it is how you love me: By speaking words of faith and love over her, showing mercy and compassion recognizing that she is the weaker vessel.


BIBLE INSTRUCTIONS FOR PARENTING


May 11th Ephesians 5:1 AMP “THEREFORE BE imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well beloved children [imitate their father].” Notice the importance of the role the dad has in influencing his children. God has put it in the hearts of children to be just like dad. I recognized years ago that my children didn’t do what I said, but they imitated what I did. I had to learn to follow Jesus so my children would imitate Jesus in my actions.


Faith Confession: I know from the Bible that my children are a reflection of me. If I don’t like what I see in their lives, I know that the first thing I need to do is change me. I will consistently be a disciple of Jesus and learn from the Bible His ways, resulting in my children always having a good pattern to follow.


May 12th Ephesians 6:4 “And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: But bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” As a parent you are defeating yourself if you yell, scream and beat up your children with words. Nobody, including, you yourself, responds well to being shouted at in anger. “Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” This simply means train your children by precept and example. I Suggest some of you watch old reruns of the show, “Leave It To Beaver”. Many of you probably haven’t seen it. Ward Cleaver, the father, was a good role model to follow.


Faith Confession: Because I want my children to be Christ-like in their thoughts, words, and actions I will do what the Bible says to do. I will first of all examine my thoughts, words, and actions because I know that what they see is what I will get. Secondly, I will guard what I watch on TV. Finally, I will think before I speak and refrain from finding fault, nit-picking or judging prematurely. I will not look for what is wrong, but for what is right in their lives.


BIBLE INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHILDREN


May 13th Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” Verse 2 Honor your father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise: verse 3 that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.” This is speaking directly to Christian children with Christian parents who are living for Jesus. Children, notice verse 2 that God gives a promise for obeying and honoring your parents. Verse 3 says things will go well and you will live a long life. “Well” means a couple of things: Number one, a lot of the sickness all around you will not touch you and number two, the challenges of life and relationships will go a lot smoother.


Faith Confession: (For pre-teens and teens) Thank You Jesus for the Holy Spirit helping me to obey and honor my parents. I want to stay well, live long, have a peaceful life and have Godly friendships without drama.


BIBLE INSTRUCTIONS FOR FAMILY FINANCES


May 14th One of the major areas for strife and contentions in the home is over money. We must learn God’s system of managing our finances and implementing it as a family lifestyle. Faith begins where the will of God is known. Parents, look at Proverbs 13:22 and know that this is God’s financial goal for your life. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children: And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the just.” God’s plan is for believers to accumulate enough wealth in their lifetime to leave financial wealth to their children and grandchildren! He said this thousands of years ago when people didn’t simply have 2 or 3 children, but many children.


Faith Confession: Because I know the will of God is for parents to accumulate wealth and leave wealth to our children and grandchildren, I will learn from the Word of God and put into practice, biblical financial principles so God, through me, can bless the generations who follow me.


May 15th Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Verse 7 “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Notice verse 7 immediately follows verse 6. Not only do we need to teach our children the virtues of morality, but we also must teach them God’s system of managing finances. Verse 7 my paraphrase, “Rich people never got rich by living off of borrowed money and people who live off of borrowed money never get rich.” You must begin the practice of self-discipline and restrain yourself from living above your means financially. While your children are young, teach them the biblical principles that you learn along the way.


Faith Confession: With Almighty God’s help, from this day for- ward, I purpose to learn God’s way of managing money and I will shift from the world’s ungodly wisdom to God’s wisdom.


May 16th Deuteronomy 6:6,7 “And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart: Verse 7 And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.” There is an old saying that if you want something different, you must do something different. According to verses 6 and 7 to operate in God’s system of economics, it must be a family affair. The world thinks that you shouldn’t talk about money in front of your children, but God says differently. Your children are never too young to learn financial principles and responsibility, but you do need to bring it down to their level. Like Proverbs 22:6, 7 says that if you train them God’s way to manage finances, when they are old they will not depart from it.


Faith Confession: Father, I am seeing things in Your Word that I have never seen before. I want Your system of economics to work in my family, therefore I will include my family in our financial discussions. This is Your way, and we will now make it our way.


May 17th Galatians 3:13-14, 29 teaches us that because we, as born again Christians are in Christ, that the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant in Deuteronomy 28 belong to us too. I want to look at two verses in Deuteronomy 28. Verse 11 “And the Lord shall make you plentiful in goods …” Verse 12 “… and to bless all the work of your hands: and YOU SHALL LEND unto many nations, and you shall not borrow.”In the mid-1990’s the Lord told me the first step to becoming a lender, is to stop borrowing. I know by experience, for many of us, because borrowing has been such a way of life, that it is a challenge to quit living off of borrowed money. But if we want God’s best to begin working in our finances, we must begin the process of weeding ourselves off of charge cards and credit.


Faith Confession: (I made this my personal confession in the mid-1990’s) “I don’t live off of charge cards and credit. If I don’t have the cash to buy it, then I don’t want it or need it.” If you are serious about prospering God’s way, then make this your confession too!

May 18th Proverbs 3:27 “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.” Real simple, PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME! For some of you this may be the beginning stages of shifting from your old bad habits and loosing ways to God’s ways: This may be hard to do currently. Start where you are! As you are changing your bad habits, do not ignore your creditors. Notify them in writing, or by phone, that you are working at paying your debts. Make a deal to pay what you can until you can begin to make full payments.


Faith Confession: Father, forgive me for spending my bill money on other things. I ask for Your help in developing discipline and for a wise plan for managing my money to pay my bills on time.


May 19th Proverbs 23:4 “Labor not to be rich: Cease from your own wisdom.” My paraphrase, “Don’t be a work-alcoholic!” Verse 5 NLT “In the blink of an eye, wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.” There is an old saying, “Always trying to keep up with the Jones.” Too many times people around us buy things on charge cards and credit that they can’t afford just to impress others. We as believers should not get ourselves head over heels in debt because of emotional whims due to peer pressure or competition. If you are having trouble paying your current bills, you should not go out and take on new debt. I have known too many Christians who bought a car, a house, furniture, or took a vacation on credit and then told everybody “Look what the Lord blessed me with”. But when the payment came due and things were repossessed, the “blessing” became a curse.


Faith Confession: God says “Pay my bills when they are due.” Therefore I won’t be an emotional spender. I will not take on new debt. I will pay my bills on time. I will be a truthful person. If I spend my rent or house payment, car payment, or utility bills on fast food or fancy restaurants, I will tell my creditors, “I don’t have your money because I blew it on eating out.”


May 20th Leviticus 27:30 “And all the tithe … is the Lord’s: It is Holy unto the Lord … Verse 32 and concerning the tithe … the tenth shall be Holy unto the Lord.” Because we are not to with- hold money we owe to whom it is due, we need to make the decision today that the first ten percent of our gross income is Holy and it belongs to God. Contrary to what our minds may think, God’s system of economics says that the first thing you owe is ten percent of what you earn to Him as His tithe.


Faith Confession: Because I choose to step into God’s system of economics, I will discipline myself to pay the Holy tithe to Him as the first expenditure from my gross income.


FAMILY BENEFITS FROM PAYING THE TITHE TO GOD


May 21st Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me. But you say, “Where have we robbed You?” In tithes and offerings. Verse 9 “You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed me …” Because of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, the entire human race is living under a curse. But this is not the will of God. He made the above statement to the Jewish people and the Law of the Tithe continues to the New Covenant for Christians. Verse 10 “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse … and prove Me … if I will not open to you the windows of Heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” This is God’s way to live free from the curse. We can see here that the first step of getting the curse off of our finances is to pay God’s tithe as our first financial obligation every pay period.


Faith Confession: I can see in the Word of God the wisdom of cooperating with His financial system of economics. It is to my family’s benefit to always be faithful with God’s tithe. I will teach my children from a young age to always give God ten per cent of all the money they receive.


May 22nd Malachi 3:10 “Bring you all the tithes into the store- house, [your storehouse is your local church] that there may be food in my house”, [this means two things. This is how God provides for the church bills and the pastors and their families. Because the pastors are taken care of, they are able to spend time studying the Word of God and praying for you so they are in good spiritual condition to teach [feed] you the Word of God. Verse 11 “…and I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes …” In John 10:10 Jesus said that the devil is the devourer because He is a thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy. These verses tell me that if I help take care of God’s house and my pastors, then He will protect my family’s finances and wellbeing.


Faith Confession: Father, because I know the benefits of putting You first with the tithe from my income, I will always be faithful. I will teach my children as well, to always be faithful with Your tithe. As a result, I know that You are rebuking the devourer from our family’s finances, health, etc. that would try to hurt, or destroy us.


May 23rd Hebrews 7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; [this is talking about pastors who live on earth] but there He receives them [this is talking about Jesus who lives in Heaven.] “ … of Whom it is witnessed that He lives.” We can see here that tithing is both for the Old and New Testament. God put this in the New Testament because He knew the devil would try to deceive New Testament Christians from knowing the truth about the benefits of the tithe. When my wife and I receive our salaries, immediately we write out our tithe check. We look up to Heaven and say, “Jesus, here is Your tithe. Thank You for the open windows of Heaven on our family and for rebuking the devourer”. When we go to church, at offering time, we take it to the altar and thank Him again as we place it in the offering bucket.


Faith Confession: I always give my tithe to Jesus first because I know that He is the one who receives it spiritually and He is the only one who can truly bless and protect my family. When I get to church I put it in the offering bucket, but I know that Jesus has already received it.


PARENTS NEED TO LIVE BY GOD’S TRUTH AND TEACH IT TO THEIR CHILDREN


May 24th John 8:31,32 “… if you continue in My Word, then are you My disciples indeed; verse 32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” What is the truth that Jesus is talking about? John 17:17 “Sanctify [sanctify means to set apart] them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.” God’s Word is God’s truth. When we live by God’s truth, this separates us from the world. Through these two passages, Jesus is saying that with all of the lies and deception in the world today, the only thing that can help us live a victorious Christian life, is to know what is true. God’s Word must be the truth and the final authority for everything we believe. We must base our decisions and choices in how to live and rear our children God’s way.


Faith Confession: Father, I purpose not to allow political correctness or ungodly trends to override the truth of Your Word regarding my family. We will live by the truth of Your Word and live free from the horrors of the belief system of the world.


May 25th 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed rightly interpreting the Word of truth.” Remember John 8:31 Jesus said, “If you continue in My Word THEN are you My disciples indeed and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” It is popular today for politicians and news broadcasters to quote Jesus out of context. They love to say, “The truth will make you free”. That is not what Jesus said! Jesus said, “God’s Word is truth” and God’s Word that you know is the only thing that can free you from the suction of sin and the lies that are popular today. What the politicians and news broad- casters call “truth” are only natural facts as they see them. You must study the truth of God’s Word to be a true disciple of Jesus and enjoy the benefits as a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven.


Faith Confession: A disciple is a student. I am a disciple of Jesus so I am a student of the Word. Every day of my life, I will continue to be a student of the Word and learn more and more of God’s truth. I and my family will live free from the darkness that controls the world today.


May 26th 1 John 5:19 AMP “We know [positively] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] is under the influence of the evil one.” This tells us very plainly what is going on in the spiritual realm all around us. I always say, “The spiritual deter- mines the natural good or bad.” John 8:44 This is Jesus talking to ungodly religious leaders of His day. “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stands not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature: for he is a liar, and the father of lies.” We must continually sit under sound Bible teaching of spiritual leaders who have good Jesus fruit in their lives and ministry. It is very obvious from the Bible that there are two kingdoms operating in the spiritual realm. We must be serious as students of the Word, and teach spiritual truth to our children and grandchildren.


Faith Confession: As an End Times believer, I refuse to live in deception swayed or controlled by the lies that are prevalent. I will always study my own Bible and let the Holy Spirit help me interpret it in line with the full council of God’s Word. I will teach my children and grandchildren the truth that I learn.


May 27th 2 Timothy 3:1-5 NLT “You should know this, Timothy, that in the Last Days there will be very difficult times. Verse 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. Verse 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. Verse 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. Verse 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that can make them godly. STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE LIKE THAT.” We need to guard ourselves and warn our children that much of what is popular today on social media and even in our education system, and also in many religious circles, is not of God, but is influenced and orchestrated by the father of lies. We must live by Jesus admonition that we continue in the Word, study the Word, be a serious student of the Word and we will know the truth of God versus the lies of the father of lies.


Faith Confession: I know that we are living in the End Times. I have been warned by Jesus in the Bible. I take Him seriously. As for me and my house, we will be very serious about learning and acting upon God’s truth about the times we live in. We will not fall for the lies of the wicked one. We will live by God’s truth in the Bible.


May 28th Genesis 18:19 “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him.” As we can see here, God puts great value on a man being the leader and the teacher of his family in the things of God. God said that one of the major things that allowed him to use Abraham was not only that Abraham was faithful, but that he also taught morality living right to his wife and children.


Faith Confession: I want to always please my Father and Jesus. I will follow in the footsteps of Abraham to instruct and lead in love, my family to know and live by the truth of God’s Word.


May 29th 1 Samuel Chapters 2 and 3 tell the story of a priest named Eli. His parenting style was the exact opposite of Abraham’s. He let his sons run wild and did nothing to teach them the ways of the Lord. Chapter 2:29 God said to Eli, “Why are you honoring your sons above Me …” Verse 30 “… God said for them who honor Me I will honor, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” Chapter 3:13 “For I have told Eli that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity that he knows about; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.” So we can see again that God pays close attention to how serious we are about parenting and leading our children in the ways of God. Things never turned out well for Eli nor his sons. They all died in battle on the same day.


Faith Confession: Father, forgive me if I ever honored my children above You by failing to correct them when they needed it or being slack in role modeling and teaching them Your ways in love. I will be a godly parent and make sure my children always know truth versus lies in how to live to please You.


May 30th Let’s look at Psalm 128 again. God’s ideal for your family. Point one - Fear the Lord and walk in His ways. Point two - You will earn more than enough and be happy on your job. Point three - Your wife will love being married to you and be happy as the mother of your children. Verse 6 You will even get to live long and strong and enjoy your grandchildren.


Faith Confession: I claim these verses as God’s best for my family. We will reverence the Lord all the days of our lives. I will enjoy my job and it will be more than enough to provide for my family. Our family will enjoy sitting around the table eating and fellowshipping together. I will live to a ripe old age


May 31st 3 John 3, 4 {Remember Jesus said in John 17:17 God’s Word is God’s truth). Verse 3 “For I rejoice greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth (the Word) that is in you, even as you walk in the truth (the Word). Verse 4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth (the Word).” As a pastor, the greatest joy that I can have is equipping God’s families for victorious Christian living. My prayer is that the things which were taught this month will become real to you and that you will put them into practice to guide you in the leadership of your family. As a parent, you will have no greater joy than to see your children living by the truth of God’s Word.


Faith Confession: I have no greater joy that to hear that my children walk in truth.

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