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Your Covenant is Your Calling

Your Covenant is Your Calling

“Every day is important for us because it is a day ordained by God. If we are bored with life there is something wrong with our concept of God and His involvement in our daily lives. Even the most dull and tedious days of our lives are ordained by God and ought to be used by us to glorify Him.” 

Jerry Bridges

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.

Proverbs 12:11

A Covenant with God 

The faithful career covenant begins when you regard your job as sacred rather than secular. Our covenant with God is to complete our Career Mandate. A covenant is not the same as a contract. People usually establish contracts between two parties to release the other party from obligation if the other party violates the agreed-upon terms. When it comes to a covenant, however, both parties are expected to continue with their roles, regardless of whether the other person follows through or not. When it comes to a covenant with God, He is a perfect and faithful God. We are frequently the only ones who fail to do our part. Nonetheless, we can be confident because God is eternally faithful.

God designed you precisely the way you are for His purposes. 

Once you’ve bridged the sacred-secular divide, you’ll realize that a covenant is an agreement with God regarding using your time and gifts, even while you’re at work. You will also reach a deal with God regarding using your compensations, including your monetary rewards. When you make Jesus the Lord of your life, you give Him control over every aspect of your life, including how you manage your finances and set your desires, dreams, and goals.

God has a grand design for your life. It will be beyond anything you could ever hope for or imagine. God has already given you hints as to what this fantastic plan entails. Just consider your talents, interests, and desires to get a sense of where God wants you to be. God created you exactly as you are for His purposes. “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose,” Paul said (Romans 8:28).

He has placed you exactly where you are. God can use you mightily for His purposes if you are willing and available. If you commit your success to further God’s plan, you have entered into a career covenant with Him. With a covenant with God, you can fully expect to see His divine power flowing through your profession and His supernatural assistance flowing to bring you your dreams. Are you looking forward to it?

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Covenant

Order of Creation : Calling Then Family

Calling and Family

God placed man’s career calling ahead of his wife and his family in the order of creation. Do not get me wrong. We are not trying to create a conflict between home and work life.  

If you are a single woman reading this, I am saying that God wants you to marry someone who has already discovered his destiny and purpose. I’m saying that the worst thing you could do is to marry someone who has no career calling with their life because that’s an unnatural state. Ladies, you are supposed to be with someone who already has a relationship with God and, secondly, someone who has already received his calling from the Lord. Gentlemen, before you go out seeking for your mates, seek God first and seek the calling you have in Him.  

It is unnatural to have no work. We find ourselves in this mess in society when we’re marrying people with unemployed, idle minds. We find ourselves in a mess when we settle for marrying people with no vision and purpose. Ladies, it is unnatural for men to live off you.  

God said, “It’s not going to happen. Adam, you are going to be working when Eve meets you. When Eve lays eyes on you for the first time, you will be working.” This picture was what God intended for relationships between husbands and wives. Please, do not use up the excuse that times are hard and you could not get a job. Suppose you cannot get a job or volunteer. Do not sit around and be idle, asking when God will show you your wife.  

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Work

Blessed to Have Work

When God made Adam, the first thing he does is work. During this time, the world was perfect because sin had not entered the world yet. The perfection that Adam and Eve had experienced was not reflected in the absence of work. There was work.  

Work was not the punishment. Hard labor was the punishment. The question is, what are you experiencing right now? Are you placing yourself in the position of fulfilling your career mandate or in the position of the curse of sin? 

Adam’s Job Was a Blessing

Adam had a job. He had a business. First, God told him to keep the garden. In fac hobby that God gave Adam to help him pass the time until game consoles are created. Have you ever tried to keep a garden or even just a single plant? You know it’s a job, especially when the garden is the size of a country.  

The second job Adam was given was to name all the animals. This is intended to be a mental exercise. Moreover, the task also requires a mental database. Similarly, God intended for Adam to exercise his creativity to name things, put them into categories, and label everything.  

If you think Adam had it easy, Scripture reveals to us how he had a lot of work to do. Nor does he wake up in the morning thinking, “Oh, what to do today?” Adam wakes up in the morning with a purpose.  His first thought of the day would be: “Got to get on with my work. Got to do like my daddy does. We’re going to rest on the seventh day, but I got work to do.”  

The purpose of Adam’s existence was to worship God. How did he do it? By working. Moreover, this is true that work is even the basis of his marital relationship. If you read on, we see that it is stated, “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him help, meet for him (Genesis 2:18).” The whole idea here was to help.  

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your-work-your-worship

Your Work, Your Worship

You Were Made for Worship

Work is our form of worship as human beings. Our purpose is to worship God. However, how come when the world was perfect, and sin had not entered the world yet, there was no worship service mentioned? There was no music. What was there for man to do? There was work. 

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 

20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. (Genesis 2:15,20)

Worship is an expression of adoration. Moreover, it reflects how much worth you attribute to someone. When Adam was created, how did he express his adoration for the Lord? What activity was present? There was work. After, God assigned Adam his “Career Mandate” and he worshipped God through his obedience. 

You’re now cutting against the grain of your very existence to not have something to work on. You are meant to serve. You are meant to be challenged. However, you were also created to take breaks from it. The Creator revealed to us your design. Resting is part of your career mandate. Plan, review, complete, and then rest. Then, go back to work. This is your nature. 

It’s Unnatural Not To Work

Sickness occurs when you go against your design. There is a connection between purpose and health. Moreover, you were not designed to be idle. Idleness causes you to abuse your design. 

My (Bishop Malcolm’s) mother worked in the national health service for 30 years as a nurse. When she came to retire, they called her in for counseling, in order to talk through the retirement process. She asked if I would go with her and I said, “Absolutely.” I went with my mother and we sat down. A lovely lady began to talk through the mechanics of retirement, the mechanics of the process, the pensioning, the forms, and all of that. I thought, “Yeah, this is really helpful because it helps you. You know what to do, you know what to expect.” 

Then the woman turned around and said, “So, tell me about yourself. How many children?” she said. “Do you have grandchildren?” 

 “Yes.”  

“That’s really nice.” Then, the woman started to really lighten up. She said, “Are you a member of any club or society or a group?”  

Mother said, “Yes, yes. I’m an active member of my church.”  

“Oh, that’s wonderful. Do you do things in church?”  

“Oh, yes. Yes, I have roles. I run the prayer group, you know. I do all of these things.” 

 “Oh,” and I’m seeing this woman lightening up. She said, “Do you have any other hobbies? Do you garden? Do you have plants?” 

Statistical Proof of Life Expectancy

As my mother was saying stuff, the woman was getting ecstatic. I’m like, “Excuse me. Tell me why are you saying this?” The woman looked at me and she said, “Because we have statistical proof that if you have nothing to do with your life after you retire, you are going to die within the first few years.”  

“What?”  

“They said your life expectancy drops dramatically if you have nothing to do.” Then a phenomenon that I couldn’t explain suddenly made sense. The phenomenon is one that I observed in the sunny island of Jamaica. We would drive through some districts. This was Beverly Hills. This was Hollywood. These were beautiful houses that had been built by people who were working in this country. They sent their money back home to build their dream house in anticipation of retirement. They would build their dream house, retire, go back to Jamaica and within two years, they’re dead and the house is empty.  

Absolutely, it’s a sociological phenomenon. How do you spend your life building for a dream and when you get it, you’re dead? Our bodies are interconnected with our minds. They’re all part of the same system. If your mind loses purpose, the reason is, your body has no reason to continue living. There’s none. You simply start packing up and dying. The whole idea that I’m going to retire one day and spend the rest of my life on a beach is the formula for death because it’s a totally unnatural human state.  

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Prevent-Contamination

Prevent Contamination

Prevent Contamination

Salt can lose its saltiness

Jesus gave us a warning:  “But if the salt loses its taste, how would its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.”  This is not to say that we lose our salvation. Instead, he said, we can lose our saltiness. We can lose our purpose. When salt is contaminated, it becomes corrosive and poisonous. 

When salt is contaminated, it cannot even be used as fertilizer in the field. It needs to be thrown out on the road. The question here is, are you preventing moral decay, or are you allowing it to continue in your workplace? Worse, are you producing or speeding up the moral decay in your office? 

Allowing apathy, disobedience, carelessness, and indifference to rule our lives, especially our work lifestyles, causes us to eliminate our saltiness. There is a need for us to realize our roles so that we do not lose the purpose for which we are called. Let us not miss the primary purpose by which we are placed in the position we are placed in. We are in the companies or businesses we are in so we can be the salt in that company or business. Do not miss the point. Let us not lose our saltiness. 

Does your light shine bright?

Jesus also called us the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). As the “salt,” we counteract the power of sin. On the other hand, as the “light,” we illuminate where we are. When a place is illuminated, darkness ceases to exist. Whatever exists in darkness—the rulers, authorities, and powers—cannot survive in the light. 

Our lives and this widely includes our work lives, must testify to the reality of Christ’s presence. The light we possess is not our own. It reflects the Light of the World, Jesus Christ Himself.  

As Insiders, we represent Jesus. We are his agents in the world. We cannot reflect Christ’s light if we are not in contact with Christ when it comes to our day-to-day lives. The problem most Christians have is they compartmentalize. Jesus belongs in the Sunday and Church drawer. Thus, he cannot touch the Mondays to Saturdays—Work-Fun drawers. When this happens, when Jesus is not Lord over all of our lives, we fail to reflect His light into every area of our lives.  

Theology of Separation

We are taught a theology of separation. We separate our careers from our faith. Most of us struggle with the idea that our careers are in fact, our ministries. These careers we hold directly serve the interests of heaven on earth. However, we miss this point when we separate Career and God from each other.  

Most people say, “If only they were in full-time ministry” with the church then, they can help advance its mission. They see their jobs as a measure to pay their bills or get ahead in life. We can understand that God has placed us primarily in our workplaces to be His agents, His access, and His advert in the system. 

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Prevent Contamination

The Salt and the Light

The Salt and the Light

A Command for Believers

Jesus declared that those who follow him are the “salt” and the “light” of the world. These were not suggestions. These were not options. Jesus did not say, “You can be the salt” or “you have to potential to be the salt.” He is talking about your very being. Christ was describing your nature as a believer living in the world. He said you are the salt and the light. 

We cannot underestimate the value of salt. In the ancient world, the context by which Jesus used the term “salt” metaphorically refers to Roman soldiers who received their wages in salt. The Greeks even considered salt to be divine. God required all offerings presented by the Israelites to contain salt under the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 2:13).  

When Jesus called the disciples to be the salt of the earth in Matthew 5:13, they understood the metaphor. They understood their job description as Insiders. Did you know that salt was not readily available in the modern world during that time? In the same way, what you offer as believers is not readily available in your industries. 

The Distinction of Salt

What are the characteristics of the salt that caused Jesus to use this symbol? Salt preserves food. Before people created the refrigerator, they used salt to keep food in ancient times.  

Salt had a property that stopped decay. The disciples were aware of the value of salt. Without salt, the fish they had caught will spoil quickly. They needed to pack it in salt to preserve it. Jesus intended you to work as an Insider in the industry you are in to stop the moral decay in the sin-infected world of that area.  

Salt needs to be lavished on the food to be preserved to stop the decay of this food. Salt, as a preservative, is only helpful if applied to meet that is riding. If you place to fish in one container and salt in another, the salt cannot preserve the fish. We see the pattern here, don’t we?  

Insiders

We see that Jesus intended for us to be Insiders. There needs to be close contact between the believer and the world to impact the world and prevent moral decay. Moreover, the spiritual health and strength of the Christian are to counteract the corruption in the system. As Christians, we were never intended to exist in our own “holy” bubble until the time when Jesus came again. Therefore, we are called to be the salt of the earth. 

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The System of the World

The System of the World

It’s all about systems

The city has a system. It is a mechanism that is made up of parts and components. It has culture and subcultures. Reaching a city means that you have a presence in every aspect of the city.  It does not necessarily mean that you have to be the most significant influence, but you need to have an impact in every area of the world. 

The Great Commission is about evangelism in the world. In the same way, the Great Commission is meant to be an “inside job” that starts with courageous believers going into the world. In this respect, we have to be in it to win it. We have to be in every area of society, every industry, and every aspect if we want to fulfill the call of the Great Commission truly. 

 At the end of the day, fulfilling this call is what we are here for. If we were not here for that purpose, we should have gone to heaven the moment we accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. We have a purposeful God. We are here on earth because we still have a purpose of serving.  

You cannot win a world for Christ if you are not a part of it. An outsider cannot beat the system. An outsider does not have enough influence to be able to win the system. You have to be in the system in order to establish a stronghold over it.  

Reflection

  1. Describe the rulers, authorities, and powers that exist in the darkness of your workplace. 
  1. How are you being the salt in that office or business? 
  1. How are you being the light in the industry?  

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Excellence-Creates-Your-Influence

Excellence Creates Your Influence

Excellence Creates Your Influence

If you bring value to that field through excellent service in love, you have a right to talk about anything you want to talk about, and they are all going to listen and say, “Yes, please tell me more.” If you storm into your office and say, “Hello, everyone. I’m a Born Again Christian, and it’s about time that somebody heard the word of the Lord up in here,” then you have just made yourself a strong argument against Christianity.   

Are you walking the talk?

Have you ever seen these horrible drivers with a Jesus bumper sticker on their vehicles? There was one time wherein I wanted to stop one guy one time and tell him, “Listen, you can put Satan on the back of your car. Be an adverb for him because you’re not telling me anything about Jesus at all.”  

It’s about understanding a presence you are meant to bring into an industry. That’s the first key to ministry in the marketplace. It’s not a message that you get. Although, we have an important message to plant. You can bring the presence of Christ before you bring the message of Christ. 

Someone said, “I’m going to bring the message.” You say that because you don’t understand covert kingdom operations. You don’t understand that God does not have to be named to be present. He doesn’t have to be announced to arrive. That’s the real message of Esther. Did you know that?  

Esther is the one book in the Bible in the name God doesn’t appear. But God is all over the book because Esther is a covert agent who gives God access to the king’s bedroom. It’s covert and about bringing a presence into a field that establishes your credibility to speak.  

Then, there is Joseph the Dreamer. He brought so much value to the kingdom of Egypt. An archeologist said that they had identified a time, and that seems to match up with the Joseph saga chronologically when Egypt was monotheistic. These are just a few examples that we will go into deeper as we discuss insiders’ accounts in the Bible. 

How can you contribute?

You can add massive value to the people’s lives in your workplace. Once you do this, you can influence a person’s faith. They will be thinking, “You do not add any value to my life. Why do I have to care about you or your faith?” No one cares about why you value your faith until they know how much you care.  

When you approach them without adding value to their lives or showing them that you genuinely care for them, you are just creating a debate about religion. Get out of the business of debating religion.  

If I can feed you and clothe you, I can talk to you. That’s what Jesus did. You see Jesus bringing massive value into people’s lives, and that’s what made His words credible. Without the miracles, who would have listened to Jesus? Think about it. The purpose of the gifts is to give credence to your message. Think about how you are being an Insider to your workplace.  

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Excellence Creates Your Influence

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 

1 Samuel 7.1-17

What does the Bible say?

Although God did not institute the gathering at Mizpah, it arose from the Israelites’ desire and recognition that God would deliver them from the Philistines even without a physical king to lead them into battles. Samuel himself resided at Rama, with frequent visits to the various stations that required him to attend to offer judgments.

The manifestations at Mizpah turned what seemed to be a doomed ceremony into a triumphant revelation of God’s will to protect the Israelites. God was watching the progress of the tradition right from heaven, the prayer, the confessions, fasting, and the offering made at the altar at Mizpah.

 There are many celebrations around the world. The United Nations has a roster that schedules every other important day annually, even though various national jurisdictions have ceremonial days declared accordingly.

There are also other globally recognized days that though emanating from Christianity, have unfurled into generic ceremonies. One of them is Christmas day. In the hearts of Christians, it’s a commemoration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. To pagans, it’s a day to make merry as they await the eve of the New Year. It’s a ceremonial moment to recollect and welcome salvation into our hearts in memory of the nativity of Jesus. Most accomplished Christians take time at church and spike that with an act of charity and Merry Christmas.

Celebrating Christ

In the hearts of Christians, it’s a commemoration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

When Christ was alive with us, he, too, underscored the place of ceremonies. Mary seemed to have the understanding that Jesus could work miracles. However, Christ appeared to disagree with Mary’s timing. By then, Christ had kept a low profile by just being known as the son of a carpenter, Joseph.

Nevertheless, when he changed the water into wine, the mystery remained with Mary herself since even the master of the ceremony could not discern why the best wine was being served while it was too late into the ceremony. 

According to the guidance that God gave Moses, the Israelites were to live in love with one another, observing the annual ceremonies.

He’d installed among them. In the spirit of being one another’s keeper, the Israelites were to spare some little harvests and leave them deliberately in the fields for strangers and those with no means to fend for themselves.

In the spirit of being one another’s keeper, the Israelites were to spare some little harvests and leave them deliberately in the fields for strangers and those with no means to fend for themselves.

What do we see in the world?

Besides the ordinary festivities, God requested a dedication of all firstborns. That’s why Christ was brought over into the synagogue with a presentation of turtle doves. So above everything, Christ’s spirit to embrace and entrench the Law of Moses is evident right into the festivities in the life of Christ. 

One among the days set aside for God is the Sabbath, to which the Pharisees and the Scribes picked offense with Christ for healing a lame person. A deeper understanding of the nature of the conflict arose from the selfishness of the Pharisees and the Scribes.

We should invoke the presence of God in the many ceremonies that find a way into our lives. In its entirety, finding space for God and giving Him the necessary precedence is not the most challenging thing. We are calling God before and after a journey is as simple as saying a prayer, whether audible or in the silence of the heart.

Even though things may happen in very noisy surroundings, that’s not deterrence enough. God can hear the voice of the heart in terms of requests, praises, and reverence to Him. 

In the busyness of this season, LET’S FIND SPACE TO CELEBRATE JESUS.

Demystifying ceremonies and being able to re-create them into simple tasks is the very essence of Christian living. The very simple prayers are what make a fundamental difference. Let’s make things simple. One doesn’t have to pray for hours continuously.

No. Say a five minutes prayer before heading out for the day. Thank God for the cup of tea and toast before taking it for lunch and dinner. When done repeatedly, we can shed off the ceremonial bits and become part of daily habits that build in you the passion for praying as believers. Merry Christmas to all! 

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Free Prophecy

Merry Christmas

Highlight: Beware of the Birds

Highlight: Beware of the Birds

God is the Sower. Ultimately, nothing grows if He did not plant it. He uses people to establish His purposes. Most of the time, He can use you to share the Gospel with your friend. However, it’s also only God who can make things grow. 

Sometimes, we are the field by which God sows things. Unfortunately, there are times when we become the birds who snatch away the good that God has planted in the hearts of others.

Who are the Birds?

The church can attract different sets of people. Sometimes, the people are like the birds in the parable of Jesus.

Jesus uses these parables to warn us. There would be members of the church who can steal or kill or destroy what God has been doing. The enemy is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Every Christian must be vigilant. In fact, even Christians can be stirred in the wrong direction and become birds at one point in their lives.

Some people may also take advantage of the church community. They become members not because of their faith but because they want to be served. They want to benefit from belonging to the church. However, since there is no genuine repentance and Lordship in their lives, it ends up in chaos. Church leaders must be vigilant that “birds” do not steal the seed that has been planted for the church to grow. Birds snatch up the seed. They steal the seed so they cannot take root and bloom.

As true believers, we can take comfort in the fact that we can ask for wisdom from God. We must be careful to weed out such people so that they don’t steal away the fruits that have the potential to grow in our lives. God can sow a prophetic word in your heart, but birds (fear or doubt) can snatch them away. Nevertheless, birds have a purpose in the story.

Jesus still allowed the presence of Judas Iscariot as one of his chosen twelve even when he knew that Judas was bound to betray him (Jn. 6:70). This shows us that Jesus, in fact, allows or permits evil to coexist with good under his sovereignty and use it for his purposes. 

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Breaking Down the Parable of the Mustard Seed

What does the mustard seed teach us?

Countless churches and Christians today look to the parable of the mustard seed. We must take cues from the values that Jesus was presenting to the early believers when he spoke of it.

Still, the parable has important facets that we can only understand if we have the same context and knowledge as the ones who initially heard it.

While most had come to understand and appreciate how the mustard seed was the smallest seed known when this parable was given, there are elements that we do not inherently know due to cultural differences.

Agriculture was an important topic for the listeners of Jesus. The listeners knew the specific traits and functions of the different kinds of seeds.

For instance, apart from the fact that the mustard seed was known for its size, its quality was also something that was to be noted. Apparently, it is also famous for being an irritant.

Should it touch a person’s skin, it can cause contact dermatitis. The place of contact will turn red and feel as if it is burning. In modern times, we mix it with vinegar, oils, wine. People need to mix other spices with it before the public can commercially consume the seed.

Small in size but with great potential

Legend tells us that when Darius, the king of Persia, invaded Europe with his army, he sent a bag of sesame seeds to Alexander the Great to symbolize that there are as many soldiers in his army as there are seeds in the bag. Stepping up to the plate, Alexander sent back a bag of mustard seeds to Darius as a way of saying that while their army may be many, his army is biting and fiery. Such was the case for the mustard seed – small in size but large in potential. 

 

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THE-ALTAR-AND-TRUE-WORSHIP

THE ALTAR AND TRUE WORSHIP

From the very beginning, the altar is a prominent figure in the Old Testament.  An altar is a dedicated place of worship. The first altar ever built signified the growth of God’s relationship with His people. It moves from a simple earthen altar by Abel through Abraham and the more detailed structure that the Israelites structured after the Exodus. Prophets like Elijah raised altars to God. Altars may have varied in look and structure, but the features of worship remain true even today.

The altar was intended to be pure and set aside for worship. The altar never doubled for some other practice object in daily life.

One feature of the altar is it was raised in obedience to the commands of God. They represented a commitment to worship Him according to His prescribed order. They are actually allowing God to tell them how He wants them to worship Him. People never added any décor or embellishment that God did not prescribe. God instructed that the altar contain no man-conceived marking or shape. The altar never doubled for some other practice object in daily life. It’s one purpose is to be a place of worship.

In the New Testament, the altar of God remained the center of worship.

God still requires His altar to be kept pure, holy and set apart for Him. Unless we follow these commands, we cannot claim true worship. The difference is in the New Testament, the altar has nothing to do with physical altars. Grace has done away with a physical altar, but not the principles it embodies. The finite mind of the person needs physical representations of abstract truths. Thus, in order for us to truly understand how we are to set up altars in the modern-day, we must understand the principles, purpose, and reverence people had for altars in ancient times.

Because of the abstract nature of altar-building in the New Testament, as we cannot literally take out our hearts and offer it to God, we tend to disregard the true essence of worship and sacrifice.

The New Testament altar is the person because the Bible said we erect an altar for the Lord in our hearts. Each of us is required to raise up an altar to the Lord. We give Him our hearts, we raise up a temple. Because of the abstract nature of altar-building in the New Testament, as we cannot literally take out our hearts and offer it to God, we tend to disregard the true essence of worship and sacrifice.

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