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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 3/31/2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, SUN, 3/31/2013

David: A Man After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 16:14-23
HOW GOD BUILDS A KING, Lesson 4c

v. 11, 19, 17:15 GOD USES THE TOOL OF SAMENESS

There can be little doubt that day blended into day as David went about the monotony of keeping his Father’s sheep. Countless days, endless routines, the same things day in and day out. This is what marked the life of David. But, it was in the monotonous routine of life that David learned to be a man of God. It was there, alone on one of those mountains, doing the same things day after day, that David learned the priceless lessons of faithfulness. David applied himself to the task of giving his best during the mundane times of life. Then, when God promoted him, he did not have to learn to be faithful; he already knew how. He did not have to learn responsibility; he had already learned that lesson. God used the unending monotony of the routine to shape David for greater things.

The same is true for us. Often day blends into day and see our lives as nothing but a boring, monotonous existence. What we fail to see is that God is working, even during the routine times of our lives. As life unfolds, day upon changeless day, we learn to be faithful in the little things; we learn to be faithful to God. As we learn faithfulness in the seemingly insignificant areas of Life. God will expand our level of responsibility, (Matthew 25:21), “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” When life seems like drudgery, just keep walking faithfully with God; He is preparing you for greater things.

Therefore, let me encourage you to remain faithful in the little things. For, in the final analysis, the little things are the foundation of our lives. Keep praying, even when it appears that He isn’t hearing. Keep going to church, even when it seems nothing much is happening. Keep giving, even when it gets tight financially. Keep living for Jesus, day in and day out, refuse to turn back or waiver from following him. In His time, He will bless you and reward you for being faithful during the routine times of life.

V. 17:34-37; 40-51 GOD USES THE TOOL OF STRUGGLE

David’s life was not all about the mundane and the routine. We hear him tell about encounters he had with a lion and bear, (1 Sam. 17:34-37). We watch as he walks alone into a valley and kills a giant named Goliath, (1 Sam. 17:40-51). We see him ignored, (1 Sam. 16:11); criticized, (1 Sam. 17:28) and underestimated, (1 Sam. 17:33; 43-44). We can even see him as he is hated and pursued by King Saul, (1 Sam. 18:8-12; 19:9-10). God used the classroom of adversity as a valuable tool designed to teach David about the power, provision and providence of God.

There are times when the monotony of our lives is shattered by the harsh blows of adversity. God’s purpose in those times is not to hurt us, but to grow us, (2 Cor. 4:15-17; Rom. 8:28-29). He desires to teach us patience, faith and dependence upon Him. In order to do that, He sends us trials and adversity. After all, nothing teaches us more about the love, faithfulness and power of God than having Him safely lead us through one of life’s valleys. Many of the great people in the pages of Scripture learned more about the Lord in the furnace of affliction than they ever could have otherwise. (3 Hebrews, Daniel, Elijah, Widow of Zarephath; Noah; Widow of Nain; Mary, Martha and Lazarus; Jairus; Thief on the Cross, etc.)

God allowed David to walk through some hard places so that He might use him in the future in a greater fashion. God hones us on the rough stone of affliction, so that we might be used of Him in a greater way, (2 Cor. 1:4-6). Of course, many people do not respond correctly to their struggles. Many get upset and sit down on the Lord. That is not the response that leads to growth! You see, life is about 10% of what happens to you and 90% about how you respond to what happens to you. Look at the trials and testimony of Job, (Job 1-2). He walked through a harsh, hard valley, but he revealed a surrendered heart. He was willing to face whatever God placed in front of him, for the glory of the Lord. May God help us not to despise the tool of struggles, for it can build character far quicker than any of the other tools in God’s tool-chest.

Conc: As David was honed upon the wheel of life, God was shaping the boy into the man who would become king. Verse 18 gives a glimpse of the man David would one day become. Here, we can see some of the attributes that marked David’s life. These same attributes ought to be true of us as well. Why? These are the characteristics God wishes to develop in each of our lives. These attributes were cultivated using the four tools we have discussed.

He Is /Was A Skilled Man – The word “cunning” means “an artist, faithful and trustworthy in his art.” It refers to those who are “wise, capable, resourceful in every facet of conduct.” David learned all of the skills he would need as king while he watched his sheep. God uses the tools we have mentioned to teach us the skills we need to be used of Him.

He Is /Was A Strong Man – When David is called “a mighty, valiant man, a man of war” it refers to courage he had developed as he led the flocks in the hard places. As he fought off the lions and the bears; and as he defended the flock against the Philistines; he was shaped by the hand of the Lord, and David demonstrated the attribute of great courage. This trait was another crafted in David’s life by the tools we have discussed. This courage would serve David well as king.

He Is /Was A Shrewd Man – The phrase “prudent in matters” means that Davis was “careful in his speech.” He knew when to speak and he knew when to listen. That was also a trait that would serve him well. Some of us could learn that lesson. After all, the Bible says, “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”( Proverbs 15:2).

He Is /Was A Striking Man – David is said to be “comely.” This refers to his physical appearance as well as the overall manner in which he presented himself. David had an air about him that drew men to him. He was a beautiful, glowing person who commanded reverence and praise. He was the kind of person you wanted to be around. Where did he learn this? He learned it in the anvil of life and God applied His various tools and shaped David for His glory.

He Is /Was A Sanctified Man – David’s greatest attribute was the fact that “the Lord is with Him.” David was a consecrated man who moved through life with the breath of Heaven on him. Not only was he a special person outwardly, but he was a special person inwardly as well. His heart was as refined as his body. This was another characteristic that was forged in the furnaces of Solitude, Secrecy, Sameness and Struggle. It is this characteristic that enabled David to become “a man after God’s Own heart.”

Does God have you in His workshop today? Is He developing your life into a life of honor for His glory? Whatever tools the Lord may be applying to your life today, let me encourage you to yield to Him. He isn’t trying to harm you; He is trying to develop Himself within your life. He is taking you and shaping you into His image of His Son, Our Lord, for His glory.

As you look at the life you are living; can you recognize the qualities that marked David’s life in your own? Can you see the evidence of God’s work in you like you ought to? If you can see room for improvement in your own life, then I challenge you to come before the Lord and ask Him to work on you. If you have been struggling against His work in your life, then I challenge you to come and submit to Him right now. God is in the business of building kings. What is He doing in your life?

TODAY’S VERSE!
John 12:46 (New King James Version (NKJV)

46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Shine, Jesus, Shine” By: Graham Kendrick (1988)

Lord the Light or Your Love is shining,
In the midst of the darkness shining,
Jesus light of the world shine upon us,
Set us free by the truth You now bring us,
Shine on me. Shine on me.

Refrain:
Shine Jesus shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit blaze,
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth Your word
Lord and let there be light.

Lord I come to Your awesome presence,
From the shadows into Your radiance,
By the blood I may enter Your brightness,
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness,
Shine on me. Shine on me.
Refrain:

As we gaze on Your kindly brightness.
So our faces display Your likeness.
Ever changing from glory to glory,
Mirrored here may our lives tell Your story.
Shine on me. Shine on me.
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Loving Father, God of all grace! The Redeemer from Heaven was born one day; sent by You, Father, to show us the way. He was born to die, to be raised again, to live forever and reign instead. The Redeemer from Heaven, a Savior is He, He died on the cross for us. “Forgive them Father”, His love He proved. He died on that cross for us. The Redeemer from heaven, a Friend is He, from His throne in heaven he calls us. “Come to the cross, and follow me; and I’ll show you the way to eternity”. Thank You Father; Thank You Jesus; Thank You, Holy Spirit! These things we pray this morning with thanksgiving in our hearts in the name of our Blessed Redeemer, Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!
HAVE A BLESSED EASTER!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 4/1/2013 12:00AM

    Thank you Vic for an awesome lesson, hymn and prayer.. Yes, shine Jesus, Shine. What a blessing to know He is risen and lives. We are patiently waiting for His return to be caught up and join Him to live in eternity. Blessings on this Resurrection Sunday. Thank you for the goodie and note, Vic.

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MZLADY77 3/31/2013 7:22PM

    Thank you and thank you again! Love your blog. Happy Resurrection day! emoticon

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NELLIEH1 3/31/2013 5:04PM

    Thank you , Vic, for the nudge to ask GOD to work in our lives in His workshop, so that our hearts may be following hard after Him alone!!! So often we/I try to do that task ourselves/myself. It is impossible. But as you say so skillfully, it is our response (rather than reaction) to GOD that makes the difference. Hmmmm 10% what happens to us/lessons and 90% our response/our choices to bow the knee and agree with GOD.

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CANDEE412 3/31/2013 3:42PM

    I love the song. Thank you and have a wonderful Easter.

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LOSTLIME 3/31/2013 1:25PM

    Thank you for the inspiration. May God bless you on this most Blessed Day!

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JADOMB 3/31/2013 12:58PM

    Amen. God has never lost faith in me, and I will never lose faith in him. I will forever bask in the light of Jesus.

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CAMSEDGE 3/31/2013 12:34PM

    Thank you for the remembrance

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ILUVTTV 3/31/2013 12:12PM

    Thank you for this inspirational blog! I especially appreciate the reminder,

"There are times when the monotony of our lives is shattered by the harsh blows of adversity. God’s purpose in those times is not to hurt us, but to grow us, (2 Cor. 4:15-17; Rom. 8:28-29). He desires to teach us patience, faith and dependence upon Him. In order to do that, He sends us trials and adversity. After all, nothing teaches us more about the love, faithfulness and power of God than having Him safely lead us through one of life’s valleys."

How true this is and sometimes we do need the reminder.

He is Risen and Alive in our hearts!

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 3/31/2013 12:02PM

    Very good lesson. Paul rejoiced during hard times because he knew God was "growing him". This does not mean he enjoyed it, but that there was a purpose to his suffering and God would see him through.

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LOOKINGUP2012 3/31/2013 8:46AM

    emoticon for a wonderful lesson. May we have the mind of Christ as we go through this wonderful day.

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SANDRALEET 3/31/2013 8:22AM

    We are molded pruned tested By God Who God loves he makes strong to accept whot ever comes our way He makes deep roots and good soil so we grow in him .

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JOANIE69 3/31/2013 7:37AM

    What a beautiful message and hymn and prayer for today!

Yes, Jesus shine! Thank You for rising again, and removing the fear of death and the victory of the grave. Sin has no more dominion over us! Hallelujah, He is risen!

Bless you and yours this Resurrection Sunday, Vic. Joanie

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 3/30/2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 3/30/2013

David: A Man After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 16:14-23
HOW GOD BUILDS A KING, Lesson 4b

v. 18 GOD USES THE TOOL OF SECRECY

Before David would ever sit on the throne and rule the nation of Israel; he would first spend countless hours alone, unacknowledged and unappreciated. Day after Day David spent his time with his father’s sheep on the lonely hills of Judea. There, David learned to be faithful to his responsibilities, even though no one else was watching. He learned obedience. He learned humility. He learned to be watchful. He learned lessons in the secret places that he could have never learned in the places of prominence. He was trained in the classroom of obscurity; and when he finally received the attention and applause of others; it did not go to his head, because he had learned the lesson that he had no one to please but the Lord.

God always trains His people in private before He uses them in public. Before Elijah stood in power on Carmel, he learned to walk with God faithfully in private, (1 Kings 17-18). Before Elisha stood tall before Israel as the prophet of God, he learned to serve in the background as he followed Elijah. Before Moses was fit to lead Israel, he spent forty years in the shadow of Mount Horeb leading Jethro’s sheep. The same truth can even be seen in the life of Jesus. Before He ever presented Himself as Israel’s Messiah and the Savior of the elect, He was raised in obscurity, (Luke 2:51-52). It was in that place of secrecy as God prepared the Lamb for His greatest work.

Therefore, we should never despise the days of obscurity. We all have lofty dreams. We all want to be used greatly by the Lord. We want God to do through us what we have heard of Him doing through others. But, we must also realize that it may not be God’s will for us to do what others have done! God knows where we are, and in His time, He will use us when, where and to the extent He chooses.

I am convinced that some of those who are big dogs in their own eyes and in the eyes of others will have to step aside as some of the unknown saints of God move to the head of the line on judgment day. I am convinced that some of God’s greatest rewards are reserved for those precious saints who have labored in the secret closets of prayer. He has saved His best for those who have gone unnoticed, unrecognized, unacknowledged and unappreciated. He has something special waiting on those who have carried the load and borne the burden for others. He will not forget those who have paid the price in prayer, and sacrificed their all for the cause of Christ! Men may never see you in that secret place, but God will not forget you, ever! Here are some examples: The Widow and her Mites in Matt. 12:41-44. Hur in Ex. 17:12. Mary –in John 12:1-8. ( Matt. 10:39-42; Mark 9:41).

Therefore, carry on precious saints of God! There is a payday someday. God may use you in a public way and He may not, but as He trains you in your secret place, He is getting glory to Himself and that is all that matters!

TODAY’S VERSE!
Amos 5:24 (New King James Version (NKJV)

24 But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Teach Me Lord To Wait” By: Stuart Hamblen (1953)

Teach me Lord to wait
Down on my knees
'Til in your own good time
You'll answer my pleas
Teach me not to rely
On what others do
But to wait in prayer
For an answer from you

CHORUS:

They that wait upon the Lord
Shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings as an eagle
They shall run and not be weary
They shall walk and not faint
Teach me Lord, Teach me Lord to wait

Teach me Lord to wait
While hearts are aflame
Help me humble my pride
And call on your name
Keep my faith renewed
Keep my eyes on thee
Let me be on this earth
What you want me to be

(REPEAT CHORUS)


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of all humanity, God of the Universe! If we have put on Christ, then we have chosen the way of faithfulness, and Your ordinances are set before us to teach us the way. Your love never fails; thank You for Your love, mercy and grace towards us; thank You for Jesus who made the way to our eternal home possible. Teach us to think and act like faithful disciples, for Jesus has made us winner through His love and sacrifice. Forgive our sins as we forgive others, and continue to direct our way to Your glory. This we offer to You in the name of Jesus, our Redeemer, Savior, and Friend. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSTLIME 3/30/2013 9:26PM

    May God bring you and your family joy and happiness in all you do. Happy Easter!

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NELLIEH1 3/30/2013 7:20PM

    We may be given a place of obscurity or prominence in this life; we may have lean pickings or abundance. But as Paul exhorts us, we learn to be content with/in whatever GOD gives/permits here on earth in this Holy Spirit school of our training up. It is a struggle, though, at times to see others acknowledged as we are overlooked.
Being in the "prayer closet" is something saints in many other parts of the world are enjoying.Here we all tend to be so busy that we forget the intimacy GOD overs us all day every day! It is vital. As you have shared, Vic, if it was essential for Jesus, what about us?

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ANHELIC 3/30/2013 6:51PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. I am grateful for God teaching me in private as I feel I'm not qualified to be out in public. I do share Jesus with my friends in quiet places and I pray that He will give me the knowledge and courage to share with more people. I know I am not ready, but no matter where and when God feels I'm ready, I will continue praising Him Holy Name. Thank you for the goodie and note, Vic and wishing you and your family a Blessed Easter.

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JOANIE69 3/30/2013 6:33PM

    Wonderful message, thank you Vic. You reminded me of Bible verses that I have often turned to when I was amazed that God had used me for the furtherance of His kingdom...eg: "When I am weak, then I am strong" and also that "He uses the weak vessels to confound the wise". Surely that is the reason He uses me, for I have medical problems that would not qualify me to ever be a leader in the eyes of man, and it is very humbling to be hidden in Christ and used for Him. I love that you said this: "God may use you in a public way and He may not, but as He trains you in your secret place, He is getting glory to Himself and that is all that matters! "

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 3/30/2013 4:23PM

    Your Spark Goodie with it's message was the answer to my prayer. It is amazing how timely this was! I am very introverted and have been praying God give me strength and courage to share the gospel with others. I believe as I spend more time in private with Him that He will enable me by His Spirit to do ANYTHING He would have me do. I take courage from Bible characters who were the least and most unlikely to be of service, yet, God's Spirit was able to work in a mighty way. Their weakness was a testimony to God's power and glory in their lives.

Comment edited on: 3/30/2013 4:32:27 PM

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WENDYW596 3/30/2013 2:34PM

    Thank You for this day's devotion....... I have learned from reading through the bible over the years that God seemed to pick people who were obscure such as Gideon, and who seemed weak and unsure of himself. But God picked them to be used for His Glory so others could see what mighty works He could do in those who are simply obedient...... Not in our strength but only in His Strength!
We all can be used of God, by being simply obedient..... God Bless and have a Wonderful Easter! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/30/2013 2:36:13 PM

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JADOMB 3/30/2013 12:47PM

    May God bless and watch over all of us in these trying times.

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CAMSEDGE 3/30/2013 12:32PM

    Beautifull thoughts and prayers...Thanks be to God...and thank you for sharing

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TONYVAND1 3/30/2013 12:20PM

  Putting on Christ first and fore most

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SANDRALEET 3/30/2013 11:47AM

    God makes us into useful people emoticon to do his work

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MELMOMOF4 3/30/2013 9:00AM

    emoticon

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MSKRIS7 3/30/2013 8:36AM

    emoticon

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NITTINNANA 3/30/2013 7:59AM

    Really getting a lot from this series. Thanks, Vic!
emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 3/30/2013 7:48AM

    emoticon

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CANDEE412 3/30/2013 7:34AM

    God Bless you and your family

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 3/29/2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 3/29/2013

David: A Man After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 16:14-23
HOW GOD BUILDS A KING, Lesson 4a

At one point in his life, King Saul had been used of the Lord to accomplish great things. Yet, these verses find the king living through desperate days. Because of Saul’s rebellion, God removed His Spirit from the king and allowed an evil spirit to torment him. Saul was gripped by depression, (v. 23), and violent mood swings, (1 Sam. 18:8-12; 19:9-10). In an effort to help their master, Saul’s servants suggested that he find someone who was skilled on the harp. It was thought that music might calm the spirit of King Saul, (v. 16). It has been said that, “music hath charms to soothe the savage beast,” and apparently it worked with Saul, (v. 23). It is against this backdrop of depression, madness and spiritual tragedy that David is once again thrust onto the stage.

While David had already been anointed to be the next king of Israel; Saul was allowed to occupy the throne until his successor was fully trained. God even used the madness of King Saul to help train the young shepherd boy for his future role as king of Israel. In fact, God used four very specialized tools to train young David for his role as the king of Israel. David probably would have never chosen these four tools for himself, but they were used of God to prepare him for the work that lay ahead. God’s use of these four tools in the life of David reveals to us “How God Builds A King”.

I am interested in this today because it is these same four tools that God uses when He seeks to train us. You see, God did not save us to leave us as He found us. He saved us to change us, (2 Cor. 5:17). Specifically, He saved us to transform us into the image of His Son, into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ, (Rom. 8:28; Eph. 4:11-13). To accomplish this, God uses certain tools in your life and mine. These tools are perfectly suited to the work of transformation. Let’s take a few minutes to look into these verses and observe the tools God uses as He seeks to build Himself a king. I want to teach on the subject: “How God Builds A King”.

v. 19 GOD USES THE TOOL OF SOLITUDE

It was on the lonely hills of Judea, with a flock of sheep for his companions; the starry sky as his cathedral; and the vast expanse of nature as his classroom that David learned some of the most valuable and basic lessons of life. He learned how to be alone with God and with himself. Away from the distractions and noise of others, David learned how to hear the voice of God. David learned how to commune with God. David learned how to worship the Lord. David learned how to be at peace with himself. There is no value that can be placed on those kinds of lessons. They are priceless!

Of course, many in our day have no idea what it’s like to be alone with God. It seems they have trouble being alone. They cannot survive without noise, without activity and without the company of others. I would suggest to you that if you have trouble being alone with yourself that you probably have some issues with your inner life that need to be dealt with.

Jesus Christ sought time to be alone with His Father.

Mark 1:35, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”

Luke 4:42, “And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.”

Luke 6:12, “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”

John 6:15, “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.”

If the Son of God saw the value and needed the benefit of being alone with God, how much more do we need that kind of intimacy with the Father? We should not fear the times of solitude, when God shuts us off with Himself. It is in the times of solitude that we learn to hear His voice and walk with Him. It is in the times of solitude that God prepares us for greater things! Therefore, make the time and take the time to get alone with God, away from the hustle and bustle of life. Find you a place where you can commune with God in secret; a place where you can hear His voice without all the distractions of life clamoring for your attention. God uses the tool of solitude.

TODAY’S VERSE!
Psalm 86:4 (New King James Version (NKJV)

4 Rejoice the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Take Time To Be Holy” By: W. D. Longstaff (1882)

1. Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

2. Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

3. Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

4. Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Most Holy Father, Almighty and Awesome God! Grant us the strength and guidance to be Holy and faithful, to persevere and receive Your Holy promises. Grant us courage, faith and knowledge to get off the sidelines and proclaim Your word and truth to our neighbors about the consequences of sin. Help us to look and act like Jesus our Lord and Savior: to think, speak and live in acts of kindness as He did to your glory and praise. Help us to have the mind of Christ and to follow in His footsteps. We approach Your throne of grace in His name. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 3/29/2013 9:53PM

    Thank you vic for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. It is great to be alone with God and hear His voice. I spent today in quiet rest and in the word of God. My devotions were in conjuntion with this Holiest of day. Today was my day to spend meditating and having total quiet. Thank you again for today's teaching Vic. Have a Blessed Day. Thank you for the goodie and note.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 3/29/2013 7:58PM

    What a blessing to spend those quiet times with God! It is true we have to make the time. It's so easy to get busy and miss the blessing He longs to give.

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JADOMB 3/29/2013 1:20PM

    We are NEVER alone when we are with God and God is with us.

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TONYVAND1 3/29/2013 9:52AM

  Proclaiming the truth of Christ today and every day

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LOSTLIME 3/29/2013 9:49AM

    What a blessed day! We are the reason that Jesus lived and died. Thank you God for the sacrifice of Your only begotten Son!

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SANDRALEET 3/29/2013 9:24AM

    The alone time we contemplate whot we learned Read And the ways of God.

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NELLIEH1 3/29/2013 8:14AM

    Yes, indeed, Vic. And what a opportune day to begin as we remember our Lord's lonely walk toward Golgotha and His crucifixion, death and burial. He spent time apart with His Abba continually, as you have shared, throughout His living here on earth. And now He sits beside His Father again in all eternity. How will we be prepared to live forever before our GOD if we are unwilling to bow in worship (praise,prayer,thanksgiving,confess
ion and silence) now?

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JOANIE69 3/29/2013 7:53AM

    God bless you on this holiest of all days, Vic. Yes, it is always time to witness, for the Day of the Lord is coming, and time as we know it shall be no more. Let us be quick to do his will and to respond when He commands. Blessings, Joanie


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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 3/28/2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 3/28/2013

Series Title:

David – A Man After God’s Own Heart, Lesson 3d

v. 11-13 GOD’S CHOICES ARE SPECIFIC

It seems crystal clear that God had a specific plan in mind. He sent Samuel to a specific town, to a specific family in that town and then to the specific person He had chosen for to be the next king. Very briefly, there are some indications as to why God made the choice He did in the life of David.

v. 11-12 God Chooses Those Who Are Ready – When Jesse and David’s brothers are brought in before Samuel, they are “sanctified,” (v. 5). In other words, their sins are dealt with and they are made ready for worship. When David is brought, there is no time for him to be sanctified, but he is ready nonetheless! David is a picture of that believer who keeps his heart in a state of readiness. He does not know when the Lord might call him so he stays ready at all times. That is the kind of person God is looking for today as well. God does not use dirty vessels, but He uses those which are clean and ready for His call. This is why cleansing (BAPTISM) is needed and necessary.

v. 11 God Chooses Those Who Are Reliable – When God calls David, He finds him faithfully doing what he has been told to do. He is keeping the sheep. He is doing a dirty, lonely job; but he does it because it is what he has been assigned to do. After he is anointed, he goes back to his flock, (v. 19). Why? Because that is what he does! Even after he is called to Jerusalem to play for King Saul, (v. 23), he returned to keep his father’s sheep, (17:15). Why? Because that is what he does! David was given an assignment and he carried it out faithfully. He even placed his life on the line to protect those sheep, (17:34-37). When Jesse looked at David he saw the youngest of his sons. His brothers saw a little brat, (17:28). Samuel saw a cute little boy, (16:12). But, when God looked at David, He saw integrity, faithfulness, responsibility and character. Others saw a nobody, God saw a king!

Friend, if you want to be used by the Lord, let me encourage you to be faithful where you are. The best thing you can do is grow where you are planted. Allow God to develop your character, your integrity, your faithfulness and your sense of responsibility in the ordinary, mundane events of life, (Matt. 25:21). Be ready and be reliable, for you never know when the call of God will come. He knows where you are. He knows how to find you. He knows how and when to open all the right doors in your life. Just be faithful and walk with Him. In His time, He will use you for His glory.

v. 13 God Chooses Those Who Are Redeemed – When Samuel anointed David and perhaps whispered God’s plan in his ear; this was not David’s first encounter with God. No doubt David had seen the glory of God written in the heavens and His power manifested in the universe, (Psa. 19). David had witnessed God’s tender care for His people in his own relationship to his flocks. This is evident in Psalm 23 and others which reveal the heart of David while he was still a young shepherd. He might have walked onto the public stage in (1 Samuel 16); but David had been walking with the Lord for quite some time! Listen to David’s own testimony in 1 Sam. 17:37; 45.

Here’s the point, God calls those who know Him! He chooses His vessels from among His redeemed ones. Those who know Him in a faith relationship; who live clean lives; who are ready, reliable and available are candidates to be used by the Lord. Does that describe you today?

Conc: God is still looking for people He can call and use for His glory. Can you honestly say that your life is ready and available? Do you possess the kind of character God is looking for? If you know there are problems in your walk with the Lord, I invite you to come to Him today. I invite you to confess your sins to Him, receive His forgiveness and be made ready to be used by Him in His time. If you have a desire to be used of the Lord, I invite you to come to Him, renew your commitment to Him and present yourself to Him again today. If there are needs, He can and will meet them!

TODAY’S VERSE!
John 14:2 (New King James Version (NKJV)

2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

TODAY’S HYMN!
‘Home of The Soul” By: James Rowe (1912)

Verse One:

If for the prize we have striven.......
After our labors are o'er...
Rest to our souls will be given.......
On the eternal shore.....

The Chorus:

Home of the soul....[home of the soul]
Blessed kingdom of light...[blessed kingdom of light]
Free...from all care......[free from all care]
Where there falleth no night.......

Oft in the storm....[oft in the storm]
We are sighing for thee...[sighing for thee]
Beautiful home of the ransomed beside....
The crystal sea...

Verse Two:

Yes, a sweet rest is remaining.........
For the true children of God....
Where there will be no complaining....
Never a chast'ning rod...
Chorus:

Verse Three:

Soon, the bright homeland adoring......
We shall behold the glad dawn....
Lean on the Lord till the morning.....
Trust till the night is gone....

The Chorus:

Tag

Beautiful home of the ransomed beside.....
The crystal sea....


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father God, Creator and Almighty God! Help us to release the pressure and stress of time in our daily lives. Help us to realize that everything comes from You, and is held together by You. We thank You for reminding us to care for ourselves and others each day. Enable us to be both giver and receiver of Your daily encouragement. Thank You for Your perfect grace that covers us in the midst of our imperfections. Thank You for giving us the strength and guidance to be fruitful to Your praise, glory and honor. These things we pray in the beloved name of Jesus, our Savior. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 3/28/2013 10:56PM

    Thank you Vic for this great lesson, hymn and prayer. What a great reminder to always keep ourselves ready and reliable for God's calling. May I grow where I am planted since God knows what His plan is for my life. God Bless you for your great teaching.

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CANDEE412 3/28/2013 8:20PM

    God is so awesome

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JADOMB 3/28/2013 1:57PM

    Yes, God KNOWS. We can always rest in knowing that his love for us and our love for him will take us through this life of so many uncertainties.

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NELLIEH1 3/28/2013 1:10PM

    To me it is remarkable that GOD is the One who makes us ready, reliable, redeemed and yes, rejoicing in Him! We have been regenerated unto a living hope in Christ Jesus because He died on the cross to purchase us to reconcile us to GOD. Our part is to ever respond step by step in the midst of whatever He assigns us daily (Ephesians 2;10). And GOD Himself, by His Holy Spirt enables us to do just that! Rejoice! and again we say Rejoice! (even as we ponder the magnitude of His passion and crucifixion).

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CASTIRONLADY 3/28/2013 9:45AM

    Thank you for this devotion on David - He is one of my favorite sinners. Which reminds me God's mercy is based on His goodness and not mine. Praise be to Him!

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PAPAW402161 3/28/2013 9:19AM

    emoticon

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SANDRALEET 3/28/2013 9:19AM

    We to can talk to God thank him say when we are in pain Talk to him for he is our savoir He is with trough all that comes our way.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 3/28/2013 9:12AM

    May I be found ready at the post wherever He assigns me.

Comment edited on: 3/28/2013 9:14:20 AM

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JOANIE69 3/28/2013 8:42AM

    Lord may I ever be found ready, reliable and (rejoicing that I am) redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Glory to God; what a wonderful Saviour!

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SUNSET09 3/28/2013 8:32AM

  The Lord does not disappoint those who seek His will. Don't misunderstand that statement. We might feel temporarily let down when something we hope for is not in God's plan. But He doesn't go back on the biblical promise to give His children the best (Isa. 48:17; 64:4). When one door closes, there is another about to open with something better behind it. Friends, the Lord cannot be outdone. We can't even wish ourselves as much good as God has in store. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Thank you for God's Word and praying for my Sparksfriends. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TONYVAND1 3/28/2013 7:41AM

  Blooming where I am planted. God always knows best

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 3/27/2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 3/27/2013

Series Title:

David – A Man After God’s Own Heart, Lesson 3c

v. 6-13 GOD’S CHOICES ARE SURPRISING

Samuel is sent to Bethlehem to anoint the new king. When Samuel arrives there, he commands Jesse to gather together his sons. They come before the old prophet and pass before him one by one. It is in this process that God makes known His choice for king. But, His choices, while they are sovereign, also carry with them some real surprises.

v. 6-10 His Choice Is Surprising In Its Rejections – The first of Jesse’s sons passes before Samuel. His name is Eliab. His name means “God is Father.” He is a fine physical specimen, and Samuel thinks that he is surely the chosen one. But, God says, “I have refused him.” The word “refuse” simply means to “reject.” Eliab might have looked pleasing outwardly, but something in his character disqualified him from being the king.

Abinadab is next. His name means “My father is noble.” But, he too is passed over and rejected by the Lord. Next is Shammah. His name means “Astonishment.” This may refer to his physical size or some other physical trait, but no matter, he too is rejected! Then, one after another of Jesse sons pass before Samuel until seven have passed by and all are rejected by the Lord.

Surely these men are all fine physical specimens; their physiques having been refined and toned by hours of hard, physical labor. Anyone of them would have possessed the physical requirements to turn heads and rule as a king. But, none of them possessed the right kind of character traits.

God sees what man cannot see! Even Samuel was impressed with Eliab, but God wasn’t. You would have thought that Samuel would have learned his lesson with Saul. But, Samuel is still looking at men through human eyes.

We are the very same way. We see a young man; he’s handsome, well-spoken and intelligent. We look at him and we say, “That young man would make a fine preacher someday.” The problem is, we cannot see his heart! We see a man; he’s saved, he’s good to his family, been blessed in his work and has some business sense. We look at him and say, “That man would make a good deacon.” Again, we can’t see his heart!

We judge people by how they strike the eye; God judges them on a far different level. That person we think will do great things in the church may not even make a blip on God’s radar screen. While that one we think will amount to nothing might just be used in a mighty way by the Lord! You see, God makes His choices based not on what He sees about our outward characteristics, but on what He sees within the content of our hearts.

v. 7 His Choice Is Surprising In It Requirements – God tells Samuel that He does not look at the physical attributes of a man. God looks at the character of a man’s heart. Before Saul ever ceased being King, God had already determined to raise up a man with the right kind of heart, (1 Sam. 13:14). You see, as the sons of Jesse stand there that day, they all looked the part, but what Samuel could not see was the condition of their hearts. Eliab, for instance, caught the old prophet’s eye; but he reveals the character of his heart in the next chapter. There, we discover that Eliab is critical, jealous and negative, (1 Sam. 17:28). He may have been a big man externally, but he was a baby inside! He was not the kind of man God could use for His glory!

This is a lesson the church needs to learn today. When we look for leaders, we often seek those who possess certain characteristics that we think spell success and ability. We look for people of influence, power, intelligence and means. God, however, looks for people of integrity and character. He wants people who are faithful and holy. What a contrast! God is not nearly as impressed with people’s achievements as we are. He is not concerned about the beauty of our outward man. He is caught up in the condition of our heart!

As God looks at your life, what does He see? Does He see a handsome face, a pleasing physical appearance and a well-kept, well-dressed body? No, He sees your heart. He sees the real you! But, here is the real question: Does God see a heart that He can use? Or, does He say about your life the same thing He said about Eliab, “I have refused him?” What does God see in your heart?

By the way, often we judge people by what they are. God, on the other hand, looks at what they can become. Thank God He judges us on the basis of amazing grace, not what the eye can see.

v. 11-13 His Choice Is Surprising In Its Receptions – After the seven sons of Jesse have passed before Samuel and all have been rejected, Samuel finds out that there is another son. He is the youngest and he is said to be with the sheep. He is so insignificant within the family that he is not even summoned with the rest of the boys, but he is left out of the feast and the sacrifice. He is out there doing the job of a humble servant. In fact, when he is mentioned by his father, he is not even called by his name; he is simply called “the youngest.” When he walks in, Samuel sees a handsome, young man; bright-eyed, with the blush of youth in his cheeks. God tells Samuel to anoint this one, for this is him! The one rejected and passed over by the others is the very one picked by the Lord! No doubt Jesse and his sons were all amazed as they watched the ancient prophet hobble over to young David and pour the anointing oil on his head.

Again, we must be careful how we assess those around us. We look at people tonight and think we know who God will use and what He will do with them. Friend, you never know! God often passes over the ones others would choose and calls those we would never have imagined. God excels in taking nobodies and making some bodies out of them! When God went after a man after His Own heart, He did not go to the palaces, the temples or the places of influence, wealth and power. God chose the most unlikely person in the most unlikely of places. The key to being used of Him is we must possess the right kind of heart!

In 1809, the world was watching with bated breath as Napoleon conquered the nation of Austria. Cities, villages and hamlets fell into his grip and the world wondered if he could be stopped.

But, while the mad little Emperor was battling his way around Europe, thousands of babies entered into this world as well. But, people didn’t care for babies; they were too occupied with battles.

Of course, history has a way of clarifying things for us. While war waged in 1809, England witnessed the births of William Gladstone and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Germany greeted a baby named Felix Mendelssohn. America welcomed Edgar Allen Poe, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Darwin, and Robert Charles Winthrop; and in the cabin of an extremely poor family in Kentucky a little baby by the name of Abraham Lincoln took his first breaths.

Now, nearly two hundred years later, no one but historians can name even one of the battles Napoleon fought in 1809. Now, no one even really cares. But, each of the little babies I named came into this world as “a nobody”, but each left his mark on the world. And, they continue to make an impact today. You never know what God will do with the unknown people around you this evening!

No one but God would have picked Saul of Tarsus to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. But, God did choose him, (1 Tim. 1:12-16). Who would have thought that Peter would have been used like he was by the Lord, after the way he fell?

TODAY’S VERSE!
Romans 8:39 (New King James Version (NKJV)

39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“The Way That He Loves Me” By: Elmo Mercer (1958)

The way that He loves is as fair as the day
That blessed my way with love
The way that He loves is as soft a the breeze
Arresting the trees at night

So tender and precious is He
Contented with Jesus I'll be
The way that He loves is so thrilling because
His love reaches even me

VERSE 2
The way that He loves is as deep as the sea
His spirit shall be my stay
The way that He loves is as pure as a rose
Much sweeter He grows each day

His peace hovers near like a dove
I know there's a heaven above
To Jesus I'll cling, life's a wonderful thing
Because of the way that He loves

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Sovereign Father, Almighty God! Do not let our hearts be troubled nor be afraid for You are in control of every area of life and can bring about something good for your true believers. Help us to enjoy the peace we have in Jesus our Lord. Thank You for the gift of Your Peace. May it fill our hearts and minds, and allow us to experience the joy, the safety and protection You have given us. We offer this prayer with thanksgiving and praise through Jesus to You and to Your glory. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 3/27/2013 11:39PM

    Thank you again Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. It is great that God searches our heart and not looking on the outside as man does. I know we must try to keep our hearts pure and clean since this is what God can see. You are a blessing to us for your teachings, Vic. Thank you for the goodie and note.

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NELLIEH1 3/27/2013 11:00PM

    Thanks you, Vic, once more! emoticon emoticon

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MZLADY77 3/27/2013 10:15PM

    emoticon God doesn't the outside the appearance. He looks at the heart of men...Amen! emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 3/27/2013 6:38PM

    Yes He is in control of our small lives. emoticon emoticon

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WENDYW596 3/27/2013 3:57PM

    emoticon Too many times, ministers and church officers are chosen because maybe their Grandpa or Father were called of God.......and not inherited. But the ministry is a calling, and is not effective unless a person is "called of God" When that happens, lives are changed for the Kingdom..... I, like all of you, am so thankful that God looks on the inward and not the outward appearance.!! And I am so thankful that I am not the judge!

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TONYVAND1 3/27/2013 2:26PM

  God,s choices are-always best

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JUDITH316 3/27/2013 12:26PM

    Amen, indeed God looks on the heart of man and not what he looks like or does.. Thanks for sharing Vic, keep Shining for Jesus... you are a blessing here...

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 3/27/2013 11:40AM

    We must distrust our own way of looking at people. God is the only fair judge of men. He alone reads the heart.

Comment edited on: 3/27/2013 11:43:18 AM

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LOSTLIME 3/27/2013 11:27AM

    This is so true. We can't see into men's hearts and see what God sees. We must have
faith and belief in our Father in Heaven to know what is right for us.

Thank you once again for a wonderful lesson,Vic. I am learning so much from you and many others on this site. God Bless and have a nice day.

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JOANIE69 3/27/2013 8:37AM

    As a recently appointed deacon, this paragraph today speaks to my heart: "We are the very same way. We see a young man; he’s handsome, well-spoken and intelligent. We look at him and we say, “That young man would make a fine preacher someday.” The problem is, we cannot see his heart! We see a man; he’s saved, he’s good to his family, been blessed in his work and has some business sense. We look at him and say, “That man would make a good deacon.” Again, we can’t see his heart! "

This message reminds me to keep my heart and hands pure before God. Your prayer reminds me that it is Jesus Who reassures us when we come to Him, and Who gives us that peace that passes human understanding. Thank you once more for your wisdom, prayer and hymn each day as we return here for our daily Bible study. God bless you and yours, dear teacher. Joanie

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AZMOMXTWO 3/27/2013 8:00AM

  awesome thank you

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RSSSLHB 3/27/2013 7:36AM

    emoticon blog emoticon

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