What is the Meaning of Matthew 6.25-34 Part 1

“Jesus’ Counsel on Not Worrying” Know/trust God to get peace.

Matthew 6:25-34

INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Matthew 6.25-34 Part 1

Matthew 6. You’ve had a stressful summer, you desperately need to get away. You make the plans and pick the spot … on a private beach, for some well-deserved holidays from your hectic lifestyle. You step out onto the white sandy beach and take in the view: the shimmering sapphire water, the perfectly smooth granite boulders, palm-filled mountains, sun peering in through the cloudless skies, the gentle breeze wafting that aromatic sea air.

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You get out your backpack cooler beach chair and you stretch out on to that white sand and now you can finally begin to…. {car skretch…} worry? What?

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In fact, you weren’t able to fall asleep last night because you were running around to get everything together, sprinting to stuff the bags, throwing all the stuff in the car, and you were worried about the plane ride and if everything was going to be okay while you were gone. And now, you can’t stop thinking about work, your property, and your brother’s sister’s cousin bad relationships.

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You can’t relax! You can’t unwind, you’re stressed, you’re anxious, and you can’t stop … worrying!

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Jesus has a word for you … Matthew 6…Having warned us about materialism and living for stuff, Jesus’ turns to it’s evil twin sister: worry.

Matthew 6:25–34 25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

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There is hope for you, comfort and peace is right around the corner and you won’t even need sapphire water and a beach chair to get it.

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How many business owners worry about pleasing their clients who do and don’t pay? And how many farmers worry about the weather? One wise sage said, “The only way I’d worry about the weather is if it snows on our…field and not theirs.”

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Moms worry about their kids. Students stew over their exams. The perfectionist is worked about not being accepted or worries about failing. We worry about the great number of diseases, while doctors worry about the lack of remedies.

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People get so in the habit of worry that if God saves them from drowning and put them on that white sandy beach with hot chocolate and a cookie they’d worry about catching cold!

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Well, how would you know if you are worrying?

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Symptoms of Worry

1. Sleepless nights because you lay up thinking “what if.”

2. You’ve lost confidence in your abilities on the job at home or in school

3. You’re getting into arguments with family because you’re so stressed out over … whatever.

4. Poor performance at work because you fear failure or you can’t stop thinking about other things.

5. Or you make choices because you are anxious about something, like avoiding a social event.

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These are symptoms of worry. If any of that describes you, you need to take what you learn today and use it for God’s glory in your life. But you say …

“This is just who I am, I’ve always been this way.” “I mean, shouldn’t we be responsible with the things in our life?”

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Well, worry will keep you from being joyful, it hinders your walk with God, it displeases Him, it’ll strangle your ability to serve Him as you should, and so it’ll limit eternal reward. Not to mention you’ll be more irritable, become susceptible to panic attacks, and your day to day life will be poor. And it’ll harm your relationships and keep you from taking advantage of opportunities. You’ll keep away from crowds or not accept new responsibilities because too many things could go wrong. That’s all!

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Worry is the rust on your blade, dulling everything you do. You must learn not to worry!

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But what is worry: Worry is anxious concern about something possibly unfortunate. A worrier is anxiously concerned about the future.

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It’s what more and more people are doing…

New survey results show Americans’ anxiety levels experienced a sharp increase in the past year, with almost 40 percent of respondents saying they felt more anxious than they did a year ago. 40 percent!

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That’s a pretty big spike – following on the heels of a 36 percent jump between 2016 and 2017 – and it means this year’s national, averaged ‘anxietyscore’ has tipped over halfway on a 100-point scale: it’s now sitting at 51, with a five-point increase since 2017. [and all the pharmeceutical companies go “Who, hoo!”]

“This poll shows US adults are increasingly anxious particularly about health, safety, and finances,” says American Psychiatry Association.[1]

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The freedom now desired by many is not freedom to do and dare but freedom from care and worry.

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Mercifully, Jesus, the Sovereign over all the universe, give us His counsel on worry and none of it has to do with taking medicine. The Lord commands us 3 times not to worry. Jesus says verse 25 “do not be worried about your life.” Verse 31, “do not worry.” And verse 34, “do not worry about tomorrow.” So worrying is about the future: “What if this, or what if that happens.”

And you’re not to worry about the big things, like food, clean drinking water, and clothing. How much more are you not to worry about smaller things: money, wealth, social issues, and politics.

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TRANS: Now, in this passage Jesus gives us 5 reasons not to worry and we’ll only get to 3 of them this morning. Before the Lord’s table next time, we’ll address the next two. And from these reasons Jesus gives not to worry, we can deduce reasons why you worry, as well as help you not to worry. So, with each of Jesus’ reasons not to worry we’ll discover why you worry and help you not to worry and have anxiety. The first reason not to worry is that your life is more than what you worry about.

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  1. Your Life is More Than What You Worry About (v.25)

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    1. Reason not to worry: Life is more than food, body more than clothing (v.25)

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Matthew 6:25 25 “…do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

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“Yes, and?” What Jesus says strikes us because he had so close to home: our food and our clothing. Isn’t what we consume so often what we worry about?

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We’ve learned to pamper ourselves for relief from our stresses and worries. In order to pamper myself, the articles I read told me to book an all inclusive resort, fly first class, get the best beds, book spa time, eat what I want, put on my swimsuit and dive into the minibar. And order yourself a gift while you’re away and get it gift-wrapped!

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“Indulge yourself,” our culture says. “This is where your comfort really is!” Now, Jesus doesn’t despise the comforts He Himself gives to us, but He does despise viewing our lives as made up of those things. “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Yes, and a big yes!

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God gave me life, I had nothing to do with that. He will sustain me, too. “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Yes, it’s about Him who made and sustains me.

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TRANS: That tells us why many worry. You worry because you handle legitimate concerns the wrong way.

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  1. Why we worry:

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    Those who worry have a narrow view about what life is all about. You may have a legitimate concern about your food or your clothing, or maybe even your plane tickets. When you worry, you are believing in those moments that your life is all about what you worrying about. If you’re worrying about finances, you are believing in those moments that your life is made up finances. But no, your life is more than that! Remember, our Lord told us, “not even when one has an abundance is his life made up of his possessions.”

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    TRANS: Now, the counsel.

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  2. Counsel to stop worrying.

    Your worry and your anxiety is in your heart. And so the counsel you need begins with how you think.

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    In your worries, you need to actively tell yourself the answer to Jesus question. “Isn’t my life more than this thing I am worrying about?” “Yes! My life is more than this!” Preach to yourself that you have put too high of a value on that thing you worry about and begin to value the biggest things in life! Preach and say, “My life is more than this thing I’m worrying about.”

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    Get God’s big picture view of your life. He created you for His glory, He has sustained you until now, He sent His Son to take that dreadful penalty of your treasonous sin against God, He cares for you beyond measure! And through faith, you’ll know the glories of His wonders and praise for all eternity.

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    He has “all of this” in store for you; but you worry about that thing that’s much smaller in comparison …. which he’ll care for you about anyway! ILL: It’s like a kid wailing because he can’t turn the box into a space ship, when the parent got them as a gift … the whole world in that box!

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    Know how big God’s life for you is to get over worry. God’s life for you is big! Where would you go to find that life? It’s the gospel, Christian. How all of history climaxed in Christ and how all of history will climax in Him again, when He returns. His death, resurrection…and how my simply trust in Him and repentance of sin, by His grace, actually secures eternal life because He said so.

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    And we know you know how to meditate and think long on things. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be worrying. Instead, think long on true things: Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true,… honorable, …right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent and worthy of praise, dwell on these things and then you’ll get peace.

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    Don’t just say to yourself, “I know the gospel,” preach it to yourself! The truth of the gospel has solved not a few sins. Know Him and His life for you to get that peace you long for.

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TRANS: We worry because we think that our life is no bigger than those things we worry about. That’s a lie. Fix it by thinking about the things that are bigger. Second, we worry when we don’t believe God is good enough.

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  1. God is Good Enough to Clothe and Feed (vv.26, 28-30)
  1. Reason not to worry: God clothes and feeds (vv.26, 28-30)

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And with this, Jesus illustrates by using birds and lilies. “Look at those birds! Do they have a field in which to plant their crop? Do they have a harvest time? How big are their barns? And yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

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Birdwatching is a biblical activity. Overall, even on this cursed earth, birds have enough! How many birds have stress-related illnesses? Watch how God takes care of them!

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ILL: Right outside of our dining room window is a mountain ash tree. The birds love it! It’s beginning to be the time of year when they will start devouring it. Each one of those birds, He feeds and I get to watch Him do that.

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Of course, that doesn’t mean they will not suffer any harm. But God does actively care for them and will sustain them as long as He sees fit! If He cares for them, how much more will He care for us, who are made in His image?

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Said the robin to the sparrow:

‘I should really like to know

Why these anxious human beings

Rush about and worry so.’

Said the sparrow to the robin:

‘Friend, I think that it must be

That they have no heavenly Father,

Such as cares for you and me.’[2]

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Wait a second… are you not worth much more than they? Of course! Does your heavenly Father feed them? Will He also care for you?

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You know, it’s the same with the lilies.

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Look at those lilies! Watch how they grow. Do they make their own clothing? King Solomon, the richest king of Israel ever, never clothed himself like that!

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ILL: In preparation for this sermon, I watched a video time lapse by National Geographic of flowers blooming. The purples and the reds, greens and whites, all coming to bloom before my eyes! God built into those plants an incredible choreography of dynamic gene expression, a ballet of nature, the likes of which aren’t found in anything that humans have ever touched. That’s God clothing that grass!

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Roses, daisies, carnations, and yes, even dandelions. Easter lilly, tiger lily, orange lily, canada lily, yellows and pinks dazzle and delight!

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God clothes the grass like that! And that grass though so beautiful, in the 1st century tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat your oven! And He knew that…will He not clothe you, who live longer than those lillies?

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Since the Lord cares for his beautiful, though temporary grass in this way…they can’t make clothes, how much more will he care for you, who bear his image and who bear the name of His Son?

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O flowers, you embarrass me, for you teach me! But to you I give thanks, dear flowers, for though my goats eat you, God has exalted you highly indeed, teaching me of my Father’s care.[3]

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Rest your weary soul in Him and find peace! He cares for you!

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  1. Why we worry:

    So, learn why you worry. You worry because you do not know and trust God as you should. “You of little faith!” God clothes and He feeds. He is good!

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    You worry because you do not have a life-changing understanding of God’s goodness to you…to the point that you trust Him.

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  2. Counsel to stop worrying:

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    So the counsel to you here is this: study His goodness … study it in His Word and shown in His Son’s work for you, or at least study it when you see birds and flowers! You can’t escape His goodness, it’s all around!

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    What is God doing today? He’s being good all over the world! Get your eyes off of what you have to do and get your eyes on what He has done, is doing, and will do for those who love Him!

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    “Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, are the things God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor. 2:9 NET)

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    With Paul,

Romans 8:18 18 Let us consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

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And with David, let us say

Psalm 73:25–26 25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

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Study His goodness and get peace!

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TRANS: Your life is more than what you worry about, God is good enough to care for you, and finally this morning, worrying doesn’t add to your life.

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  1. Worrying doesn’t add to your life (v.27)
    1. Reason not to worry:

Matthew 6:27 27 “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

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This is more of a reason for your own good. An argument from “your own good.” Is worry really helping you? Can you lengthen your life with it? Actually science tells us the opposite is happening! The studies are in and there is no debate: even a little anxiety is shortening your life.[4] You are literally worrying yourself to death!

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You say, “Don’t tell me that worry doesn’t do any good. I know better. The things I worry about never happen.” Well, I guess you should keep worrying then! But you know it’s not going to help any.

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Don’t worry about the troubles of the future. Because even if they do come, you’re worrying only adds to the trouble. And if they do not come, your worrying is useless. In either case, you are weakened and left empty.

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ILL: Someone wise once said, “If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on [a totally different] planet with a [totally] different reality system.”

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Someone else said, “Worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.”

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Worrying doesn’t add to your life, it takes away from it!

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  1. Why we worry:

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    This tells us something about why you worry. You’re depending on the wrong person! You are trying to benefit your life in some way; otherwise, you wouldn’t worry. “Who by worrying can benefit himself?” No one can! You know in reality, worry doesn’t help!

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    And it doesn’t help because… You are trying to benefit your life. You act like you are in control.

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    90% of what you worry about you have no control over … what’s the use? You can’t benefit your life by worrying about those things!

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    And the things that you do have control over if you worry about them, they end up controlling you! The very thing that you’re trying to have control over, through your worry, controls you instead!

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    Newsflash: You’re not in control! …relax, that’s a good thing!

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  2. Counsel to stop worrying:

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    Let him do his job. If you can solve your problem, then why worry? If you can’t fix it, then what is the use of worrying? Give it to God!

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    So here we learn another important truth about the nature of God. He is good and now He is in control.

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    ILL: I remember trying to illustrate “control” to a three and four-year-old Sunday school class. So that they could understand what it means that God is in control.

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    Having been raised a boy, I illustrated it using a toy car. Hudson was not born yet, so I used an imaginary car that I had in my pocket. I took it out and acted like I was playing with it. I said, “just like I am in control of the car, so God is in control of your life.”

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    And further, He is good in that control. And so when His goodness and His sovereignty captures your attention, that will melt away that worry.

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    The worrier needs to relinquish control over his life to God! Give it to Him. He’s good, He’s in control whether you recognize it or not. You might as well recognize it, know it, and yes, especially preach it to yourself and depend on Him.

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CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Matthew 6.25-34 Part 1

Know God to get peace! I know, the things you worry about seem so big to you, we get that. Your family gets that. But it isn’t true; you’ve believed a lie. That’s why you’re anxious about that. Preach to yourself that you have put too high of a value on that thing you worry about and know that God’s plans for your life are so much grander than your plans! And God is good enough and in control enough to take care of you.

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And that is true everyday with every circumstance and everything you worry about.

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457 Day by Day

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Go to Matthew Main Page

Go To New Testament Books

Go To BibleTrove Home Page

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  1. https://www.sciencealert.com/americans-are-in-the-midst-of-an-anxiety-epidemic-stress-increase

  2. John R. W. Stott and John R. W. Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7): Christian Counter-Culture, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985), 165.

  3. Modified from Luther

  4. https://www.verywellmind.com/worry-and-anxiety-impact-longevity-2223983

    https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20120731/mild-anxiety-may-shorten-persons-life

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