Dublin Bible Church


Kids: Boo! Try; Lions; JC protects → no nd

Ready? “Boo.” Did I scare you? Let me try again. …. Boo. Did I scare you this time? Why not? What do I need to do to scare you? Try to scare me. Are lions scary? Have you ever been to the zoo? Were you scared of the lions? Why not? Because you were protected. You know, there are some scary things that we come across in our lives, but you know what? Jesus protects us, and he protects from every bad thing that he doesn’t want to happen to us. Sometimes, he lets scary things come close, but he does that because he wants us to remember to pray to him for protection. So, who is your protector? And that means that even the scary stuff doesn’t need to scare us, because of Jesus.


Like scary movies? Slasher [laff]; pref Hitch

Do you like scary movies? Why? There are different kinds, and the slasher movies never really did it for me. They didn’t scare me, but they did usually make me laugh. They are not scary movies for me because everything is on the screen, and the brain is very little involved in the scariness of the scene. I much prefer the Alfred Hitchcock kind of movie, where he shows very little gore and violence, but almost all of the terror is in your own imagination. Hitchcock was the master of suggesting what was scary and letting your imagination do more work than the cameraman, special effects team, and movie editor. To me, that’s far more scary. Your fear on the screen is limited by what can be depicted, whereas the fear in your imagination has no limits at all.

Series intro: fear; pics

Today, we’re going to talk about fear. In fact, over the next three weeks, we’re going to talk about fear, doubt, and anger. That’s what these three pictures are depicting – the alligator lurking just under the surface of the water incites fear, the police are interrogating this suspect because they doubt his story, and this car wreck has incited quite a bit of anger on both sides. Today, we’ll focus on fear.


CR: What are The Effects of Fear?

[What afraid of?] (spk/mnstr/fndout/dth); [Why?]; [Effects of?]

What are you afraid of? Ideas: Public speaking (one of the biggest), monsters in the closet, being found out that you’re not as together as you think people think you are, sickness and death.

Why are these things fearful?

What are the effects of fear? What does fear do to us?

Effects: destabilizes, paralyzes, stresses, motivates,

Destab: uneasy, off-balance, off our game. Para: can’t move, decide, act. Stress: not sleep, knot in stomach, sweat, lose appetite. Motivate: spur to action, rush out into the middle of traffic to pull the baby out from in front of the oncoming bus.

Fear is

Defn: [open] anxiety about something bad that hasn’t actually happened

What is fear?

We can give all kinds of dictionary definitions, but basically fear is RS. Fear is a type of anxiety, and it is directed to something future that may or may not happen.

What if? []

Fear asks the question, “What if?” What if this happens? What if that bad things happens? What if the market crashes? What if the X-Ray comes back positive?

Could be: Prob? When? Severity?

It is focused on what could be, but isn’t already. It may or may not happen. Maybe the percentage of it happening is very low, very unlikely. Maybe the percentage is very high, very likely to happen. Maybe it might happen very soon, maybe not for years. If it happens, may it will be very severe, maybe rather mild.

Don’t want it to happen: if θ, cmd^

Whatever it is, it’s something that we don’t want to happen. If we were God, we would command that it not happen.

Despair pic:

Credit to despair.com.

Useful fear


Fear can be useful. Fear can actually serve a positive purpose in our lives. What are some useful fears?

Danger: what if no fear of danger?

What happens if you don’t have any fear of danger whatsoever?

Death: nonXn, Xn (val life)

Now, as Christians, I don’t think that we should be very fearful of death, but if you’re not a Christian, then you really should fear death. And even for Christians, a little fear of death can be healthy – it can teach us to value life.

Damnation: salv, EV

A fear of damnation can help us to desire salvation in Christ. It can also motivate us to share the Gospel with others.

Useless fear


But there are also useless kinds of fear. What are some useless kinds of fears?

Enslaves: (eg. rej); CSL preoc, lvl (1942)

Fear that enslaves us is useless. Eg. The fear of rejection. We can fear rejection so much that we won’t ever take a risk for Christ. In his great fictional work on how the demons conspire to bring us down, The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis suggests that demons love to have us be preoccupied with whatever we fear, so that we take our minds off of God. And that the demons want us at just the right level of fear – enough to be preoccupied and useless, but not so fearful that we end up crying out to God for rescue. And remember, TSL was published in 1942, just as Hitler’s Third Reich was becoming a worldwide terror.


Fear that leads us to become greedy is useless. When we were living in Italy in 1990-91, the ground war in Iraq broke out. We were 1800 miles away from the front line, and yet the older Italians who remembered what it was like in WWII to be without supplies raided the grocery stores and bought up everything … out of fear. Fear turned to greed and wanting to hoard everything for myself, and not let you have any.

Cowardice: keeping rump in the chair in order to save it; ^do must; CSL; ^brave

Cowardice is always useless. Unlike fear, which can be healthy, cowardice is never healthy. Cowardice is keeping your rump in your chair in order to save it. Cowardice is a refusal to do what you must do or should do because of what bad thing might happen to you. It is the opposite of bravery. In TSL, Lewis says that cowardice is the only vice that demons have not been able to make us proud of. We can become proud of every other kind of vice, but not cowardice. (Bravery, but the way, is not the absence of fear, but the absence of cowardice, doing the right thing in spite of the fear.)

Ch manip: (eg. Indulg, support, partic sin; 1 Jn 4.18); ~other religions

Another kind of useless fear is the way that churches can use fear in order to manipulate you. If you don’t give the traveling priest money, then you’ll spend extra years in purgatory. If you don’t support our ministry, God won’t answer your prayers. If you do this particular sin, then God hates you and you will lose your fellowship with him, or even lose your salvation. Misusing passages like 1 Jn 4.18, which says that perfect love casts out fear. So, if you have fear, you must not have very much of God’s love. Other religions can also use fear to manipulate its members, but the Christian church has been guilty of it as well.


And strangely enough, another kind of useless fear can be the fear of freedom. We have freedom in Christ because of grace. But that can make some people fearful. They are afraid to live life without rules, based only on a loving relationship with God. And so they surround themselves again with comfortable, safe little rules. People can be afraid of grace, because it means that I’m not in control and I’m not able to earn anything and determine my own future. We can be afraid of success, that if I do something well, then people will expect me to do it well next time, too. Or expect me to do it even better next time. People will rely on me. And some are fearful of a real relationship with God – to be vulnerable to him, to ask him what he wants of me and my life, to depend on him, to admit my sin to him.

Fear of God

Beg of wiz / a life-giving fountain (Pr 14.27) / θ delights in (Psa 147.11)

And of course, there is the ultimately useful kind of fear – the fear of God. This is the kind of fear that Scripture says is the beginning of wisdom. If you want wisdom, it begins with this healthy fear of the Lord. Scripture says in Prv 14.27 that this fear is a life giving fountain. Scripture says in Psa 147.11 that God delights when we have this kind of fear.

Awe / knowing θ ~ θ: still use word

This kind of fear is a reverential awe of the awesome God. This fear comes from knowing God as God – what it means that he is all-Powerful and perfectly just. But it still uses the word “fear” - there is more than just respect.

Real fear: ^push away, but draw to pwr; wrath; go against; throne/hubby; eg. Gun

But there is also an element, I believe, of real fear. Not the kind of fear that pushes us away from God, but the kind of fear that draws us to the enormous power. God is the God of justice who will pour out his wrath on all sin, and that’s fearsome. We will be protected from that wrath, but still, we are drawn to the God who possesses that wrath. We should have a little fear of what our lives will be like if we determine to go against his ways. Not that we should fear him bringing down the hammer out of anger, but that a life lived against God’s will is be definition going to run into all kinds of difficulty. One day, we will stand before his great white throne and give an account. Again, we are exempt from judgment, but we will still give an account for ourselves before him. This is particularly true of husbands and fathers, who will basically stand before God twice – once for themselves and then again for their families. That kind of fear should motivate us to be great covenant heads of our families. It’s kind of like having a healthy fear of a rifle. Used properly, you’ll never get hurt. But interact with that gun in ways that you’re not supposed. You need to have a healthy fear of the gun before it becomes safe.

Walk ↔ fear: (1 Pe 1.17; Dt 8.6; 13.4)

Both the Old and New Testaments also tie the idea of fear and reverence of God to the idea of your walk, your life of obedience. Read. Fearing God and keeping his commandments go hand in hand. If you truly fear God, you will gladly do His will, and doing His will can be a way of fearing and revering him.

Psg: Mt 10.26-33

Scary sit: first time, preaching Christ to Jewish audience, no HS yet, sheep / wolves


Scary sit, don’t fear: ^exactly

In this scary situation, Jesus says, “Do not fear.” Well, not exactly.

θ will reveal everything (26): so ^fear; Gospel / right deeds / them

First of all, God is going to reveal everything (v. 26). Read. Do not fear them, because the Gospel is going to be fully revealed to be true and right. You don’t need to fear sharing the Gospel, because the Gospel is true, and it will be revealed for all to see that it is right. You don’t need to fear, because any right deeds you do for Christ, even if they are not appreciated here, will be revealed. Everything that the world does to us in rejecting the Gospel will be revealed. Nothing will be hidden, all good and all evil. So we don’t need to fear the world that we’re trying to bring the Good News to.

Worst they can do: hurt the temp (28a): can hurt, but; so ^fear; just going away

Furthermore, do not fear them, because the worst that they can do to you is hurt the temporary stuff. (v. 28a). Read. They can hurt the body – they really can. But that’s the part of you that’s temporary. The worst they can do is hurt the temporary stuff. The part of you that’s already going to go away and be replaced by a new, glorified, eternal body.

^even smallest thing hapns apart from θ’s will (29): ^notice; so^fear; under ctrl

Lastly, do not fear because not even the small thing happens apart from God’s will (v. 29). Read. Sparrows are cheap and plentiful. No one ever gives them any notice. Every day, thousands of sparrows fall to the ground and die around the world and no one takes any notice. Except God knows every single one of them, and furthermore, they only fell because he specifically allowed them to. If God didn’t give them permission to fall, they would not have fallen. So don’t fear, because absolutely everything is under God’s control.

In scary sit, not say: don’t fear, but RS

But actually, in this scary situation, Jesus does not say, “Do not fear.” What he says is, “Do not fear wrongly.” Don’t fear the wrong thing.

Fear rightly

Rather, fear rightly. He’s not saying don’t have any fear at all, but rather to not fear the things that you should not fear, but to fear the things that you should.

Scream it out (27): fear 1 go another day w/o hearing; ^how respnd / ^resp

For example, don’t fear getting the message out there. Scream it out! Read. Don’t fear them; rather, fear that the Gospel won’t be revealed to them soon enough. Don’t fear how they might respond, but fear that they might not respond at all.

Fear the One who can hurt temp & eternal (28b): fear truly frsm / they face Jdg

More importantly, don’t fear the ones who can only hurt the temporary stuff. Fear the One who can hurt both the temporary stuff and the eternal stuff. Read. Fear the only One who is really fearsome. Not that those who are saved need to be afraid of eternal punishment, but that we should still have a healthy fear of God, a fear of the one who has the ability to sentence someone to eternal punishment. Fear that the unsaved will one day face the Judge, and that if they unsaved at that point, they will see eternal punishment. Fear that.

You >>val than cheap sparrows (30-31): ^fear fall / fear 1 whose permission nd

You are far more valuable than these cheap sparrows. Read. So don’t fear the possibility of falling to the ground. Fear the One whose sovereign permission you need before you are even able to fall to the ground. Fear the One who has absolutely everything under control.

JC will adv for fear rtly (32-33): fear JC having to deny something RE u; ^yet

Jesus will advocate before the Father for those who fear rightly. Read. So fear the possibility that Jesus will have to deny something about you before the Father. Again, not that you can lose your salvation, but that when the Father asks, “Who stood up for the Gospel,” fear that Jesus would have to exclude your name from the list. Not the fear of punishment or shame, but a healthy fear of something that we really don’t want to happen. For example, Jesus being unable to advocate for us something he called us to do. That’s a bad thing that hasn’t happened yet that I don’t want to happen

JC: (16) sends them ~ sheep/wolves, (28) “don’t fear wolves, sender”

It’s very interesting to me that in verse 16, Jesus says, “I’m sending you out as sheep among wolves.” But then in v. 28 he says, “Don’t fear the wolves. Instead, fear the One who is sending you out among the wolves.”

Redirect that fear: *; instd of [destable+]/useless, use fear → stable+/useful

He doesn’t say, “Don’t fear.” He says, “Don’t fear wrongly. Rather, fear rightly.” In other words, redirect that fear. Take the fear that we naturally have of things that really shouldn’t be a source of fear for us, and rather than trying to deny the existence of fear, to redirect that fear toward the things we should fear. Instead of the fear that destablizes us, paralyzes us, and stresses us (useless fear), redirect your fear to the things that make us even more stable, toward the things that spur us on to action, toward the things that are who strong and sure that we can have real peace, toward the things that motivate us (useful fear).

CR: Fear Rightly

Do not fear (wrongly) (not just Mt 10)

Let’s go over those ideas again, but not just in the sense of Matthew 10 and sharing our faith, but in all situations. First, do not fear wrongly.

We fear the world too much: if stand, do/say/happen; what might RE temp stuff

We fear the world too much. Maybe not all of us, and maybe not all the time, but in general, we fear the world too much. We fear what the world might do to us if we stand up for Christ. We fear what the world might say to us or about us if we speak for Christ. We fear what might happen to us if we really, really live for Christ 100%. We fear what might happen to stuff about us that is actually temporary. That’s all they can hurt, and we fear too much what the world might do to our temporary stuff – like these temporary bodies, for example.

Θ = sov: shld/fite/bless/goer-ahd/redmr/name/test/purif/with/touched/prov/A+O

But God is sovereign. I looked up occurrences in the Bible where God does “fear not,” “do not fear,” or “do not be afraid.” And in several cases, he gives a reason why we should not fear. Fear not, because I am a shield surrounding you / the One who fights this battle for you / the One who goes ahead before you / the One who has redeemed you / the One who calls you by name / the One who is testing you / the One who purifies you / the One who is with you / the One who has just touched you / the One who provides for you / the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the end. (It’s easy to remember that God is the beginning, but sometimes we lose sight of the fact that he’s also the end – he’s the finisher.)

Do not fear the world, because God is completely, totally sovereign.

Θ allows bad to happen for our good

Bad will happen: sparrows will fall

Not fall except by θ’s will

He works all things → X~

Therefore, there is nothing bad that θ is not using: even if it’s evil

And God allows bad things to happen to us for our good. Bad things are going to happen to us. We know that. Sparrows are going to fall to the ground. But we must remember that not even a sparrow falls to the ground outside of God’s will. We know that Rom 8 says that he causes all things … ALL things … to work together for good for those who love him and have been called according to his purpose, and that purpose includes forming us into the character of Christ. Therefore, there is nothing bad that can happen to us that God is not using for our good. Even if the thing that occurs is evil, something that someone intended to do against us for evil, God intends it for good.

Θ uses bad sits to accomp

To form us: (1 Pe 1.6-7); X~ > no broken bones+

Furthermore, God uses bad situations to accomplish very specific things in our lives. He uses bad situations in order to form us. Read. He can use bad situations to form Christlike character within is. Being Christlike is far more important than never having any broken bones.

To break us of self: (2 Cor 12.7); humble > ^thorn; anti-idolatry meds

He can use bad situations to break us of self, to break us of our desire to serve ourselves more than serve Him. Read. Paul realized that this thorn in his flesh was meant to keep him humble, and he’d rather have God-formed humility than have the thorn removed. Suffering can be anti-idoltary medicine – medicine to keep us from making idols of ourselves, or anything else.

To prove us: (Ex 20.20); prove ready (or not); burn dross

God can use bad situations to prove us, to test us in way that shows that we are ready for life to happen. Read. They were frightened by the fearsome presence of God, with thunder and lightning, but he says I’m here to test you, prove you, make you ready, to burn the dross out of your lives. Or perhaps he tests us to show us that we’re not quite ready for something, in order to save us from a huge mistake.

To show us himself: (Ex 14.13); in sits where we can’t

He can use bad situations to show us himself. Read. Sometimes he allows fearsome situations to occur so that he can show himself to us, to put us in situations where we can’t possibly resolve it ourselves, so that he can then show himself strong to us.

So no need to fear wrongly: if we really blv θ is sov over our lives

So, there’s no need to fear wrongly. If we really believe that God is sovereign in our lives, and that nothing happens to us apart from his will, and that nothing bad happens to us other than what he is using to form Christ in us, then we do not need to fear wrongly.

Fear can be the doubt that θ is sov/allows/uses

Fear can actually be the doubt that God really is sovereign, that he really does allow even the bad things to happen to us, and that he uses bad situations for our good. Not all fear, but some fear can be doubt that God is actually in control of what’s happening to me.

Fear (rightly)

Instead of fearing wrongly, fear rightly.

We fear θ too little: too casual/little-awe/real-fear; love but

We fear the world to much, and we fear God too little. We treat God a little too casually. He is the great and might and awesome, holy God, and sometimes we treat him as an occasional friend in need who’s there to do my bidding. We have too little awe for him. We have too little real, actual, healthy fear of the most fearsome being who exists. We are to love him and have a relationship with him, but we have too little respect for who he is.

Useful fear, fear of θ: (cf. 34-39 = dangerous, overtake enemy)

There is the useful fear that we talked about, especially the fear of God. Let me continue in Matthew 10 to remind you that Jesus does want us to love one another, but that there is also a fearsome side to him. Read. There is a dangerous aspect to Jesus – he will overtake the enemy, and the enemy won’t go quietly.

SCT: It’s not a matter of trying not to fear, but of learning how to fear rtly; bear

It’s not a matter of trying not to fear, but of learning how to fear rightly. I’m not trying to put an impossible expectation on you to not fear. That’s impossible, ridiculous, and unbiblical. All that would accomplish would be some guilt tossed on you – the fear happens, and pastor said not to be afraid or I’m a faithless, miserable excuse of a Christian, so now I’m bad, because there’s a bear in my tent and I have fear.

Rather, it’s about learning to fear rightly. To fear what we should fear.

The only one we need to fear is θ, and he’s got hesed: only he can hurt, so, but

The only one we really need to fear is God himself. And he’s got this thing we keep talking about called hesed – his loyal love for us. He is the only one who can really hurt us forever, so he’s the only one we should really fear. But if we’re in Christ, then we live with the assurance that we will escape eternal punishment. We need to fear this one.

Perfect love is casting out fear (1 Jn 4.18): context; what is casting out fear is luv

This passage in 1 Jn 4.18 that talks about perfect love casting out fear does not mean that if you have fear, then you don’t have God’s perfect love in you. Rather, I think it’s beter to say that perfect love is casting out fear. God’s perfect love is in the process of casting wrong fear out of us. It’s a process. And it will one day be complete. What is casting out fear from you is God’s perfect love.

Redirect your fear: use that energy

Do not fear wrongly. Rather, fear rightly. And do this by redirecting your fear. Take the fears that you do have, and if they are wrong fears, redirect them to become right fears. Don’t try to do the impossible and not feel fear, but take the energy that goes into fearing something, and redirect it toward the only One that we should really fear.


Recog wrong fear: how am I fearing harm to temp, wolves

First, recognize wrong fear. When fear bothers you, consider whether or not this is a wrong fear. Ask if you what you’re fearing is really just harm to the temporary stuff. Am I fearing the wolves?

Ask what we really should fear: what’s really at stake eternally?

If so, then ask what we really should be fearing in this situation. What’s really at stake, here? What are the eternal things that are involved in this situation.

Remember sov θ uses: remind form-X, do I really blv θ = sov?

Remember that God is completely sovereign, and that this sovereign God uses bad situations for our good. Remind yourself that God is always forming Christ in you. Ask yourself, “Do I really believe that God is sovereign in this situation?” Remind yourself that he is!

Redirect: use fear, but in rt dir; useless → useful; if I feared x >= y, what do?

And then redirect all that fear to be right fear. Use that fear, but in the right direction. Take useless fear and turn it into useful fear. Ask yourself, “If I feared God’s stuff more than this stuff, what actions would I be taking right now?” And then take those actions! Even if you’re still struggling with wrong fear, take the actions you would take if your fear was completely set in the right direction.

Let θ cast out fear w/perfect love: I can’t not fear, so let θ chg me

And finally, let God cast your your wrong fear with his perfect love. Let him be in charge of changing the things you can’t change. I can’t not fear, so I’m going to let God change me and what reactions of fear stir up in me.

~ D’s: toward >pwrful than wolves

Like the disciples in Matt 10. Jesus didn’t ask them to not fear, but to redirect their fear toward the One who is more powerful than the wolves they were being sent in among.

Eg: Failure

Recog: shame > pride; incompet > un’r’ness; failure/self > inaction/θ

Ask: fear not screaming it out, denying X

Remember sovθ: using sits that might fail to bld others, me

Redirect: use this feeling, in rt dir, if I feared pride >= shame, do?

Let θ: I can’t force not fear failure, so let θ chg me

Let me use one of my own fears as an example. One of my fears is the fear of failure. I fear failure more than death. First, I need to recognize where my fear is a wrong fear – it destabilizes me, paralyzes me, and stresses me. I fear shame more than I fear being prideful. I fear incompetence more than I fear unrighteousness. I fear how failure would affect me more than I fear how inaction would affect God. That’s wrong fear. I need to ask what I really should be fearing. I should be fearing not screaming out the Gospel. I should fear denying Christ in front of men. Then I need to remember that the sovereign God is using whatever challenge is before me in order to form Christ in me. He is using situations that I could possibly fail in in order to build up others in their faith in Christ, and to build me up in the process. Then I need to redirect that fear, to use this feeling of fear and turn it to the right direction. I need to ask myself, “If I feared being prideful more than I feared shame, what would I do?” And then I need to take those actions. And finally, I need to let God cast out my wrong fear with his perfect love. I can’t force myself to not fear failure. I can’t make that change in me. Only God can. So, I’m going to work with God in prayer for his perfect love to eventually cast out this fear from me, let him change me.

Insert yours here

Insert your fear here. Whatever fears you have that are in the wrong direction, you can walk through this process and begin to redirect that fear, to take useless fear and turn it into useful fear.


Did JC fear? He commands it, used it for his def (Mt 4.10/Dt); & not even cross

Did Jesus fear? [open] Not only did Jesus fear, he commands it. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he even used fear as his defense against Satan’s accusation. Satan wanted Jesus to worship him, but Jesus quoted a passage from Deuteronomy that says that we are to fear only the Lord God and to serve him only. That was his defense against Satan! Rightly directed fear. And not even the Cross deterred Christ from rightly placed fear. In fact, it was his godly fear that allowed him to overcome the fear that the Cross must have caused in him.

Series recap: What if? What if not? If only...

In the first of our three topics, we dealing today with fear. Fear asks the question, “What if?” What if this bad things happens? What if that bad thing happens. In the coming weeks, we’ll cover Doubt (which asks, “What if not?”) and Anger (which says, “If only...”).


EV: healthy fear of eternity apart from θ, redirect

Prayer: 2 Tim 1.7; not give Spirit of fear / power+love+self-ctrl


Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea. (Despair.com)

1 Peter 1.17

If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

Deut 8.6:

"Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

Deut 13.4:

"You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.

1 Pet 1.6-7

 1:6 This brings you great joy, although you may have to suffer for a short time in various trials. 1:7 Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold – gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing away – and will bring praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

2 Cor 12.7

Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me – so that I would not become arrogant.

Exo 20.20

Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you so that you do not sin.”

Exo 14.13

Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord that he will provide for you today; for the Egyptians that you see today you will never, ever see again.”


1.      Song –Worthy of Worship

2.      Welcome – David S.

3.      Song – Because of Your Love

4.      Song – Holy is the Lord

5.      Song – Days of Elijah

6.      Children’s Time – Colby

7.      Announcements - Mike

Teacher recognition

8.      Scripture Reading – J.Y.

9.      Sermon - Colby

10.  Song – Hallelujah

11.      Song – How Great is Our God


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