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What Does The Bible Say About Worship?

What Does The Bible Say About Worship?

What Does The Bible Say About Worship? Although the Bible doesn’t give a formal definition of worship, we can refer to what various words of worship mean for a better understanding. The English word worship is derived from two Old English words: weorth, which means “worth,” and scipe or ship, which means something such as shape or quality. We can find the Old English word-ship in modern words like leadership and friendship – that’s the quality of being a good leader, or the quality of being a friend. Therefore, worth-ship is the quality of having worth or of being worthy. By worshipping God, we are saying that God has worth, that He is worthy. Worship means to declare worth, to attribute worth. Or to put it in Biblical terms, we praise God. We do this by thinking, speaking, and/or singing, about how good and powerful the Lord God Almighty is.

When we think, speak, and/or sing, about how good and powerful God is, we are fulfilling the purpose for which we were called by God to be followers of Jesus Christ: “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). One of the most essential or central parts of a Christian’s calling is to declare that the Lord God is worthy – that He is worth more than everything else put together. We find two major kinds of words in the Bible for worship. The first word for worship in the Bible means to bow down, to kneel, and to put one’s face down as an act of respect and submission. That’s our body language is saying, Lord God Almighty, I will do whatever you want me to do. I am ready to listen to your instructions and I am equally willing to obey them. The other word for worship in the Bible means to serve. About half of the time these words are translated as worship, and the other half as serve. It conveys the idea of doing something for the Lord God Almighty – carrying out his instructions or making a sacrifice.

What Does The Bible Say About Worship?

What The Scriptures Say About Worship

It’s important for us to start by understanding that word meanings don’t prove what worship is, but they do illustrate three kinds of worship:
1) Worship that involves speaking
2) Worship that involves listening
3) Worship that involves doing
Notice that there is worship that clearly expresses the heart, worship that involves the mind, and worship that involves the body. There is a worship that is offering praise upward, a worship that is receiving instructions from above, and a worship that carries out those instructions in the world. And as a matter of fact, we need all three types of worship. Many people focus primarily on speaking or singing praise to the Lord God. It is without a doubt that praise is good, but if all we do is praise the Lord God, without ever listening to and actively doing what He says, we have to ask ourselves whether we believe the words we are saying. If the Lord God is really all wise and all loving as we proclaim in our praise to Him, then we need to pay attention to what He is instructing us, because He is worth listening to and obeying.

Likewise, all talk and no action do not show God the love and respect that He deserves. Take note that actions speak louder than words. With this in mind, if our behavior isn’t changed by God, then our actions are saying that God isn’t important – He is a nice idea, but not relevant to our day-to-day lives. Behold, when we really believe that the Lord God is worthy of every praise, then we will be willing to listen and willing to change the way we live in response to His instructions and sovereignty. In addition, we will trust Him, seek Him, and want to please Him as much as we can. Our behaviors should be shaped through the act of worship. Worship is a response to God. We can’t know the Lord God’s worth, much less declare it, unless He reveals Himself to us. Thus, the Lord God Almighty initiates worship by revealing Himself to us. Then, we respond, and the proper response is worship. In fact, the more we grasp His greatness, his character, his power, and his love, the more we understand His worthiness, and the better we can declare His worth in worship.

God’s Revelation About Himself and How We Should Worship Him

Brethren, notice that our worship is a response to what the Lord God has revealed Himself to be, not only in who He is but also in the wonderful things He has done, is doing, and will do in times to come. Genuine worship includes all our responses to the Lord God – including a response with our minds, such as our belief in God’s worthiness, our emotions, such as love and trust, and our words and actions. Our heart expresses itself in words and songs of praise to the Lord God. Our mind is active in learning what the Lord God wants us to do. And our bodies and strength get involved when we obey God’s instructions and serve Him wholeheartedly. In reality, both the Old Testament and New Testament clearly tell us that our relationship with the Lord God Almighty should involve our heart, mind, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Mark 12:30; and Luke 10:27). We believe that the Lord God says something about His worthiness. The fact that we trust Him and love Him declares that He is worthy of love and trust. The fact that we obey His instructions also says that He has worth. In the words we say to one another, in the prayers we say to God, in the songs we sing for His glory, we can declare that God is worth more than all other gods, worth more than all other things put together.

We can worship God all by ourselves as well as worship Him together with others. The Lord God has not only revealed Himself to me but to many people. He puts us in a community, He reveals Himself to a community and through a community, and the community together responds to Him in genuine worship as they declare Him worth all honor and praise. Besides, the Lord God promises that whenever we gather in Jesus’ name, He will be there with us (Mathew 18:19-20). So, we gather in His presence, and because of His promise, we expect Him to be with us. The Lord God Almighty is the One who calls and gathers us together, who reveals Himself to us, who initiates the worship, and is the One and Only Object of our worship (1 Chronicles 16:25; Psalm 96:4–5). Music is one important method that we use to worship God. In Church, we have a worship leader, who leads us in singing hymns and spiritual songs for the glory of God. Therefore, a worship leader is a song leader, and because of this some people automatically think of music when they hear the word worship. Music is of great value, but take note that worship is not just music. Worship involves our entire relationship with the Lord God Almighty, all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Worship involves all the ways in which we can respond to the Lord God, all the ways we can praise Him by what we think, say, and do, all the ways we can demonstrate that the Lord God Almighty is worthy of all adoration, praise, allegiance, and honor.

Biblical Facts About Worship

Worship is described in the Bible as being both a way of life and specific activity. Adoring, praising, and expressing reverence for the Lord God Almighty, both publicly and privately, are specific acts of worship. In a broader sense, worship refers to an overall lifestyle of glorifying, serving, and pleasing the Lord God as well as reflecting His glory to others. In the Old Testament, when Prophet Jonah said, “I am a Hebrew, and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land” (Jonah 1:9), he was referring to a lifestyle wholly dedicated to glorifying God. Likewise, the Apostle Paul defined worship as an all-encompassing way of life: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1). Believers in Christ or Christians participate in specific acts of worship whenever they celebrate the Lord God’s worthiness, greatness, and sovereignty by giving honor and glory to His name. Worship can be expressed in words, phrases, shouts, singing, bowing down, raising hands, and many other ways. The Psalmist urges the faithful to enter into the act of worship: “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song” (Psalm 95:1–2).

The Greek word for “worship,” proskuneō, means “to encounter God and praise Him.” For centuries, the Jewish people had encountered God in the Temple for worship. But when Jesus Christ arrived on the scene, He spoke metaphorically of Himself as the Temple (John 2:19–22). Through His resurrection from the dead, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ became the spiritual dwelling place where God and His people would meet (Matthew 12:6; Hebrews 10:19–20). In John 4:23–24, Jesus Christ made it clear that the physical location of our worship is no longer relevant: “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” This is a clear indication that genuine or true worship takes place on the inside, within our hearts or spirits, which is the dwelling place of the Lord God (Psalm 103:1–2; Ephesians 2:22). Behold, humanity was brought into existence to worship the Lord God (Psalm 29:1–2; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 1:3–6; Philippians 2:9–11). In addition to serving the Lord God and spreading the Gospel, the church also has a purpose to worship the Lord God through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:4–6; 1 Peter 2:5; Revelation 5:6–14). As Christians, the Lord God is the object of our worship. He alone is worthy of worship (1 Chronicles 16:25; Psalm 96:4–5). We worship God by crediting to Him the absolute worth that He alone deserves. He is our Lord (Psalm 22:27), Creator (Acts 17:28; James 1:17; Revelation 4:11), and Redeemer (Colossians 1:12–13; 1 Peter 1:3). Both the Father and the Son receive worship (Matthew 14:33; 28:17; Luke 7:16). Likewise, the angels worship God and refuse to be worshiped themselves (Revelation 19:10; 22:9). We worship the Lord God by praising and giving Him glory with our thoughts, words, actions, and entire lives. Worship from a pure heart pleases the Lord God (Psalm 24:3–4; Isaiah 66:2).

Genuine Worship (Worshiping God in Spirit and Truth)

By definition, worship is applying great and/or remarkable worth to someone or something. Note that genuine worship of God is a matter of the heart. The words from the mouth are simply coming forth as a result of the conviction within the heart. It is the true belief in the heart that makes the words of our mouths worth hearing by God. We are trying to say here that true worship is a heartfelt expression of adoration, love, fascination, admiration, celebration, and thanksgiving to God. It takes place within your heart and soul when you acknowledge the marvelous works of God and begins to give Him thanks. Such is the genuine worship that brings honor and glory to God’s Holy Name. By worshipping in the spirit and in truth through Christ, we are made receptive to God’s mercy and favor.
John 4:24 says, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Behold, there is nothing difficult about worship. Whether you are a Christian, non-Christian, Pagan, or whatever you consider yourself, we all end up worshiping something. Perhaps you were not aware but a group of sports fans watching, adoring, and talking about the game are worshiping. Even a group of teenagers at a concert listening, adoring, and talking about what’s going on are worshiping. Unfortunately, we are readier to worship sports, food, music, arts, control, comfort, achievement, power, money, work, titles, and relationships than God. This is not how it ought to be. God has to come in the first place of worship in our lives because He deserves it. He created us to worship him, He commands us to worship Him, He deserves our worship, and He rewards all those who worship Him.

What we should know about Worship

Worship matters to God. Worship matters to you. Unfortunately, we often allow personal distractions to get into the way and weaken our relationship of worship with God. With these distractions in our hearts, we sing songs but we don’t worship, we listen to sermons but we don’t worship, and we serve in a ministry area but don’t worship. Singing songs, listening to sermons, and serving in a ministry are all elements of worship but they do not worship in and of themselves. This is to say that you can carry out all of them but still fail to worship God. Having said this, chances are high that you are wondering how it can be possible to do all these things and still lack in your fellowship with God.

Genuine worship is more of a lifestyle than mere words spoken from the mouth with little to no belief in the heart or actions to testify. Praise is the main expression given to the ‘worship’ that we live. There is much in worship than we can imagine or even realize.

Things that make worship genuine and acceptable to God

1. Worship involves surrendering our lives to God

In respect of God’s mercy to mankind, it is our duty to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is what Apostle Paul perceives as true and proper worship as we can read from Romans 12:1

2. Worship is completely putting our focus on God

The basis of true worship is the desire to honor God by respecting the Key Teachings of Jesus Christ. Such requires a personal revelation of God as written in the scriptures. Hence we can say without a doubt that genuine worship of God is not a matter of our likes and dislikes but his. True worship is focused on God and God alone.

3. Worship involves ‘getting out of the way’ and ‘letting go’

If we are serious about truly worshiping God the way he is, then we have to learn to remove our worries, questions, self, doubts, and unfaithfulness from the line of action. We have to let go of the things that are preventing us from appropriately honoring God for who He is.

4. Genuine worship requires personal sacrifice

Praise is easier when things are going well or smoothly. Upon achievement of goals, we are more likely to sing praises to God. The challenges step in when we must sacrifice our fears, worries, and sadness in the face of failure to give thanks or sing praises to God. However, this is how it should be. We should always make the sacrifice of giving praise to God in all circumstances – whether good or bad. Let’s support this message by reading from Hebrews 13:15 – “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.

5. We must not stop worshiping even in the face of pain and loss

The best demonstration of what it means to worship in the face of pain and loss was manifested by King David. When David’s child was sick, he prayed and prayed over him again. Despite his prayers for healing, his child died. And as we all know, the pains coming from the loss of a child are beyond human imagination. The loss of a loved one is too heavy to bear. Unlike what most of us will do, after the baby died, the Bible tells us what David did in 2 Samuel 12:20 – “Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped.”

Through this action, David shows us how important it is to move toward God in times of pain and loss rather than moving away from him. Just tell yourself that “I’m in deep pain and agony but I must go closer to God because I need him now more than ever.”

6. Genuine worship is celebrating God for who He is and what He has done

Psalm 100:1-5

  • 1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the Earth.”
  • 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.”
  • 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”
  • 5 For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues   through all generations.”

What Does The Bible Say About Worship?

John 4:24 – “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Psalm 95:6 – “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

Romans 12:1 – “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

John 4:23 – “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.”

Isaiah 12:5 – “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.”

Luke 4:8And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

Hebrews 13:15 – “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”

Psalm 29:2 – “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.”

Psalm 99:5 – “Exalt the Lord our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he!

Colossians 3:14-17 – “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Group 1 – What Does The Bible Say About Worship

Psalm 103:1 – “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.”

Acts 16:25 –About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”

Exodus 23:25 – “Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.”

Psalm 150:6 – “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

Isaiah 25:1 – “Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.”

Habakkuk 3:17-18 – “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

1 Chronicles 16:34 – “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Psalm 63:1 – “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”

John 4:24 – “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Group 2 – What Does The Bible Say About Worship

Romans 11:36 – “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Psalm 71:8 – “My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.”

1 Chronicles 29:11 – “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.”

Jeremiah 29:12 – “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

Romans 11:36 – “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”

Psalm 42:11 – “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

2 Samuel 7:22 – “How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.

Psalm 68:4-5 – “Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him — his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

Group 3 – What Does The Bible Say About Worship

Psalm 66:17 – “I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.”

1 Samuel 2:2 – “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

Psalm 105:1 – “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Psalm 143:6 – “I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.”

Romans 14:11 – “It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’

Psalm 95:6 – “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”

Psalm 63:3-4 – “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”

James 3:10 – “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”

Psalm 9:1 – “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”

Daniel 4:37 –Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”

Psalm 16:2 – “I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

Group 4 – What Does The Bible Say About Worship

Psalm 145:3 – “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”

Psalm 28:7 – “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Revelation 5:13 – “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

Ephesians 3:20-21 – “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Psalm 13:5-6 – “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Psalm 116:1-2 – “I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.”

Psalm 19:1-2 – “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.”

Group 5 – What Does The Bible Say About Worship

Psalm 71:23 – “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I whom you have delivered.”

Psalm 24:10 – “Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty—he is the King of glory.”

Colossians 3:16 – “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

Psalm 34:1 – “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”

Psalm 108:3 – “I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.”

Acts 2:21 – “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Psalm 42:8 – “By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.”

Isaiah 12:4 – “In that day you will say: “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.”

Psalm 73:25 –Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”

Psalm 115:1 – “Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”

Group 6 – What Does The Bible Say About Worship

Acts 2:46-47 – “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Philippians 4:20 – “To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 31:3 – “Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.”

Matthew 5:15-16 – “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Romans 15:7 – “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

2 Peter 3:18 – “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”

Daniel 2:23 – “I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.

Psalm 119:7 – “I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.

Psalm 145:1 – “I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.”

Group 7 – What Does The Bible Say About Worship

Psalm 108:5 – “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 – “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Psalm 9:2 – I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.”

Matthew 21:9 – “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Psalm 68:19 – “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.

Luke 2:20 – “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

Job 1:20-21 – “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Romans 10:13 – For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

2 Timothy 4:18 – “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Group 8 – What Does The Bible Say About Worship

Luke 2:14 –Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

1 Timothy 2:9-10 – “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

Acts 13:2 – “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Psalm 111:10 – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.”

Philippians 2:9-10 – “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.

Psalm 79:9 – “Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.”

1 Timothy 1:17 – “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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