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DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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Glorious Jesus Rules Eternally – November 28, 2018

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
Daniel 7:13,14

Glorious Jesus Rules Eternally


Daily Devotion – November 28, 2018

Devotion based on Daniel 7:13,14

See series: Devotions

Do you wish you could look into the future and see what will happen with all of those American politicians elected earlier this month? Skeptics might say that if the past is any indication, whatever happens won’t be as good as the political leaders predicted it would be.

Our Bible reading for today looks into the future work of a leader, and the news is better. Jesus is that leader. You did not choose him to be your leader. Instead, the Ancient of Days, God the Father, chose Jesus from eternity to be your Lord.

Every promise Jesus made has come true so far, and you can be sure that all of his promises will continue to be fulfilled in the future. How can you be so sure? Jesus is fully human—true man. But he is also fully divine—true God. After he died, he rose from the dead, and soon he will come with the clouds of heaven. God the Father wants you to know that, although Jesus is a human being, he has the same authority, glory, and power that he has as God from eternity. He is both God and man, and that’s great news for you.

As God and man in one person, he will continue to rule forever. You don’t have to worry about him being overthrown or replaced with a different leader who has a different agenda. He understands what you are going through. He sympathizes with your weaknesses, and he promises to help and strengthen you.

Worship this leader because he lived a perfect life in your place. He died to take the punishment for your sins. He promised that, through faith in him, you will join him in heaven. And he says that he will take care of your present the way he has also taken care of your future.

Be glad that you don’t have to worry about his leadership. Glorious Jesus rules eternally for your welfare now and for your future in heaven.

Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 207:6)
O Jesus Christ, do not delay, but hasten our salvation;
We often tremble on our way in fear and tribulation.
Your saints are waiting patiently;
Come soon, Redeemer; make us free from every evil.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Find Your Peace this Holiday Season – November 27, 2018

Grace and peace to you. . .from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
Revelation 1:4b-6

Find Your Peace this Holiday Season


Daily Devotion – November 27, 2018

Devotion based on Revelation 1:4b-6

See series: Devotions

Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Was the meal perfect? Did you get together with family? Did you spend enough time with them? Did you give enough attention to your children? Did you get all the dishes done? Did you have enough help? Did you get the item(s) you wanted on Black Friday? Did you stay within budget? Were you kind enough to others who had to eat Thanksgiving dinner alone? Did you help those who had no ability to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for themselves or their family?

Oh, and Christmas is coming soon. Will it be perfect? Will the house be clean? Will your decorated home resemble one you might see on a Hallmark Christmas movie? Will everyone stay healthy? Will the Christmas program be ready? Will there be time to make cookies? Will you find just the right gift for everyone on your list? Will anyone find just the right gift for you? Will you set aside enough time for yourself? When Christmas is over, will you be emotionally filled or emotionally exhausted?

What has often been called “The most wonderful time of the year” can, in reality, be one of the most hectic. The season that promises “peace on earth” can, as we go through it, actually fill us with exactly the opposite as we cycle through the various “Did you …”s, “Were you …”s, and “Will you …”s that are often difficult to answer with any type of certainty.

Scripture gives us a better place to focus our attention each day. Better than asking “Did you …?” is asking “Did he …?”

Did Jesus love you enough to die for you, whether or not you burned the turkey? Yes.
Did Jesus’ sacrifice declare you perfect to God, no matter what anyone thinks of your gifts or decorations? Yes.
Did Jesus rise from the dead to assure you that your home of perfection in heaven is already waiting? Yes.
Will he one day come back, look at you, and say “Well done” in front of everyone? Yes.
Will he walk with you this holiday season and provide you with the peace he promises? Yes.
Will he cover with his grace your inevitable weaknesses and mistakes? Yes.

Yes. Yes. A thousand times—yes!

This holiday season, find your peace by looking first to Jesus; the only one who can truly give such a precious gift.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, you were faithful in giving us a Savior. May we be faithful in looking for peace first from him this holiday season. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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The Heavenly King of Hearts – November 26, 2018

[Jesus said,]”… I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
John 18:37

The Heavenly King of Hearts


Daily Devotion – November 26, 2018

Devotion based on John 18:37

See series: Devotions

Jesus appeared poor and powerless before Pontius Pilate. Yet Christ is the King who meets and exceeds all our needs. His aim was not to advance an army to overcome an earthly empire. Christ came to reign as King of our hearts.

A war is waged to win control of your heart and mine. Such a battle for the human heart is not won by Christ the King with swords or spears, but with truth. The truth is, my heart hurts. It staggers because of the guilt of sin. It reels from the fallout of living in a sinful world. Persistent financial problems perplex my troubled heart with weariness and worry. The constant barrage of stress at home and work threaten to bury my heart in utter hopelessness. My heart longs for an answer to alleviate all my anxiety.

To my hurting heart comes Christ the King. He testifies to the truth as the holy Monarch who stood guiltless before Pilate. He is the heavenly King who emptied himself of all his glory. The King gave the dearest treasure, his own life, as he was lifted upon a cross. Selflessly he suffered death for his subjects as their perfect substitute.

The King of kings conquered sin completely. By his grace he gives the treasure of his kingdom to all who believe in him. Through the punishment he bore, we now have peace with God. In perfect love, he fills the hurting heart with the joy of his forgiveness. Through his powerful gospel promises he reigns triumphant in human hearts.

The love of our King is perfect and unfading. Moved by his love, we live to serve him joyfully as we await his return. The Word of God opens our eyes to the truth of his kingly, holy will. Our King creates in us a new heart that longs to labor in love for him who sacrificially gave himself to win our eternal salvation.

One day the King who came in humility will return in triumphant glory. On the Last Day he will bring his believing subjects to the heavenly kingdom he has prepared for them. We look forward to the day when all our worry and weariness, all our doubts and difficulties will be no more. He will keep his promise of eternal deliverance.

Trust the truth of Christ the King. He reigns now and eternally as the heavenly King of hearts.

Prayer:
Almighty King, I praise you for your triumphant victory through the cross. Continue to testify to the truth of your boundless love so that your kingdom may come to many others. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Your Real King – November 25, 2018

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
Matthew 27:27-31

Your Real King


Daily Devotion – November 25, 2018

Devotion based on Matthew 27:27-31

See series: Devotions

Children raised on fast food sit in front of a home-cooked meal. They stare at the chicken breast and baked potato and ask: “What is it?” The only potatoes they’ve known are cut and deep-fried. And, as far as they know, chicken only comes in the form of patties, nuggets and fingers.

Sometimes we get such a strong and wrong picture of what something should be that we don’t even recognize the REAL THING when it’s sitting right in front of our face.

What does a king look like? The people of Jesus’ day “knew” that a king looked like the rulers of their day. They figured a king must always appear rich, powerful and honored. When they saw Jesus, they did not see a wealthy or powerful or respected man. They reacted wrongly and sinfully heaped abuse on Jesus with their cruel words and angry fists.

We dishonor Jesus, our King, too, but with quite different tactics. We call Jesus our King (you may be singing that in a Christmas song or two soon.) But how often have we let our lives or circumstances mock the rich grace and unlimited power of our King? When it comes to following our King, do we choose our whims and worries instead of our King’s commands and promises? We choose lust instead of purity; cursing instead of prayer and blessing; coveting instead of contentment. We choose worry instead of trust; fear instead of faith; hate instead of love.

Thank God that Jesus chose to be our King by his love and work on our behalf. In today’s section from God’s Word, Matthew tells us that Jesus did what only our REAL King could do. He allowed himself to be dishonored because our sin dishonored God. Jesus allowed himself to be mocked, beaten, and doomed to death because that’s what we deserved. Only our real King could step in and do this perfectly in our place. Only his death could lift the death penalty that hung over our heads. This is what our REAL King looks like.

You know your real King. Don’t let any imposters sit on the throne of your heart. No matter the temptations, the hardships, the uncertainties, and the suffering you face, they are not your king. They are imposters. You have a king–the Real King–Jesus!

When temptations and suffering flood into your life, Jesus may seem distant, weak, or uncaring. But remember, you’ve seen this before. When Jesus stood on trial, he did not look like the REAL King. Even as Jesus suffered and died, he was our all-powerful, gracious God. Jesus’ death and resurrection give us forgiveness, eternal life and peace. Your King promises you power for living for him, and his constant care and presence in your life now. Only your Real King could give such great gifts. When you see Jesus, you see your REAL KING.

Prayer:
Jesus, you are my King. In love for me, you did what no king should have to do–you suffered and died for a rebellious servant like me. Thank you for your forgiveness and care. Fill me with your love and faithfulness so that I always serve and honor you. Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Jesus is Our Shepherd – November 24, 2018

“‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. … I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.’”
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 23-24

Jesus is Our Shepherd


Daily Devotion – November 24, 2018

Devotion based on Ezekiel 34:11-16, 23-24

See series: Devotions

Would you trust someone who was totally incompetent to work for you or with you? Would you give them total control? Probably not. The worldly proverb says, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!” While we aren’t here to debate if such a statement is in line with Christian humility, there is at least this truth in the proverb: “If I do something myself, it will be done to my standards!”

When God observed his people in Ezekiel’s time, he saw leaders, shepherds, who weren’t cutting it. He had entrusted to them the care of his chosen, dearly loved people. He had entrusted their spiritual lives to them, and they were failing their people and failing God. They refused to lead in the way that God wanted them to, but rather they led the people to follow after their own desires and to seek their own definition of happiness.

Too often we act like sheep without a shepherd. Though God places shepherds all around us, though he shepherds us with his Word, too often we follow our own noses and chase after our own desires. Like those shepherds of old, we deserve to be shoved aside. We deserve to lose our place in God’s flock and our place in this world. We deserve to suffer and to die for our sins.

But God doesn’t treat us the way our wanderings deserve. God says: “I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak.” In fact, in these eight verses, he says I (or my) 16 times. “I will do it. I will fix it. I will make it right!” says the Lord. God wanted it done right, so he did it himself.

“I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them.” God sends a Shepherd King. He sends David. David was a great king, but he was dead for 400 years when these words were written. The Shepherd King that God would send was a descendant of David. This is Jesus, God’s Own Shepherd.

Jesus shepherded us as he laid down his life to protect his sheep from sin and death. He died so that we could live. And even now he rules and reigns, guards and guides, in this life and even through the valley of the shadow of death. Safe in his care he leads us, from this world into the green pastures of everlasting life in heaven.

Rejoice! It’s a good thing to have Jesus as our Shepherd and King!

Prayer:
Thank you, Lord God, for making Jesus our Shepherd King. We praise you for securing our salvation and shepherding us in this world and for promising us the green pastures of heavenly peace. In the name of our Shepherd King we pray, Amen.

This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Give Thanks – November 23, 2018

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5

Give Thanks


Daily Devotion – November 23, 2018

Devotion based on Psalm 100:4-5

See series: Devotions

Be thankful. It’s good for us. There are many secular studies that show that gratitude is an emotionally and physically beneficial thing for us. Daily journaling reasons to be thankful is a good thing.

People can be thankful for things. But thankfulness isn’t “complete” until we’re also thankful to someone—the one responsible for giving us those good things.

In Psalm 100, the grateful writer is thankful and praises God. Why? The LORD is good. The LORD’S love and faithfulness continue forever.

Christians are grateful to God. We are thankful because God is good to us. Thankfulness to God is honest and appropriate. Who ultimately is responsible for every good gift in our lives? Every good spiritual, physical, and emotional blessing we have ultimately comes from God.

What’s on your thankfulness list? Perhaps a start to a thankfulness list could look something like this: God blesses me with life, health, food, clothes, shelter, family, friends, and work. Jesus lived, died, and rose for me and my salvation. I’m redeemed and forgiven. The Holy Spirit works through his Word to create and strengthen faith, grow me in faith, and increase his peace in my heart. What else could you add to your thankfulness list?

How do you plan to regularly thank God? You can thank God in your daily prayers after meditating on God’s Word. Perhaps it’ll be in morning conversations with family and friends. You can thank God in a journal (digital or paper), or by following a book (like 364 Days of Thanksgiving), or in your prayers before you fall asleep at night.

Thank you, LORD. You are good. Your love and faithfulness endure forever.

Prayer:
Lord, you are faithfully and forever good and loving to me. Forgive my ingratitude. Open my eyes and heart to see all the ways you love and bless me. Fill me with gratitude for your goodness to me. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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His Love Endures Forever – November 22, 2018

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1

His Love Endures Forever


Daily Devotion – November 22, 2018

Devotion based on Psalm 136:1

See series: Devotions

It’s been said that we could thank the Lord for something different every day of our lives without ever running out of things to give thanks for. It’s true, the Lord has blessed each of us in too many ways to count. Today’s verse helps us remember the all-embracing source for all those blessings: The Lord loves us.

Focus on this: The Lord loves you. When Jesus the Savior died on the cross, he died for you. When he rose from the dead on the third day, he rose for you. Everything Jesus did he did for you, and all of it counts for you. And if the Lord has given up his Son for you, won’t he also give you everything else you need in life and more?

It’s easy to forget how much the Lord loves us. We might be feeling the guilt of a sin we’ve committed; it might be hard to imagine that the Lord loves us after that. We might be going through troubles and hardships that make it hard to see the Lord’s love in a given moment. On the other hand, when things are going well, it’s easy to forget the source of our happiness.

It’s true that your sins do indeed offend God, and you do indeed deserve punishment from him. But Jesus has paid for your sins. Even as you confess your sins and ask for God’s mercy, keep your eye on the cross of Jesus, and remember: The Lord loves you.

What’s more, there are no strings attached to the Lord’s love. Some may think that if we aren’t thankful enough, the Lord will take his love away from us again. But the Lord’s love doesn’t depend on our thankfulness. The words of today’s verse are clear: his love endures forever. How can we help but give thanks for love such as this?

Happy Thanksgiving Day. God loves you!

Prayer:
Dear Lord, today and every day, help me remember your unchanging love, and give me a thankful heart. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Give Thanks to the Lord – November 21, 2018

At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
Daniel 12:1-3

Give Thanks to the Lord


Daily Devotion – November 21, 2018

Devotion based on Daniel 12:1-3

See series: Devotions

When we give thanks to the Lord, we think of things like family and friends, food and clothing, shelter and possessions. Today’s Bible reading reminds us that we have even more blessings in view of the coming judgment day.

We have Michael and many other angels watching out for us. They keep watch over us and our loved ones, and they guard us in all our ways. With calamities going on all over the world, they watch and guard God’s people, eventually taking them safely home to heaven.

We have the promise of resurrection to eternal life. Through faith in Jesus, we are connected to his forgiveness and his righteousness. So when we awake from the temporary separation of soul and body that we call death, we will awake not to shame and contempt, but to everlasting life. We have that same promise for family and friends who have died in the Lord.

We have the Word of God. Those who build their lives on its foundation are wise, and they will shine in eternity like the brightness of the heavens. Those who speak the Word of God lead many to the righteousness of Jesus, the basis of our salvation, and they will shine like the stars for ever and ever.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!

Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 613:4)
Even so, Lord, quickly come
To your final harvest home;
Gather all your people in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified,
In your garner to abide.
Come with all your angels, come;
Raise the glorious harvest home. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Stop Working So Hard – November 20, 2018

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this: . . . “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
Hebrews 10:11-15,17-18

Stop Working So Hard


Daily Devotion – November 20, 2018

Devotion based on Hebrews 10:11-15,17-18

See series: Devotions

There are some tasks that never seem to be done. No matter how often we brush our teeth, we always have to brush them again. No matter how many times we clean the house, the dust keeps reappearing. No matter how much time we spend working on the cars and lawnmowers, there’s something that will need to be fixed, tweaked, improved, or replaced before too much time goes by. Day after day, task after task, our work is seemingly never done. “When,” you might ask, “have I ever done enough to feel perfectly satisfied that my work is done?” With many tasks, the answer may simply be—never.

Do you ever ask the same question about your life? When do you have the right to feel perfectly satisfied with yourself? Have you done enough to love your spouse? Have you taught your children enough about God and his Word? Are you faithful enough at work? Have you dedicated enough time to serving others? Have you walked away from that temptation enough times to feel good about where you are in life? Day after day, task after task, in every area and relationship of life, there is seemingly more work that must always be done.

This was true also for the priests in the Old Testament. Their work was never done. Day after day, again and again, they offered sacrifices.

When we evaluate our lives according to how closely they model God’s will revealed in his Word, there is always more that must be done. That truth might compel us, then, to work harder and to sacrifice more of our time and energy to do better.

But that’s not what Scripture tells us to do. We are told, rather, to stop looking at the quality of our work and of our life and look instead at the quality of the work and life of Jesus. “By [his] one sacrifice, he has made [us] perfect forever.” The sacrifice of his perfect life was enough to cover over every sin and, therefore, enough to compel God to declare that “Their sins . . . I will remember no more.”

And if God does not remember your sins; if God already feels perfectly satisfied with who you are in Christ, then you can as well. You can stop working so hard to find what has already been given to you in Christ.

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, let us forever find rest in the sacrifice of Christ, so that we will be free to use our time and energy to sacrifice for those around us. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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