A Servant’s Mindset

Worship Service for June 6, 2021

WELCOME

Good morning, welcome and thanks for joining CrossPointe Community Church’s online worship presentation. As does the Apostle Paul in his letters to churches, I thank God for all of you and pray that as a result of participating today, you will draw closer to the Lord’s presence and grow more and more into His likeness.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

I want to say once again, ‘Thank you’ to all who participated in any way in last week’s Gather to Scatter. The fact that we were able to accomplish three different projects has a lot to say about your faithfulness to our mission of Sharing God’s Grace with Our Community. Together, we are making a difference for God’s Kingdom.

All of you are invited to participate in our next quarterly Prayer Vigil which is this Wednesday, June 9th from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. As in the past, there will be 36 – 20 minute time slots available. If you would like to participate, please call Gail at (330) 241-0436 to claim your spot. Our theme for this Prayer Vigil is simply Prayer. That is, we are asking all of you to pray that CrossPointe would become a praying church. I’m not saying we don’t already pray. We do; individually and collectively. But every church in the world could benefit from a boost in its prayer life. With that in mind, among the other things that you pray for Wednesday, pray that our people will catch fire with a newfound enthusiasm for prayer. Pray that we would, all of us, on a regular basis, pray for our church leaders, our church members, and our church mission. Pray for our Pastoral Transition Succession Team; that their deliberations and decisions will bring us the next leader God has in mind. Pray that this Prayer Vigil is the beginning of something new at CrossPointe!

Our Trustees are hosting a Church Spiff-Up Day on Saturday morning, June 19th at 9 am. They are hopeful that a whole motley crew of people will show up with their ears pinned back, chomping at the bit to accomplish the list of items needing done. Just to tip you off, there’s some graffiti that needs to be removed from the woman’s restroom. One of our gals wrote, “My husband follows me everywhere.” Written underneath someone else, we don’t know who, wrote: “I do not.” More on this later.

Lastly, today we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion. Therefore, if you haven’t already, I would advise you to prepare your bread and juice or whatever else you are going to substitute for the body and blood of Christ.

CALL TO WORSHIP

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

God has now revealed to us His mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill His own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to his plan.

God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.

Ephesians 1:1-14

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord, our God; what can we say in light of all You have done for us? We confess that any words seem somehow inadequate. This is one of those times when we are, or perhaps should be, silent before You, as we each contemplate Your amazing grace and magnificent love.

Lord, because of all You have done on our behalf, reveal unto us this morning how we can be wholly devoted to You. For we make this request in the name of Jesus, amen.

Now let us praise and glorify Him!

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

For All You’ve Done

Morgan, Reuben

My Savior….Redeemer
Lifted me from the miry clay
Almighty…forever…
I’ll never be the same
Cause You came near
From the everlasting to the world we live
The Father’s only Son

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again
Hallelujah…for all You’ve done.

My Savior….Redeemer
Lifted me from the miry clay
Almighty…forever…
I’ll never be the same
Cause You came near
From the everlasting to the world we live
The Father’s only Son

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again
Hallelujah… for all You’ve done.

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again
Hallelujah…

Cause You came near
From the everlasting
to the world we live
The Father’s only Son

Cause You came near
From the everlasting
to the world we live
The Father’s only Son

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again

Hallelujah…Hallelujah…Hallelujah…
For all You’ve done.

This arrangement ©2008 Reuben Morgan and Hillsong Publishing
(admin in the US and Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music/ASCAP)
CCLI License No. 1843349

It is the Cry of My Heart

Butler, Terry

It is the cry of my heart to follow You.
It is the cry of my heart to be close to You.
It is the cry of my heart to follow
All the days of my life.

Teach me Your holy ways, O Lord,
So I can walk in Your truth.
Teach me Your holy ways, O, Lord,
And make me wholly devoted to You.

It is the cry of my heart to follow You.
It is the cry of my heart to be close to You.
It is the cry of my heart to follow
All the days of my life.

Open my eyes so I can see
The wonderful things that You do.
Open my heart up, more and more
And make it wholly devoted to You.

It is the cry of my heart to follow You.
It is the cry of my heart to be close to You.
It is the cry of my heart to follow
All the days of my life.

It is the cry of my heart to follow You.
It is the cry of my heart to be close to You.
It is the cry of my heart to follow
All the days of my life.

©1991 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing (Admin by Music Services)
CCLI License No. 1843349

Jesus Draw Me Close

Founds, Rick

Jesus, draw me close; closer, Lord, to You.
Let the world around me… fade away.

Jesus, draw me close; closer, Lord to You.
For I desire to worship and obey.
For I desire to worship and obey.

©1990 Maranatha Praise, Inc. CCLI License No. 1843349

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

For those of you who participate in the Lord’s offering by giving through the mail, our address is P. O. Box 126, Chippewa Lake, OH, 44215.

Speaking of worshiping and obeying, Proverbs 3:9 gives us some instruction:

“Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest.”

PRAYER SONG

Near to the Heart of God

McAfee, Cleland

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where all is joy and peace
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Eternal and Everlasting God, Creator of the cosmos, the same yesterday, today and forever; with the Psalmist, we confess, “Where shall we go from Your Spirit? Or where shall we flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7). For You are everywhere present. We also confess that You are Holy, Holy, Holy God and we are not. And yet we have nothing to fear in Your presence. For You “purchased our freedom with the blood of Your Son and forgave our sins, showering Your kindness upon us” (Ephesians 1:7-8). Because this is so, we relish the quiet rest, delight in Your comfort sweet and revere this place of full release. And now that we have ventured near to Your heart O God, we feel confident in fully offering You our prayer requests, knowing that You delight in hearing from Your children.

We pray for our families (please pray), we pray for our nation (please pray), we pray for Your church world-wide (please pray), we pray for Your church at CrossPointe (please pray), and lastly, we pray for ourselves, that You would continue to show us how we might become more like Your son Jesus (please pray). May Your Kingdom come, may your will be done in our families, our nation, in Your church and in our lives. We pray in the name of Jesus with joy and peace, amen.

SCRIPTURE

Last week, I introduced a new topic for spiritual growth: servanthood. I pray that it is the cry of our hearts to follow Him. One of the ways that we accomplish that is by serving.

This is a topic that begins and ends with Jesus; the servant par excellence. For when Jesus took time to explain His reason for coming among us, He said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). And in the same passage applied His teaching to His disciples, then and now “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave” (Matthew 20:26b-27).

And so we began last week by introducing the topic of servanthood. Next week we are going to look at the attitude that paves the way to being a servant. Then we are going to check out the tools of being a servant. And lastly the rewards of being a servant. But today; today, we are considering the mindset of a servant which is contained in today’s text from Paul to the Romans.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

A Servant’s Mindset

Last week, it was a mushroom who jumped on a barstool and the asked the barkeep to serve him a cold beer. Today, it’s a cable TV repairman who walks into a bar on his morning break, hops up on a barstool and says to the barkeep, “Would you please serve me an ice cold beer?”
The bartender says, “You’ll be served sometime between 11am and 5pm!”

Some of you folks with balding heads and graying hair may remember a rock group from the 60’s; I think they were called, ‘The Beatles?’ Of the members of the Fab Four, George was the one with most acute sense of social consciousness. He wrote many songs that reflected his desire to see society change for the better: Piggies and Taxman and then came I, Me, Mine.

Since it was written in 1970 as The Beatles were breaking up, it reflects George’s frustration with the selfishness of John and Paul. “All through the day, I, me, mine, I, me mine, I, me mine. All through the night, I, me, mine, I, me mine, I, me mine.” And then the chorus with its fourfold repeat of, “I, me, me, mine”

It’s sad that I, Me, Mine was the last song ever recorded by the Beatles. And ironic John wasn’t present that day because he had already left the group. And the really sad thing about I, Me, Mine is that it is more of an apt depiction of society today than it was back then; sorry George.

Back then, when I was growing up my two younger brothers and I shared a 10 x 10 room in our 2 bedroom house. Today it is the norm for every kid to have his own room, no need to share.

We had one bathroom for the six of us, and we learned to share it with the family. Today we have two or three bathrooms in every home, no need to share.

Back then, each family had one car, and you shared it. Today every driver in most families has a car, no need to share.

Back then, each household had one television set, and you learned to share it. Today most households have more televisions than people, no need to share?

Believe it or not, each house had one phone, and we learned to share it even with the neighbors, no need to share. Today? Do I really need to go there?

Back then, when mom put a meal on the table you ate or you went hungry. Today’s moms are more like short-order cooks. “What do you want for dinner, Billy?”
Billy quickly responds, “Macaroni and cheese.”
And Susie says, “Mom, you know I don’t like macaroni and cheese.”
“I know honey, that’s why I’ve got tuna fish for you.”

And little Billys and Susies of the world are being reinforced to be more . . . selfish.

And you ain’t seen nothing yet, says Tasha Eurich who has written an important book titled, Insight, in which she attempts to help the reader gain what she claims most people do not possess: ‘self-awareness.’ And she makes a very compelling, scientifically supported case for how the mindset of selfishness has been proliferating over the last 50 years. In chapter four, titled The Cult of Self, she writes,

For thousands of years, traditional Judeo-Christian values emphasized modesty and humility . . . the polar opposites of the Cult of Self, as measures of a well-lived life. In the eighteenth century, the United States was founded on the very principles of hard work, grit and resilience. This Age of Effort lasted hundreds of years, peaking with the events of the 20th century, WWI, the great depression, and WWII. This Age of Effort fostered a collective mentality that shunned the glorification of self. But with the start of the self-esteem movement in the middle of the twentieth century, the Age of Effort began to give way to the Age of Esteem. 1

Then citing numerous psychological studies, she paints a picture of how our society has been becoming increasingly more self-centered; especially with the advent of social media. In fact, she has found for a significant number of people a direct relationship between how much time people spend on social media and levels of self-centeredness.

She writes, “Since the year 2000, right around the time when sites like My Space, Freindster, and other precursors to Facebook exploded, people started becoming less empathetic and more self-centered.” 2

But wait, you ask, why am I bringing up selfishness in a sermon series on serving? Because selfishness is the sin that gets in the way of serving like Jesus ask us to serve.

Jesus encouraged those whose cry of their hearts is to follow Him to rise above their human condition of self-centeredness in order to become a “servant/slave” (Matthew 20:26b-27).

Selfishness keeps us from serving in the church the way we are called to. Selfishness keeps us from giving to the church the way we are called to. Selfishness keeps us from serving our spouses the way we are called to. Selfishness keeps us from serving our fellow man the way we are called to. And selfishness is what will keep us from adopting A Servant’s Mindset contained in Paul’s letter to the Romans, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you.” (Romans 12:1).

Give my body to God?!

I already give God some money, some of my time and energy to God. My body too? That’s too much to ask, God. My body is the only thing I have left to give, so I think I’ll hang onto it for myself, thank you very much.

This way of thinking is epitomized in the famous poem titled Invictus (meaning ‘unconquerable’) written by British poet William Hensley, the last stanza of which says:

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul! 3

And, I will add, my body too.

Paul anticipated that kind of response and addressed it in verse 2: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

My favorite pastor, Chuck Swindoll, quotes J. B. Philipps version of the Bible, who has it, ‘Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold,’ and then writes:

Stop being squeezed in! Quit aping the system of thought that surrounds you, its line of reasoning, its method of operation, its style and techniques! How? By a radical transformation within. By a renewed thought pattern that demonstrates an authentic godlikeness. Living differently begins with thinking differently. 4

In other words, to offer our bodies to God is going to require that we change the way we think; it all begins with the mind.

Giving our bodies to God, first of all, recognizes that God has a claim on us; indeed, that He already owns our bodies anyway. It’s that first principle of stewardship; everything we have belongs to God, and that includes our bodies. As Psalm 24:1 plainly declares: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to Him.”

More pointedly, Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians: “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, God bought you with a price. So you must honor God with your body” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

And so as Christians we believe, don’t we, that our bodies belong to God, just as much as our souls do.

Tim Challies, Christian pastor and author of 13 books, writes:

So, who does my body belong to? The Christian answer is obvious: My body belongs to God. In fact, my body is owned twice by God, once because He created it and again because He redeemed it.”

(Then he quotes Psalm 139:14 to support the truth that God owns our bodies because He created us): ‘I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’

(And he quotes the Corinthian passage I just read to support his second point, God owns our bodies because He redeemed us): ‘For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body’ (1 Corinthians 6:20).

(Then he concludes): “God has the right of ownership and the right of redemption. I am to relate to my body as a grateful steward rather than an autonomous owner. This is my solemn responsibility, to gladly surrender my body to God, to use it in the ways he commands.” 5

Remember J. I. Packer’s commentary on “servants and slaves.”

Both words denote a man who is not at his own disposal, but is his master’s purchased property. Bought to serve his master’s needs, to be at his beck and call every moment, the slave’s sole business is to do as he is told. Christian service therefore means, first and foremost, living out a slave relationship to one’s Savior. 6

And that can only happen when we offer our bodies to God.

Until we come to grip with that idea, we will never serve like Jesus served.

We might volunteer our time from time to time. And don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the way so many at CrossPointe volunteer. But there is a difference between being a volunteer and being a servant.

Bishop Maxie Dunham says,

When we volunteer, we stay in control of when and where and whom we will serve. Being a servant requires us to give up being in charge. Doing so, quite paradoxically, brings great freedom. When we adopt the mindset of offering our bodies to God we become vulnerable and available to serve and no longer fear being manipulated or being taken advantage of. 7

A servant’s mindset; my body belongs to the Lord, despite what the world around me would have me think.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.

Romans 12:1

When George Mueller was 31 years old he and his wife began taking orphans into their home. In the first year, they took in 30 girls. In the next couple of years, they bought three more homes and served over 100. Eventually, he raised funds and established an orphanage in Bristol, England, and there served the needs of 10,024 orphans until he retired at the age of 70.

He was once asked the secret of his service. He said, “There was a day when I died, utterly died.” As he spoke, he bent lower and lower until he almost touched the floor, displaying his submission before God.

“I died to George Mueller, his opinions, his preferences, tastes, and his will. I died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends. And since that day, Christ has enabled me to serve Him.”

And then Mueller added, “If worship is just one thing we do, everything becomes mundane. But if worship is the one thing we do, (by offering our bodies to God) everything takes on eternal significance.” 8

So how do we become like George Mueller? More like Jesus?

First recognize that selfishness is a sin and therefore needs to be forgiven.

And the first step to receiving forgiveness is admitting to God that we are selfish. This may not be so easy for some. We don’t wish to see selfishness in ourselves any more than we care to see any other unseemly behavior. But if we are going to be forgiven, we need to acknowledge it. So my suggestion is to ask God to help us see it in ourselves. Ask Him to ring a little bell in our ear each time we do something selfish. My prediction is that for a time, we all be mimicking the hunchback of Notre Dame. “Ah . . . the bells!”

Once we acknowledge our sin, then we can confess it with the sure knowledge that “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).

Notice that with that promise of forgiveness is also the promise of cleansing.
If we will begin a process of recognizing and admitting our selfish ways, Christ will begin a process of rooting out our selfish tendencies and replace them with an attitude of His humility (the subject of next week’s message) that will enable us to better serve our fellow human beings.

And I know that really is the desire of all who truly wish to follow Christ for all that He has done for us.

Christian author Keith Miller writes about how he learned the proper attitude for serving the Lord from one of his best friends, Bud Wilkinson. Wilkinson was the football coach at the University of Oklahoma. At one point the Sooners had won over 40 games in a row and it is commonly accepted that Wilkinson is one of the greatest college coaches of all time.

The secret of his success was the extensive use of game films. All four quarters would be carefully filmed and then reviewed by the entire team the day after the game. This provided motivation for the players, as they knew their coach, whom they looked up to with respect and love, would be seeing everything their bodies did or didn’t do. They were playing the game for Coach Wilkinson. They knew if it rained or snowed or there wasn’t anyone in the crowd, the coach was going to see all.

“And it suddenly occurred to me,” wrote Miller, “that if I could learn to play my life of service to a different audience – not to people around me, but to Christ, whom I respect and love then whether I foul up or succeed wouldn’t matter so much as simply serving Him because He has done so much for me.”

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God
because of all He has done for us.

Romans 12:1

CLOSING PRAYER

[Please pray as you feel God is directing you.]

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

Invitation

Christ our Lord invites to His table all who love Him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to follow His Son, Jesus. Therefore, let us confess our sin before God.

Affirmation of Faith

“If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (I John 1:9).

So hear the good news: Christ died for us while we were yet sinners; that proves God’s love toward us. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!

Communion Song

Create In Me a Clean Heart O God

Green, Keith

Create in me a clean heart, O God
That I might serve You.
Create in me a clean heart, O God
That I might be renewed.

So fill me, and heal me,
And bring me back to You.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
That I might serve You.

©1989 Big Steps 4 U (admin. by Music Services)/Maranatha! Music
(admin. By The Copyright Company) CCLI License No. 1843349

Receiving the Sacrament

The Lord Jesus, on the night of His arrest, took bread, and after giving thanks to God, He broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: “Take, eat. This is My body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Receive the bread)

In the same way He took the cup, saying: “This cup is the new covenant sealed in My blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of Me.” (Receive the cup).

Communion Prayer

Gracious God, our Heavenly Father, in remembrance of these Your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving, as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith: Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again. Until You do Lord, use us as Your servants for Your glory.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is I heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we for give those ho trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil for Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen.

CLOSING SONG

Jesus You Are My Life

Fry, Steve

You are my life,
Oh precious Christ.
You are to me
The pearl of greatest price.
My love for You will never die.
Jesus, You are my life.

I come to You.
I run to You.
There’s no greater joy than knowing You.

O Holy Fire,
Love’s Purest Light.
Burn all desires
‘Til You are my one delight.
My love for You will never die.
Jesus, You are my life.

I come to You.
I run to You.
There’s no greater joy than knowing You.

O conquering King,
Conquer my heart
And make of me
A pleasing gift to God.
My love for You will never die.
Jesus, You are my life.

I come to You.
I run to You.
There’s no greater joy than knowing You.

My love for You will never die
Jesus, You are my life.

©1994 Maranatha Praise, Inc/Word Music, Inc. (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349

BENEDICTION

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:23

1 Tasha Eurich, Insight, Why We’re Not as Self-Aware as We Think and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps us Succeed at Work and in Life, [New York: Penguin Random Hose, Crown Business, © 2017]. Page 73.

2 Ibid., page 85.

3 https://poets.org/poem/invictus

4 Charles Swindoll, Improving Your Serve, [Waco, Texas: Word Publishing, © 1985]. Page 85

5 Tim Challies, April 29, 2016
https://www.challies.com/articles/who-does-my-body-belong-to/

6 James Packer, Your Father Loves You, (Daily Devotional)
[Wheaton, Illinois: Harold Shaw Publishers, © 1986]. Page for March 3.

7 Maxie Dunham, quoted from Disciple I Becoming Disciples through Bible Study DVD, 1st Edition, [Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, © 1989].

8 George Muller, Answers to Prayer, [Newberry, Florida: Bridge-Logos Publishing, © 2017].
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Randy K'Meyer

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