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June 11 – Doing the hard work 

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:12b–13 

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 4:21-23

I grew up on a farm where working long days was common in the busy seasons. Now, much of that was spent in the cab of a tractor. I could not imagine laying bricks from dawn to dusk and sleeping with work clothes still on and a sword still strapped to my side. I wonder how many thought, “Really, if this is the work of the Lord, why is it so hard?” Doing the things the Lord calls us to do is often hard, tiring work. For some reason, the attitude of many today is that there should not be too much sacrifice, and the fight against sin should be only a little bit difficult. When people are serving and sacrificing, some might say, “Relax, for God loves you either way.” If that was the approach Nehemiah and the builders took regarding the wall, the wall would never have been built and the children would not know the Lord.

So what does that mean for us? Why should someone work on their marriage – it is going to be hard? Why should we set the alarm so we can do devotions? Why should we bother guarding our tongues? And the answer is because this is what God has called us to do. This is what Jesus is equipping us for. This is how we will glorify the Lord and how we bless those around us.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord Jesus for making the ultimate sacrifice that you may know salvation. Confess where you have refused to serve the Lord and ask the Lord to conform your will to His.

Rev. Simon Lievaart currently serves Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. Prior to this, he served the United Reformed Church in Doon, IA. Rev. Lievaart grew up in southern Alberta, attended Redeemer University College and Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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