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June 16 – A refuge of worship 

“So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.” – Nehemiah 6:15–16 

Scripture reading: Psalm 48:1-14

The wall was up! It took just over seven weeks. Long weeks enduring opposition and strife of all sorts, but they persevered and suddenly the walls were raised. Remember Sanballat saying they would never do it? Remember Tobiah saying that when a fox climbs on the wall it will crumble? Reflect and see: this is the work of God done with the help of God.

We think of the church today, too; how many despise the church and mock the church. Maybe people say you are a fool for going to church, or they say your church is a joke because people sing off-key, or you don’t have nice programs, and certain people are not very polished. Take comfort. Since the beginning, God’s work has been ridiculed and persecuted. But this is God’s work. Do you see the goodness? Today you might be tempted to dwell on the trouble that the church faces. I encourage you to think about this as the beautiful work of God and a place where God meets with His people. In the New Testament the church is called the bride of Christ. She is despised by the world, but to God she is cherished and beautiful. Not because she is so amazing in herself, but because God bought her with Jesus’ blood. See this and joyfully serve the Lord, and in the end the enemies will see, and they will fear and one day bow before Christ.

(Heads up: Tomorrow’s Scripture reading is a long one. If you are typically rushed on a Monday, take some time to read chapter 7 today).

Suggestions for prayer

Consider where God has been at work in your life and in the church, and praise God. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to the good things He has done.

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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