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June 20 – The humility of knowing who we are 

“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” – Romans 7:18a

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 9:1-8

When the law was read in chapter 8, the people were told not to weep. Then the Feast of Booths was celebrated with much joy. It is vital for God’s people to rejoice in what the Lord is doing. But even the believer who is assured of God’s love needs to be keenly aware of his sin, own that sin, and confess it to God.

The law is read. Then for three hours the people confess their sin and worship God. How can confession and worship go together? Wouldn’t the confession discourage them and leave them feeling worthless? No, not when they remember who they are in the Lord. Confession and worship go together when we honestly confess our sin, knowing the goodness of God that triumphs over our sin. The Bible teaches us to confess our unworthiness and God’s worthiness. Confess our pathetic foolishness and God’s patient faithfulness. Confess how we wandered and how God pursued us. Yes, we have sinned, but we praise God for He is righteous.

The Israelites found comfort in the lamb that was offered for their sin. That lamb points to Jesus who was offered that our sins may be removed. It is humbling to think of our sin and of Jesus suffering on the cross to remove our sin and guilt. But we worship, for this is the working of the grace of God. Like Romans 7 ends and Romans 8 begins, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ…. …there is therefore now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Suggestions for prayer

Spend some time confessing sin in your heart and life; then as you consider God’s grace (in prayer or song), praise God for His amazing love.

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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