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June 21 – The assurance of knowing who we are

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 9:9-32

“We have been through a lot together.” A 90 year-old man told me about his deceased brother. They lived through the war in the Netherlands; they served together in the Dutch army, moved to Canada and started a business together. A great history can tell a lot about a relationship.

The Israelites were rebuilding their identity as the people of God, and in doing so they had learned that they have been through a lot together; or rather, God had brought them through a lot. This gave them assurance. Look back at the past, look at what happened when the people sinned and at what happened when they sought the Lord. And why was God merciful? Because He is righteous; because He is faithful to Himself.

God in His mercy punished, but did not destroy His people. In relentless mercy, God sent His Son to bear the punishment that we deserve, so that through faith in Jesus we can confidently lay claim to God and the promises He gives to His children. Galatians 3:7 says that it is those of faith who are sons of Abraham. This means by believing in God and His promises; this is our history too. Let us learn and recall and retell the old stories. May our prayers reflect this understanding and our faith be assured. Though we have come through many dangers and have frequently wandered, in Christ, we can boldly approach the throne. God would no sooner deny us than He would deny His own Son – Great is His faithfulness!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that your faith may be strengthened by understanding that God will comfort you with the knowledge that you belong to Him, because He has been merciful.

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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