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June 23 – O Jesus I have promised 

“Join with their brothers, their nobles, and enter into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s Law that was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord and his rules and his statutes.” – Nehemiah 10:29

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 10:1-23

If the Lord is our King and He has graciously brought us into His kingdom, then it is only right that we aim to walk in His ways. As Israel learned their history and their identity as covenant people, they realized that they needed to make a commitment. That commitment had to show itself with particular action. It showed in who they married, how they observed the Sabbath, and in how they handled their money.

Some call this legalism. But legalism is when we think that what we do causes us to be accepted by God. Israel had learned that the joy of the Lord was their strength. God did love them, and now they wanted to respond in love. What about us? Jesus tells us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Do we recognize the call to action?

Looking at the vows Israel made, we notice these are commitments that affect relationships and spending habits – sensitive stuff. A young guy is dating a girl, and she is really nice and funny and they get along great, but he has to break it off because she does not fear God. Business opportunities come, but they are turned down because they involve work on the Sabbath. These things can be difficult. But we need to trust in the Lord. But failing to follow God’s Word brings trouble. Let us seek to always go where God leads, knowing that one day we will receive an inheritance from the Father’s mighty hand.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Lord helps you to renew your commitment to Him. Ask the Lord to expose areas of weakness and to help you to treasure Him above all.

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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