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June 7 – The body of Christ 

“Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel.” – Nehemiah 3:1 

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 3:1-32

Psalm 133 says it is good and pleasant when brothers dwell in unity. Here brothers (and sisters – vs 12) work in beautiful unity. A priest is the first to put blisters on his hands. Men of Jericho (this is not their town) come to help, as well as rulers, perfumers, gold smiths, some with their families, some with people of their trade. These are not professionals, but God writes their names down. This work is noted; it is done for the glory of God

We don’t read about grumbling. No one says, “Why do they get to do the sheep gate, and we have to do the dung gate?” This is work God has given them. They do it with God’s help. God has worked in their hearts and strengthened them for the task.

For us, work needed in the church and in our own hearts and lives is not a one-man job. God has given us community. God intends for us to grow with other believers. 1 Peter 2 starts with a call for us to turn away from all sorts of sin (think of the disgrace of walls in ruin), and then it says we come to Christ, the living stone. We are (as verse 5 says) “being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

When we commit to Christ and walk with other believers, we make a statement for ourselves, to God, and for the world to see; that God is at work among us.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for those who labour alongside you in the fight against sin and in the task of serving the Lord. Ask the Lord to help you cheerfully use your gifts to serve Him.

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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