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September 15 – Appropriately warned

Behold, I am against you, declares the LORD of hosts… – Nahum 3:5a

Scripture reading: Colossians 3:10-17

Why spend all this time on Nahum and a long-forgotten kingdom like the Assyrians? Colossians 3 clearly answers this. Yesterday, we read about the sins of the Assyrians. They were bloodthirsty, sexually promiscuous, and liars. Now consider the fact that the wrath of God is coming against all those who walk in the sins of Nineveh. These sins are listed: sexual immorality, evil desire, anger, wrath, malice, obscene talk (which is evidence of obscene thoughts in the heart and obscene actions which one thinks he carries out in secret). People have not changed. Without the saving work of Jesus Christ, men and women will always descend to actions of depravity and wickedness.

How can change take place? Those who believe in Jesus Christ are united with Him in His death and are united with Him in His resurrection (Romans 6:4). The same power that raised Christ from the dead, the glory of the Father, is the power that is given to believers so that we can honour God in our minds, in our hearts, in our words and with our actions.

What God was asking of the Ninevites was not impossible! He sent a prophet to warn them so that they would, as their forefathers had done, repent. They did not do so, but this history of destruction is a stark warning for believers today. Hearing God’s warning we are invited to be dressed in Jesus’ righteousness. Evil has been conquered, therefore set your desires where Jesus is. Daily put on love, forgiveness and the peace of Christ.

Suggestions for prayer

May we hear and respond to the warning of the LORD so that we can encourage one another to be clothed in Christ and His perfections. Praise God that He warns His people, gives time and His Spirit to strengthen them for true repentance.

Rev. Richard T. Vander Vaart serves as a visiting prison chaplain in Moncton, New Brunswick for Redemption Prison Ministry. A few years ago he and his wife Carolyn became members of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. They both enjoy hosting friends for dinner and games nights. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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