By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
Yes, you can have a second chance. You can put the past behind you. You can turn from being identified with sin to being a child of God. You can have the ending of Scrooge. All it takes is a change of the heart. And God joyfully provides such a change; his Son makes atonement for all your sins; his Spirit gives you a new heart.
So you may now live a life of steadfast love and faithfulness. You may now turn away from evil by the fear of the Lord. Have you sinned today? Of course you have. But do not despair. It is your love that you possess in Christ that God keeps record of; it is your turning to him in faithfulness – turning to him for refuge, for forgiveness – that he holds dear. It is the fear of the Lord that causes you to grieve over your sin and turn to God. Grieve over your sin, but rejoice in the steadfast love and faithfulness of God to forgive and to hold on to you.
And in your rejoicing, continue to show such love and faithfulness to God (we love because he first loved us) and to your brother and sister in the Lord (by this we are known as Christ’s disciples) and to everyone (love your neighbor as yourself). By such a heart and by such action, your sins are more than atoned for – i. e. the good you do will overshadow the wrong, and you will be known not for hurts you have caused but for blessing you have given.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org