Now that half of January has gone by, how are you doing on your resolutions? If you have broken some – if not all – of them, do not despair.
Over 150 years ago C.F.W. Walther, first President of the LCMS, wrote this concerning the most important resolution for a new year. This one you can keep, at least keep renewing.
“The most necessary thing for a truly happy and blessed beginning to a new year is that we do not carry forward the sins of the old year. Isn’t the rich person very poor if he still lacks the most important good – the grace of God? How can such a person be truly happy if he cannot rejoice in the forgiveness of sins?1
“…On our own, we can merit nothing before God. Even if we could cry bloody streams of tears, perform the greatest work of repentance, and submerge ourselves in the deepest sorrow and contrition, we could not wash from our soul even one of the past year’s sins and we could not satisfy the offended righteousness of God.”
What does this mean? Yes, we do wrong (sin). Yes, we are always imperfect (sin, once again). No, we cannot pay the debt for our wrongdoings or lack of doing.
Do not despair! You are forgiven! Jesus paid the debt for sin on the cross, and now we are free to rejoice in that forgiveness! Amen! Hallelujah!
1 God Grant It: Daily Devotions from C. F. W. Walther, Translated by Gerhard P. Grabenhofer, complied by August Crull, Copyright 2006 Concordia Publishing House, 3558 S Jefferson Av, St Louis, MO 63118-3968