"Look at this, Mom!" Konrad pointed to a webpage on his tablet. "It says here the local library has declared today to be a fine-free day. All overdue books can be returned without paying a fine." Konrad grinned. "I have a whole bunch of books that are overdue!"
Konrad's sister laughed. "When the librarians see you coming, they'll be sorry they made that decision. Think of all the money they'll lose!"
"Go get all those overdue books, Konrad. Then we'll go down to the library," said Mom, grinning. "And after this, try to return your books on time!"
As Konrad pedaled his bike toward the library ahead of his mom and sister, a man who lived in their neighborhood staggered up the sidewalk. Oh, great, thought Konrad. Mr. Burns is drunk again.
"Hey there, Konrad," Mr. Burns said in a slurred voice. "Where ya goin'?"
Konrad stopped his bike. "I'm going to the library to return overdue books. Today is a fine-free day."
"Sure wish they'd have a fine-free day at City Hall," muttered Mr. Burns. "I've paid out a bundle of money down there." He stared at Konrad with blurry eyes. "Hey, yer a good Christian kid. You suppose God has a fine-free day?"
Konrad blinked, then replied, "Sure He does, Mr. Burns. Today is fine-free day with God too. Jesus paid the fine for our sins by dying on the cross. If you trust in Him, He'll forgive you and waive the fine. He forgave me, and He'll forgive you too!"
Mr. Burns shook his head. "Easy to say, kid. You only have a few little sins on your record. I've got a whole pack of 'em."
Konrad pointed at his backpack, which was full of books. "Whether I return one overdue book today or twenty, it makes no difference. And it doesn't matter how many sins are weighing us down--Jesus paid the fine for them all. We're all sinful and need to be forgiven."
Mr. Burns nodded thoughtfully as Konrad's mom and sister caught up to them. "I'd sure like to believe you." He shuffled toward his house. "I'll think that one over. A fine-free day, huh? Sounds pretty good to me!" Barbara J. WestbergHOW ABOUT YOU?
Have you done some really bad things? It doesn’t matter what you’ve done—Jesus offers you forgiveness. He paid the fine—the penalty—for your sin. God doesn’t measure sins and forgive only small things. Before the apostle Paul was saved, he persecuted Christians. He called himself the worst of sinners, but he received God’s mercy. You can too. God says “now is the day of salvation”—a fine-free day! Trust in Jesus today. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.)
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: 2 Corinthians 6:2 (KJV)
Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. (NIV)