Good morning: You wake up with a raw throat, but decide it’s due to dry air and go on with your day. One tire seems a little low, but you’re in a hurry and so you jump in the car, drive off, and don’t give it another thought. The AC hasn’t been checked in five years, but it’s still working, so where’s the urgency for a service call. Denial comes naturally. Rather than deal with problems before they become catastrophes, we excuse procrastination with, “If I leave it alone, it’ll go away. I’ll wait until tomorrow or next week. It’s not a big deal.” We know what can happen. The slow leak causes a blowout on the freeway. The untreated sore throat morphs into pneumonia. The AC quits during the hottest stretch of the summer. The danger is even greater when we practice denial in spiritual matters. We try to ease conscience qualms over sin with, “It’s just a little thing. Everyone does it. I know it’s wrong, but I’ve got too much going on right now to deal with it. It’s just a thought that crossed my mind. It’s not like I would ever act on it.” Denial comes so naturally, yet it’s also so deadly. The rich farmer in Jesus’ parable was in denial. He was too busy building bigger barns to bother with the state of his soul. God’s verdict was, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Lk. 12:20). “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn. 1:8). Procrastination does not mean that our guilt is invisible to God. It doesn’t delay the inevitable judgment. On the other hand, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9). After wasting his entire inheritance, the prodigal son came to his senses, returned to his father, and instead of denying his guilt said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you” (Lk. 15:21). The father wrapped his arms around him in complete forgiveness. David prayed, “I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’—and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Ps. 32:5). Jesus didn’t deny the reality of sin. While He Himself had none, He freely bore the burden of the world’s sin and suffered its penalty. By Jesus’ cross, God has pronounced you forgiven and righteous! There is no greater incentive to get rid of excuses and procrastination, and to bring our failings, grudges, pride, hurtful words, and denials to Him. May we confess them all. Don’t hold anything back. Eagerly anticipate His loving assurance: “Go in peace. Your sins are forgiven!” Listen for it today in your reading of the Word. Look forward to it in tomorrow’s service. Yours in Christ, Pastor Service time tomorrow is 9 a.m. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated. The activity committee is asked to meet after the service to make plans for Mission Festival.