SUNDAY TALK: Guth on Legislative Progress

Pastor of the day, Haddon Anderson of Garner Evangelical Free with Karlyn, Levia, Haddon, Isaiah & Charlotte.

We are now in the part of the session when we focus on floor debate and finalizing next year’s budget. When we start debate on a list of bills, we never know if it will take us 2 hours to go through the list or 10 hours. Often, some members of the Senate and House meet to resolve differences in the state budget while debate is happening. The Senate priorities include sustainable funding for K-12 education, healthcare, and public safety. While doing this, we are looking for ways to provide tax relief for the taxpayers of Iowa.

We have passed several welfare reforms this year with the intent of reducing fraud, ensuring benefits go only to Iowa citizens and most importantly, encourage able-bodied people to enter the workforce. Work is great for the economy and for an individual’s sense of purpose. I am glad to help nudge those who fight inertia when it comes to getting a job.

This month has two important days people take note of. The first is Earth Day, largely promoted by naturalists to celebrate nature and man’s unique moral responsibility to protect it. This causes me to pause and wonder. To a naturalist, nature is all there is—physical things in motion governed by physics and chemistry. If that is what you believe, how can there be any moral obligations of any kind? How can any living thing have any obligation to protect another? The locusts take what they can and leave nothing for the boll weevil that shows up later. That is how naturalism (Darwinism) works, with the “fitter critter” winning. Without God, there is no obligation of man toward Mother Nature.

The folks that love Earth Day do have one thing right. Man is different from the rest of the animal world. Humans are special and do have responsibility for this world. Not because of Mother Nature, but because of Father God who created humans in His image. Humans are good, but they are also guilty of disobedience to their Creator. This uniqueness about man created in God’s image is permanent. It cannot be removed, but it can be covered with the stain of sin.

That is why we have the second special day this month. Easter is when we celebrate what God did for us. Even though we disobeyed Him, He loves us. He loves us so much that He was willing to give the most precious thing in the universe to remove the stain of our own shortcomings. All of us have sinned and fall short of God’s intentions. Yet, He sent His one and only Son to live among us and teach us about God. Even that was not enough. We all deserve punishment for our disobedience in not just the big things, but little ones as well. Jesus said, “There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” Matthew 10:26.

When Jesus voluntarily offered His life up on the cross, He gave us a gift of immeasurable value. If we recognize that we have lived outside of God’s intention for us and we choose to turn away from such disobedience, we can claim that gift for ourselves. If we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He chose to die in our place, we can decide to trust Him for the future. When we place our trust in Him and stop trying to run our lives ourselves, He will not only forgive us for our past, but will guide our future. That is the hope of Easter: Guidance now and eternity with God.

“God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.'” Billy Graham