The Story of an Amazing God that can do the impossible . .
(continued from part 1)
The standard is perfection. God doesn't grade on a curve. He is justice incarnate - but He is also love incarnate. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10). So where is God to get this perfection that He rightly demands? "And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering . ." (Genesis 22:8). Do you see it? Justice demands that someone pay the penalty for sin, but a sinner cannot pay his own penalty. The offering, the payment must be perfect. And since God is the only one perfect (waiting to see the Orthodox Jews jump up here . .), He alone is qualified to be the payment. He must become a mortal Man, whose sole purpose is to lay down his life an "offering for sin" (Isaiah 53:10). Now you know the back story behind Jesus' mission. The story does not end at Christ's death. He is to receive an "everlasting dominion" (Daniel 4:34), meaning a Kingdom, a physical place to have a kingdom (earth), headquarters (Jerusalem, Israel / Mt. Zion), and a people whom He has redeemed "to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Revelation 5:9). How am I doing so far? It's all real folks . . He was really, physically raised before many eyewitnesses. And as certain
as His resurrection was, so will ours be when He "cometh with clouds" at the end of the age. This is why Satan and the world hate the Saints. They have done nothing to deserve their glorious state. They are in fact, in their personal obediences seen to be failures in many ways. When the Saint stumbles the World says to itself, "why, He's no better than I am!", and the World is right. But God has already borne the judgement due sin, whether in the sinner or the saint. The Christian does not go to heaven because he's better, but because God has given him faith to believe in Jesus who is his sinbearer, and not his only, but the sinbearer of all who believe!
Back to the Story . .
We had preachers in our family. They didn't come. There were preachers down the road - they didn't come.
But they didn't need to come. Now, God usually sends people into your life to influence you and share the Gospel, whether they be strangers or kin. But let me assure you, if you belong to Him, He will hunt you down and rescue you. And when He does you will be willing, you will be glad and love Him. So nobody came. Jesus himself came. How? By working to create a thirst for meaning and purpose. My brother Duwayne and I were heavily into drugs, especially Marijuana. Remember, this is the early '70's. Smoking dope, looking at Porn, playing rock and roll music, being a worthless husband and finally father - this was my existence. Any responsible person who knew me would have said that I had no future. But God . . two little words . . but God . . knew I belonged to Him, and laughed to Himself thinking about what He was going to do.
I went to the library in Coquille and brought home some heavy books (you did come through the '60's right?), like Einstein's Theory of Relativity, Rene' DeCarte's Mechanical Universe, the Tibetan Book of the Dead. I was looking for Truth in a world that increasingly cried there wasnt' any. But I was desperate. I was playing country music at a local bar in Coquille 3 nights a week, making good money doing what I liked to do. What was wrong? Why the dissatisfaction? God chuckled. One evening I sat on my sofa smoking a joint and reading The Gospel of John. In all my reading I neglected the Bible because I kniw it would have all that corny stuff about hell and sin - you know. But when you are a drowning man, you are not particular about who is rescuing you. Buddha could not rescue me. He could only advise me to follow the eight-fold path. Mohammed wanted me to pick up a sword and kill the infidels, which would have required committing suicide first. Hinduism taught that the world was sitting on the back of a giant elephant - which pretty much turned me off. The Tibetan Book of the Dead required me to wander around for eight days after my physical death, with a close friend chanting directions to the Bardo plane. I didn't have any friends that loyal or any plans of dying.
And as I sat that evening reading the Gospel of John, I was tripping. When I reached the end of the book and Jesus was being crucified, I saw myself standing at the foot of His cross uncaring, as His life's blood dripped to the ground for my sins. Something happened. I put my joint out, walked to the other end of our 70 foot single-wide trailer and fell on the bed. "Jesus, I killed you!" I wept. It had been many years since I cried. But I still remember. I asked for mercy. I asked to be made like Him, my Hero. And though I got up from that bed not knowing the phrase "born again" it had come to me, all by the sovereign power and work of God's Spirit. Jesus himself came to sinner Stevie's house. Imagine that.
Within the week my brother, mother and I were trusting Christ. As mom left my home one day she looked up to heaven and said, "Lord, I want what they have!" and it was granted her. Why did she want it? We do not by nature seek the things of God. We are rather enemies of God, haters of good - you know the drill. God was already working out His clever plan for the Blum Family. A few weeks later my dad walked into the kitchen after a long, dusty, hard-working day. Hedidn't say a word, but walked to the sink and put down his lunch pail.
"Dad, what happened to you today?" I asked. There was no outside evidence that anything had happened that day. We just . . knew. We just knew that he had been changed. It was God. It was God coming to our house, just like He wants to come to your house! He doesn't care how screwed-up you are. It's not a big deal to Him. He made the heavens and earth in 6 days folks, OK? You see, God delights in the impossible, in things the world considers foolish. That's why He chose the foolishness of the cross to save them that believe(1 Corinthians 1:18).
Well, after we leapt around the kitchen for a little bit, laughing and crying, Dad told us how he couldn't hold out any longer and how he bowed his head in the yarder cab and repentence was granted him. Isn't God wonderful? Isn't He awesome? How can He possible take a bunch of losers and make kings and priests unto God? Because He's Almighty, and He's the Boss. We were already a musical family, so it wasn't long and we had a Family Band. I taught my brother to play bass, my brother-in-law to play drums. Daddy played the flat top, I played lead guitar, and my little sister Colleen sang. We sang country gospel. When we discovered the Happy Goodmans we were beside ourselves! We sang most of their songs, along with many old and new standards. We travelled up and down Washington and Oregon playing in different churches, played at Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, went to Phoenix, to Haskell, Texas and played with the Love Brothers, went to Batavia, New York. We went everywhere and told what God had done for us.
He wants to do the same thing for you. "It's too simple!" you say. I said the same thing. We all did. Well, you're right. It is simple . . yet impossible. Unless God had intervened and drawn us to Himself by His Holy Spirit - none of us would have come. We can't.
But He can!!
If you want to hear what we sounded like, click below :